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 2: 820                               (Sermon 2: “Sign Language”)


Isaiah 62: 612

Psalm 97   


          John 1:114....                                       ( Sermon 1: (“The power to Become.”)

          Hebrews 1:14 (512)....

          Isaiah 52: 710....

          Psalm 98




May the holy merriment of Christmas be with you all!

And also with you!


How beautiful upon the mountains,

and among the coastal cities and towns,

and across the red outback plains,

            are the feet of those who bring good tidings,

            who publish the coming of peace,

            who bring good tidings of great joy,

            who publish salvation,

            who say to God’s people:

            ‘Your God certainly reigns!”


To you is born this day in the city of David

a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. this day

            Christ is born indeed! Hallelujah!




No more do we wait for some new Messiah.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

The stars proclaim his righteousness

and all peoples behold his glory.


To you is born this day, in the city of David,

a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.

The stars proclaim his righteousness

and all peoples behold his glory.


And this will be a sign for you:

you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths

and lying in a manager.

The stars proclaim his righteousness

and all peoples behold his glory.


This day may the unfathomable joy of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all

And also with you.




Most wonderful God, with unspeakable love you have given us your Son, to fully take our human nature, and be born of a young woman. Please let it be, that we who have found new birth by your Spirit and have been adopted into your family, may look up to our divine Brother with hearts filled with awe, love and praise. Through this same Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit humbly rule and fill all things.





Let us marvel at God’s love, and trusting that love, confess our sins.


Let us pray.


What is it with you, holy God? What is that caused you to seek us out from the inside of life, as truly one of us, through your Son born in the stable at Bethlehem?


What is it with you except love; the most holy, unspeakable love; a love that arrives to seek and save the lost, no matter what it costs you?


God of incarnate love, we who are often confused and frustrated, rebellious and delinquent, come to your saving love this Christmas Day. We come confessing our sin and seeking your forgiveness, on each of us and on this tumultuous world.


Loving God, we confess to each other and to you-:

We are far from fulfilling our Christmas hope with appropriate deeds.

We are far from fairness and justice in the distribution of this earth’s bounty.

We are far away from peace; in our hearts, in our relationships, and with the world.

We are far from that good will that builds up families and communities.

We are far from a spiritual graciousness where all are valued and respected.

We are far from endorsing that new age which the angels proclaim and our carols celebrate.


Holy Saviour, by all the mighty, humble grace of your Incarnation, please continue to seek and save us all. Pity our wanderings, cut down our pride, and forgive our unloving ways. May the light from Bethlehem’s stable uncover our sins and lead us to your liberation and healing. Through Christ Jesus, child of Mary yet the very Child of God.





My sisters and brothers in the faith, it is forever written: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Let this Christmas message be the Word which today absolves you, sets you free, gives you peace, and lifts up your hearts with joy and thanksgiving.



The peace of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, be always with you!

And also with you!




Come, sing a new song to our God,

who does the most amazing things!

Now a human hand shares God’s strength;

authority rests in a Baby’s arm.


The gentle power of God is openly displayed,

gracious justice is shown to the nations.

Jewish people are not forgotten,

they first witness God’s faithfulness.

Every other place on the face of the earth

now also sees God’s indomitable love.


Join the celebrations, everyone,

break out into joyful applause!

Praise God with guitar and keyboard,

with flute, fiddle and pipe organ.

Join in with trumpet and drums,

to acclaim the Presence of Christ.


Let all the seas and oceans roar,

the land and all living things on it.

Come on rivers, clap your hands,

and mountains shout together for joy

as God comes to govern our planet

with a justice that heals the nations.

                                                                                          © B.D. Prewer 2000


Another version can be found in “Australian Psalms” page




The Word came among us,

completely for us,

without meteor or thunder.

Truly one of us

the Word incarnate,

yet many did not recognise

this Wonder.


            Shepherds knew it;

            unwashed and irreligious,

            unchurched and illiterate,

            yet at home under open skies.


From the beginning,

before the beginning,

the Wonder was there.

Totally beyond us

yet forever with us,

the Word of Life

embodied here.


            Those angels came;

            the messengers from God,

            with an unlikely announcement

            that rationalism decries.


Grace and truth,

the elemental Glory,

the Wonder on earth.

Light of the True Light

coming to its own

in the common travail

of human birth.


            In a stable;

            the smell of dung, an infant’s cries,

            a young mother and newborn son,

            a tale only True-God could devise.

                                                                        Ó B D Prewer 1999





We rejoice, loving God, in the Child who has been given to us,

            whose coming not only lights up our dark nights

            but also enlightens each day with a holy radiance

            that neither human evil nor fateful disaster can ever extinguish.

May the incarnate love of this Brother and Saviour,

            fill us with all joy and peace in believing,

            and shape our lives for the well being

            of all those with whom we share ours days and years.

May there be praise and glory on earth and in heaven to You,

            who with the Son and the Holy Spirit

            are to be adored and served for ever and ever.




He came to his own people, but his own would not receive him. But those who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God.” John 1:1112


Tragedy and joy. Both tragedy and the joy are present in this text. Joy for those who received Christ at his coming. Tragedy because many of his own Jewish people rejected him.


We are here this morning, I hope, because we are numbered among the receivers. We have entered into the joy of becoming children of God. We celebrate the birthday of Jesus, and we do so because of what he had done for us. And as we celebrate, the blessed regeneration which this Jesus brings will continue to happen in our lives. Every celebration of Christ’s coming offers a fecund environment for regeneration.




In other places with other people, there may be much feasting and drinking on this birthday of Christ, but not because they have received him. Indeed they have either rejected him, or maybe, never taken him seriously enough to sincerely enquire of him. For such people, Christmas is hollow at the centre, and although it is a holiday, it will leave them empty, soul weary, and unregenerate.


Festivals that lose touch with their roots, yet persist, are ironic performances, without a soul. It is my hunch that among those who try to celebrate Christmas most vigorously and wildly, are found those whose spiritual tank is empty. For a brief few hours such people desperately want Christmas to mean something, yet in the aftermath know that for them it was a pathetic charade.




On the other hand, the most profound joy is alive in those hearts and minds that have received the living Christ, and who have been granted the power to become children of God. For these people, it means that even in times of personal pain or sorrow there is still much for them to celebrate.


Some of you who have come here today for this Christmas celebration, do so grieving the absence of a loved one with whom you have shared numerous previous Christmas Days. Others of you celebrate even though there is a grave health cloud over your future, or you are caught up in difficult career or relationship hassles. But the love you have for the Christ Jesus whom you receive into your life, allows you to tap into a profound joy, so that pain and happiness coexist, and tears and smiles mingle together.




John’s Gospel tells us that we are given the “power to become children of God.” The word translated as “power” (exousia (John never uses the word dunamis) is a rich one. It can mean power in the sense of energy and strength, yet it can also most commonly mean power in the sense of authority and right.  I believe it carries both meanings in this passage.


We have both the right and the strength to become children of God; the authority and the power. In spite of those sour pessimists who tell us that we humans are only one temporary plague of animals grazing on the face of this planet, we are told by the Gospel that we have the right, the authority, to become children of God. We can become something truly transcendent.


In spite of all our own mistakes and defeats, and of the snide remarks of the cynics around us, we are told by the Gospel we are given the strength to become children of God. We will indeed be reshaped into the likeness of the Christ whom we have received.




Christmas throws us back on to the basic question. Basic both in the evangelical tradition of the church and in the sacramental one: Have we received Christ? Welcomed all that we understand of him into the centre of all that we understand of ourselves?


Whether this Christmas will be for us a holy event or a hollow event, swings on that question and our answer. Have we received Christ?


He came to his own people, but his own would not receive him. But those who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God.”





And this shall be the sign to you: You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths

and lying in a manager.


That’s typical of our God! Always understating things! God even employs such a low key sign that many miss the word. The special sign that witnesses to the beginning of earth’s unique visitation is just a little baby, wrapped up in a bunny rug, and lying on straw within the feed bin of a cow shed. 


We humans like big signs, big events, lots of overstatement.  Witness the mighty machismo that goes on before a football grand final. Witness the extravaganza that precedes the opening of an Olympic Games. Witness the glitz and shallow razzle-dazzle of an Oscar’s ceremony. Big signs. Big events. That is our style. We like it that way.


It is not God’s way. God comes humbly, without putting on any airs. Not to capital cities with a civic reception, but sleeping rough on the fringe of a country town, watched over by a carpenter called Joe and a teenage mother named Mary. Not a palace, or a Porsche in sight! His first visitors are yokels smelling of sheep and the soil and grass.


And this shall be the sign to you: You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths

and lying in a manager.




This does not please everybody in the churches of the world.


Many congregations still lust for pomp and circumstance; for dramatic signs from God. They would like God to do something more startling. They echo the writer of a Psalm we had a few weeks ago “Why don’t you rip open the skies and come down?”


They claim they would have firmer faith if God would stop the humble stunt and show his hand in a gala performance.


Not going to happen! Because God’s humility is not a stunt, not some quirky PR exercise. The Lord Jesus, in that stable, stays true to God’s nature. God is awesome, holy humility.


Therefore, in spite of our pleading, and at times our complaining, flamboyant signs are rarely given to us. Jesus himself distrusted signs, and he refused to satisfy those who demanded them of him. “A faithless and perverse generation” is how he described those who wanted some religious pizzazz.


The key miracles are Christ’s humble birth, simple ministry among the common people, his sufferings as an abused prisoner, the shame of the cross and the unlikely story of resurrection.

God has not altered since that event. The signs stay humble.


For those of us born long after that incarnation event, God continues to give some low key signs: The signature sign of the Lord’s Presence are found on a meal table: those basic foodstuffs that even the lowliest peasants relied on- common bread and watered wine.


That is the kind of sign that our God specialises in. Just plain bread and wine. It is utterly congruent with the Holy Child who born in a stable at Bethlehem, was placed to sleep in a manger, and was worshipped by malodorous shepherds.




In the UK novelist Anne Perry’s spiritual saga, “TATHEA,” there are many fine passages (in spite of her Mormon leanings).In one episode God and Asmodeus (Satan, the Adversary) are debating the value of signs and miracles. The Adversary argues for miraculous action that would make people sit up and take notice!


Satan:   Cause them [miracles] now, and you will create a man’s belief!


God:     Miracles to the unbelieving create awe, and sometimes obedience, for a little space

,                       then they are forgotten. They are reasoned away, and man forgets Me, or else he

                        becomes superstitious and seeks after more signs to prove and test me. That is not

                        faith, nor is it honour, nor yet love.

                        Faith is the courage to walk the untrodden path and face the terrors of the night,

                        solely because his heart has heard My voice, and will follow it forever. If he will

                        show that trust in me, and live by every word of My mouth, then nothing within the

                         law of heaven is impossible.


Has Anne Perry got it right? If by the “Voice” she means Christ, the living Word, then I believe she has got it right. Only one sign begets love in our hearts and enables us to live with a special kind of courage. “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” “And this shall be the sign to you: You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manager.”


If you and I recognise Love’s humble sign and stake our life on it, then all kinds of surprises become possible. Christmas will no longer be a ritual repeated since our childhood, but a recall to the things that are worth living for, and worth dying for.





The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to our wonderful God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and our deep desire, that we should always and everywhere give you thanks and praise, all loving and everlasting God.


We thank you for this ancient world, our first home;

for the ancient mothers and fathers of our human family,

for the Hebrew seers and prophets who proclaimed your faithfulness,

and called us to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.


But above all else on this day of high celebration we thank you for Mary’s Child, Jesus our Emmanuel:

            Child in the manger,

            Word made flesh,

            Light in our darkness

            Hope in our fearfulness

            Love in our wandering

            Joy in our finding,

            Peace in our dying

            And life in our death.


Therefore, God of wonder and light, with the great company of faithful souls, past, present, here and everywhere,   we praise and adore you singing:


Holy, holy...... (Sing TIS 756)


Blessed is he.....(Sing TIS 756)




Let us move our thoughts away from the festivity of this church, and include in our prayers those outsiders whose needs are urgent and whose cries are many.

The bidding and responses are:

            Spirit of Christ, True Spirit of Christmas,

            help us love one another as you have loved us.


Emmanuel, we commend to you countries where today warfare rages and cruelty and hatreds are fuelled. Please comfort the victims, bless agencies like Red Cross, and empower your peacemakers with wisdom and tenacity.

            Spirit of Christ, True Spirit of Christmas,

            help us love one another as you have loved us.


Emmanuel, we commend to you those people who are in a personal crisis; those whose employment was terminated on Christmas Eve; or whose families or marriages are even at this moment tearing apart; or whose rights have been violated. Please sustain your distressed children, and bless friends and neighbours, pastors and families, who are attempting to stand with them in this trouble.

            Spirit of Christ, True Spirit of Christmas,

            help us love one another as you have loved us.


Emmanuel, we pray for the people who are feeling extremely lonely. Widows and widowers, shy single men and women, children in emergency care or detention, newcomers to our country, those spending Christmas in hospital with no visitors, and those among the elderly whose lifetime friends have all died. Please encircle the lonely with your arms and bless who nurse or care for them today.

            Spirit of Christ, True Spirit of Christmas,

            help us love one another as you have loved us.


Emmanuel, we pray for believers in lands where they are persecuted, who find if difficult or dangerous to meet together this Christmas. Wherever there are small congregations gathered secretly, or where two or three meet in your name behind locked doors, and wherever a soul must spend this day in lonely isolation, we pray for an inflowing of your love and joy into their hearts, and renewed hope for the days ahead.

            Spirit of Christ, True Spirit of Christmas,

            help us love one another as you have loved us.


We thank you, loving Emmanuel, for the joy we share this day. For some it is a joy that rises from relaxed and happy minds, while for others it is a joy rising above pain and sorrow. May we who worship the Christ this morning, be enabled to glorify him in the way we spend the rest of this festive day.  For your love’s sake.





In the name of the incomparable Child of Bethlehem, 

I wish you all a merry Christmas.



Go and celebrate with the goodwill of those who know

they have indeed the authority to become the children of God.

We are called the children of God, and that we most truly are.


The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,  and of his Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.

And the blessing of God Almighty,

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

            will be with us

this Christmas Day and always.


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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

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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.