Wednesday Prayers, 14 April 2021

God of all, from the multi-universe
to the smallest cell,
help us as we seek to understand who You are
and what You would have us do in the world around us
and in the communities closest to us.

When we feel like giving up, give us new energy and enthusiasm.
When we feel complacent, give us new challenge and impetus.
When we feel pride in ourselves, give us humility.
When we feel we have nothing to offer, remind us once more
That, through You, we can do much.

Give us the calmness of spirit and the sharpness of mind
to see through empty voices
and to recognise those that may sound eloquent
but peddle hatred and intolerance.
May we reach out with acceptance and welcome
to all our fellow human beings
in the way we would want to be treated ourselves.

In this post-Easter time, may we discern the message
that Your good news has for us today.
Keep us from cynicism and knee-jerk negativity
and instead remember the empty tomb
the new life growing from the place of death
and new hope emerging in the here and now
and beyond death.

We pray for all who are bereaved at this time,
whether because of COVID
or for any other reason;
those who have been living with loss for a long time
and those for whom loss is new.
We thank you for people we have loved
and who have loved us
and made our lives fuller and more fulfilling
#than they otherwise ever would have been.

Today we pray especially for:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Malcolm,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Mary,
Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Yvonne,
Mary M’s family, Jill, John N, David and his family,
John C’s family, Bill M, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.
May your blessing and hope lead them into comfort, strength and peace.

Be near all who call on You in these troubled times
and those who don’t know how.
We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Amen.

Sunday Evening Thought

Venetian Twilight

C. R. W. Nevinson  1918 – 1919

The artist included this picture in a show which he called “Peace.” This Sunday peace flows through the Bible readings.  Psalm 133 says “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” In John’s Gospel, the resurrected Jesus comes and stands twice among his disciples in a closed room. The first thing he says to them is “Peace be with you”.

This picture gives me a sense of peace this evening. Sara Teasdale’s poem “Peace” does the same thing.

Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.

I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.

I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies, —
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.

A Gaelic Blessing

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.

Katherine Taylor

Prayer for Easter Saturday

20200815_113949In the stillness when the air hangs heavy,
when the day after death has begun
but the stone is covering the tomb entrance
and the doors are locked
and life outside goes on without You;
may we know once again
that Your love remains when all else is gone,
that Your faith in us was shown
by Your refusal to come from down from the cross
and Your forgiveness for those who put You there.

On Easter Saturday, we find the seeds of our faith
buried, and already growing the shoots of tomorrow.
Amen.

A Candle in the Window – An Easter Reflection by Peter Millar

Photo by Mauru00edcio Eugu00eanio on Pexels.com A Candle in the Window – Words to encourage us all in tough times from Peter Millar Even in these difficult times may we all be encouraged by the promise of Easter – that the light of Christ shines and the darkness cannot overcome it. An Easter Meditation (This is […]

A Candle in the Window – An Easter Reflection by Peter Millar

Wednesday Prayers, 31 March 2021

20210321_150406God of heaven and earth,
this is Holy Week but we might be forgiven
for not noticing.
Much of the world is trapped by the very unholy:
exploitation, financial ruin, food and water shortages,
war, conflict, disease and lack of resources;
and an ongoing climate catastrophe
hanging over everyone’s heads.
That’s before the word ‘pandemic’ is even mentioned.

And yet today’s world is not unlike the world
You came to around two thousand years ago
and lived for and died for and rose for.
Similar problems, even if now practised
on a more industrial scale.
Technology and ability has changed,
but human nature is much the same,
just as Your love and faith in humanity
remains as strong and unexpected as ever.

We pray this week that You might help us
to reassert important common values:
compassion, generosity to those in need,
the importance of community, respect for all people –
no matter their sex, gender, sexuality, race, colour and religion –
so that these things begin to matter more –
both to us and to policymakers –
than facilitating selfishness
and hoping any riches will somehow ‘trickle down’.

May we find strength in working together
internationally and in local communities
to build better places for all.
And may those who lead
listen to what’s truly needed at the grass roots
and respond to that rather than their own agendas.

Be with all who are responding to the pandemic
or who have been affected by it
sometimes with loss or serious illness.
Guide us with Your wisdom.
And bless all your congregations this Holy Week
that we might increase our faith
and go on to live lives more worthy
of what You have called us to.

We pray for all in need today, especially for:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Sara,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Malcolm,
Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Mary,
Mary M’s family, Jill, John N, David and his family, Yvonne,
Bill M, John C, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.
Be with them.

Give comfort, strength and hope to them
and to all who seek to follow in Your way,
the way of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Wednesday Prayers, 24 March 2021

garden pic 24.3.21Merciful God,
Great is Your faithfulness in us.
Great is Your love for us.
And great is the hope You give us.
Sometimes, we find it hard to trust others
and sometimes we make ourselves hard to trust,
but through all things, You are present
with us, and ahead of us.

We pray for everyone trying to make the right decisions at this time:
how quickly or slowly to move from lockdown,
when shops and bars and restaurants can open,
how many people can meet together and where,
when people can not only worship together, but talk and sing.
Guide those who make policy.
May they not become complacent or impatient
but, at the same time, may they enable lives to begin again
and livelihoods, at a safe and steady pace,
for those who have been shut down and frustrated.

We bring our concerns over personal freedom
so often under threat from those in power,
chipped away bit by bit until little remains.
We pray that the right to peaceful protest
will not be surrendered,
and that, indeed, governments will listen better
the real needs of people being expressed.

And we think of those fleeing their homes
and claiming asylum as refugees,
usually without papers and planning for obvious reasons;
may their rights and needs be as we would want for ourselves if in their position,
and help us to find ways of making sure
our hospitality to those in desperate need remains.

We think also of global warming
and the need for urgent action to be taken
by governments, businesses, shops, churches and also individuals:
may we try to fulfil our task to care better for Your world
and to preserve it for future generations.

We pray for all in need today, especially for:
Peter, Bill B, Evelyn, Jean, Janet, Sara,
Zoe, Gordon and John, Emily, Allan, Malcolm,
Eleanor, Andrew, Ela, Jennifer, Mary,
Mary M, Jill, John N, David and his family, Yvonne,
Bill M, John C, Karen, Mary D, Ceala and her family.
Gather all as Your family and bless them
with all that they need.

Hear our prayers, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Amen.

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