It’s the Second Sunday in Lent – 13 March 2022. The main reading for today features Abram’s encounter with God in the first book of the Bible – Genesis – at Chapter 15.
Somehow, Abram did not seem worthy of the astonishing promise God made to him – but that’s how God works.
Below, you will find the main reading set out in full, then the Order of Service and, today, also the prayers. Towards the foot of this post is the video of today’s service from St James’.
Main Scripture for today
Genesis 15:1-12 (New International Version)
The Lord’s Covenant With Abram
15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
8 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”
9 So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—
Note that volunteers from our congregation are currently bell-ringing for Ukraine.
Order of Service
Welcome and Intimations
Call to Worship
Praise: CH4 608 Spirit of truth and grace
Prayers of Adoration and Confession
Praise: JP149 Kum ba yah
JP139 Jesus’ love is very wonderful
Readings: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 & Psalm 27
Praise: MP436 Lord, make me a mountain
Readings: Philippians 3:17-4:1 & Luke 13:31-35
Praise: MP678 There’s a quiet understanding /
MP411 Let there be love
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Praise: MP746 What a friend we have in Jesus
Benediction & Threefold Amen
Lord God, we do not know all of the challenges that face us this day, but still we
pray: if we should be tempted by desire for earthly gain, remind us of our
citizenship in heaven. If we should be distracted by hunger, satisfy us with your
Holy Spirit until we hunger no more. Let us walk in the way of Christ so that our
lives testify in deed and word, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the
Merciful God, you have made us citizens of heaven, but we confess that we have
set our minds on earthly things. We have let our desire for security restrain our
commitment to serve the poor. We have let our fear of danger curb our obligation
to love our enemies. We have let our love of things dull our generosity to the
needy. We have let our craving for public status prevent our honesty about
hidden sins yet, you know the desires of our heart and nothing is hidden from
you. By the power of the Holy Spirit, conform our sin-weakened bodies to the
glory of Christ, that we may be the body of Christ for the world.
Loving God, you save all who seek refuge in you. Grant that we who know your
salvation may walk always in your light, take courage in your faithfulness, and
rejoice in your astounding goodness to us. Through Christ, by the power of the
Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Lord God, we have beheld your goodness to us. Accept the offering of the work of
our hands, and use us for the sake of Christ, in whose name we pray.
We pray for the church throughout the world, that all who bear the name of
Christ may find true repentance for their sins and walk in the ways of peace.
We pray for the nations of the world, wherever there is poverty, war, or oppression
of human spirit, that all people may repent of the evil they do to one another. We
pray for all who suffer in war-ravaged Ukraine today. Lord, have mercy.
We pray for the planet Earth, your gift to humankind, that we may repent of
selfish or thoughtless exploitation and tend it with care so that all may share
justly in its bounty.
We pray for the leaders of the nations, that they may work for the common good
of all people and repent of arrogant nationalism.
We pray for our enemies, that we may learn to love them with regard for God’s
compassion, forgiving wrongs and seeking reconciliation.
We pray for those who are sick or in trouble, for the defenceless, the weak, and
the poor, that they may find help in their time of need, and that the church may
heed their cry.
Loving God, hear the prayers of your people for the sake of our world. With our
prayers, accept the dedication of our lives that we may minister to the world in
the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who taught us to pray….
The Lord’s Prayer