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.



John 14:1-14                                         (Sermon 2: “In my Father’s House”)

1 Peter 2:2-10

Acts 7: 55-60                            (Sermon 1: “Seeing it through to the End”)

Psalm 31:1-5 & 15-16




Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!


We have every reason not to let our hearts be troubled,

not to be afraid of anything in life or death.

We are a chosen race, royal priests, God’s own people,

ready to declare the wonderful deeds of the One who called us

out of the darkness into glorious Light.


Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!




Christ lives, death has lost its sting

Christ lives, the grave has lost its victory.


Come to Christ, the living stone that was rejected,

and build on him, with yourselves as living stones,

build yourselves into a spiritual home.

Be for me, loving Lord, a rock and a fortress.

Into your hands I commit my spirit,

for you have redeemed me, most faithful God.




Holy Friend, on this autumn day, with the golden leaves falling and the crisp morning air invigorating our bodies, we come in the name of the risen Christ to worship you.

Yet we know that in one sense our efforts are doomed to failure. This world will never be big enough to contain the thanks and praise that is due for your saving deeds in Jesus of Nazareth. Nor will the church be ever joyful enough to rightly celebrate the blessings you have lavished upon your called people.

Nevertheless we approach you with sincerity, knowing that you understand our shortcomings and are not in the least put off by our inadequate love and praise. O most wonderful God, let there be at least one second when we get it right today! Through Christ Jesus our everliving Lord.





The Bible says that nobody is completely good. Deep down, we each know how true this is  and come now to publicly admit it to ourselves and to God.


Let us pray


Holy God, whom  Jesus called “Dad” please identify our individual needs, and deal with the poverty of both our goodness and wisdom.


Among us there are those who come here with no particular sense of sin and shame.

Others come with painful memories of sins wilfully committed.


Among us are those who have tried hard, failed sometimes, yet refuse to be discouraged.

Others come who are despondent because they gave in to temptation without much struggle.


Among us are those who have surprised themselves with the wisdom they have displayed.

Others come overwhelmed by the sense of their own short-sightedness and stupidity.


Yet all of us are the same before you.

Success or failure is not measured by our scales in your kingdom.


Our best efforts are veined with impurities,

yet our worst days have flecks of glory that we might not notice.

At all times and places, you are there for us, forgiving our sins and refining our virtues.


At this moment you offer us the rescuing grace which enables new beginnings.

Please give as the faith to accept your healing, to be embraced by it, and be uplifted by it. Through Christ our Saviour.





My forgiven sisters and brothers, it is time to be up-beat! Once you may have felt yourselves to be “nobodies, but now you are truly God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”


Thanks be to God!




Dear God, our best friend,

            let us lean on you whenever we are weak,

            and trust you whenever we feel strong.

Whenever we are shy, make us more confident,

            whenever we are too cocky, make us humble,

whenever we are afraid, make us brave,

            whenever we are foolish, make us sane;

and whenever we get things right,

            let us be as happy

            as the children of God

            have a right to be.

Through Jesus

our Saviour.




*[Note: the following Psalm may be interchanged

 with Psalm 33:1-12, Pentecost 3.]



PSALM 31: 1-5 & 15-16


In you, my God, I look for safety,

            please don’t let me be ridiculed.

Through your saving truth deliver me,

            turn an ear and speedily save me.


Be as solid as Uluru under me

            and like a fortified wall around me.

You really are my rock and fortress,

            true to yourself you guide and guard me.


Divert me from the traps set for me,

            for in you alone I am rock solid.

I place my very breath in your hand,

            for you have surely redeemed me.


Whatever time I have is in your hands;

            save me from those who are out to get me.

Smile on me, your lowly servant,

            keep me safe in your unwavering love.

                                                ©  B.D. Prewer 2000




The only time I feel okay, is with you God,

            please don’t let me make a fool of myself.

In all your saving grace set me free,

            listen and come quickly to my rescue.


I want you securely under my feet like Uluru,

            and all around me like Wilpena Pound.

I need you at my side to steady me;

            your love to guide and guard me.


Alert me to the traps that are set for me,

            with you I dare walk with confidence.

Into your hands I commit my spirit;

            with you I am redeemed.


Whatever time I have left is up to you;

            save me from those who are out to get me.

Smile on me as I try to serve you,

            hold me in your unconditional love.

                                                                        © B.D. Prewer 2001





            John 14


Don’t be troubled,

don’t be afraid,

if you trust God

then also trust me,

I go on ahead

and when you arrive

I will be there.


When you stumble

in the wild tempest,

when you flinch back

from the new frontier,

don’t be troubled,

don’t be afraid,

I will be there.


When you toil long

without much reward,

when you bend low

with sorrow and care,

don’t be troubled,

don‘t be afraid

I will be there.


When you are tired

of spending your faith,

when you’re alone

with doubt and despair,

don’t be troubled

don’t be afraid,

I will be there


When you are frail

and old eyes grow dim,

when you are dying

leaving those dear,

don’t be troubled

don’t be afraid,

I will be there.


Now comes my cross,

now is my glory,

I’m the beginning

and I am the end,

don’t be troubled

don’t be afraid,

I am your Friend.

                        © B.D. Prewer 2001


** Alternative poem--




    John 14


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

my going away

is your complete gain.


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

the lone buried seed

will bear golden grain.


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

though all becomes dark

it’s light that shall reign.


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

when I’m in the tomb

foul death has been slain.


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

at the dawn and dusk

I shall come again.


Do not be troubled

do not be afraid

all things are changing

but I shall remain.

                        © B.D. Prewer 2001





Acts 7:59


And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed:

 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Acts 7:59



We sometimes sing:

            “O Jesus I have promised, to serve you to the end”


Will we or won’t we? Has our commitment to Christ got the staying power?


Stephen did. Stephen, the first person recorded as dying a violent death for his faith in the crucified and risen Christ. He served Jesus until the very end.




Stephen emerges in the pages of the Book of Acts at a time of tension in the primitive church at Jerusalem. It was tension between Christian converts who had come from orthodox Judaism and other Christians who had come from more liberal attitudes and customs.


There had been objections raised by one group of converts against another. The complainants were Greek speaking Jews. These were called Hellenists, members of those many Jews, scattered around the Mediterranean world, who for whatever reasons had now returned to live in Jerusalem.


The Hellenists had adopted some Greek ways, sometimes gave their children Greek names, often dressed in the Greek or Roman style, and even had their own synagogue in the holy city. Their worship was conducted in the Greek tongue. They gave their synagogue a provocative name: The “Synagogue of Freedmen.” In our language we might well call it “Liberty Chapel”


The local Jews, especially those in Judea, born and bred in their holy land, saw themselves as the authentic children of Abraham. Not like that permissive mob at Liberty Chapel.

They used only the venerable Hebrew language when they worshipped in their synagogues and temple. Their everyday language was the common Aramaic, which was akin to Hebrew. They adhered to the old customs of dress and life style.


These locals liked to disparage the Hellenists. (Just as today some of the conservative synagogues of Melbourne are wary of the liberal synagogues of Adelaide, or the more conservative Anglicans of Sydney look askance at the more liberal Anglicans of Melbourne) The conservative Judeans in Jerusalem saw the Hellenists as cross-cultural, wishy-washy, second grade Hebrews.




As Christianity spread in and around Jerusalem, converts came both from the local, conservative Jews and from the Hellenists. The old attitudes seem to have carried over in the new community of faith. It looks as if the converts from conservative Judaism, may have been less than generous to the ex-Hellenists. Therefore he Hellenists complained that in the daily distribution of food to the needy members of the church, the Hellenists were being ignored in favour of the born and bred locals.


[Pause. When we read this kind of thing, it becomes obvious how alike they and we are. The first Christians did not have a perfect church. It was not all milk and honey. They were flawed, just as we are in this congregation. They held divergent opinions and attitudes. Any attempt by us to idealise them and put ourselves down is erroneous. For all their enthusiasm, for all their achievements, they were misshapen sinners being slowly re-shaped by the Spirit of Christ. Much of that re-shaping neither came easily nor quickly.]


One must award the Apostles an accolade for their handling of this discontent. The Apostles saw enough truth in complaint from the Hellenists to act swiftly. They called a meeting of the followers of Christ and asked them to select suitable persons to take care of social welfare matters. Five men were elected, and with prayer and the laying on of hands, these were ordained.


Among them was Stephen, a man “full of grace and wisdom.” It is no coincidence that Stephen is a Greek name. As are the names of the other four deacons. The young church was trying hard to put right any wrongs that may have been done to the Hellenist Christians.




The brief story of Stephen unfolds quickly in the Book of Acts. He was evidently a fluent preacher. His outspoken oratory in the cause of the risen Christ Jesus got up the noses of his old associates in Liberty Chapel.


It was bad enough that he had converted; gone over to the Christian sect. But those heretics had now appointed Stephen to a respected office. That he was doing an outstanding job increased their anger.


These trouble makers from Liberty Chapel, swallowed their pride and past sour relationships with the conservative Jews, and went off to the temple authorities and laid complaints. They claimed that Stephen was slandering the holy Jewish faith.


He was brought before the ecclesiastical high court for judgement.


            O Jesus I have promised, to serve you to the end?


Would he or wouldn’t he?


Stephen was not cowered by the situation. He gave an eloquent address to the big-wigs, extolling the glories of the past great leaders of Israel, but reminding them that their forefathers had in fact persecuted the prophets.  He hit a raw nerve when he exclaimed:

            You are a stiff-necked people, unconverted in your ears and heart, you always resist

            the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Were there any prophets at all

            who your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who proclaimed in advance

             the coming of the Righteous Leader [Jesus] whom you have betrayed and murdered.


This did not exactly go down well with the high court. Stephen was hauled out of the city and stoned to death. Then comes the most remarkable bit. As he was dying he echoes the dying words of his Lord:

            “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

His last words were merciful, like that of Jesus on the cross.

            “Lord Jesus, do not hold this sin against them.”


There we have it. A clear case of “O Jesus I have promised, to serve you to the end”


O yes!


Marvel, my friends, at how much this Hellenist Christian, young in the faith, had absorbed of the Spirit of Jesus. No wonder the name Stephen (or Stephanie) has been a popular Christian name, lovingly bestowed on children at baptism in every generation since.




If practising what we preach, is the test of authentic faith, then the man we know as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, passed his finals with a high distinction.


It is the finals that count.  It is easy to set off with enthusiasm in the first semester of the first year, and roll out good marks. But as time goes on, things do not get any easier. To be able to finish what we started, to fulfil what we promised, to achieve that for which we prayed, is a precious blessing. Stephen achieved that


When the 20th century German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was in one of Hitler’s prisons, awaiting execution, he wrote harshly against the cowardice of a fellow believer who was in the same prison...


This fellow believer had been an outspoken man in a position of high status before the Second World War. It seemed to Bonhoeffer that to have spoken so effulgently about suffering for the cause, but to have whinged so self-pityingly in prison, was a disgrace.  As Bonhoeffer saw it, we should not open our mouth in favour of Christ unless we mean to see it through to the end.


Sometimes I think Bonhoeffer was being unduly harsh on his fellow Christian.


Maybe I feel that way because deep down inside me I am uneasy, even anxious, about whether my faith would stand up under such a painful ordeal.  I have preached many sermons, but would I live them faithfully under the most adverse conditions. I guess I will never know for sure until I come to the end of the road.


“O Jesus I have promised, to serve you to the end”


Stephen did. And Bonhoeffer did, throughout his incarceration in Hitler’s prisons, and all the way to the scaffold.


Will I or won’t I?


Will we or won’t we.


We certainly won’t see it through gloriously if we waver now, even in the easy days. Not if we become lukewarm when there is no chill in the wind. Not if we surrender to soft options when Christ calls us to stand tall and hang tough. Not if we give in to the pin pricks, when the “arrows of an outrageous fortune” have not as yet struck us.


Will we or won’t we keep the faith to the end?


“O Jesus I have promised, to serve you to the end”





John 14:


In my Father’s house are many guest rooms, if there were not, I would have told you.


My thoughts this morning are reflections on that word “Father”. It is not so much a sermon as a  a frank, personal explanation about my use of language in prayer and liturgy.


The Gospel reading for today, that most beautiful 14th Chapter of John, is heavily freighted with the word “Father”. It is used eleven times in the first eleven verses.


As I think about calling God “Father”, I am conscious of at least three groups of people in the world wide church and also here in this congregation.

-- There are some for whom the word “Father” is a most precious way of speaking with God.

-- There are some for whom the word “Father” is more of a barrier, a real “turn off.”

-- There are many who do not mind, either way, as long as we address God with a sense of

    holy intimacy, appropriate for those who have glimpsed God’s glory in Christ Jesus.


How can a pastor do justice to these three groups of people?  How can one take seriously the pleas of one group without alienating the other groups?




Let us feel our way into this important issue a little more, by exploring three issues.


First up, I remind you that the kind of words we use does matter. Language is not something out there, abstract and remote from us. Words are intimately meshed with our whole personal world of feeling and thinking.  Words affect our psyche, shaping us within, moulding our attitude to others and to ourselves. The actual words we use in prayer shape our identity and our style of faith. Words are powerful.


Secondly, many words do not have exactly the same meaning for one person as they do for another. When I use the word “God,” a flock of variant meanings take flight within this congregation. The same with the word “Father”. For some of you the word father conjures up

feelings of being provided for, respected and lovingly cherished. For some others “father” awakens feelings of bullying, abuse, aloofness or absence. (Of course, the same kind of thing applies to the word “mother.”)


Thirdly, moving on to doctrine, I clearly see that the Trinitarian concept of God, the precious mystery at the heart of Christianity, may appear to an observer to project a very masculine view of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all appear in English as masculine. This concept of Trinity may appear to push aside those Divine attributes of tender nurturing and intuitive wisdom which are more commonly thought of as feminine attributes.


[Pity that. For the Jews, in the Old Testament,  spirit is feminine. As an aside, I would remind you that as a masculine view of the Trinity became dominant in the Roman world, the veneration of, and prayer to, the Virgin Mary became increasingly popular. That is, people craved a transcendence which included the feminine attributes.]


But this traditional Christian description of God as Father is basic to the historic, Christian faith, isn’t it? It is rightly enshrined in the creeds, isn’t it?




I will attempt to give you my present position. I may be misguided, I may be wrong, but at least you will be able to see where I am coming from.


When I call God Father I try not to think of my father but of the Father of Christ. That is the sole

ground for understanding the Fatherhood of God. The lovely personality  nature of Christ gives unique content to the word Father when used Biblically and in worship.


However, in my personal prayer and meditation, I rarely use the word “Father” for God.

Why? I find too much cross contamination in my psyche. My own role as a father is so flawed, my own dear dad was so patchy, that I do not find the word so helpful. No matter how hard we try to focus on the Father as revealed by Christ, feelings associated with my poor fathering, and that of my Dad, get in the way.


In public prayers and liturgies, I rarely use the word “Father”. Why? Because for some folk in the fellowship (like the man in one parish who in his childhood was terrorised by a brutal father, and like the woman who was sexually abused by her father) that word ‘Father” applied to God rakes up feelings which become a monumental barrier to prayer and devotion.


However, when it comes to Jesus and his use of “Father”, it is most important that we hear him. Jesus  was  revolutionary.  He shocked the religious establishment with his use of the Aramaic  Abba”. This was the child’s word for a loving father; our nearest equivalent is “dad” or “daddy”. Abba carried the sense of tenderness, intimacy, joy and freedom in the presence of a most loving parent.


It contrasted with the blinding glory of the terrifying power and authority of Yahweh, which was held by many of his Jewish contemporaries. It also contrasted with the  philosophical abstractions of his Greek contemporaries.


Abba is a very special word in the Christian story. Even in later Greek texts early Christians did not translate it into Greek but retained the Aramaic form.  It was their Saviour’s special word for God; a revolutionary way of talking about God.


Each generation must find appropriate ways of expressing, in the common speech of their era, theAbba that was dear to the soul of Jesus, and that Father of Christ Jesus who appears in the ancient benedictions and creeds.




When it comes to my own prayers, as I said earlier, I rarely use “Father”. Rather, I attempt to find in the idiom of this age, those words that reflect the both nurturing strength and the humble glory of God which  Jesus encapsulated, for his era, in that word “Abba.”


It is not an easy task. I suspect that sometimes I almost succeed but often I dismally fail. I don’t want to use words that exclude people. I yearn for people to experience that Holy Intimacy which Jesus revealed, and for which he used his own word of ‘Abba.”


I realise how attached some of you are to the word Father. If it works for you, there is no way I would want to talk you out of it. But please realise, using it publicly may be placing a barrier between some listener and God.


[The word “mother”, employed by some past ors, can be just as unhelpful. Some have suffered under neglectful or cruel mothers and the words will always evoke in them affront and pain. Is that what we really wish to convey? Those of use who lead public worship do well to weigh this carefully.]


My driving passion is that we should encourage as many as possible to love, honour and enjoy the inclusive God that Jesus came to reveal to us. I want people to wallow in the strong, nurturing love of this God. I want people to leap into the arms of this inclusive God.


You still may disagree with me; some of you mildly, some of you emphatically. That is okay too. That may discomfort me and dent my preacher’s pride a little; but it certainly won’t discomfort God.




To summarise:  The 14th Chapter of God is thick with the word “Father,” which reflects the way Jesus spoke of his “heavenly Abba.”


I believe that in translations of the New Testament, and in creeds, we should stay with this language as a part of our unique heritage.


For myself in personal prayer, and also when I lead public worship, I prefer to use other words to express the “Abba-ness” which so enthralled and saturated Jesus.


Our goal, I believe, should be to use language that includes as many people as we can, without diluting the Gospel entrusted to us. We are to be an inclusive people, just as Christ has so included us in his own family. We can all try to do that, but not at the expense of diluting the faith committed to us.




Thank God! In the last analysis, it does not all depend on the success or failure of our use of words. God is accustomed to bringing glory out of “clay pots.” God’s grace can still flame out in and through our most inept, though sincere, endeavours.


If I did not believe that, I would have given up preaching years ago!





Thanks and unceasing praise is due to you, loving God, for all the majestic wonders of creation and redemption.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise be yours for the distinctive features of our Australian landscape: Its wide red centre and worn down old mountains, its green coastal valleys and fertile plains.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise be to you for the special flora and fauna of our land: Banksias, golden wattles, and flowering gum trees; flocks of budgerigars, and kangaroos and wombats.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise be to you for aborigines who have lived here for 50 millennia, for their art and wisdom, communal caring and generosity, and their respect for creation.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise be to you for the recent waves of migration: English, Scots and Irish, Chinese, German and Italian, Vietnamese, Greek, Polynesian, Jew, Arab and Timorese.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and praise be to you for every spiritual heritage that has contained shafts of

your true light, and for the many Christian denominations that try to serve you in this land

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise be to you for the unique life of Christ Jesus. For his intimate trust in you, his freedom to call you Abba, his selfless love of others, his  revealing parables, his dying for our sakes, his rising to be ever with us.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.


Thanks and unceasing praise is due to you, loving God, for all the majestic wonders of creation and redemption.

You have done great things for us;

Yours is the glory, beginning and end.







Let it never be said, loving God, that your church neglected to both pray for and serve the world in its multiplicity of needs.

Although we cannot do everything

enable us to do some things.


For the oppressed and forgotten people of our nation and world we pray, that the grace of Christ will, through his servants, come to their aid.

Although we cannot do everything

enable us to do some things.


For the unemployed and the unemployable, those who are grossly overworked and underpaid, and all who have seen the results of years of toil collapse around them, we pray.

Although we cannot do everything

enable us to do some things.


For the disinherited indigenous people of this and others countries, for their health and education, for the fostering of their culture, and for their leaders, and for those non-aborigines who work with them for justice and reconciliation, we pray.

Although we cannot do everything

enable us to do some things.


For the frail and the sick in this congregation and beyond, for the handicapped and those who suffer constant pain, for those dying slowly and all who care for them, for the bereaved and loving friends who reach out to console them, we pray.

Although we cannot do everything

enable us to do some things.


Loving God, by your adoption we are your family; like children we pray to you, asking for the blessing of your hands laid upon us, that we may with courage and compassion, work with the other members of your family with humility and good humour.

Through Christ Jesus our Brother and Saviour.





This service is ended. The larger service begins.


Go on your separate paths never forgetting the treasure you hold in trust


We are a chosen race, royal priests, God’s own people,

called to declare the wonderful deeds of the One who called us

out of the darkness into glorious Light.


The nurturing, fatherly love of God always hold you in strong, everlasting arms.

The costly, brotherly love of Christ ever walk beside you and deliver you from all evil.

The dependable, motherly love of the Spirit ever enfold you with holy warmth.




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My Best Mate,  (first edition 2013)

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

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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

b_mbm.jpg b_ap2.jpg b_jof.jpg
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.