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.



18-24 September


Matthew 20: 1-16                                             (Sermon 1: “Monkey Business”)

Philippians 1: 21-30

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45

            or Psalm 107:1-9

Exodus 16: 2-15                                                (Sermon 2: “Not What You Ordered”)




May the joy of Jesus or Nazareth be with you all!

And also with you!


In this spring season all of nature,

            the flowers and the birds,

            the trees and the wild animals of the bush,

            the sun-showers and the rainbows,

seem to be singing their appropriate praises to God.


Shall we, who have been placed as stewards among all created things,

be reluctant to sing the praises of the Most High?


O give thanks to our God who is so good,

whose love stands firm forever.

For Port Arthur to Cape York, from Broome to Coffs Harbour,

let everyone that draws breath give thanks to our God,

whose love stands firm forever!

Let the indigenous people of the land say it;

Let the descendants of convicts and settlers say it;

Let migrants from southern Europe say it;

Let the newcomers from Asia and the Middle East say it;

Let people from the Pacific Islands say it:

O give thanks to our God who is so good,

whose love stands firm forever!,




Give thanks and publish God’s fame,

among all races celebrate our Saviour’s deeds.

With your best songs and sweetest music

delight in all that God has done for us.


Glory in the Redeemer’s name,

rejoice from the bottom of your hearts.

In your worship find your true strength,

in praises celebrate God’s Presence.




Holy Friend, as we approach you with joy, please receive us with patient love, for our best thanksgiving is a gross understatement, and our purest praise is a puny thing compared to the glory that is yours. Yet what we offer you is offered in genuine gratitude, and the songs we sing rise from loving hearts. Through Christ Jesus, your True Son, our Brother and Lord.




            A thunderous hymn/song of praise just has to come next!!!  Go for it!!!




Sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, I doubt whether this congregation can be divided into the successful and the failures, the saints and the sinners.  Nor do I think the people of this church are either less or more deserving than the millions of unchurched around us. What I do know, and I hope you all know, is that we have access to a pure spring of Divine love that can cleanse the soul and renew every thirsty soul.


Let us pray.


Most loving God, among us there are many shades of both strength and need.

We are the people of much knowledge who lack wisdom,

the people of many possessions who lack fulfilment,

the people of abundant technology who lack hope,

the  people of pleasures who lack contentment,

the people of many comforts who lack peace,

the people of much pride who lack dignity,

the people of ideals who lack vigour,

the people of belief who lack faith,

the people of faith who lack love.


Most merciful God, please forgive our sins, cleanse our grubby motives, refresh that which is stagnant, and invigorate everything that shows promise in your eyes. In the name of  Christ Jesus our Saviour, we pray.





This is the truth: God was in Christ, not counting up our sins but pardoning our offences. As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us. With Christ as my sure authority, I declare to you: Your sins are forgiven!

Thanks be to God!


The peace of Christ be with you all.

And also with you.




Loving God, Jesus showed us

that all people are your favourites.


It’s hard for us to imagine

how you can love everyone

in a big crowd at a football game.

It’s much harder to imagine

you loving every person

among the millions on earth.

But you do,

and that’s really cool,

because that includes each of us.


Thank you God

for being so big-hearted

and kind to us all.



PSALM 105: 1-6, 37-43


Give thanks and publish God’s fame,

among all races celebrate our Saviour’s deeds.

With your best songs and sweetest music

delight in all that God has done for us.


Glory in the Redeemer’s name,

rejoice from the bottom of your hearts.

In your worship find your true strength,

in praises celebrate God’s Presence.


Never forget the wonders God has done,

the surprises and the dark judgements,

We are a people of faith like Abraham,

the new race that has been chosen to serve.


God had led out his called people,

not a despairing soul among them.

God’s cloud sheltered them by day

and the fire led them by night.


God was with them across the sands

and rivers flowed out of the rocks.

For meat the quails were sent,

the bread of heaven was plentiful.


All the sacred promises are kept by God,

by faith we are the children of Abraham.

Happily the people of God come out,

they chose to shout and sing their joy.

                                                                                                                        D. D Prewer 2004





                    Matthew 20:1-15


Should you preach

on the prodigal son

some hackles may rise in the crowd.

If you laud

the good Samaritan

excuses will come thick and loud.


But to praise

the vineyard of God

is to buy yourself a rough fight,

for the men

who have toiled all day

think they have earned the right.


We talk on

about faith and God’s love,

in our words we know the theme well,

yet deep down

in our devious minds

lurks the Pharisee from hell.

                                                                                                         ©  B.D. Prewer 1997





 MATTHEW 20. 1-16


What monkey business was Jesus up to when he told the parable of that most unconventional vineyard owner, and the wages he paid to his grape pickers? It offends many nice people.


It seems that even monkeys, if they could read, would get indignant about this offending parable.


A while back, while reading The Melbourne Age, I came across an intriguing report emanating from the University of Atlanta. I summarise that news item:


“Monkeys want to see justice done.”


At the University of Atlanta, researchers have been testing capuchin monkeys. They gave them the task of picking up a small granite stone and bringing it to the researcher within one minute. If they were successful, they were rewarded with the “wage” of a slice of cucumber. The scheme worked well. It was happy lab situation as long as each monkey received the same wage. This turned sour when the researchers varied the pattern. They tried giving one monkey a grape for its reward. Indignation broke out. First the others withheld their labour, and later they even took to throwing away the cucumber and the granite stone.


It had offended their sense of justice. That’s almost human isn’t it?  We are happy with our lot until we see someone in a similar situation who is better off. Then we cry foul! We want to go on strike and demand an end to such “monkey business”.




That is why the parable Jesus told about a quirky vineyard owner and his treatment of grape pickers, still “gets up the nose” of so many people today! Think about it.


The owner hires a number of casual workers at 6 am. He negotiates with them a generous wage, say $200 for twelve hours, and they go happily to work. Then at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 5 pm. the boss goes into the labour exchange and employs more pickers, and says simply to them: “Don’t worry, I’ll pay you fairly.” At six pm they all knock off. When they line up for their day’s wage, he starts with those who have put in a twelve hour day under the hot sunshine. Gladly they receive the $200 into their sweaty, work-soiled, weary hands. Gratefully they pocket it and start thinking about a jug of cool wine and a hearty dinner.


However, then the boss does a stupid thing. As the others line up he pays them all the same wage: $200 each! Including those pickers who only worked half a day, or a quarter. Even the last ones to arrive, who only put in one hour, have $200 placed in their barely-soiled hands.


Unfair! Unjust! The ones who worked the long hours take umbrage. The employer is soundly condemned. What had seemed a most generous wage a few minutes before now becomes an injustice.




It’s enough to make trade union officials have a stroke, and the other employers (all paid up members of the employer’s association) shake with confusion and fright. This indeed some kind of monkey business. And these smart monkeys will not like it.


What is the owners defence? “You were happy to agree with my generous offer, were you not? Why then should you complain if I extend my generosity to those who were not employed until late in the day. It’s my money. Surely I can handle it in ways that makes me happy?”


“O no you can’t!” shout the union officials. “O no you can’t” shout the employers association! Keep this up and there will be trouble. Demonstrations. Maybe riots. In fact, we will run you out of town or worse. Yes worse! We will even pervert the courts and get this stupid owner sentenced to prison. Or better still, hire some ‘terminators  and have this wilful  employer quickly taken out of the game. Crucifixion, in fact. That’s it! Crucifixion is what trouble-makers like this vineyard owner deserves.




As you can see, I have now already moved from the parable into the story of Jesus himself.


For Jesus represents God, who is that over generous owner of the vineyard (God’s kingdom) who intends to deal generously with all people. Any who come wanting a place to serve in his kingdom will be accepted and blessed.  They will receive something far better than justice. They will receive love. That overgenerous, overflowing, unearnable mercy of God.


If you. like many Pharisees, want to pay you own way, then forget about Christianity. If you think you have earned what God has offered you, then go off and be miserable. Complain piously about God’s monkey business.


Go out into cold night are mutter with any of those other mean-eyed workers who think they have been somehow cheated.  Throw the cucumber back at God. Throw the granite stone at God if that is what your mean soul is really on about. Forget about generous Christianity and go back to that unworkable mathematics of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Bargain your way into self delusion about your own righteousness; but don't expect to find any joy and laugher at the end of that chosen path.


The Jesus of Galilee and Jerusalem, of the cross and the empty tomb, is on about the prodigious liberality of the God who makes both rain and sunshine fall without discrimination of good and bad people alike.


Jesus delights in, and reveals, that One God who will always have mercy and abundantly pardon. The God who fills your cup to over flowing. The God who decrees that the first shall be as the last and the last shall be as the first. The God who like a patiently watching father, sees us while a long way off, sprints to greet the prodigal son or daughter, and welcomes them home with extraordinary hospitality. The God of abundant love who is reflected in Christ who, when at a wedding feast, turned water into wine; wine of top quality and far more of it than the guests could ever drink.


If you think you deserve special treatment from God, because of your loyalty through the years, your hard work in the church, or your service to the community, then think again. You are in the wrong vineyard.  Not one of us deserves the degree of love, the “wage,” that God offers us. The extraordinary overabundance is the same for all.




God’s treatment of us is the most sublime monkey business imaginable! Out of this world! Yet it is lavishly in this world!


It stretches our expectations beyond stretching point. It liberates us to become readily co-opted into a liberal way of living in community. A way where the sublime monkey business of God is shared open-handedly with one another without calculation or thought of later repayment.


If we have not understood this monkey business of Christ Jesus, then we have missed finding the pearl of great price.


Freely you have received. Freely give. And then you will not only experience the happiness of the angels in heaven, but also enter into the very joy of God.





Exodus 16: 6b-7a


I have heard the complaining of the people of Israel. Say to them: “At evening you shall eat meat and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread. Then you shall know for sure that I am the Lord your God.”    Exodus 16:12

“At evening you shall know it was the Lord who brought you out of slavery, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord.” 



Those who join the people of God on the long journey of salvation, will often find the going hard, and may at times feel exceedingly hungry and thirsty.


It’s a bit like the flustered waiter on his first day at work who said to a customer: “It’ not exactly what you ordered. But I hope you like it.”


There will be times when the food God gives us, is not at all “what we ordered.”




The troubles of the children of Israel were not over when they reached the other side of the Reed Sea and saw their pursuing Egyptian enemies engulfed by the returning tide. They had been slaves but now they were liberated. Yet their freedom brought them new challenges, new lessons to be learned in the school of hard reality.


Like some recent converts whom I have tried to counsel, they expected a trouble-free life once God had saved them. It was not so .The reality of travelling on the road of God took them through a wilderness. Water and food were in short supply. Limbs ached from the journey and the packs on their shoulders seemed to grow heavier. 


It was not long before they started whingeing! First it was about the water shortage. Then it was the matter of food. They reckoned Moses and Aaron had led them out of the frying pan into the fire. They complained bitterly:

            We wish we had suddenly died by God’s hand while we sat beside our cooking pots

            filled with meat, and having as much bread as we could eat. But now you have brought

            us into this awful wilderness to slowly starve us to death.


How soon people forget their previous miseries. How soon they start romanticising the past. Have you noticed how some new Australians, who have fled their old country either because of hardship, hunger, persecution or lack of any opportunity, soon start getting romantic about their previous life in their old country? Some of them save up money to pay their fare back, only to discover their memory had badly mislead them; the old places prove a sour experience. Then they can hardly wait to get back to Australian again.


The Israelites forgot the slavery, the hard labour, the whips wielded by slave drivers, and they remembered how at the end of a long day they had enough meat and bread to eat. But with Moses they had to live off the land, in a harsh environment. Moses and Miriam and Aaron, and their God Jahweh, were a bitter disappointment. “We would rather be dead than living like this!”




God was not impressed with their lack of trust.


They had been set free, wasn’t that something? They had miraculously crossed the Reed Sea, wasn’t that enough to kindle faith? They had been given a leader who had lived for forty years in this territory and knew it like the back of his hand; surely that showed how much God was in control of the situation? Moses, with his capable brother Aaron and his inspiring sister Miriam, were more than adequate for the task ahead.  Surely by now this liberated nation should start trusting God’s provid-ence.


God was not impressed with their faith-lessness. Food was already waiting for them. It may not be “what they ordered” yet there would have enough for their daily need. Why could not they place their trust in divine providence? God would provide.


Each year migrating birds moved in large numbers from the African continent to the southern European and the Asian land mass. In fact they still do, but in lesser numbers now. Most from eastern Africa flew over the Red Sea. (The western migration crosses the straits of Gibraltar.) For large birds like storks, crossing the Red Sea was easy, a real “diddle”. But for stumpy little birds like quail it took a major effort. Each evening hundreds of exhausted quail would flutter in for a landing on the Sinai Peninsular.


Moses, God’s chosen shepherd of the rabble of Israel, was now in a position to take them to the right place for meat.

            “In the evening quails came up and covered the camp.”

The exhausted quails were easy pickings. When the people most needed some meat, the God who always plans well ahead for the welfare of his people, had meat there for them.


It was the same with the manna. There are still parts of that wilderness where there grows a type of Acacia that which exudes a sugary sap. Which when it falls at night on the ground wet with dew, it forms crisp little flakes. The wandering herdsmen of the Middle East, whom we now call the Bedouin, still collect this delectable substance for food. This is the manna.

            “And when the dew had gone, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like

            thing, fine as hoar frost on the ground........... And Moses said to them, “It is the bread

            which the Lord has given you to eat”...........Morning by morning they gathered it,

            each as much as he could eat. But when the sun grew hot, it melted.”


Quail in the evening, manna in the morning. The people were well provided for. Providence was wonderfully at work on the hard road of salvation.




I remind you again that Moses had lived off the land in these parts for forty years as he tended the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro. God had not put a novice in charge of the liberated slaves.


I can’t stress this too much. From his childhood in the court of Pharaoh, Moses had been trained along with the princes and nobles of Egypt. This was the greatest civilisation in the world. He was educated in geography and astronomy, in the arts of leadership and government, in public and personal hygiene and health, in the training of soldiers and the strategies of war. He was, in our terms, a graduate in the royal academy; a Master of Science and Government Administration.


Then after that critical day he struck down a killed a cruel slave master, he fled to the wilderness and lived there for 40 years as a shepherd. This was the second stage of his preparation; a 40 year-long post graduate degree in survival in a harsh land.


Could there ever have been a leader more adequately prepared for a mission? This God of ours does not do things by half measures. First a basic training of forty years, then forty more years advanced training! “Full on” is how folk today might describe such a God.  All that is done is done well. There is an extravagant generosity in all that the God of Moses and Jesus undertakes.




We encounter that theme again in the Gospel Reading for today. It is the parable of the “Workers in the Vineyard.”


You will recall how it is set at grape picking time. The Owner (who is the God figure in the story) goes to the labour exchange and hires pickers from the waiting queue of unemployed men. He does this at 6 a.m., 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, and even at 5.p. m.  When they collect their pay the workers who missed out early, even the ones that started work at 5 p m, get paid an extravagant full days pay. Such prodigal generosity!


It is the same God who spent many, many years in training Moses. God does not do anything by half measures. There is a “full on” generosity in all things.


This is absolutely so even in those times when we might imagine God has forgotten us. It is so on those occasions when, like the Israelites, we start complaining and whingeing. God works on a large scale, over a vast tapestry of time, and creates purpose and pattern where we may imagine none exists. What God is doing for us is done with abundance; an abundance which we often do not notice until we look back years later.


What I said at the beginning I say once more: Those who join the people of God on the long journey of salvation, will often find the going hard, and at times feel very hungry and thirsty.

The temptation is to become whingers; to complain that God has let us down.


Yet the loving network of Providence is all around us, though we rarely recognise it; except in flashes of insight when many of the threads come together before our eyes. God is faithful and may be trusted to complete what Christ Jesus has started in your life and mine.


In some form or other, there will always be enough meat and bread for your Christian journey. “At evening you shall know it was the Lord who brought you out of slavery, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord.”  Exodus 16: 6b-7a






We delight, most loving God, in the continuing influence of Christ Jesus in this third millennium:

     Wonderful is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

In every stimulating advance we make, he is there, well ahead of us, asking us to go on in faith.

     What eye has not seen, or the ear heard, or the mind conceived,

     God has in store for those who love him.

Where we take a wrong turn and end up in a maze of contemporary doubts and anxieties, Christ is there to lead us through.

     You have not chosen me. I have chosen you. By grace you are saved,            through faith; not by your efforts but as a gift of God.

If we become disheartened by the ability of evil to adopt new forms and corrupt new achievements, he speaks with us.

     I will not leave you all alone; I will come to you. Cheer up, for I have           overcome the evil of this world.

When we are disgusted with our own folly and sin, in the name of God Christ forgives us and lifts us up.

     I did not come to condemn but to save. Daughter, son, yours sins are            forgiven you. Go in peace.

Whenever we are confused by the tough ethical decisions to be made by a citizen of this twenty first century, Christ is with us.

     Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all that you need will be given to you. Love one another as I have loved          you.

We delight, most loving God, in all that Christ once was, is now, and ever shall be.

     Neither life nor death, things present nor things to come, will be       able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord

                                    (This may be followed by a sung doxology.)





Holy Friend, you are the hope of all who call upon your name, teach us to pray with our hearts as well as with our lips, with our actions as well as our thoughts.


First we pray for our family members and dear friends, who are extra special to us.

            Bless those who are doing it tough: The unemployed or work-weary, handicapped or enduring pain, those trying to break a drug habit, coping with mental illness, or facing a slow death, and especially those who have no faith to guide and encourage them.

            Bless those who have big decisions to make: Whether to have surgery or not, or to change jobs, or return to study and retrain, or shift house, or to stay in a difficult marriage, move interstate or overseas, or to take legal action against an injustice.

            Bless those who are enjoying life: The happily married, those expecting a new baby, the ones who are successful in sport, those promoted at work, the ones who are newly in love, those who have a secure and growing faith, any who celebrate a birthday or anniversary.


And now we pray for those outside the circle of our loves ones. For neighbours and work colleagues, strangers in the street, our enemies and the host of people who are only faces and names in news programmes.

            Bless them according to their respective needs we pray. Everything we ask for our loved ones we also ask for them.

            Bless those who are doing it tough. Bless those who are facing difficult decisions. Bless those whose who are enjoying life.

            Bless those who are trying to be reconciling agents wherever war and terrorism is happening. Be with those victims of war, those soldiers forced to fight against their better judgment, civilians losing home, limbs or life, and the host of young orphans.


            For every human being we seek the guiding, nurturing, inspiring friendship of the Holy Spirit, the redeeming, challenging, healing love of Christ Jesus, and the undergirding, enfolding, ever-enduring love of God.


To you be given all trust and thanksgiving, love and praise, today and forever.





We began this worship-event with thanksgiving.

I call on you now to move out into the world with thanksgiving.

            O give thanks to our God who is so good,

            whose love stands firm forever.


Let thanksgiving enhance the joys you experience, let thanksgiving transcend the pains you may suffer, let thanksgiving sweeten the duties you must perform, let thanksgiving underpin even the griefs you may have to endure.

            O give thanks to our God who is so good,

            whose love stands firm forever.


The love of the Redeemer,

the love of the Creator,

the fellowship of the Counsellor,


will be with you now and always.






              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

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.