New Book  now Available

        Here is an anthology of over 1100 brief prayers and thought-starters, for each day of the year, with almost 400 original prayers by Bruce Prewer.
        Included is both a subject index and an index of authors-- an ecumenical collection of about 300 different sources.
Prayers for Busy People
        Title:  Brief Prayers for Busy People.
          Author: Bruce D Prewer
        ISBN 978-1-62880-090-6
        Available from Australian Church Resources,
web site
        or by order from your local book shop
        or online on amazon.



Matthew 11: 2-11                     (“Sermon: “The news in brief”)

James 5: 7-10

Isaiah 35: 1-10                          (Sermon 2: “It doesn’t get much better than this”)

Psalm 146: 5-10

     or Luke 1: 47-55




On this third Sunday of Advent, let  us enter into the hope-full joy of God.


The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,

and rejoice with joy and singing.


I say to you my friends: There is more joy in the little finger of God

than this earth, or the whole universe, can contain.


The joy of the Lord be with you all.

And also with you.


OR -


The joy of the Advent Christ be with you all.

And also with you.


He comes to liberate prisoners,

and to open the eyes of the blind;

to lift up those who are ground down,

and to pour love upon believers;

to watch over homeless refugees,

and stand up for widow and orphan.


Even the arid wilderness shall be glad,

and the desert blossom like the rose.


Awesome God, Source of abundant love, peace and joy,  we worship you with grateful, happy hearts. As we continue our Advent journey, help us to trust you more fully, to enjoy you more freely, and to serve you more eagerly. Let all our preparations be focussed on going to meet you as you speedily come to us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.





We come to make our confession, not as paid servants but as the children of a most loving Parent.


Let us pray


Holy God, you have sent one true Messiah to us, whose ways are grace and truth. Please persist with your mercy towards your errant children. We are slow learners. In spite of the openness with which you have come to us in days gone by, we keep looking in the devious places for happiness. We are attracted by cheap friendships, treasure the world’s counterfeit values, and spend our energies on third rate pleasures.


If we have been taken in by superficial messiahs who dazzle us with the latest fashions in everything from clothes to food to morality:

Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy!


If we have allowed ourselves to be impressed by false messiahs who tailor their message to maintain their own popularity rather than deliver truth.

Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy!


If we have been seduced by secular messiahs who with apparent sophistication offer us an a life-style devoid of any ultimate purpose or value.

Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy!


God of Messiah Jesus and our God, convict us of our sin. Bring us to a sharp stop. Turn us around from the wrong directions we have taken. Return us to the light, mercy and peace of your healing grace. In the unparalleled blessing of forgiveness and rehabilitation, may we find our peace and strength. In the name of Christ Jesus our Redeemer.





Friends in Christ, let the past now be the past. Seize this precious moment. You are a forgiven community, a family of hope rooted in God-deep optimism. You are the most fortunate of people.

Thanks be to God.




Loving God,

do you know how hard it is

for us to say sorry?

It sort of sticks

in our proud throats.


When we do bad things,

please don’t ever let us

get away with pretending

nothing happened.


Make a nuisance of yourself,

by pricking our conscience,

until we get real.

Please, God? 



PSALM 146: 5-10


Happiness is letting God help us,

in pinning our hopes on the Creator

who spun the starry skies and planet earth,

shaped great oceans and all creatures;


Who keeps every promise to us,

vindicating the oppressed,

providing food for the hungry,

and setting prisoners free


Our God gives sight to blind eyes,

and lifts up those who have been flattened.

Our God loves all who are true blue,*

and keeps an eye on the refugee.


Our God stands up for widow and orphan,

but brings down haughty oppressors.

Our God will always be there for us;

sing your heart out for all generations

                        (*‘true blue’ = “utterly reliable” in Aus. vernacular)





there is elsewhere

good news surpassing the joy of Jesus,

lead me to it,

that I may laugh all day and never sigh.



there does exist

a better seer  who gives clearer sight and hearing

to mere mortals,

may he visit my town and hear my cry.



there can be found

a lord with superior healing touch

to this Jesus,

may his fame grow and multiply.



you should meet one

who makes the lame to fly as well as walk,

then bring him near

that I might rise and soar sky high.



there is a lover

who does greater than raise the dead,

then bury me

beside the road where this marvel walks by.



I look and see,

and hear those other clamorous voices

that shout at me.

But there is none more like True-God than he!

                                                            Ó B D Prewer




Loving God, we who are of patchy faith must rank among the least in the kingdom of heaven, yet we turn to the coming of your Christ with unfettered joy. He comes to us not to criticise but to mend, not to exploit but to fulfil. We the blind, lame, diseased, deaf and the dead, look to his advent with thanksgiving. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful is the Friend of sinners, True God of True God, joy of loving hearts!

Glory be to you, the God whose love overflows beyond all promises.




Matthew 11: 2-6

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of Christ, he sent word by his disciples asking: “Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another.

And Jesus said to them: “Go and tell John what you see and hear.”

The blind receive their sight

the lame walk,

lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear,

the dead are raised up,

and the poor have the good news preached to them.


Jesus was just another baby, the product of an unexpected pregnancy by a teenage mother, yet his birth would shake the gilded thrones of emperors and kings.

He was just another country kid, brought up in a town where everyone was known by ‘their station in life,” yet he fitted no category and broke all the bonds of expectation.

He was just another tradesman’s son,  yet he had special skills, greater than any other, and out of scrap material he could shape things that were unbelievably beautiful.

He was just another young man, yet when he called disciples it was if a new age hovered on the fringes of their vision, and they forsook all else and followed him.

He was just another wandering evangelist,  yet when he preached the gospel,  the poor knew this really was the good news, not religious bullying by a pious ponce.

He was just another plain face, with no special good looks to make people admire him,  yet when he looked into the eyes of others they glimpsed a bit of heaven.

He was just another one of the common people,  yet when he touched lepers they were healed, and the blind began to see better than those with twenty-twenty vision.

He was just another lay preacher,  yet when he spoke there was an air of authority, and his parables have teased and nurtured  the mind and spirit of every generation since.

He was just another common bloke, putting on no airs, yet when he distributed one boy’s gift of bread and had it distributed, a whole multitude were fed.

He was just another Galilean, yet the deaf clearly heard things never spoken  before, and the lame began to walk and leap and dance.

He was just another son of Adam,  doomed one day to die, yet when he prayed the deranged recovered sanity, and even the dead were raised up.

He was just another persecuted Jew,  yet when he asked forgiveness for his assailants, the gates of hell were stormed and Satan shivered in dismay.

He was just another human corpse,  laid out and perfumed by weeping women,  yet when he died all bright and loving hopes seemed dead and buried forever.

He was just another pretty memory,  doomed soon to fade as others got on with the real business of life, yet when the third day came, death lost its sting for evermore.

He was the Easter enigma, yet when he said a final goodbye he became more present than sunshine and air, the lungs and the heartbeat, or even the closest friend.

He is just another historical figure, praised but rarely loved enough, yet wherever people trust him still, old chains fall off and the liberated leap up to join his friends.

He was just another creature of earth,  classified as homo sapiens, yet when history is folded up like a scroll in the hands of God, Jesus will be there laughing with joy.

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of Christ, he sent word by his disciples asking: “Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another.

And Jesus said to them: “Go and tell, John what you see and hear.”

The blind receive their sight

the lame walk,

lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear,

the dead are raised up,

and the poor have the good news preached to them.

            # Note: this very brief word may be followed by the poem “WHERE ELSE” which  precedes           the collect in this service.



Isaiah 35: 1-10


It’s hardly fair! 

It seems extravagant that for the third week in a row the lectionary has given us a glorious passage from Isaiah:  Exuberant poetry in which people like me (your gob-smacked preacher) can delightedly wallow, like a buffalo in an Arnhem Land lily pond! I can’t resist it! I’m addicted!

The desert and drought country shall be glad,

the desolate place shall rejoice and blossom.

With flowers it shall burst into colour

and rejoice with laughter and singing.

It shall be given the beauty of Lebanon,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.


Strengthen the weary hands,

steady the knocking knees.

     Say to the faint-hearted:

“Be strong, fear not!

Look, your God will make reprisal.

All things will be put right

for God will come to save you.”


Then the eyes of the blind  will be opened,

and the ears of the deaf restored.

The lame shall leap like a deer

and the dumb shall sing for joy.


With all my tingling soul I tell you: It doesn’t get much better than that!

Waters shall flow in the desert

and streams in desolate places,

clear pools shall form in the sands,

and springs rise in the drought country;

where the desert jackals roamed

there shall be reeds and grasses.


Pause for breath! There is yet more!

And those whom God has redeemed

shall return to Zion with singing;

On their heads shall be unending joy,

gladness and laughter shall stay with them,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


Isaiah 35 is one mighty, magnificent promise, ringing out far above all our bruises, fractures, fears and pessimism. Here is the declaration: joy rules the universe!



But when? When will this joy happen?   When will it take place? Next year or next century, in this millennium? Will it ever happen here in history, or will it be beyond time in another dimension of life?

As far as the prophet could see, that joyful promiser called Isaiah, it was to be fulfilled here on earth, in ordinary time.

This chapter should be read against the background of the previous one. Ch 34 is all gloom and destruction—particularly of the hated land of Edom. Edom will become a wilderness; instead of flowers there will be thistles and thorns; where princes flaunted their wealth and power, hyenas and jackals shall make their lairs. (notice the contrast in the land of Israel: flowers shall bloom, even in the deserts, and the jackals shall be gone)

The Jews at that stage, hundreds of years before Jesus, had little idea of a positive life beyond death.  (Some believed in a shadowy place/state called sheol  where existence was at the lowest possible ebb without actual extinction) For them, this life was the only one that mattered. Therefore if God made a promise about the happiness of his people, the only way that promise could be fulfilled was within the context of time and place; human history. Given their limited view of life, if God’s people were to be vindicated, it was going to happen there in the holy land. The consummation would be on Mt Zion, in Jerusalem the holy city. Isaiah’s outlook is very terrestrial.

But when? At what date?




This brings me to John the Baptist. John was waiting in prison. He was expecting the fulfilment to happen through Messiah Jesus, the man whom he baptised in the Jordan river.

But the news brought to John by his disciples was not encouraging. Jesus has not launched the kingdom in any way John could recognise. Jesus had not recruited an army either of men or of fiery angels.  Maybe he, John, was mistaken. Maybe Jesus was not the Messiah.

So he sent his disciples back to Jesus with the plaintive message: “Are you the Messiah who is to come, or must we look for someone else?”

Jesus responded by asking John’s disciples to report what they see and hear:

The blind receive their sight

the lame walk,

lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear,

the dead are raised up,

and the poor have the good news preached to them.


If John’s disciples would look and listen, they would be able to see that Isaiah’s prophecy was being fulfilled. It had not come with a display of fearsome power and a host of fiery angels; but it had commenced in one humble man who loved people without reserve. They were to report this to their imprisoned master. The glorious consummation was indeed launched.

One thing is included in Matthew that Isaiah did not expect or promise: “The dead are raised.” The vindication of God’s children is not confined to the brief passage of life on earth.  John himself will soon be executed, but he shall still see the fulfilment of Isaiah’s magnificent vision. What is not completed within time will be completed outside of time; what is not consummated on earth is consummated in heaven.

I like to think that poor, incarcerated, noble John got the message loud and clear.  He deserved it.

We are not tied to that limited view of life which the Jews of Isaiah’s era, or of John’s, held. It does not all have to happen here and now. God has unlimited patience. With Jesus we know that we belong to God for both time and eternity. For us the promises of Isaiah may happen within history, or they may happen beyond history; time or eternity; mortal life or life beyond death. God’s people will be vindicated one way or another.



That should not in the least way let us minimise the importance of striving,  with all our heart, and soul and strength, to achieve as much of the promise as we can, now here on earth.  We are not sit around in pious resignation, waiting for the next life to put everything right.

We are not to be religious bundles of misery being cynical about all that is happening in the world around us today.

We are to be the body of Christ, continuing his mission in time and place. We are co-workers in the era of fulfilment; the age of new hope and great joy! Our place is alongside all of those, Christian or otherwise, who are trying to achieve the joyful things Isaiah dreamed and spoke about.

Joy to the people who make the bionic ear.

Joy to those who create the new generation of artificial limbs.

Joy to those peacemakers who give their lives in the cause of reconciliation.

Joy to those are by their deeds are good news to the poor of the world.

Joy to people who, like the Fred Hollows Foundation, give sight to the blind in many third-world countries.

Joy to those who cure lepers, nurse people with aids, or immunise against disease.

Joy to those who dedicate their lives to medical research.

Joy to those who toil in the cause of justice and peace.

Joy to those who help increase food production in poorer countries.

Joy to Amnesty International, and all such prophet-like organisations.

Joy to those who welcome refugees and give them a new homeland.

Joy to all who bring hope to any sphere of human misery.


Joy to those who spread the Gospel that the new age has been launched by Jesus. Those who believe that we have authority over all that defaces and oppresses humankind. And that the promises will be inexorably fulfilled.

Joy to those who in the face of “the grim reaper” proclaim that nothing in life or death, earth or heaven, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah got it right. 

Strengthen the weary hands,

steady the knocking knees.

Say to the faint-hearted:

“Be strong, fear not!”

Christ comes to fulfil all things.

And those whom God has redeemed

shall return to Zion with singing;

On their heads shall be unending joy,

gladness and laughter shall stay with them,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.




* Led by two readers


Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.


We thank you for beautiful life that pulses within us at this moment, for our five senses,

for the air we breathe, the earth beneath our feet, the colours of the world around us.

Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.


We thank you for the varieties of food that sustain us, for water that cleanses and quenches our thirst, and for the precious gift of night during which we can sleep and be renewed.

Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.


We thank you for the wonder of human relationships; the friends who encourage us, families who love us even when we are odiously unlovable, and for counsellors who enable us.

Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.


We thank you for the life of the church; for familiar members who support us, those we only know a little yet who pray for us, pastors who nurture us, and the sacraments that nourish us.

Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.


Holy Friend, we thank you best of all for Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Here words fail us and we move from thanks to  wonder and adoration.

Your goodness, Holy Friend is more than we can understand,

your love is more than we can ever measure.




Merciful Friend, we bend our wills to yours, so that in our prayers and deeds we may be a lively part of the fulfilment of your Word.

We call to mind those whose hands seem weak and shaky: the sick and the palsied, the weary and the timid, the sorely tempted and the guilty;

God of promises, by your grace, strengthen the weak hands.


We call to mind those whose trembling legs seem unable to bear the load: the aged and the infirm, the oppressed and those threatened with violence;

God of promises, come to your people and steady the trembling knees.


We call to mind those who are filled with consternation or fear: the wrongly accused or the abused, the refugee or the victims of war;

God of promises, say those of a fearful heart: fear not, I am with you..


We call to mind those who are blind:  both those whose sight is physically impaired and those who have excellent vision but can’t seem to see the things that really matter.

God of promises, today let the eyes of the blind be opened.


We call to mind those who are deaf:  the many who live wonderful lives, and for those who have keen hearing but remain deaf to truth and wisdom.

God of promises, today let the ears of the deaf be unsealed.


We call to mind all those without the use of their legs:  victims of birth defect or accidents, the frail and the diseased., some bedridden, and many in wheelchairs.

God of promises, be with the lame that they may leap like the deer.


We call to mind the affliction of the dumb: the many who are mute, some tongue tied,

and some who because of painful shyness rarely speak;

God of promises, loosen the tongue of the deaf that they may sing for joy


O you who are indefatigable love, please continue your deeds of mercy to all people everywhere.

With the assistance of your church, and with the help of all people of goodwill, may the shadows of darkness and pain be driven back, and all people live in the joy of your marvellous light. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.




Go well.

That you may take with you a joyful spirit and a level head, and deal with the pressing  pre-Christmas activities without frustration or ill will, I bless you.


That you may make a little space for prayer and reflection, so that the remainder of Advent shall prepare you to sincerely marvel at the Bethlehem happening, I bless you.


There will always be with you

the saving grace of Christ Jesus,

the encircling love of God,

and the energising friendship of the Spirit.



** “Aditional Resources” on




              BY ORDERING ONLINE

My Best Mate,  (first edition 2013)

ISBN 978-1-937763-78-7: AUSTRALIA:

ISBN :  978-1-937763-79- 4: USA

Australian Prayers

Third edition May 2014

ISBN   978-1-62880-033-3 Australia

Jesus Our Future

Prayers for the Twenty First Century

 Second Edition May 2014

ISBN 978-1-62880-032-6

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Although this book was written with young people in mind, it has proved to be popular with Christians or seekers of all ages. Through the eyes and ears of a youth named Chip, big questions are raised and wrestled with; faith and doubt,  unanswered  prayers, refugees,  death and grief, racism and bullying, are just a few of the varied topics confronted in these pages. Suitable as a gift to the young, and proven to be helpful when it has been used as a study book for adults.

Australian Prayers has been a valuable prayer resource for over thirty years.  These prayers are suitable for both private and public use and continue to be as fresh and relevant today as ever.  Also, the author encourages users to adapt geographical or historical images to suit local, current situations.

This collection of original, contemporary prayers is anchored firmly in the belief that no matter what the immediate future may hold for us, ultimately Jesus is himself both the goal and the shape of our future.  He is the key certainty towards which the Spirit of God is inexorably leading us in this scientific and high-tech era. Although the first pages of this book were created for the turn of the millennium, the resources in this volume reflect the interests, concerns and needs of our post-modern world.