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.





Sunday 6


Matthew 5: 21-37

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Deut. 30: 15-20

Psalm 119: 1-8

                                                                        # 2 Sermons  Raising the Bar”

                                                                                                                          “Trouble in the Garden?”



We would be perfectly happy if our path were faultless,

if we were always in step with God.

This is my commandment:

That you love one another.


God, has give us commandments

that we may live as effectively as possible.

With our eyes fixed on doing the right thing,

we shall never be put to shame.

You are to love one another

in the same way as I have loved you.


O Lord, touch our lips with your saving grace,

that our live may declare your praise!




This is a good place for it; this is a good day,

here and now we come to re-set our sights on the love of  God.


God is ready and willing

            to change our minds,

            unscramble our motives,

            and to focus again our purest longings.


This is a good place for it; this is a good time;

here and now we are in the presence of amazing grace;


            God is ready and willing

            to bring hope to the disconsolate,

            refreshment to the worn and the weary,

            and new delight to those who walk in the way of the Lord.




God of Christ Jesus and our God, lift us above the mundane to the special, beyond empty platitudes to sincere praise, and awake in us that adoration which is the joy of loving hearts.

You are the God of grace and glory. We are yours, and by the miracle o grace, you are ours. Blessed be your name in all the earth! Amen!




Let us seek God’s mercy, not cap-in-hand like servants ordered before a hard master, but as little children come to the knee of a loving parent.


Let us pray.


Loving God, we ask your forgiveness for everything that has been grubby in our lives, and for anything that has been less than the best.


If we have been so caught up in our own affairs, that we have not noticed the worry lines on the face of a friend or family member, please forgive us.


If we have harboured jealousy, or been resentful and bitter with those who have ignored us or patronised us, please forgive us.


If we wilfully gone back on our word, or have broken our promises by becoming so busy on other matters that we have forgotten what we pledged, please forgive us.


If we have withheld the truth, or been deceitful and dishonest, or conspired against someone for our own advantage, please forgive us.


If we have publicly pledged loyalty to our Lord’s commandments, yet looked for devious loopholes in order to dodge duties that go against our personal likes, please forgive us.


If we have lapsed back into self-justifications, rather than facing the ugly truth, repenting and trusting your salvation, please trip us up and bring us to our senses. For you a alone are the one who can see through all our subterfuge, confront and liberate, heal and restore us to fullness of life. Through Christ Jesus our Saviour.





Here is a word you can utterly trust: “God did not send his son to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved”


“If we confess our sins, God is stays faithful and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all ungodliness.”

Thanks be to God




When I Am Prickly


God our Saviour,

when I get bad-tempered

            and prickly as a spiky echidna

            and I won’t play happily with friends,

please send Jesus into my heart,

            to get rid of the yucky stuff

            and to change my mood,

so that I become more like

            happy rainbow lorikeets

            who seem to get such fun

            out of being together.



PSALM 119:1-8


If you have walked God’s road blamelessly,

full-on happiness is yours,

if you have followed Christ, never looking back,

you are among the choicest saints.


But if you have sincerely tried yet sometimes failed,

you are still numbered among the happy.

If you have sought God with your whole heart,

you can count your many blessings.


Commandments are given for our own good,

to be embraced diligently.

God help us to keep our focus and our love,

that we may stay steady under pressure.


We know that if we keep our eyes on the goal,

we will never live to regret it.

We will be able to praise God with a clear conscience,

and go on to learn more of our Lord’s ways.

                                                                                                                                    B.D.Prewer 2006





I commence each day

watching the birds

which bountifully

visit and enrich

my neighbourhood.


Minors, magpies, mudlarks,

rosellas and red-rumped parrots,

wood ducks and chestnut teal,

galahs, corellas, cockatoos,

wattlebirds and ravens,

little honey eaters and swallows,

ibis, herons, spoonbills,

and on special mornings

pelicans and black swans.


They go about their business

as if we, land-bound, cumbersome

humans did not exist.

Singing and nesting,

chasing each other;

In new-day enthusiasm

flying laps of the lake

like athletes enjoying training,

then feeding on worms and insects,

or teaching their young to fly.


In my old age

I still have wonderful dreams

in which I join the birds

in riding the wind.

I do not do it very well,

there is much puffing,

I cannot as yet soar high,

but I can do it.

By God

I can do it!


In my dreams

I cannot understand

why so many people

will not

even attempt it!


Oh you birds,

keep enticing me!

Oh Eagle of Heaven,

Mistress of the winds,

guide me up higher

towards the Sun!

                                                            B.D.Prewer 2004




God our dearest Friend, holy in all your ways,

you have chosen to stay faithful for ever

to those who by faith love you

and by your grace try to keep your commandments.


Help us to hang in when things become tough

and others falter, complain or give up,

that living for you and with you

we may achieve things beyond our reach

and bring glory to your wonderful name.


Through Christ Jesus our Lord.





Matthew 5:21-37


You heard that is was said to the people of old..............but I say to you...............


“Moses said....... but I now tell you”.


If the teaching of Jesus is a new set of laws that disciples must fully obey, or lose their membership in the Christian club, then most of us have had on membership tickets cancelled.


If the “Sermon on the Mount” simply replaces the laws that Moses brought down from the peak of Mt Sinai, then he has made our burden heavier. In fact, he has made our task impossible. The weight is too much for our weak shoulders to carry, too much even for the strong shoulders of the saints.


Don’t let us fudge this issue. Jesus does push the law further than Moses. He pushed it right back beyond outward deeds to inward thoughts and feelings.  Take 3 examples.


1/  Moses delivered the command: Thou shalt not kill. Jesus raises the bar: But I tell you this, if you get in a rage against a person, and let it fall mercilessly on their heads that is a brand of murder. If you belittle them with words of derision such as, fool, nerd, retard, bitch, pig, rathead, wog, abo, then you are akin to a murderer, and deserve to perish in the fires of Gehenna.


2/  Moses said, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I tell you this if your eyes lead you to lust for another’s husband or wife, you have already committed adultery in your heart.


3/  The law of Moses says, You shall not make a false oath. But I tell you this: Do not swear any oath at all. Be of such integrity that you “yes” always means and unequivocal means yes, and your “no” means no.


Now do you see why I started by saying

            If the teaching of Jesus is a new set of laws that disciples must fully obey, or lose their             membership in the Christian club, then most of us have had on membership tickets             cancelled.


            If the “Sermon on the Mount” simply replaces the laws that Moses brought down from the             peak of Mt Sinai, then he has made our burden heavier. In fact, he has made our task             impossible. The weight is too much for us to carry.


This is another possibility. If Jesus raise the bar, and takes us to the very spirit God’s laws. Where nothing is left disguised, no motive hidden, and no thought not weighed, then we begin to a give up our excuses, and admit to ourselves that we are fractured spirits who cannot possibly save ourselves. We are fractured beings whose only resort is to throw ourselves on the mercy of God our Creator and Redeemer. In our moral and spiritual bankruptcy we hit rock bottom and turn to God to receive forgiveness and renewal. At that low point, not only do we receive the mercy we seek, but a healing process begins. Our fractured spirits are under the therapy of a new physician whose healing hands can do wonders.


It takes some of us a long time to let go of our self justifications. Most of us are legalists at heart. We want to prove that we are nice and acceptable people. We want to pay our own way and prove our superiority to common sinners; those “lesser breeds without the law.”


Therefore when we encounter the Sermon on the Mount, we play delusional games. We construct our own virtual reality.


For example we pick and choose from the sermon on t he mount. We make a song and dance some of Jesus’ words and quietly ignore others.


For example, some of us make a very big deal about sexuality, marriage and divorce. We take the moral high ground and are loud in our condemnation of those who appear to us to transgress. Yet many conservative Christians set aside on a shelf what Jesus taught us about non-violence, the terrible dangers of money, or the canker of pride and self-righteousness.


Or conversely in some quarters, there are those who see themselves as radical believers who make much of the sins of wealth and possessions yet treat as trivial their laxity in affairs of sex and marriage.


In each case, folk become legalistic, and heatedly condemn others while zealously protecting their own hard-won self righteousness.


Friends that just will not do! Selective legalism is not goofed enough.


In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus affirms about 25 values. Affirms them without qualification. We should not dare to have the gall to judge a fellow Christian for transgressing any one of those values, unless we are ourselves prepared to equally judge ourselves on each of the other 24.


 If we take to mind and heart the whole 25, without any sneaky proviso’s, then one result is certain: All our supposed superiority to others, every bit of our spiritual and moral arrogance, will crumble into dust.


We shall then know, along with other Christians, that we to have nothing at all to boast about. We too have fallen short of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We have no where to turn except to saving grace, to mercy and healing of the Friend of sinners.


At that point we are able to turn and look longingly at that man whose importance as Saviour was summed up in the words;

            “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”


Without pretext, without prevarication, we may actually sing and fully mean it:

            Just as I am without one plea,

            But that your blood was shed for me,

            O lamb of God, I come.


Jesus raises the spiritual and moral bar to new heights. But along side it, he allows himself to be lifted up, high on a cross, that amazing grace is near and freely available for all and aim high yet fall short.


Without that cross up on the hill of Golgotha, the Sermon on the Mount would lead to nothing but despair.





Because of the epiphany of Jesus,

I believe in setting our goals higher

and extending our compassion further than ever.


I believe in the Christ who call us to be perfect,

even as our heavenly Father is perfect.”

Who comes to us when we have stumbled and lifts us up,

who stands with us when we have triumphed

and shares our songs of celebration.


I believe in the Spirit who is greater than the universe,

who arrives each morning like the breath in our lungs,

who makes our hearts burn within us for mercy and justice,

who regenerates that which is worn and weary,

and who links us together in a community of love.


I believe in the God of perfect beauty,

who is dismayed by our crude and hurtful ways

but is not willing to cast us into the darkness

as long as there light and love to be shared

and one lost coin lies hidden in dusty isolation.


Because of the epiphany of Jesus,

I believe in setting our goals higher

and extending our compassion further than ever.








Much of this attempt at a sermon will switch between agricultural and spiritual matters. Are you up for that? 


Paul likens the church to a garden. The garden is God’s and we are Christ’s fellow gardeners.               


How well is our church garden doing?


I see similarities between the present drought, which may have come to stay, and the secular, social-cultural environment in which our church is set in  this 21st century. Much of Australia is enduring an extended drought. Also spiritually speaking, we are living through a time of social-cultural-religious drought.


Not that we have ever been “a green and pleasant land” when it comes to Christian faith. Our nation, since its first days as a penal colony, has never been as religious as most countries.

It has been a country of minimalist religious expression.


Even so, one only has to go back forty years to find plenty of life and fruit in local churches. There were numerous flourishing Christian communities, some numerically large in urban areas (especially in the “Bible belt suburbs) other small but vibrant in rural communities. Now the landscape ahs alerted,


Apart from a few mega congregations, utilising music from pop culture and techniques pioneered by the “ad” industry, and used by big “evangelical” growth enterprises like Coca Cola, MacDonalds, KFC, K Mart and Aldi,  many once green churches are trying to hang on through and extended drought. Lots of hand-watering, mulching, shade providing, is happening. All very labour intensive stuff. It is not uncommon to find exhausted lay people and ministers.


Australian culture at the moment seems to lack a vibrant soul. Secularism is dominant. Cynicism is everywhere. “What about me -ism” is rampant. Christianity is despised, or what si worse, largely ignored as irrelevant. Too keep the faith, nurture the garden, and to even expand it, seems to require some Herculean effort. 


But is that the only answer?




How do the gardeners react to this drought within our church?


otice I say “our church.” Others do what they think best. We are not set up to be the judges of either the growth churches or the more exclusive groups and sects.


 Do we just lose heart and give up, letting the drought take over? Shall re resign to staring over a wasteland, dotted with hardy weeds, and the occasionally surviving shrub or tatty fruit tree.


Or do we get back to basics and develop alternative spiritual gardens?  Maybe a different  kind of garden is needed in these seasons of spiritual drought. Maybe the equivalent of drought resisting plants, like native grevillea, bottle brushes, ground orchids, grass trees,   and the many hardy acacia bushes.  Or the spiritual counterparts of  the fruits of our land such as the hardy rock fig, desert lime, emu apple,  quandong, , native raspberry, cabbage palm, daisy yams, native bread, nardoo, and the grains of kangaroo grass, yakka grass, oatgrass, porcupine grass, and  even the nourishing desert spinifex?


(Remember, I am shifting almost seamlessly  between geography and spiritualityin this sermon?)


Also, maybe our imports from other  countries should be more astute. Our continent was never the best place to transplant the church equivalent of English country gardens! Nor the equivalent cuttings of church-life directly imported  from European or USA church settings. If any of you have opted for a native garden, you will know how soon the native birds soon find your plants and come to feed on the nectar and breed in nests among the branches.


What did Jesus say: The kingdom of heaven is like a tree……. where birds come and roost in its branches”



Of course, we de dare not ignore the heritage of other lands. Some things will flourish in our dryer climate. For example, cacti, succulents,  and South African gazanias do very well here.


Fruits like the S American feijoa, adapt well to our dryer environment. Those of you who have imported the wonderful cacti, know how glorious is the season for flowing among these remarkable wilderness plants. They do not just tolerate our  drought, they thrive in  it. And is there a more luscious fruit than that of the prickly pear?


Maybe we can add to the words of Jesus and comment: “A wise Christian brings to his garden, things old and things new, and will dare to try things native and things exotic!”




There is an irony about being an Australian in a time opf spiritual drought.


The first  Aussies, who have lived well on this ancient continent for arguably 60,000 years, were and are a deeply spiritual people. They did ok in drought conditions.
They loved a sunburnt country, a land of spreading plains.” Both physically and spirituality, they not only coped but multiplied.


Maybe we need to learn them about true bush tucker, hidden springs, rock cisterns, and how to flourish in a god-garden not blessed with abundant water and rich fertile soils.


For almost 35 years I have has this thing, a conviction that has bugged me. Like a spur of light                                which for a brief moment I glimpse with sharp clarity: We late arrivals to this ancient continent, Terra Australis are stuck in a cultural and spiritual aberration. Well and truly stuck, unless we come down out of our high, skyscrapers, humble ourselves without patronising attitudes, and wait patiently for the indigenous people of our ancient land to give us a koori’s  typical, discreet signal inviting us to sit in their circle and learn of the essence of the Sacredness that has sustained them. Only then will we find what a truly Australian Christ and church, can be in all its glory.


I have this hunch  that  hubris is our biggest obstacle.




As I see it, we have three options.


1/ Just stay as we are and wither away. This I call “Let-the-last-member-standing-close-the- church-door” syndrome.


2/ Copy more and more from the religious culture of other nations, plus including the rock music that ahs dominated our airwaves over the last 4o years. This I label the  BorrowUSA-and-pop-idol”syndrome.


3/ Ask, seek and knock, and learn from our indigenous sisters and brothers. This I name the “Doing-the-AussieJesus-thing” syndrome. It will not be incompatible with some overseas elements, which may be readily transplanted into our drought conditions.


I put again to you the question which I asked at the beginning:  How well is our church garden doing?


Here a second question: “What of the three option are we choosing. Either intentionally  or  through a weary  apathy?


Now to a final question: Are you and I sincerely and thoroughly committed to doing the Jesus thing, or are we just playing with a bit of religioun on the side?








* Let us pray for the church, at home and abroad.


God of surprises, continue to have mercy on your church.

Let your Spirit move among the ranks of its many denominations,

by your fire forge links of love,

by your wind impel it into service for your world.

Where it is in error, convert it.

Where it is indifferent, re-awaken it.

Where it is corrupt, cauterise it.

Where it is persecuted, fortify it.

Where it is insightful, faithful and loving,

            bless it with your holy joy.


* Let us pray for those people, present among or around the world,

who are “doing it tough” against heavy odds.


God of high hopes and deep comfort, be with your world family

for whom this day brings hardship, tragedy, sickness, road accidents,

homelessness, or broken hearts.

With your light guide them.

With your hand uplift them.

With your Spirit comfort them.

With your grace save them.

With your love enfold them.

With your peace garrison their hearts and minds

            against all evil.


God of surprises,

should any of us become switched-off to the sufferings of others,

should any of us retreat into selfish and safe pre-occupations,

confront us again with the Cross,

deliver us from either dithering, or from rash actions,

and tutor us how to best be your agents of justice and mercy.


Through Christ Jesus our hope and our joy.





That the world may know it is not hopeless,

and be assisted to raise the bar of its spiritual and ethical expectations,

            We go in the Spirit of Christ Jesus


To see what needs to be done and to do it graciously,

to accept what cannot as yet be done, and to relax easily,

and to help others to take courage, without patronising them,

            We go in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.


The limitless grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the indiscriminate providence of our loving God,

and the comforting yet disturbing friendship of the Holy Spirit,

                        will be with us today

and forever more.




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Third edition May 2014

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Jesus Our Future

Prayers for the Twenty First Century

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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.