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 24:13-35                          (Sermon 1:“On the Road”) 

                                                                                    (Sermon 2: “Those God-empty Days”)

1 Peter 1: 17-23

Acts 2: 14a & 22-16

Psalm 116: 1-4 & 12-19




We do not come into this house cautiously, with some vague hope in a kindly Divinity.

We come boldly in the name of Jesus Christ, whom “God raised from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope may be confident in God”


Jesus lives,

we celebrate deathless life,

life abundant and life eternal.


Let earth and heaven rejoice

and celebrate Love’s victory!





On which side of Easter are we living?

Post Easter is the new age of God,

where Christ Jesus lives victoriously

and is with us to the end of the world.


No praise is good enough for the God of this new age.

Yet this Holy One treasures our love as if it were perfect.

I will offer to God the sacrifice of a thankful heart,

and call on the name of our Living Lord.


No song is beautiful enough, no good deed is pure enough;

yet this Loving One hears our songs and blesses our deeds

as if they were from all the angels and archangels in heaven.

I will make my vows now to God,

in the presence of the people,

in the courts of the house of the Lord.





God of the ever-living Christ Jesus, our words of thanksgiving are indeed not enough. The poverty of our best sentences, and the inadequacy of our sacred music, frustrates our attempts to worship you as you deserve. We say we extol you, we praise you, we glorify you. Gladly we sing out our love and adoration for you. Yet we have not expressed even a fraction of the wonder that throbs in our hearts. O God of Jesus and our God, you are that holy Beauty that will always leave us gasping, yet never leave us unloved. All glory be to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.





God is merciful; let us entrust ourselves to that mercy.


Let us pray.


Holy Friend, awesome in beauty and love, have mercy on us.  At one glance you can see our complete lives, not strung out along a time line like a film, but fully present.


You see us giving our best and giving our worst, our enthusiasm and our waning, our courage and our cowardice, our cleverness and our stupidity.

In one glance you see our fluctuating faith, our spasmodic prayers, our arrogant dogmatism, and our timid hopes.

You see the love we have shared and the love we have withheld, the happiness we have spread and the pain we have caused. In one holy glance you see everything.


Merciful Friend, we place our tricky thoughts and fickle affections in front of  you, knowing that we need your saving grace. Please deal with us with discipline or tenderness, rebuke or encouragement. For whatever is best for us, we hand ourselves over to you.


Holy Saviour, we thank, praise and worship you for the wisdom of your ways, and the persistence of your saving mercies. With Jesus as our sure guide, may we live to the glory of your name, now and evermore.






Sisters and brother, all evil and death have been trumped. Jesus lives among us to rescue and heal.

Lift up your hearts and live with the liberty of those who have been absolutely understood, judged, forgiven, and restored.


Each of you is unique and precious, you can dare live with the sublime confidence of the children of God.

Thanks be to God!




Some times, loving God,

we wish we could see Jesus

risen from the dead

like those first disciples did.


But do you reckon

it would it make any difference?

Perhaps not.

We would still have to decide,

wouldn’t we?

Still have to decide

whether to trust our hearts to him.


Thank you for the millions and millions

of girls and boys who have trusted him

ever since that first Easter,

Keep us in their gang, please God.

Keep us in your "Jesus gang" forever.



PSALM 116: 1-4 & 12-19


            See page 140 of More Australian Psalms

                        Ó Open Book Publishers

                        email: enquiries@openbook.




We trudge on the road

and the journey seems long,

for all becomes tiring

without any Song.


We catch up to one

who has gone on ahead,

a stranger he seems

to those who are dead.


He expounds the Word

and confounds our grief,

our hearts come alive

with veins of belief.


Together we dine

at a roadside place,

in the breaking of bread

out leaps Easter grace.


We hurry back home

and it does not seem long,

all journeys are short

when singing his Song.

                                    Ó B D Prewer 2001





Luke 24:13-35


It was near the end of the day, at the time when most of us feel tired and when (if events have gone miserably wrong) we may feel flat and discouraged.


Two travellers plodded along the road exchanging bitter disappointments and asking unanswerable questions.


They were joined by a third traveller who at first seemed just another ordinary guy; another run-of-the-mill human being travelling the dusty road of life.  They did not recognise this stranger.


Yet, as they were to discover in a moment of utter surprise at the close of this encounter, this common traveller was the risen Lord Jesus. God’s Messiah, their Lord who they should have been able to recognise anywhere. Somehow, earlier on the road, “their eyes were kept from recognising him.”




Maybe that’s the way it’s been happening from the beginning. Maybe that’s the way it still happens in our experience. The with-us-love of God, the death-transcending love of God, the Lord who has been raised up, joins us incognito on life’s journey. Maybe the Christ talks with us in ordinary situations, through ordinary people.


That’s not how we expect it to happen. Nor is it how we would prefer it.  We would like our divine Saviour to show himself to us in a dramatic way.


We would like….Perhaps a dramatic evangelical experience at a revival rally? Perhaps a dramatic mystical experience in meditation and prayer? Perhaps in a profound aesthetic experience in a beautiful cathedral in the flow of beautiful liturgy? Perhaps in a dramatic justice and peace happening like, a few years ago, the people-power in the Philippines which brought an end to the long dictatorship of President Marcos? Perhaps a dramatic vision at the foot of our bed at midnight?


If many of us had our way, we would have a religious menu of such spiritual highlights planned every few weeks to keep us simmering with faith and love. We would like to have supernatural events, lifting us high above the perennial, plain, plodding, sometimes boring stuff of ordinary life.


My friends, that is not how it usually is with God. This is not the way Christ most commonly works.


There can be of course the special times. These may be dramatic. We can be grateful for them if they have happened to us.  But that is not the way it is for many of the loveliest Christians I have known.  The dramatic moments a few.  In fact, for some lovely Christians there are no such dramatic moments. For some it is a steady growing and walking humbly with a God who stays hidden; some of the most saintly people I have known recount no dramatic times at all.


This I truly believe: the most frequent way God approaches us is in ordinary people, in ordinary situations, those with whom we travel the common path, or whose way crosses ours on life’s journey.


This service today may seem a low-key event, not like the stirring Easter Day service that we celebrated, not like the emotional experience some of our young people enjoyed at their Easter camps. But if you think God is any the less present, you are in grave error.  Those who only identify God with the dramatic moments are dismally insensitive to the ways of God and abysmally ignorant of the Biblical revelation of God.


Today, remember those two travellers who did not recognise the stranger who walked with them for a while. Just another ordinary human being constituted the most extraordinary event.




Think now about another aspect of this story. As they plodded on, the stranger joined them and listened to them!  Listened to them! The triumphant, risen, glorious Christ travelled incognito and listened to their fears, doubts and tentative hopes.


In our twisted way of thinking, very important people do not listen to us. They speak with us and more often they talk at us. The more august the person is supposed to be, the more we are supposed to shut up and listen.


But the divine Friend, whose glory the universe cannot contain, listened to them. Like we may at times think, those two travellers thought that life was a complete muck-up! Everything that could go wrong had. Life was a bummer. Evil people were the winners and good people were the losers. Jesus of Nazareth, the most wonderful and most grace-full person they had ever met, had been brutally executed on a trumped up charge. Where was God? How did God allow this to happen? Why hadn’t God intervened to stop this atrocity?  “We had hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel.”


Jesus said: “Tell me about it.” They did; unburdened themselves to him. He listened.




After they had poured their hearts out, the next stage in the work of God took place. They were ready to listen to the incognito Christ, and as they listened their soul resonated with the words he had to say. 


There is no friendship, human or divine, which is not two way. A true friend is not just a mobile garbage bin into which you unload all your negativity. Friends listen to each other.

Dialogue not monologue is what we hunger for.


This traveller took up what they had been saying and wove patterns of meaning into their puzzling experience. He reminded them of the God of Holy Scripture who worked deeds of liberation through times of suffering and defeat. “Beginning with Moses and all the prophets he interpreted to them from all the Scriptures the things concerning the Christ’. He led them into the understanding that in this evil world, what happened to their Master was bound to happen. What is more, it would not happen in vain, for God would vindicate his Messiah.


As he helped them make sense of all that had gone wrong, life did not seem so devastatingly pointless any more. Some light dawned in their minds; their hearts no longer felt desperately cold; hope started to resurrect within their own being.  Later they were to remember this and say: “And didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us while we walked?”


When we listen to God speaking out of ordinary situations and from ordinary people, and relating that to the Scriptures, we will find the Word that make sense of situations which on the surface might seem a disaster. But it can only happen if we listen. Having poured out our hearts we then need to also listen, rather than continuing to belly-ache about our hurts and fears and doubts.  That is true of contemporary discipleship just as much as it was on that road to Emmaus.




We come now to the disclosure. The key and climax to this story. 


Most likely this account of the risen Jesus was treasured and passed on by word of mouth, and finally included in John’s Gospel, because of what happened at that table that evening.

            When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed it, broke it and gave it       to them. Their eyes were open and they recognised him, before he vanished from their          view.


The divine Friend, who is incognito with ordinary people as they travel this earthly road, has chosen a special meeting place where he is not incognito, but present in a strangely visible and recognisable way. The bread and the wine at the Table of the Lord are the signs and the reality of his Presence. He makes himself known to us in the breaking of bread. The Table is like a special meeting place of lovers; a trysting place.


This is a truly awesome thing. Spine tingling stuff. Here the majestic Transcendence of the eternal world chooses to be present. That Supreme Light which precedes the beginning of the universe (which physicists call the “big bang’) discloses itself in simple gifts. Bread and wine were the food of the common people of the land. Nothing could be more ordinary yet on the Lord’s Table nothing could be more supra-ordinary. Truly this is wonder-full! Here the Supreme Love that became embodied in the son of Mary, and sacrificed his body and blood on a cruel cross, is present in saving power.


When our hands cradle the bread, when our lips touch the cup, the most awesome thing possible is happening right here.


Please my friends, do not permit familiarity to desensitise you to the Transcendence! The utter Otherness, the utter Beauty, the utter Sacrifice-Love, is truly here.


By hope come to the Table expectantly, by faith let your eyes be opened, by love let the Infinite Lover commune with you as he did with the disciples at Emmaus..


The One who is always with you in the common things of life, and will be even to the end of the world, is disclosed at the Table.


When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed it, broke it and gave it       to them. Their eyes were open and they recognised him, before he vanished from their view.





Luke 24: 13-25


Recently I was chatting with a hospital chaplain about a shy, blue-winged duck which has taken up residence in tall bulrushes on the eastern shore of the small lake that borders our home.


She asked me to describe any detailed markings which might help identify it. I pointed out that the blue-winged creature was so timid that it was hard to catch more than a quick glimpse.  She smiled and commented:  “it sounds bit like God, doesn’t it?”


I grinned and nodded. It did. I was then reminded of an old prayer from Northern England: “Lorrrd. T’ou arrrt lik a wee moosie peepin oot a ‘ole in t’e woll. T’ou see’st us, but we canna see T’ee.” Translated I guess that goes: “You are like a little mouse peeping out of a hole in the wall. For You see us, but we cannot see You.”


God is not a publicity seeker. The good Lord is not noted for keeping a high public profile.


More than that. There are cloudy days where God and his Christ seem totally absent. Especially in times of disaster and grief, when we most long for a sign from the Lord that we are loved and cared for. From the stand point of our feelings, dark times can feel the most god-empty times. This remains a sore puzzle, that when we believe we need God the most, God may seem furthest away.




Like on the road to Emmaus.


On the Sunday afternoon following the Friday crucifixion of Jesus, two disciples were walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus; a distance of about 11 kilometres.  Luke tells us that one of these travellers was a man named Cleopas. The other person is unnamed. Many have suggested it was his wife Mary. For now, I will run with that. It seems likely that their home was in village to which they were heading. Their hearts were sore, and their faith in tatters, after the horror that had fallen on their beloved Master, Jesus of Nazareth on black Friday. For them it had seemed the ultimate god-empty event in time.


Yet there was a now a small flickering of hope. Some of the women who had visited the tomb that Sunday morning, had returned to the disciples claiming that the tomb was empty and Jesus had risen.


With this unlikely story, tiny seeds of hope in Cleopas and Mary began to stir and push against the hard shell of despair. But it remained a most unlikely event. Those stirrings were likely to soon subside under the light of reason. Resurrection? Not likely. Let those poor bereft women comfort themselves with such imaginings if they so wished. But these two travellers had to keep their minds on reality. Get back home and get on with the onerous business of living without the delight of having Jesus around.


Yet, what if..........?  If? Yes, if the unlikely story was true? It was not impossible. Many Jews believed that at some future time (“at the end of days”) God would break into this world with a new Messianic age. On that long-awaited day the dead would rise from their graves.  If the resurrection of their Master had in truth taken place, then that great, new, glorious age of God had commenced. The new age had broken free from the bondage of evil and death.


So it was that in the bruised mind and heart of these two disciples walking to Emmaus, grief parried with hope, and doubt sparred with faith.




As they talked together about their crushed expectations and the few tendrils of hope that had emerged that morning, they were joined by a stranger. They did not recognise him at all. This stranger enquired about the earnest conversation they appeared to be having as he overtook them on the road.


Fortunately for them, they did not tell him to mind his own business. Instead they poured out their hearts to him. He listened to every word, and maybe to some things in their hearts that were left unsaid.


Then gently he admonished them for their doubt. Insightfully the stranger spoke with them about certain passages from the Holy Scriptures from Moses to Isaiah, and helped them to see that the Messiah was bound to suffer as Jesus had. And that it was through such suffering that the Messiah would display his true power and glory.


As he taught them, ideas in their minds stared clicking into place, and their hearts warmed with renewed longing and hope. There was something different about this stranger. Something……, well…….strange?




Time passed quickly as he chatted with them. Before they knew it, they had arrived at their home in Emmaus. As darkness was falling the couple invited the stranger to stay overnight with them.

Smart move that!


Later that evening, when they gathered around the table for the evening meal, the stranger took the bread, said the prayer of blessing, “Blessed are you, Lord God of the universe, who from the ground brings forth our daily bread.” He then broke the bread and gave it to them.


Wow! Wow! Wow! Strange became strangest! It was as if a curtain fell from their eyes and they recognised their risen Lord Jesus……in  the breaking of bread.


In that same moment Jesus just …. sort of….disappeared? Leaving them burning with renewed faith and love. So excited were Cleopas and Mary, that they left the house and scurried back through the night back to Jerusalem to share the good news with the other disciples.




I don’t ask you to understand these mysterious Easter stories. Jesus just comes and goes. No doors are needed. He is sometimes immediately recognised. Other times not.


These gospel records confound our understanding. They leave us gasping, and grasping for explanations.


In fact, if we were not mystified by the nature of these Easter events, then I would be suspicious that we may have fallen for some trite fairy story.


Easter heralds the greatest mystery of all mysteries. The disciples witnessed an astounding event which they could never explain yet which they knew was more real than the solid, locked doors behind which they had been hiding. More real than the road on the way to Emmaus. More real than the cross and the tomb. More real than all Rome’s legions. Christ was risen indeed.


I will attempt no explanations. I have no intention of trying to plumb what has proved too deep for even the most profound minds among the greatest Christian thinkers for two thousand years. This sermon has a much more modest aim, on which I will now focus.




I take you back to where I started: To the apparent absence of God at those times when we have desperately wanted a God to comfort or clearly direct us. The God who is like that elusive blue-winged duck among the reeds on our lake, or the God in the old prayer from Northern England: “Thou art like a wee moussie peepin out of a hole in the wall. For Thou see-est us, but we cannot see Thee.”


Where is God?


On the road to the village of Emmaus the answer l became clear. The Lord had been with them on the road, but they had nor realised it. Moreover, he would always be with them on the road. With them when a stranger walked beside them and renewed their faith. With them even when they thought they walked alone. With them at table; with them in the breaking of the bread. With them as they scurried back to the locked room in Jerusalem where other disciples had retreated. With them a week later when Thomas was present. With them on the shores of Galilee serving them barbecued fish for breakfast. With them to the end of the world.


There is no such thing as a Christ-empty day. No such thing as a God-empty situation. The God of Jesus was there on the cross. There in the sealed tomb. There in the garden on the Sunday morning. There on each road that a person travels: from Jerusalem to Emmaus, from Sydney to Calgary, Humpty Doo to Vienna, Cairns to Katmandu.


Our feelings are fickle. The promise endures. I know that to “trust and obey” the living Christ, incognito amongst us, is the source of abundant life. Christ is risen indeed! I cannot depend on my emotions. Not even on my better intuitions, for they can be compromised. But God’s promises in Christ Jesus stand forever.


Pessimism (sadly current in some circles) is not a way of life that is compatible with the way of the living Christ. And the allied delusion, cynicism, is faith’s direct enemy.




Are we committed to the Easter good news?


Easter demands a decision: to follow the risen Christ or not. It may  seem easy to believe at times. But on other days it can  be tough.


To trust when there is no apparent flame in the heart, to love when it is difficult to love the prickly neighbour, to pray when God seems to have hands over ears, now that takes commitment.


To smile when we are in distress, to laugh when death wags a skinny finger at us, and to reach one’s hand into the darkness trusting (though we feel him not) the risen Christ is with us all the way from here to eternity, that is the stuff that characterises Christ’s true friends.


Such is the Easter way. That is the course on which we are set. And if are not, then we among all people are to be most pitied.





Loving God, our elusive yet all-sustaining Friend,

     in spite of the negative doubters around us,

     we dare to celebrate your glorious Presence!


In this post-modern world

     where the illusion of your absence

     is felt keenly by numerous souls,

     we thank you for your gifts

     that break through to nurture us.


We give thanks

     for the accumulated sanity

     of the Holy Scriptures

     through which you speak to us

     even when our hearts feel cold.


We give thanks

     for the caring communities

     of your holy church

     where you are present

     with encouragement

     and profound healing.


We give thanks

     for those special, holy times

     when for a few seconds or hours

     this world’s shrouds split open

     and we glimpse your glory.


Most of all we give thanks

     for the gift of Christ Jesus

     who makes himself known

     in the breaking of bread

     to all who keep the tryst.


Loving Lord, elusive but faithful Friend,

     in spite of our scrappy faith and love,

     we dare to celebrate your glorious Presence!


                        From Jesus our Future: Prayers for the 21st Century, page 50

                        Ó B D Prewer and Ó Open Book Publishers





Praying for other people is not an escape from hard facts of life, but an engagement with them.


Let us do so now.


Most loving God, source of resurrection life, we offer you our lives, along with the prayers we bring to you, so that our prayers and our deeds may work together in unison for the healing of the world for which Christ lived, died and arose.

Teach us so to pray, loving God.

Teach us so to live, loving Christ.


Uplift believers around the world who are also accepting the hospitality of your Table today. In spite of our superficial differences, may we all be drawn closer together in worship and outreach, that the world may see that we are the disciples of the Master of love.

Teach us so to pray, loving God.

Teach us so to live, loving Christ.


Uplift your church in its attempts to serve the world. Strengthen the members who work for justice and peace, inspire those who work with the poor and outcaste, give encouragement to those who seek to rehabilitate drug addicts, and reinvigorate those who are weary but cannot yet seek rest from their labours.

Teach us so to pray, loving God.

Teach us so to live, loving Christ.


Uplift Christians who take their place in political life; independents and minor parties, members of the government and the opposition, government ministers and back benchers. Enable them to maintain their integrity and faith-optimism among so much double talk and through numerous setbacks and compromises.

Teach us so to pray, loving God.

Teach us so to live, loving Christ.


Uplift all the people, both within or outside of the church, who this day watch with the dying, comfort the sorrowful, feed the hungry, tend the sick, befriend the loner, teach the young, counsel the bewildered, encourage the timid, and forgive the enemy. By your grace, multiply the effect of their individual efforts, that the curse of human misery may recede and the joy of living increase.

Teach us so to pray, loving God.

Teach us so to live, loving Christ.




Lord of life, please indwell our common days,

that in mind and soul we may be

            young enough to see brave visions

            and old enough to dream wise dreams.

Move freely, Holy Friend,

            and enlist us in the service

            of Christ’s brave new world.


                        From “Brief Prayers  Vol 3

                        Ó B D Prewer & Open Book Publishers.




There is no evening tiredness that Christ will not share;

no anxious day that can dawn, without Christ being first there.


There is no road to travel, no Christ-empty space,

no enemy to face, without Christ’s grace.


There is no joy to celebrate without Christ’s grin,

no sorrow to bear without Christ’s spirit within .



The awesome blessing of God Most Holy,

the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you now and evermore





              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.