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.





Luke 2: 1-14                 Sermon 1: “Upon the Midnight Clear”

                                    Sermon 2: “Now for Some Realism”

Titus 2: 11-14

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96





GREETING:     The joy of the Lord be with you all!

                        And also with you!




                        During the four weeks of Advent we have lit candles to celebrate all that God has done through his servants long ago; those who in their own special way prepared for the coming of Christ Jesus.

                        Tonight we light those four candles again. Then with great joy we will light the fifth candle in honour of the f

ulfilment in the One who is the light of the world.


Child 1: The first candle shines for the faith of ordinary people whose living words and deeds             helped make the world ready for the coming of the Saviour.

Choir:  Dona nobis pacem in terra, dona nobis pacem, Domine. 

(Give us peace on earth, Lord. Music Iona Community)


Child 2: The second candle shines for the words and deeds of the prophets of Israel, whose             faith and vision lifted people from despair and pointed them to a brighter future.

Choir: Dona nobis pacem in terra, dona nobis pacem, Domine.


Child 3:  The third candle shines for John the Baptist whose fearless words and deeds       prepared the way for the unique ministry of the Messiah, Jesus.

Choir: Dona nobis pacem in terra, dona nobis pacem, Domine.


Child 4:  The fourth candles shines for holy Mary of Nazareth, the young woman who       willingly and gracefully accepted the joy and travail of becoming mother of your    Lord.

Choir: Dona nobis pacem in terra, dona nobis pacem, Domine.


Child 5:  The fifth candle, the brightest and best, celebrates the fulfilment!  The preparation is             over! The new age has dawned! Christ Jesus is born!

Choir: Dona nobis pacem in terra, dona nobis pacem, Domine.




Eternal God, you have made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of your True Light. Please bring us, who rejoice in this light now, into the eternal joy and peace which you have prepared for all who love you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.






            (Sung Kyrie: Russian Orthodox. see “Songs For the People of God” 45)


Sisters and brothers of Jesus, so that we may celebrate this Christmas without old failures clouding our joy, and so that we feel free to respond to Immanuel with renewed gratitude and wonder, let us confess our sins. Let us pray.


            For the wrongs we have done

            and the good we have not done,

            Lord have mercy

Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison.


            For the self deceits we have fostered

            and the hard truth we have not trusted,

            Lord have mercy

Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison.


            For the greed in which we have shared

            and the generosity we have not dared,

            Lord have mercy.

Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison.


            For the injustices we have too easily accepted

            and the peace we have neglected,

            Lord have mercy

Kyrie, Kyrie, eleison.


Most loving God, you have given the Light of Lights that we might discern our true needs, repent, seek your grace, and obtain forgiveness for our sins. In the name of Jesus, Immanuel and Saviour, we pray for the laser of your saving grace, and seek to be stabilised in the faith that sets us free. To the glory of your holy name.





The Light which exposes all evil is also the Light that heals.

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.

Not counting our failures,

but entrusting to us the ministry of reconciliation.


Therefore in the name of Christ Jesus, he who saves his people from their sins, I declare to you forgiveness, reconciliation, new life and all the joy and peace of Christmas!

Thanks be to God!



            See “Songs for the People of God” 27, from Pilgrim Church Adelaide.

            Words B Prewer.  Music G McIntosh


Gloria, Gloria, Gloria in Excelsis.

Creator Abba, moonlight, starlight

Soil and sunshine

Love and birth

In all the earth



Liberator, Jesus Brother

Crowned with thorns

Wine and bread

Risen from the dead.


Inspirer Spirit

Light in us

Light in others

Reconciling peaceful Dove

Holy love.

Gloria, Gloria, Gloria in excesses.





OLD TESTAMENT:  Isaiah 9: 2-7

            In this is the Word of the Lord

            Thanks be to God.


EPISTLE:  Titus 3: 4-7

            In this is the Word of the Lord

            Thanks be to God.


CHOIR:           Laudate Dominum (from Psalm 116) “Praise the Lord, all you                                         peoples (setting from Taize)





            Here is the Good News of great joy to all people.

            A reading from the holy Gospel according to St Luke,

Luke 2: 1-14

            This is the Gospel of the Lord.

CHOIR: Alleluia   (Hungarian traditional round. 4 in “Songs for the People of God”.)





It came upon the midnight clear

the groans and screams of a woman in labour,

the travail of a new type of human race being born,

and then the crying of the new born baby.


Tonight we celebrate that particular travail at Bethlehem which gave birth to the brightest of human hopes: “For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all humanity.”


At some time during this holy night, Mary’s first travail was over. The time of rejoicing had come. This was the time for kissing and hugging and laughing and worshipping.


The birth pains continue


However, the wider travail of the old world order is not yet over, is it?


The new race which Jesus began is not yet completely born on earth. Salvation seems far from complete. Injustice and hatred abound, human misery and pain proliferate.


While we sing of “peace on earth and goodwill towards all humankind,” many are being ground under the heel of cruel oppressors, others are being exploited at the cost of health and life. At this moment the hungry cry for bread, prisoners of conscience are being brutally interrogated, terrorists are manufacturing bombs, and soldiers who are patrolling dark streets and being cut down by an ambush. Tonight even fabled Bethlehem is a place of hardship and fear and violence. Negative travail seems everywhere.


It is not the new human race created by Jesus that is making the news. It is the old fallen creatures in the crude mould of Caesar and Herod, Pilate and Caiaphas, who are throwing their weight around. Greedy, stupid, deceitful, arrogant, violent, and easily corrupted by power and money, or even by the itch for the quite life of a coward. The negative travail goes on, and it will go on, until humanity is willing to become reborn.


It comes upon the midnight clear,

the negative travail of an old scarred world

which is afraid of the positive travail that leads to new birth.


Good things are coming to birth


Does that mean things are hopeless? Are our carols just a sentimental journey into fantasy land? Is the negative travail truly everywhere?


Never!  In the midst of the old world travail, there is still new-world travail, leading to the birth of many beautiful and wonderful people and events. “For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all humanity.”


In every land there are people being changed by this Jesus, embracing good will not hate, compassion not retribution, caring not indifference, integrity not bribery, truth not lies,

repentance not self justification, healing not injury, justice not rampant greed, sharing not grabbing and shutting others out, building bridges of peace not erecting walls of separation.


At this very moment, somewhere in many places around the world, new birth is taking place and the shape of Christ Jesus is seen in unlikely places.


These people rarely make the news. Most are very ordinary folk, not those who grab the headlines. But praise God new-birth people are here there and everywhere, trying to shape all their deeds by love, and sharing the positive travail of the birth of Christ’s new world.

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all humanity.”


It came upon the midnight clear

the groans and cries of a new world in the process of birth,

as the joys of ancient Bethlehem are joined to the celebrations of new born souls

in Nairobi, Manila, Helsinki, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Seoul,

Darwin, Gundagai and Melbourne.


The complete birthing of the Christ event is not finished by a long way. We haven’t seen hardly anything yet!


For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all humanity.”


This is the very Word of God.





I find the songs of the herald angels especially sweet-sour this Christmas.

            Glory to God in the highest

            and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.


This Christmas, as in recent years, we have Australian military forces in other countries, where they are committed to trying to right the grievous evil of terrorism by the use of military force. What is most discomforting for me is the knowledge that it might limit the damage but will not solve the situation. Most, though not all, of the perpetrators of violence will escape punishment, while the suffering has, and will, fall on many innocent, vulnerable women, men and little children.


How distant we still are from true peace in this world! What is more, that peace will remain elusive as long as this world persists in the evils of greed and injustice, and as long as hatred and violence are regarded as valid expressions of fear and frustration.


It may seem inappropriate to you, but tonight I find myself thinking of Mohammed and Isaiah, Buddha, and the lofty teachings found within the Hindu Scriptures. The terrible irony is this: If all Islamic people followed the teaching of the Prophet, and Buddhists followed the way of Buddha, and Hindu’s followed the highest insights of their holy men, and Jews heeded the message of Isaiah, and Christians totally threw in their lot with that Jew who was born in a stable at Bethlehem, then “peace and good will among men” would truly draw near to the world.


Let it be emphatically said: In these teachings, greed and injustice, hatred and violence have no place.


Our common situation (from Washington to Baghdad, London to New Delhi, and from Canberra to Jerusalem, Beijing to Harare, and Kabul to Bogotá) underscores the fallen, corrupt condition of our humanity. Our present predicament reveals the slimy way that the evil from within us distorts the teachings of those marvellous religious leaders whom we honour, so that we commit the obscenity of misusing their holy names to buttress our evil ways.


You think I sound disheartened?  Yes and no.


Yes, I am disheartened by the self-deceit which permits people to disregard justice, peace, mercy and love. And by the prejudice and self righteousness of on both side of conflicts. I am disheartened by the way the tentacles of evil which entangle even the best of us.


No, I am not disheartened about Christ and his peace. He comes to transform us within, to reconcile us to our God and to our own deepest selves, and then to one another. He comes in the power of the Holy Spirit to create a new humanity.


To some degree that new humanity is actually happening. Every day it is happening. In the darkest places there a little splashes of light, where reconciliation takes place. The fact that so many Christians at this Christmas season, groan within over the events of recent years, shows that his coming has not been in vain. The fact that the Christ who comes offers us grace upon grace to redeem the apparently irredeemable situations, leaves me far from disheartened.


I am so glad that we can gather for this Christmas Eucharist. I am very glad that we here have a foretaste of the peace of Christ. I am most grateful that this saving grace is dispensed to us through the holy Bread broken for us, and the holy Wine that is available from grapes crushed for us.


You see, the very signs and the reality of our Emmanuel happen within the context of evil and violence. The broken Body and the shed Blood, take with the utmost seriousness the fallen nature of our humanity, and the costly lengths which God goes to save us all.


The Holy Table is utterly realistic about the peace of Christ in this unpeaceful world. It is the Table of utter realism and ultimate hope. Here is the Body and Blood which saves the world. Here I have the courage to say with you:

            Glory to God in the highest

            and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.









Lord of joy, we pray for those people across our nation, and around the world, for whom today will be one of loss and tearing grief. Bind up their broken hearts, and bless all who comfort them.

            Lord hear our prayers

            and help us to fulfil them.


Lord of peace, we pray for those many unfortunate people who are subject to war, terrorism, and violence of every kind. Rescue them from their misery, and bless those who are your peacemakers in every land.

            Lord hear our prayers

            and help us to fulfil them.


Lord of reconciliation, we pray for all whose lives have grown wild, and are alienated from their neighbours, families, and their own souls. Bring them home to your grace, and bless your servants who mirror the love of Christ to them.

            Lord hear our prayers

            and help us to fulfil them.


Lord of hope, we pray for those folk who feel trapped, defeated, or despairing because of events that seem out of control. By your Spirit show them the way ahead, and bless the caring friends who stand with them or counsel them.

            Lord hear our prayers

            and help us to fulfil them.


Lord of love, we pray for the many who have been betrayed by the cheap loves of this world, and have become bitter. May the love of Christ enfold them this night, and bless all people of goodwill who genuinely cherish their neighbours.

            Lord hear our prayers

            and help us to fulfil them.


God of this wondrous, holy Christmas, may the enduring love of Immanuel sharpen our awareness, deepen our compassion, strengthen our commitment and scatter all our fears. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour.











            Wonderful are you, Joy of the universe!


Through your generosity we have this bread to offer, which the good earth has grown and human hands have shaped, it will be for us the true Bread of Heaven.

            Wonderful is God forever!


Wonderful are you, Joy of the universe!

Through your generosity we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and the toil of human hands, it will be for us the Cup of Salvation!

            Wonderful is God forever!




Liturgist:  Why do we gather together to celebrate this special meal?


Child:   The Lord Jesus, on the night on which he was betrayed, took bread, and when remembrance of me.



            The Lord be with you.

               And also with you.

            Lift up your hearts.

               We lift them to the Lord

            Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

               It is right to give our thanks and praise.

            It is our joy to express our gratitude,

            to you, God of every good and perfect gift.

            From the Dreamtime of our race

            you have been among us.

            spring of our loving and goal of our hoping.


            We praise you for your Bethlehem generosity;

            gift of your Spirit.

            born of a woman,

            smeared with human blood,

            naked and helpless;

            Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us.


            With Mary who tenderly nurtured him,

            with Joseph who watched over him,

            with John the Baptist who prepared the way for him,

            with the disciples who followed him,

            with all who felt his healing touch,

            with friends who waited at the cross,

            with women who came to his empty tomb,

            with all who have known his risen Presence,

            and with the whole church on earth

            and all the glorious company of heaven

            we lift up our voices and sing:

Choir and People: (Sanctus from Taize)

            Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

            heaven and earth are full of your glory.

                        Hosanna in the highest!

            Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

                        Hosanna in the Highest!




            Most loving God, send your Holy Spirit upon your gathered people,

            to hallow these gifts of bread and wine,

            that they may become for us a sharing in the Body and Blood

            of our Saviour Christ,

            and that he may live in us and we in him.






            Choir: We adore you, O Lord; Glory to God in the highest. (Taize)




            Most wonderful God,

            you have lavished upon us grace upon grace,

            heaped up, full and overflowing!

            We thank you for this Christmas Table

            where the Lord himself has served us

            so gently and so generously.

            With all other lips which have tasted your goodness,

            may we be strong to serve you with uninhibited joy

            to the limit of our ability and to end of the world.

            Glory to God in the highest!

            Peace on earth and goodwill to all people!







            May the God of Christmas fill your hearts with all joy and peace in believing!


            The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

            the love of God,

            and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

            will be with you now and evermore.


Choir: A- - -men. A- - -men,  A- -men, A-men, A-men! (Negro spiritual)


** Additional 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.