Today’s service continues series on Acts. Our reading is taken from Acts 12: 6 – 11 looking at Peter being set free from his chains and imprisonment.
The service is designed to be used in conjunction with the order of service email earlier but also available to download here 18. THE GREAT ESCAPE (05.07.2020)
Watch the whole service on YouTube by following this link.
Song of preparation
Call to worship
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?’ (Psalm 56:3-4).
Opening prayer and confession
Merciful Father, we come to you because you first came to us in Jesus Christ our Saviour. We praise you for your great rescue that has set us free in Christ. We confess that at times we still live in fear and have forgotten your wonderful acts, not just what you did so long ago but what you’ve done in our own lives. Forgive us and set us free from fear that we might live as your children, free and joyful. Amen.
Reading Acts 12: 6 – 11
6 On that very night before Herod was going to bring him out for trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” Peter did so. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” 9 Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening through the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 After they had passed the first and second guards, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went outside and walked down one narrow street, when at once the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from everything the Jewish people were expecting to happen.”
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
The great escape
Gracious Lord, we pray for those across the world who are imprisoned for their faith. Help them to hold on to their faith despite their circumstances, and encourage them as you encouraged Peter and Yun.
Lord, we pray for the city of Leicester and its outbreak of coronavirus. We pray for health officials as they seek to contain the outbreak, for residents as they live with the worry of this time, for businesses as they struggle to survive, and for the response of the churches that your grace and mercy may shine through.
Lord, we pray for evangelists across the world, sharing the good news of Jesus with others in these troubled times. May hearts be open to your truth in Jesus Christ.
Lord, we pray for open doors here in Bowthorpe and the city of Norwich, that there may be an open door for your message in people’s hearts. We pray for Irene Plummer in hospital, for her recovery and wellbeing.
Finally Lord, we pray for ourselves and those whom we love, that whatever we are facing that we may know the truth that you are bigger that any enemy, any health scare, any money worry, any job loss; you are able to do more than we can possibly ask or imagine. Lord, where we are imprisoned by fear, release us in love; for your glory’s sake. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
Closing prayer and blessing
God our Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ you have shown us freedom, truth and love. May we walk in your freedom and without fear; may we believe your truth and discard the devil’s lies; may we hold fast to your love that all may know you are the Lord of life; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and all whom you love, now and for ever. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.