Weekly Worship for Sunday 3rd March, by Rev. Sharon Read

What are your holy habits?

As the Israelites travelled through the wilderness and reach Mount Sinai, their time came for a fresh start with God and are given the Ten Commandments. They speak of God’s relationship with his people, and how our relationships interact with the world. They are our framework for living. Let’s pray

Amazing God, you are our God,
and we are your people, your children.
Help us to learn your ways,
that we may love you more dearly,
and learn to live more truly,
enjoying and sharing your abundant life
with the whole planet. 

STF455: All my hope on God is founded



Holy God, we come to worship you,
to be in your presence in this moment of our lives.
We come not to worship a place or a thing.
We come to worship you, our living, loving, ever-present God.
You are our God, you have given us breath and life and meaning.
Holy God, we come to worship you.

Almighty God, the God of Abraham, of the prophets, 
of the disciples, of the apostles and of us: 
you are not distant from us but as close as the air we breathe. 
You are within us and among us and around us and beyond our comprehension. 
You are unchanging and yet forever new, and we adore you. 
We are amazed at all you are, and have been and promise always to be.
We bow down and worship you.

O Lord our God, we confess our failings and our shortcomings. We
confess our fickleness and our fragility of faith. We make ourselves
other gods and images, we take your name in vain, we do not
keep a time set aside for you, we have lost so much respect for
our elders, abuse people’s honesty and live with falsehoods all
around us. O Lord our God, maker of heaven and earth, forgive us
we pray, renew and refresh us and set us on a right path.

You hear us, Lord God, you yearn for our confession,
for us to see the error of our ways 
and you offer us your words of assurance, 
that our sins are forgiven, 
our slates wiped clean,
our lives renewed.

Discussion Questions:

  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • What is essential to your spiritual well-being? What would you put in your ‘Rule of life’?
  • Thinking about the week ahead, what might living by God’s framework look like?

Reading: Exodus 20:1-17

As we reflect on this reading, we hear a musical version of Psalm 19.

Alternatively please read Psalm 19

 STF 357:  Jesus the name high overall



As we travel through life, we learn rules for the different things that we do and belong to. When we go swimming, we know not to run along the side for common sense tells us we will slip with the surplus water. When we leave our homes and walk down the street we follow the Highway Code, perhaps those rules begin with the adult guiding us who held our hand as we grew up. We have a set of rules to follow when we sign up to activities, clubs, when we attend school or work. Some of them are written down, some we will just know and some we will sign a contract for. Rules form part of the framework by which we live and interact with others. Have you considered the rules that come from God?

Today we are thinking about the rules if you like that we read about from Moses that he received on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments. We may remember these from lessons at school and most definitely from our wonderful Sunday School Teachers.

As you read the passage from Exodus setting out the Ten Commandments, is there one that jumps out? One that is really important today for you? One that you know you need to do? Or one that you can happily let go of? Or one to obey to help you lead a godly life?

The one that struck me so powerfully was about Sabbath. A day of rest. For those who have been in the church a long time, we associate the sabbath with a Sunday. Certainly for me as a child and teenager, there was nothing else to do on a Sunday unless you were visiting family. My parents were both shift workers and would often be working weekends. I would walk to my local church some distance across the town for church noticing that there was nothing open not even a shop. The shutters were down, although I suppose there was no need for shutters in those days. Today the world we live in and the rules that society follows is very different to that period in time (the 80s for me). What does sabbath look like now when Sundays are so busy both inside and outside the church.

Following the Ten Commandments, and indeed the Commandments that Jesus shares in Matthew 22, Mark 12 and Luke 10 mainly to love God and love neighbour as yourself are not merely about sticking to a step of rules. Indeed this is important, what is crucial is that we prayerful seek transformation of our inner attitudes to prioritise that life that is truly Godly. Instilling holy habits each and every day to prioritise our relationship with God and that expression to those we meet who have no faith of knowledge of who God is.

Long ago, God’s people were slaves in Egypt. They lived a hard life and were rescued by God who led them to a new land. They had to adapt and learn to live again in freedom and to help them God gave them a set of rules. You will have heard many times that for us as Christians, our bible is our rule book. It is there to guide us, affirm us, encourage us, discipline us and help us to lead a Godly life and live it to the full!! Some days will be full of excitement and passion and other days will be a struggle and hard. Through all this, our daily habits, our Holy habits, is what keeps us going in our faith and our journey through life.

As we continue to journey through Lent reflecting on the journey of Jesus having turned his face to Jerusalem knowing that he will ultimately be sentenced to death on cross, let us consider the things that help us in our daily walk with God and perhaps add a new Holy Habit as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Day!!


Eternal God, we give you thanks that through the years, 
through the generations, through the changing seasons, 
you have been with humanity in the good, the bad and the ugly times.
We give you thanks that your truth is 
unchanging, steadfast and reliable, upholding and supportive.
We give you thanks that you are there for us in all aspects of our lives 
from the moment of our birth 
to the drawing of our last breath and beyond.
We give you thanks that even when we seek things 
and possessions more than we ought, that still you stand beside us,
walk with us, breathe with us, live within us.
We give you thanks that you are the framework,
the scaffold of our lives.
To you be all praise and glory.

STF 520:  Give to me, Lord, a thankful heart


God of all, we give thanks for your guidelines for our lives. We are called by you to live in your love and follow your framework. We pray that in these times of challenge and doubt, where truth is hard to find, we would always turn to you.

We pray for those who lead our nation. We ask that they would take decisions with care and wisdom, always considering your guidelines for how we can live our lives and help others. We ask for peace and calm in parliament as life-changing decisions are made that affect us all, and that, despite political differences, our MPs would put people at the centre of their thinking and voting. We look for leadership that is wise and considered and ask that the people of this nation would be served well by those we elect.

In the financial challenges that cities, towns and communities face we ask for a sense of fairness and justice, and a focus on those most in need of help and support. May we all avoid jealousy or envy, but instead give thanks for what we have and seek to be generous to others.

God, who created us all, may we follow your guidelines and live in your love.

God of all, we give you thanks that you made all people and value every one of us. We are called by you to follow your guidelines in living and sharing our lives with others without greed, envy or jealousy, and to avoid conflict and seek peace.

We pray for the wars and conflicts that divide nations. We think again of the continuing war in Ukraine and the needs of all those who have suffered and are suffering. We bring to you the conflict and destructive fighting in Gaza, and the desperation of the many thousands of refugees who are left with nowhere to go. We bring to you those on all sides of these conflicts – children, the elderly, fighters and families – who continue to suffer or have lost their lives in these past few days. We pray for the United Nations, NATO, The Red Cross and Red Crescent, and other agencies and organisations that have influence, that they would continue to seek a settlement.

We remember the divisions that cause war, and we think of our own nation at this time. May those who have influence and power always consider their words carefully and avoid using language and making statements that inflame divisions between communities and faith groups. We pray for faith leaders that they would be strong in condemning any words or actions that encourage people to turn against others.

God, who created us all, may we follow your guidelines and live in your love.

God of all, we thank you for our church, our community, and the many blessings you give us. We are given ways to live that make our lives better; help us to grow and thrive as followers of Jesus. We ask that we would be good servants.

We pray for the places where we spend our time. We pray for our homes, that they would be places of calm and peace where all feel safe. We pray for the schools that our young people attend and remember the staff and school leaders as they face budget challenges and huge workloads. We remember our medical centres, surgeries and hospitals and all those who support others to find help and wholeness in complex and tough situations. We think of all the workplaces that are hard for employees, and those who are desperate for work that they cannot find. Help us to support each other and our local communities as much as we can, bringing hope and truth where that is lacking.

We remember our church family and the leaders here. We pray for all those in pain, sickness and facing challenging decisions, and we think of those who are sad at the loss of those they love. For all the seen and unseen needs we all have, we ask you to walk with us through your love.

In all these prayers we know that you are God, you are our provider, and you hear us.

God, who created us all, may we follow your guidelines and live in your love. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

As we head into the week ahead, is there a holy habit, an action to take each day so we can be more open to God and to our neighbour?

STF 545: Be thou my vision

Closing Prayer

Loving God, you love each one of us
through and through and through.
We share the precious gift of life
with you, with one another
and with this beautiful planet.
Teach us your ways! 

Loving God, thank you for your gift of freedom.
Thank you also for giving us guidance
on how to be fully alive and loving.
Be with us as we put your guidance into practice,
and help us to enjoy sharing your beautiful world.

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Reproduced with permission.