Worship for Sunday 24th July 22, by Rev. Krystyna Kwarciak

Call to worship:

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find;

knock, and the door will be opened for you.”

Lord, as we search now, let us find you.
As we knock, open the door to us.
Let us know you, that we may praise you;
and love you, that we may serve you.


Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Seeking One,

you are the beginning and the end of our search.
Finding One,

you are the alpha and omega of all discovery.
Asking One,

you are the voice and the silence of our exploration.
Giving One,

you are the fullness and the emptiness of all yearning.
Persistent One,

you never abandon your search for us,
nor tire of our repetitive to-ings and fro-ings.
Receiving One,

you endlessly welcome us home,and spread before us a feast
in the face of our constant requests for mere morsels of bread.

Search us, O God,

and find within us the secrets we hide.
Ask us, O God,

and receive from within us the pain we bear.
Keep knocking at the door of our lives
until we open our wills to your purpose,
our lives to your life, and our yearning to your hope.

When we forget to seek you and discover that we have lost our place:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

When we ask once and leave it at that:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

When we draw back from knocking, lest we disturb you:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Strengthen our courage; bolster our endurance;
spur us onward in your way in our world
through the power of the Holy Spirit
and the name of Christ.

StF 528: Pray without ceasing, pray

Pray, without ceasing, pray,
Your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey,
And call upon the Lord:
To God your every want
In instant prayer display;
Pray always; pray, and never faint;
Pray, without ceasing pray!

In fellowship, alone,
To God with faith draw near,
Approach His courts, besiege His throne
With all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go,
Nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know,
And every heart His love.

Pour out your souls to God,
And bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad,
And pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear
For ever on your mind:
Extend the arms of mighty prayer,
In grasping all mankind.

From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle, and fight, and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day;
Still let the Spirit cry
In all His soldiers: Come!
Till Christ the Lord descend from high,
And take the conquerors home.


Luke 11,1-13

The Lord’s Prayer

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.’

Perseverance in Prayer

And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’


The story is told of a king who was in his throne room, holding a council with his advisers, noblemen, and high ministers of state. Suddenly there was a bang and a clatter at the door of the throne room. All eyes turned as the door burst open and a young boy ran into the room.

One of the king’s royal guardsmen tried to stop the boy. “Hold there, lad!” he shouted. “Don’t you know you’re disturbing the council of the king?”

“He’s your king,” laughed the boy, “but he’s my Daddy!” And the boy bounced into the open arms of his father, the king.

A child of the king always outranks any nobleman, adviser, minister, ambassador, or dignitary, that is the position we have with God, that is the access we have to His throne room.

This story, and our gospel passage for today, would be much easier to hear if it wasn’t for all the unanswered prayers in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I have prayed for people that were ill, relationships that were broken, situations that needed changing, and been left wondering if anyone is listening, if anyone is out there. Has that ever been your experience of prayer? 

I don’t know why some prayers seem to be answered and others seem to go unanswered, and I don’t want to add to the list of unhelpful and hurtful explanations such as: “Maybe you didn’t pray hard enough.” “You don’t have enough faith.”, “Everything happens for a reason.” or “God is testing you.”

I think that it’s important to remember that when Jesus teaches about asking, searching, and knocking he is not teaching us a technique or magic formula for getting whatever we want. 

This attitude is called ‘vending machine theology’ – we put in our coins of prayer and good behaviour, make a selection, and get what we want. Vending machine theology is reassuring, it makes sense and is predictable. It works great until it doesn’t, until the machine gives you a packet of crisps when you want a bottle of coke, or even worse, steals your money. Then what do you do? Kick the machine? Put in more money and push the button harder? Walk away vowing to never use a stupid vending machine again?

Maybe in the parable of the persistent widow that Jesus shares with his disciples is not about an effective prayer method, but a certain posture, a way of standing before God, being open and responsive to His Spirit and His will – like a child who has boundless trust in their father? Maybe prayer should be more about what we do than what God does? Maybe the power of prayer, instead of persuading God to do certain things for us, is meant to help us not give up when when we are overwhelmed, when we come to the limits of our ability – to persevere in our calling, in our faith? Maybe the focus of the parable is not on the answered prayer, the granted request, but the widow’s attitude of persistence, perseverance, openness to her future?

Lord, teach us to pray…


Discussion questions:

1) What small steps can you take in the coming week to grow in your prayer life?

2) Why is it sometimes good for us not to have our prayers answered as we desire?

StF 34: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him the Lord is his name.

Low at his feet lay your burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for you,
comfort your sorrows and answer your prayerfulness,
guiding your steps in the way that is true.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth you would count as your own;
truth in its beauty and love in its tenderness
these are the offerings to bring to his throne.

These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him the Lord is his name.

Closing prayers

Our Father who art in heaven:
remind us this day
that you are not only creation’s Architect,
but you are the Babe who cried for food,
the teenager who knew loneliness,
the adult who felt the rejection of loved ones.

Hallowed by Thy name:
yours is the name spun by the stars;
yours is the name whispered by the dying;
yours is the name written on our hearts.

Thy Kingdom come:
may it be a kingdom of peace, not prejudice;
may it be a kingdom of sharing, not grasping;
may it be a kingdom of hope, not hurting.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
may your Word be more than print on a page;
may your justice be more than a wish in our hearts;
may your will become our deepest desire.

Give us this day our daily bread:
let us taste it in the kisses of loved ones;
let it fill us in the empty moments of our lives;
let it slip out of our hands to mend the brokenness of our world.

And forgive us our debts as we forgive others:
may those who have hurt us find a welcome in our hearts,
even as we have found our home in yours.

And lead us not into temptation:
turn our hearts from the seductions of our world;
and the simple pleasures that turn us from you.

Keep us from thinking we are so important
that we ignore those around us.
Help us to always bring others to you in prayer,
before we bring ourselves,
as we do in these moments:

Prayers are lifted for others

But deliver us from evil:
not just great evils of war and hunger,
but from ingratitude, self-love, pride,
all those little evils that do such great harm.

For thine is the kingdom:
our heart’s true longing;
and the power:
which you set aside to serve us in weakness;

and the glory:
which we would mirror in our lives,
our bodies, our minds, our souls,
this day and every day.
Forever and ever. 

 StF 762: Our Father in heaven

Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowéd be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
Hallowéd be your name.

On earth as it is in heaven,
Hallowéd be your name,
Give us this day our daily bread,
Hallowéd be your name.

Forgive us all our trespasses
Hallowéd be your name,
As we forgive those who trespass against us,
Hallowéd be your name.

And lead us not into temptation,
Hallowéd be your name,
But deliver us from all that is evil,
Hallowéd be your name.

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
Hallowéd be your name,
For ever and for ever,
Hallowéd be your name.

Amen, amen, amen, amen,
Hallowéd be your name,
Amen, amen, amen, amen,
Hallowéd be your name.


 Now that you have welcomed Jesus Christ into your lives,

continue to journey with Him.

Allow Him to shape your lives.

Let your roots grow down deep into Him,

and let Him build you up on a firm foundation.

Be strong in the faith – just as you were taught –

and let your lives spill over with thanksgiving.


And may the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the extravagant love of god,

and the intimate presence of the Holy spirit

be with you all.