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 20: 19-23  

            or John 7: 37-39

1 Corinthians 12: 3b-13             (Sermon 1: “Renewable Resources”)

            or Acts 2:1-21              

Acts 2: 1-21   

            or Numbers 11:24-30

Psalm 104: 24-30 & 35b.                       (Sermon 2: “The Kiss of Life”)




When the day of Pentecost arrived

they were all together in one place

and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.


Receive the Holy Spirit;

  like a rushing, cleansing wind

  like tongues of flame upon you

Receive the Holy Spirit;

  individuals joined as one body

  friend and alien, slave and free.

Receive the Holy Spirit;

  the breath of the risen Christ

  peace and forgiveness to be shared.


I will sing to God as long as I live.

I will sing praise to God while I have being.




The Wind of God blows where it will,

no one can chart its path or prescribe its boundaries.

            Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind,

            and it filled the house where they were sitting.


The Fire of God inspires the meek and the poor with gifts,

but no one can chose the day of inspiration or choose the kind of gift.

            And there appeared among them something like tongues of fire,

            distributed around resting on each one of them.


By the one Spirit we are all baptized into the one body of Christ,

whether we are born Jew or Greek, Australian or Indonesian.

            And we all have found refreshment

            in the one bountiful Spirit.

Bless the Lord O my soul

            I will praise my God as long as I have being.




Inflaming Fire, Source of our courage,

Holy Spirit we worship you.


Inflowing Grace, Source of our healing,

Holy Spirit we worship you.


Inflooding Joy, Source of our outgoing love,

Holy Spirit we worship you.


Awesome Friend,

we approach you with the liberty of the richly blessed.

Enlighten our minds to perceive you,

and enlarge our capacity to receive you,

that being together in one place on this day of Pentecost

may see us possessed by that whole-iness

which makes everything young again.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.





People of Pentecost, let us turn our faces to God, acknowledging the ease with which evil contaminates us, and seeking the mercy of Christ to cover all our sins.


Let us pray.


If the pervasive evil spirits of this secular world have insinuated themselves into our lives without us hardly realising it, please come with your Fire and incinerate the garbage.

Hear us merciful Christ.

Save us merciful Lord.


If we have allowed our own ego to slag our souls with tawdry wants and selfish scheming, please come with your Wind and drive the pollution far from us.

Hear us merciful Christ.

Save us merciful Lord.


If we have received your forgiveness with eagerness, yet have withheld forgiveness from those who have hurt, rejected or maligned us.

Hear us merciful Christ.

Save us merciful Lord.


Loving God, please forgive us and liberate us from these and all the others sins that can weigh us down or divert us. Fill us with the Spirit of Christ, and let his glory transform all that is rude and rough, twisted and foolish, tired and pessimistic. For your love’s sake.





Jesus breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

By his grace alone, I as a minister of the Gospel can promise all who repent and seek renewal: Your sins are forgiven!

Thanks be to God!


The peace of Christ Jesus, which surpasses all understanding, be with you always.

And also with you.






it sounds exciting stuff

but we do no understand all this Pentecost stuff.

Yet we do know that through the Lord Jesus

you are always present with us,

clean as the wind off the ocean

and as warm as a mother’s hug.


Please continue to come into our hearts,

and into our thoughts and dreams,

and into our hands and feet,

that we may be both strong and gentle

like the Lord Jesus Christ.





See Australian Psalms page 30-31

            Ó B. D. Prewer @ Open Book Publishers




Through skyscraper canyons

    you come, Holy Spirit,

down lanes and arcades

   you come;

from the north, from the south,

from within and without,

   like wind

   like wind

the roar of Pure Wind

you come

sweeping through

to renew.


In houses of parliament

   you come, Holy Spirit,

into lawmaker’s chambers

   you come;

from above, from below,

from ally and foe,

   as truth

   as truth

as the roar of Pure Truth

you come

sweeping through

to renew.


Through grand Gothic arches

   you come, Holy Spirit,

to choir and high altar

   you come;

from the west, from the east,

from the font and the feast,

   like fire

   like fire

the roar of Pure Fire

you come

sweeping through

to renew.

            From “Australian Prayers”

page 59, Second edition page 61.

            Ó B D Prewer and Ó Open Book Publishers




Loving God, in your generous mercy you sent upon your disciples the Holy Spirit with the burning fire of your love. May your people today be filled with the same holy fire, that always keeping close to you we may be enthusiastic in faith and vigorous in service.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                         (Gelasian, adapted)






Acts 2:17


“And in the last days, God declares,

  I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

 and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,

 your young men shall have visions

 and your old people shall dream dreams.” 


“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were gathered together in one place.

 And suddenly there came a noise from heaven like a mighty, rushing wind,

 and it filled the building where they were sitting.

 And there appeared something like tongues of fire, distributed to all and resting on each.

 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues,

 as the Spirit gave them speech.” Acts 2: 1-4


The limited nature of the earth’s resources is a challenge that occupies the mind of any conscientious citizen in this 21st century.  Yet we don’t have to go far back to recall the opposite attitude: “She’ll be okay mate. There’s plenty more where that came from.”  Many of us used to act as if the resources of this planet were inexhaustible.


The most obvious example was oil. For almost a 100 years we lived with the notion that oil reserves were virtually inexhaustible.  (Although, there were during the last twenty five years of that period, some dire warnings that at the present rate of exploitation.) Today we know those oil wells will be exhausted by the middle of the 21st century.


A similar short-sighted attitude was present (and still is in some quarters, as in successive governments of Tasmania) among those who exploit the forests of the earth. It is also present among short-sighted people who still clear and till marginal lands, whether it was here in Australia, or in the Amazon basin, or in African countries.


More recently, particularly here in Oz, the driest continent on earth, we have become acutely aware of limited supply of drinking water. Cities like Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, may well be under stage 2 or stage 3 water restrictions for the foreseeable future.


There is one other exhaustible resource which affects us all. Our years on earth.   When we are young a month seems a long time, and a year (between birthdays and Christmas) a vast expanse.  Life once seems almost endless, more than enough to satisfy any appetite. But by 40 or 45, we become aware that the years are starting to run out. Later again, those of us in the “bonus years” realise how brief is our stay on earth. We are prone to exclaim: “Good heavens! What happened to the last ten years?” Or when we meet up with old associates and recall past joint activities, we say: “Is it really twenty years since we did that together. Where did the time go?”


Our years are a precious resources; a precious non-renewal resource here on this planet. The terminus of death and decay suddenly draws near.




Every visible thing around us, and most of the invisible things, are ultimately non-renewable. The earth, the sun, the solar system, the whole universe, appears to be running down, and bit by bit falling into disorder. All is subject to entropy, in line with what we call the second law of thermodynamics...


There is one Thing alone which is infinite. One awesome Thing that is inexhaustible.  One awesome Entity that is prodigal in its generosity. Today we celebrate a vibrant aspect of that awesome Thing: we call it Pentecost.

“And in the last days, God declares,

  I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

 and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,

 your young men shall have visions

 and your old people shall dream dreams.”  Acts 2:17


Pentecost was a special blessing. We celebrate the day when the infant church became dramatically aware of the inexhaustible resource which we call the Holy Spirit, “poured out on all flesh”.


The Holy Spirit is God’s own presence with us. Not God in some distant heaven. Not God on some loftier plane of existence. Not some sub-god or archangel paying us a visit.  But the One God, holy beyond comprehension,  truly with us and within us in unique power. Like when Jesus was around, but even more widely available.


They were gathered together in the one place when out of the blue the something extraordinary happened. And I mean extra-ordinary! The disciples and their friends had been a small and vulnerable community. But on the day of Pentecost they no longer felt either small or vulnerable. They were ready to take on the world. 


The Holy Spirit did this. They had a personal experience of the awesome, lavish, intimacy and power of God. It was so amazing that they later struggled to convey what happened. They described it as a sound like a mighty, rushing wind which filled the whole building. Again they explained it as being like tongues of fire, resting on each head. That word “like” grapples with the difficulty of describing the extra-sensory nature of the Holy Spirit’s inflowing. It is beyond words yet they had to attempt to describe it in words.




We thank Luke for passing on to us those two metaphors: Rushing wind and tongues of fire.


“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were gathered together in one place.

And suddenly there came a noise from heaven like a mighty, rushing wind,

and it filled the building where they were sitting.

And there appeared something like tongues of fire, distributed to all and resting on each.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues,

as the Spirit gave them speech.” Acts 2: 1-4


Wind and fire?  It may be an abysmally inadequate way of describing the overflowing Presence of God, but it is better that offering no words. It is also, I suspect, a better way than trying to employ philosophical words. Metaphors take us closer to the truth than abstract statements from so called clever intellectuals. There is nothing abstract about the awesome Presence of God in our lives.


Wind and fire are two of the most kindly yet also frightening forces in our world.


The kindly wind, the very air that keeps us alive, in motion and sweeping through our cities and across our countryside, refreshing all living creatures of the land. 


The kindly, communal camp fire, and until recent centuries the family hearth in every home, warming cold bodies, cooking our food, giving us light, and providing protection against the enemies of the night.


Wind and fire. What blessings!


Yet as those who live in the tropical and subtropical parts of our continent can testify, the wind in cyclone form can exhibit awesome power. And the power of fire when let loose in our bushland can humble and terrify even the toughest bushman.


Wind and fire, the Holy Spirit of God resting on us and moving within us as individuals and communities. Awesome power and kindness. Wonderful metaphors for the Presence of the only truly inexhaustible energy in the universe. The holy, personal energy of God!




Thinking about the Holy Spirit on one hand should “scare the living daylights out of us.”  This is truly an awesome thing! The ultimate mega-awesome thing ! The Holy Presence of the Maker of all things seen and unseen. Our Source and our End. The Judge who reads our most secret thoughts. Scary stuff!


There is a time to tremble with awe. 


But on the other hand, thinking about the Holy Spirit should leave us trembling with love; filled with wonder, thanks and praise. The Holy Spirit is the very soul of our Divine Saviour and Friend; the very breath that sustains our life, the fire that warms our hearts and welds our faith and inspires our love for others.


We both worship and trust this Holy One whose resources are inexhaustible. Whose power forever makes all things new. Whose patience is greater than all human folly and whose mercy is deeper than all human wickedness. Whose grace is ever inclusive in its embracing of the lost, whose wisdom is the only ocean that can never be plumbed, and whose love is the only universe that can never suffer entropy.


No entropy. This never runs down or falls into disorder. The second law of thermodynamics has no hold over the Holy Spirit. All else may run down and may disintegrate, but not this Spiritual Reality. Eternally renewable energy? This is it!




Through circumstances beyond our control we may run out of gainful employment.

In ways we cannot anticipate we may run out of good health.

By the accidents of life, or by changing values, we may one day run out of friends.

Through the occurrence of disease or disaster we may run out of loved ones.

In the trials life we may run out of energy and exhaust all our reserves of optimism.

The hour will certainly come when we will have run out of time.


But there remains the Pentecost factor. The Holy Spirit who is the ultimate Friend and Counsellor (as Jesus promised) is to be with us forever. Forever! The one Source of ever-renewable life and love and holy joy!


Forever. With us and for us and in us forever!


For those who welcome and trust this Holy Spirit, hope and well-grounded optimism never runs out.


“And in the last days, God declares,

  I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

 and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,

 your young men shall have visions

 and your old people shall dream dreams.”  Acts 2:17





Psalm 104: 29-30


When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

when you take away their breath, they die.

When you sent out your Breath they are recreated,

and you renew the face of the earth.



Pentecost: One very big kiss of life!


On the day of Pentecost, we celebrate an extravagant, ecstatic event in the life of the infant church. There is a trap here: we may be tempted to think that ecstatic experience is the chief way the Spirit works.


Although I may enjoy times of ecstatic experience in my Christian pilgrimage, I must declare with all my soul that these are not the common way the Spirit works. I would be a fool and in grave error, if I for one moment preached that you all had to have experienced ecstatic moments before you could lay claim to having the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life.




The kiss of life has been with us from the beginning.


That is one reason why I am glad to make my starting point for this Pentecost message the Old Testament: Psalm 104.  The Holy Spirit was not an absentee up to the time of that first lively day of Pentecost.  From the beginning, by the Spirit of God all things are held in existence. Time and space are sustained by God’s Spirit. There has never been one place, or one second of time, when the Spirit has been absent. The Spirit is the nurturing power that enables all things to become.


In the poetry of Psalm 104, if God withdraws the Divine Breath, all returns to dust. If God breathes out the Divine Breath, all things will exist again.

When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

when you take away their breath, they die and become dust...

When you sent out your Breath they are recreated,

and you renew the face of the earth.


In Psalm 104  a believer from long ago delights in the beauty and extravagance of all creation. It is God’s doing, God’s generosity, held in bountiful existence by God’s Breath or Spirit.


In my transposition of Psalm 104 (in Australian Psalms) I attempt to express the scene in terms appropriate to the Australian landscape.


In the first travail of our planet’s birth,

   while earth’s crust settled and seas found their shores,

while mountains stood tall and valleys nestled below,

   you were present with a word insistent as thunder.

You were the One who first poured streams down valleys,

   letting the kangaroo drink and the cockatoo quench its thirst.

You saw the kookaburra settle in the scrub,

   laughing from among the branches,

while the mountain ash lifted high its head,

   and the river gums gave nesting place to owl and parrot.


The kiss of life, God’s Spirit-Presence, is the only thing which allows creation to exist, along with our human activities.


Your sun and moon revolve on,

   regulating our waking and sleeping;

after dark the wild creatures are on the move,

   then at dawn they slink back to their lairs.

In the rhythm of this good life we get up and go to work;

   tired, we come home at night to receive sweet rest.


From the beginning the Spirit of God is here. The great mothering Spirit is what makes it all possible. From Genesis: “And the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” The ordinary things we take for granted, are a part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.


There is much more. I don’t have the time today to speak of the ministry of the Spirit in raising up national leaders for the Jews. Or the ministry of the Spirit in the wonderful poetry of the Jewish people. Or the impact of the Spirit on those courageous moral visionaries who were the prophets of the Old Testament.




I must hurry on back to the New Testament. I remind you that it is the Spirit that enables the ministry of Jesus. Jesus received this kiss of life in abundance.


The Spirit is there in his baptism, temptations in the wilderness, preaching at his home synagogue at Nazareth, healing, teaching; reaching wide his arms and including the outcastes and misfits within the circle of his love. It is the Spirit of which Jesus speaks at the Last Supper. On Easter Day it is the Spirit that Jesus offers the disciples, when behind locked doors he comes and breathes on them and says: “Receive the Holy Spirit for the ministry of forgiveness”


Then came the day of Pentecost. It was as if the whole life, death and resurrection of Jesus had opened up in his followers a greater capacity to experience the ministry of the Spirit. Putting it another way, Jesus had carved in the hearts of his disciples a large space for the Spirit.


While they were all together in one place, there was this hour of Pentecostal extravagance. Of wonder, joy, and a new courage. The Spirit who had been with them from their birth, who had moved their hearts to respond to the call of Christ, who had wrestled with each one of them in their apprenticeship as disciples of Jesus, who had been in the breath of the risen Lord in the locked Easter room, now moved with power like a mighty wind and like tongues of fire. All bondage to fear, all uncertainty and timidity were blown way on the day of Pentecost.  They became inflamed with the love-courage of Jesus as the Spirit propelled them into action.


Unexpected and wonderful things followed.  Peter the coward with only fitful love for his Lord, who a few weeks earlier had been rattled by the teasing of a serving maid, now became the public preacher with a burning love who would not be silenced.  The scene was so ‘way out’ that even though it was not yet 9.00 a.m. the disciples were accused of being drunk. It was certainly a dramatic scene.


And the long term outcome? Year after year of loving service. Years of being faithful to Christ in words and deeds. Decades of the dedicated, tough discipline of living the love of Christ among many nations. Of becoming outcastes from the synagogues in which they had grown up. Of becoming persecuted, imprisoned; and for many of them it meant being slaughtered like their Lord had been. The day of Pentecost resulted in doing the hard miles in the company of the Spirit who had been from the beginning, but was now creating a new world through the ongoing mission of Christ in the world.


There certainly was some froth and bubble on the day of Pentecost. Just as there has been some froth and bubble at pivotal points of our own personal Christian experience, but the real outcome was indomitable love. I repeat what I have said on others occasions:  The only infallible sign of Holy Spirit that Jesus knew and shared, is love.  That is why St Paul places love at the pinnacle of all the possible gifts of the Spirit. Love is the litmus test.




When I was a young minister, I was considerably enriched by some writings of that early bishop of the Church of South India, Leslie Newbigin.


In one book he compared Pentecost with the striking of oil.  When a powerful flow of oil is achieved, there is a lot of excitement and action. It is a big, extravagant (and potentially dangerous) moment.  It is cause for uninhibited celebration. A wild scene.


But it is the result that really matters. It must be tamed and delivered to where it is needed. Unless the well is capped, and the oil directed through pipes, the fuss is worth nothing. The pipes running across the land look boring compared with the scene when the oil first flowed free. But that is where the whole event becomes fruitful. It would be infantile to want to recreate the excitement of the day when oil was first struck. If the oil can be disciplined for the well being of humanity, the strike is worth it.


My friends, if you are among those who have your extravagant moments of the Spirit, well and good. But unless these are channelled into love, that special brand of love shown by Christ Jesus, then you would be better without the ecstatic moments.  Love, both before and after Pentecost is the infallible sign of the Holy Spirit.


God is love The kiss of life is the kiss of incomparable love. Without love all things would ultimately fall into disarray and dissolution.


I return to the psalm 104

When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

when you take away their breath, they die.

When you sent out your Breath they are recreated,

and you renew the face of the earth.





Be thanked and praised loving God,

for the Spirit who opens our ears to hear you

saying to us through Christ: “I love you,”

and who enables us respond “And we now love you.”

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!


Be thanked and praised, loving God,

for the inspiration of your Spirit

in prophets, poets, composers and artists,

psalmists, scientists and scholars.

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!


Be thanked and praised, loving God,

for the Spirit’s gift of profound inner silence

when we can hear the heartbeat of creation

and know that all things work together for good.

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!


Be thanked and praised, loving God

for the Spirit’s work in bringing us together

into the fellowship of the Universal Church,

to be the Body of Christ serving the world.

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!


Be thanked and praised, loving God,

for the Spirit’s seeds of holy discontent

driving us to seek justice and peace for others

and greater love and courage for ourselves.

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!!

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!


Be thanked and praised, loving God,

for the Spirit’s generous gifts

which turn inadequate people into saints

and give a foretaste of a glory yet to come.

Your Spirit fills all things,

You are the joy of the universe. Hallelujah!




Holy Spirit, because you have come to us like wind and fire, this world can never be a barren and joyless place.


May all people and all nations make room for your Presence. May they come to recognise you, to trust you, and to love you. Then in loving you, may they find the resources to love one another.


Spirit of truth, inflame your children with a zeal for a reformation of communities and nations which is grounded in love. Give us a passion for justice and truth administered with grace and mercy. Teach the way of Christ in all things.


We pray, loving Spirit, for the comfort of your Spirit for all who are frail, diseased, injured or in sorrow. We name before you members of this congregation for whom we hold a special concern:.................................................................................................................................

Please shape, direct and bless all the powers of healing, and let trust and peace reside in every heart.


Today we commend to your care the many branches of your church. Especially we remember the other Christians who worship in this city/town/community. Those churches we know as Lutheran, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Churches of Christ, Assemblies of God, Salvation Army, Orthodox, Society of Friends, Anglican, Gospel Hall, and Uniting Church. May your Holy Spirit move among us like wind and fire and forge a new era of understanding, cooperation and witness to the world.


We give you thanks for the dear and holy dead, that wing of your church which has gone on ahead of us and for whom the trumpets have sounded on the other side. We thank you for all those especially precious to us, who now share the resurrection of Christ Jesus. By your Spirit give us the grace to so live and love, that in the hour of our death we may move on to join their joyful company.


Through Christ Jesus our Redeemer.





Leave behind in God’s keeping, the negative things with which you may have entered this church. Leave behind any anxieties or fears, hurt feelings or resentments, faithlessness or guilt or timidity.


Invigorated by the refreshing wind of the Spirit, inflamed with the fire of Divine love, face the new week with expectation, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith.


You will never walk alone.

The love of God will be with you, the grace of Christ will ever heal you, the friendship of the Spirit will encourage you through all your days.

Thanks be to God! 






              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.