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        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,
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John 9:1-41                                          (Sermon 1:  “The Man Born Blind”)

Ephesians 5:8-14

1 Samuel 16:1-13                                  (Sermon 2: “Looking through God’s eyes”)

Psalm 23





Some people have excellent eyesight but do not see further than their noses...

Some have sight yet choose to see only a fragment of the truth and love of Christ.

And some there are who have no physical sight yet who see brilliantly.


The light of Christ Jesus be with you all.

And also with you.

One thing we know for sure,

once we were blind but now we can see.




            (from Romans and Psalm 23)


Nothing is visible unless it is exposed to light,

Once we were in the darkness

but now we are in the light of Christ.


Walk therefore as children of the light,

and take no part in the works of darkness.

Even though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death

we will fear no evil, for the Lord is with us.




Loving God, you are majestic beyond all other light and beauty and power, yet you are more intimate than all other friendship and love. By the strength of Christ, please lift us high above common wants and expectations, into the light and power of your Presence. Lead us to wonder, and from wonder to love, and from love to that worship that only lovers can offer. In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.





We make our confession, not to plead for mercy like beggars, but as God’s own children who need to level with themselves and, like the prodigal son, return home to the open arms of the One who loves us beyond all measuring.  


Let us pray.


God of glory and God of grace, bring us to our senses.

If that means shining your light fiercely

until our inner eyes hurt,

and our ugly ways stand exposed

then so be it.


We do not look for an easy way

but the hard way of truth and healing.

Slowly but surely we come to you.

In your arms may we find the grace to let go,

to accept your forgiveness and receive restoration.


This we pray

in the name of Christ Jesus our Saviour.





My friends, there are no half measures in God. All or nothing. “While we were still unrepentant sinners, Christ died for us.”


In the name of Jesus, step free for the shadowy past and turn to the bright future with keen eyes and optimistic hearts You are a forgiven people.


Thanks be to God.




Like a good shepherd watching over the lambs,

     please watch over us,

     loving Lord Jesus.

When we wander,

     shout after us and call us back.

When we fall down and get dirty,

     lift us up and clean us off.

When we become frightened,

     hold us in your arms.

When we get hurt,

     bandage our wounds.

And when we are playful lambs,

     please watch us with delight.

For your name’s sake.





Lord Jesus,

with your healing fingers of light,

please gently touch our eyes,

     so that we may see the right way to go,

     the most loving way to treat each other,

     and the goal for which we were born.

In your name we pray this,

and for the praised of your name,

we want to live.





You, God, are my best Friend,

I shall never be helpless.

You make me rest in green places,

you lead me beside tranquil pools.


You revive my spirits,

leading me along good paths

where your name is honoured.


Even when I must walk

through darkness and grief,

I will not be afraid.


For you are with me;

your grace and truth comfort me.


You have set a table for me

in the presence of my doubts and fears.

You massage my tense head and neck,

my cup is full and running over.


Certainly goodness and mercy

shall follow me every day of my life,

and I shall live abundantly in your home

when calendars and clocks are no more.

                                                                                    Ó B D Prewer 2001



           John 9: 1-45


Blind from birth,

     oblivious to realities

     beyond my senses;

unable to discern in all things

     the imminent Truth

     on which all things depends.


A poor beggar

     (though without knowing it

      a child of the Great King)

pleading for cheap charity

     around the temple

     from guilty worshippers.


Then I am anointed

     by the strong fingers

     of a man from out of town,

a chap who is under surveillance

     by the proud who throw to beggars

     a few unwanted crumbs.


For him I go and wash

     and begin to see at last

     the Truth that sets us free.

Though they excommunicate me,

     I rejoice, for now it’s clear

     from whence this Jesus comes.

                                                                                    Ó B D Prewer 1999




Be our vision, Lord of our minds! Enable us to see things as you see them:

  To discern in the ebb a flow of life the Providence that knows our every need before we ask.

  To look upon both neighbours and enemies with compassion.

  To recognise in the beggar, stranger, hungry and homeless the face of the Child of God. 

  To look in the mirror and see a much-loved disciple called by Christ to an abundant life.


Please, healing Christ, anoint our eyes with your salve, that we may see better than ever before and follow your way with anticipation and joy. In your name, and to your praise, we pray.





John 9: 1-41


[Explanatory note for fellow preachers:  Aware that the Greek text did not have punctuation, I go with those scholars who depart from the familiar(Vulgate-inspired)  sentence-structure and punctuate as below.]


     As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.

     His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,

     that he was born blind?”


     Jesus answered them, “It was not that this man sinned or his parents.”


     But that the works of God might be made manifest in him, we must work the works

     of him who sent me while it is day. Night comes, when no one can work.

     As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.”



I will be most surprised if you do not find yourself reflected in the characters featured in the drama of Jesus healing the man who was born blind.


My intention is to spotlight the Disciples, Jesus, Neighbours, Pharisees, Parents, and the Blind Man.




As Jesus and his disciples went out through the temple gates, they noticed a blind beggar. They asked Jesus: “Who sinned? This man or his parents that he was born blind?”


Here the disciples, when confronted with human need, shift the focus to a religious/moral argument:  “Who is to blame?” Not, you will notice, “Poor fellow, what can we do for him?” but “On whose shoulders do we load the blame?”


When you and I are confronted with human need, is our first response “What can we do about this need?” or is it “Who is to blame?”


I am not suggesting that the question of why innocent people suffer is not an important one. It is perhaps the most difficult question facing those who believe in a loving God. But should it be our stock response when we see people suffering poverty, handicap, misfortune and pain?


I put it to you that arguing about the ultimate cause may become an excuse o avoid doing something to alleviate the suffering. It is the easy option to go into theoretical discussion mode rather than compassionate self-giving mode.


The disciples responded inappropriately to the blind beggar.




In contrast, Jesus. Jesus immediately pushed beyond the inadequate response of the disciples:

     Neither did this man sin or his parents.

     But that the works of God made be displayed in him, we must do the work of God who sent me, while have daylight.


In other words, “Let’s get involved. Let’s get on with it. Let’s do something for him.”


Jesus proceeded to use common folk medicine of his day, mixing some saliva and clay (the more holy the man, it was thought, the more potent the saliva.) he touched the eyes of the blind man and anointed them.


The touch was most important. The touch of a prophet on those useless eyes. Never underestimate touch! Touch can be affirming, touch can be healing.


But that was not all. Jesus then gave the blind man something to do for himself. Jesus was not going the make the man the helpless recipient of charity. He had to do be active in his own healing. Jesus sent him to the pool of Siloam. So he went, and washed, and came back seeing.


If you want to ask me: “How did Jesus do it? How did he give sight to the blind?” Then I can only say “I do not know.” But one thing I am certain about. It was the love of Jesus for that man that gave him healing. Love, sensitive, respectful, deeply compassionate, practical, involved love! Love gave the beggar his sight.




The next characters on stage are the neighbours, to whom the beggar had been a familiar sight outside the temple gates.


To the neighbours, the blind man is the latest novelty. The topic of the moment. They argue about it. Is this really the same man? Some say it is, some say it cannot be.


They don’t embrace the healed man with joy. They don’t throw a party. They just want to argue the pros and cons. They ask him for an explanation. The man tells his story simply and

boldly, witnessing to Jesus as the healer.


The neighbours remind me of current affairs programmes on TV. Many so called “human interest stories” are featured to titillate the curiosity of the viewers, most often with no real concern for the victims at the centre of it all. In fact, commonly the media use up the victim and then desert him or her.




The neighbours drag the healed man off to see the Pharisees.  I look upon the Pharisees depicted in this story as like closed-minded, ecclesiastical bureaucrats.


They operate from with tight guidelines. Therefore they have no room in their heads to try understand what has happened to the blind man, nor to the power of God in that prophet Jesus who healed him.


Maybe, when they are off duty, out of the public spotlight, at home with their families, some of them relax. Maybe there they forget the guidelines and become human. But once they are on stage, once they are in a group with the public watching, they snap into defensive mode and shut out anything that challenges their preconceptions. If it is not in the guidelines, then it cannot have happened.


These Pharisees show no sign of being pleased that a blind beggar has been given sight and new self worth. They don’t offer congratulations or do anything to help him re-adjust to life. He is just an unfortunate anomaly that has disturbed their scheme of things. Just a problem to be smacked down into silence.


Their first move is to say it cannot have happened on the Sabbath. The regulations say quite clearly “No healing on the Sabbath.” If God forbids work on the Sabbath, then he would not enable a healing to take place. But the blind man insists it did happen on the day of holy rest.


Their second move is to say the man is a fake. “Call his parents. We’ll soon get to the bottom of this.” The parents are fetched and insist this is their son, he was born blind, and yes now he can see.


This allows the finicky ecclesiastical teachers only one option. No, I’m sorry to say they did not now smile and congratulate the fellow. Instead they chose to vindictively pursue the healer who dared to act outside the guidelines. This Jesus, neither a member of the AMA nor a graduate of the theological seminary, was now firmly in their sights.


We leave the Pharisees weaving their schemes for the entrapment of Jesus.




Let the spotlight now fall on the parents of the man who was born blind.


When summoned by the Pharisees they say” “Yes, we identify this man. He is our son. He was born blind. But how he now has sight, we don’t know. Nor are we friends with the fellow whom they claim gave him sight. Our son is of age. Ask him. let him speak for himself.”


I not sure how I feel about these parents. Were they being devious or just plain honest?


Look at that statement “He is of age. Ask him.” If this was an affirmation of the maturity and dignity of their son, then I feel warm towards them.


Even if they meant “Don’t expect us to responsible for what our adult son gets up to,” then as a parent I can feel some rapport with them.


But if out of cowardice they are “dropping their son in it” rather than standing up for him, then I find them to be weak, shabby characters; A mirror for the millions who don’t have the guts to stand up for the truth. Like the many who think that the struggle for justice among the poor and the abused is best ignored.




Now the big moment. The man who was born blind. Let the stage lights fall on the blind man who is so recently healed by the loving touch and command of Jesus.


There is something delightfully refreshing about this chap. He refuses to get caught up in the games the others are playing. The truth is good enough and he will be ready to suffer for it if need be.


When they put him under pressure, he neither dissimulates nor cracks. He knows he started this Sabbath day as he had started every other day of his life: blind! He knows a man called Jesus anointed his eyes, told him to wash them in the pool of Siloam, and, Praise God, he was given his sight!


The Pharisees grill him. They try to get him to say that Jesus did not affect the cure. To admit that Jesus was a sinner who could not possibly do the healing works of God.


To the healed man, all this stuff by the Pharisees proved that they were blinder than he had ever been. He comes out with his famous retort: “One thing I know. Once I was blind. Now I can see.”


His stubborn witness angered them. The outcome was excommunication. The religious bureaucrats expelled him from temple and synagogue worship; one of the worst things that could happen to a practising Jew. He was banned.




This drama ends with two brief scenes.


IN the first Jesus goes looking for the healed man. He has heard about the excommunication and wants to give his support to the brave man.

During the conversation that follows, the blind man receives a second gift of sight. Now he has the spiritual insight to believe in Jesus as God’s anointed Christ. He gives his heart and soul to Jesus.  He becomes a follower.


IN the final brief scene the Pharisees arrive to spy on Jesus as he is preaching. His topic, not surprisingly, is about spiritual sight and spiritual blindness. They ask Jesus: “Are you suggesting that we are also blind?”


Jesus looked them in the eye and said: “If you were blind, I could not lay blame on you. But you keep insisting that you see the issues clearly. If that is so, you are not so much blind as guilty! That’s your fate, guilty of seeing but refusing to admit what you see. Your guilt clings to you.”




Where do you and I fit in this drama?


  Disciples: Dodge human need by talking about it rather than helping?

  Neighbours: Curiosity without love?

  Pharisees: If it does not fit the guidelines, get rid of the anomalies.

  Parents: We accept no responsibility for what our son does.

  Blind man: The sincere of heart. I haven’t all the answers but I know this:

     “I was born blind. But Jesus touched my life with loving healing, and I began to see.

            I am a committed disciple and I don’t care who knows it.”


Where do we fit? Maybe you find aspects of yourself in more than one character? One thing remains sure: The Spirit of Jesus is still ready to minister to our personal need, to heal our form of blindness.  But we have to really want it.


Do we?





1 Samuel 16:6-7


When the young men came, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought: “This must be the one God has chosen, for sure. But God said to Samuel; “No. See beyond his height and good looks, because I have rejected him. People notice the exterior facade but God looks on the heart.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Samuel 16:6-7


Our theme is looking through God’s eyes; seeing as God sees things.


We live in an era of mass of blindness. Has there ever been a time when masses of people were so confused by outward appearance rather than seeing the true value of each person?


For sure, there has always been some of this in all human communities. Clothes and one’s figure, make up and social standing, jewellery and smooth speech, hair style and one’s height, the balance of facial features and the style in which one travelled, have played a part in the distorted valuation of humanity as long as records go back.


But today, mainly due to the speed of mass communication, fashion and style are given major importance. Every teenage boy and girl is painfully aware of appearance. And many adults (maybe most) never grow out of the fixation with how they look. The rising incidence of eating disorders, the power of the fashion industry, the large number of face lifts, lip enhancements, nose jobs, and other cosmetic surgery, testifies to our obsession with the outward facade. Perfectly good and healthy bodies are cut about and stitched up again in a vain attempt to be more acceptable in the eyes of the world.


None of us, and certainly not this preacher, can fully escape this influence. It pervades everything. Even when we rationally protest against it, it nevertheless seduces us at the level of our emotions. I tend to see this powerful social pressure as among the Apostle Paul’s “principalities and powers” from which we are called in Christ to be free.





Even the unknown scribe, who assembled the scrolls which we now call the First Book of Samuel, was heavily influenced by outward appearance. He makes a slip.


There is a comical irony in the story which we read today about Samuel choosing a new king from among the sons of the sheik Jesse.


Remember how it goes? Samuel asks Jesse to bring his sons to the holy ritual of sacrifice, that they may be consecrated. From among these Samuel, with God’s help, will select the man to replace King Saul.


Seven sons meet Samuel face to face. They all look fine specimens of humanity in Samuel’s eyes. But God sees deeper and will not entrust kingship to any of the seven. At Samuel’s insistence the youngest son of Jesse, a mere beardless teenager, is summoned in from herding the sheep. And God says to Samuel: “Stand up. Anoint him king. This is the one.”


Now the irony. The scribe could not help himself when describing the legendary David. Even though earlier this scribe faithfully records: “No. See beyond his height and good looks, because I have rejected him. People notice the exterior facade but God looks on the heart.” now this writer inserts these words: “Now David was pink-cheeked, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome”.


There you have it. Our typical human valuation of a person intrudes, even in a passage where the emphasis is on God looking on the heart, God seeing the soul and healthy integrity of a person.




We are called to value people as God values them. But do we?


In the Gospel reading today, about the blind man whom Jesus healed, John says: “As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.”


John is a master of double meanings. Here is a double meaning. On one level the story is about one man who was physically blind from birth, and who was then healed by Jesus. But on a deeper level the story is about us. We are all that man. We are all blind from birth. We do not see things right until Jesus touches our lives and gives us healing.


Like Samuel, we look first on the exterior. Often we make hasty judgments. We give scant attention to those who are dressed poorly and toady to those who are smartly dressed. We tend to shy away from those with facial disfigurement, or those uneven features commonly termed ugly, yet we shine up to those who are good looking. If a handsome man compliments, most women are chuffed. If a beautiful woman smiles, many men feel honoured.


Have you noticed when driving, in heavy traffic, a car in a side street trying to get into the flow? If the driver is a handsome guy or a pretty woman, they are quickly granted a place. If they look elderly, poorly dressed and are driving a beat-up old VW, they can be kept out for a considerable time. I am not a betting man, but I would wager that if Elle McPherson was driving car from a side street, she would make it into the main road in record time!


We are blind from birth. We look at things superficially. We judge by appearance, or from brief acquaintance, and we fail to seek and honour the true dignity of our fellows.




Once we have come under the intimate touch of Jesus, we start to see all things and all people in a new way. People are now valued as potential children of God. For each one of them Christ died.


You will notice that I said that through Jesus “we start to see people in a new way.” Like the first disciples, we are slow learners.  We take two steps forward and fall one back. We need to stay in his company, to be nourished by his words and deeds, and to be daily challenged by his utter self-giving for others, if we are to make headway.


We also need his gracious forgiveness and rehabilitation again and again and again.


The church of Jesus Christ should of all places be a fellowship where each person matters. There should be no division, either open or implied, between “important” “unimportant members.” You and I should not rest until that is the reality of this church.


Otherwise we will fall back. Even the prophet-priest Samuel did not have his eyes opened to the degree that every common Christian’s eyes have been opened.




Let me tell you a story against myself.


On one occasion, when I was inducted into a new parish, I wondered why my predecessor had chosen one particular man to be church door steward, welcoming worshippers and giving out hymn books etc. This person dressed cleanly but poorly, he was extremely shy and apart from his soft “Good morning”, accompanied by a timid smile, he barely put a sentence together in conversation. In my superficial first assessment I thought: “What a poor choice.” I looked on outward appearances.


In time I came to repent. My predecessor had chosen most wisely. This simple man was one of the most genuine Christians I have never met. And I mean “ever!” Although he was a labourer working in a dirty industrial situation, although he bought “op shop’ clothes, although he lived in a rented room and never drove a car, although his health was dicey, although he was somewhat wizened in appearance, I came to see utmost integrity and goodness. Accidentally I discovered that financially he was that congregation’s most generous giver. In time, I also found out (not from him!) how selflessly he had helped other people when they were in dire need, and asked for nothing in return.


Slowly I came to see. I also discovered that his shy smile, meant more too many people than an effusive welcome given by a self confident person.


But God said to Samuel; “No. See beyond his height and looks People notice the exterior facade but God looks on the heart.” 


If I ever see as well as that humble man, I shall know I am beginning to see as God sees, and that Christ’s work on my vision has not been wasted.


And you, my friends? How goes it with your vision?





Let us bring before the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the faces we know well, those we know a little, those on whom we have passed hasty judgement, and faces to whom we cannot put a name. And let us seek God’s blessing on all.


The kindly faces who have loved and nurtured us; family, friends, neighbours and workmates, those on earth and those in heaven.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory


The faces of opponents who have mocked us or shunned us, abused us or betrayed us, exploited or ignored us.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


The TV faces of hungry children overseas, or street kids in our cities, or aboriginal children

living in squalor.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


The faces of our elected politicians, State and Federal, Government and Opposition, minor parties and independents.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


The glossy magazine faces of sporting idols and film stars, royalty and fashion models, and the newspaper faces of those who have fallen into public shame.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


The faces of those whom we have ignored or injured, or who have been the target of our superficial judgement or gossip.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


The faces of those within this church who have been an inspiration to us, and those who more often get under our skin and annoy us.

     Give them and us good sight, loving God,

     And may we all see your glory.


Loving God, these are all your children, cherished with a priceless love. Through each of them, and through your whole human family, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven Then indeed we shall be blest beyond anything we can as yet see or imagine. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour.





We are numbered among those whose eyes have been touched with the salve of Jesus Christ.

   Amen! Once we were blind but now we can see!


See clearly and walk gently wherever you go this week.

   Look gladly on those who encourage,  and deal patiently on those who irritate.


See light where others see gloom, and hope where many see defeat.

   Look upon weak souls with mercy and face the tough charcaters without fear.


Travel calmly with the confidence of those who have caught glimpses of a divine glory,

            in and through Christ Jesus our Saviour.


The grace of your Brother Jesus will redeem you,

the love of your Eternal Father will undergird you,

and the friendship of your Sisterly Spirit will empower you.




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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.

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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.