ACC Prayers for the ACC and UCA
The ACC Prayer Co-ordinator, Rev Anne Hibbard has provided a prayer for the ACC during these difficult days. Members may use this prayer freely and distribute as you are able and especially for your congregation in their prayers during Sunday worship.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
We praise you and thank you for your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, the Living Head of the church. We thank you that he comes, addresses and deals with us so that we might live and endure through the changes of history through the news of his completed work.
We thank you that the Uniting Church acknowledges that the faith and obedience of the Church are nourished and regulated by the Biblical witnesses and that when the Church preaches Jesus Christ her message is controlled by them.
We thank you that you have called the Uniting Church to live and work within the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as that way is described in the Basis of Union.
PRAYERS OF LAMENT AND CONFESSION
We come humbly before you in sorrow for the Uniting Church in Australia. We grieve that the Assembly Decision on marriage holds. We cry out to you Almighty God to have mercy upon us as our church where now the “ruling authority” of the UCA has become “a diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings” (R64).
· Forgive us when we too have stumbled and bowed down to this god of the age, the new diversity that demands there be no other but it.
· Forgive us when we have been silent instead of speaking the truth of the gospel.
· Forgive us when we have compromised for our own security and safety, the teaching of Scripture and the Basis of Union in the UCA.
· Forgive us when we have denied the importance of living within the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
· Forgive us for forgetting that Christ alone is supreme in the church and allowing his voice not to be the one and only, but just one among a myriad.
· Forgive us when we have spoken the truth in harsh arrogant ways closing our hearts to the possibility of your grace.
We praise you for the gift of Christ’s blood poured out, so that all who repent and believe might have forgiveness and new life.
Thank you too for the gift of the Spirit that constantly corrects that which is wrong (erroneous) in our life and in the life of the UCA.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
We grieve for the many members and even congregations who have left the UCA in the last few months and those who are still considering what to do. May you grant provision, guidance and strength for each one. Provide for those who no longer have a spiritual home both those in the UCA and those who have left.
We pray that our leaders would begin to grieve for the “unity in diversity” that is causing so much heartache and division. We pray for those who have departed from the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church by ignoring the witness of Scripture and the Tradition of the Church consistent with the Scriptures. When division comes to the church through the disobedience of those in authority help us to extend your love and reconciliation to those who have strayed from the truth. Grant us the strength, boldness, strategy, humility and compassion to be a fellowship of reconciliation using our diverse gifts that Christ may work and bear witness to himself.
We pray for our Congregations that they may stand firm, and be a true witness to your love shown to us in Jesus Christ: compassionate judgement, with forgiveness and hope. And may we be hospitable places for those who wish to worship and serve you in Spirit and in Truth with joy.
We pray for the Ministers of the Word and church leaders in the UCA who are struggling to know how to remain true to you and also to respect the structure and authority in the UCA. It seems for many of us these two are becoming incompatible and our integrity is dividing. We give you thanks for the courage of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations becoming a replacement Assembly that can help both congregations and ministers alike to find a place of belonging without leaving the UCA. Thank you that this is a ministry of reconciliation where a divided integrity by your grace can become whole. Help the ACC to serve humbly, seeking your will and way at each step.
Continue to fill us with your Holy Spirit. Fill us with passion for Christ’s commission, so that others may see our good works and praise our Father who is in heaven.
By your grace and for your glory, in this time of great uncertainty, help us to
Confess the Lord Jesus Christ,
Proclaim the Truth
and Renew the Church.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church we pray
“Now to Him who by the power at work with us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.
Rev. Anne Hibbard is the School of Faith and Prayer Co-ordinator for the Assembly of Confessing Congregations