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 2:13-22...                         (Sermon 2:  “Angry Young Man”)

1 Corinthians 1:18-25  (Sermon 2: “Triple Foolishness”)

Exodus 20:1-17

Psalm 19




How does God speak?

Not with a voice like mere mortals,

yet God speaks in many ways-:


In the bountiful creation around us:

“The midnight skies tell of God’s glory,

the midday sun displays holy handiwork.

Each new day speaks God’s language,

and night after night knows more than it can tell.”


Yet it is the cross of Jesus where God speaks most profoundly: 


“The talk of the cross sounds absurd to those who think they are sophisticated,

but for us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”


Let the way we speak and the way we think

be acceptable in your sight

O God our strength and our redeemer.




To the “self made” person the message of Christ crucified is a stumbling block.

            Lord, keep me, your servant, from arrogance,

            don’t permit it have dominion over me.


To the intellectual snob the cross is just religious nonsense.

            Lord, keep me, your servant, from arrogance,

            don’t permit it have dominion over me.


O God, our rock and our salvation,

no person sees all their own errors,

free me from those faults I hide from myself.

            Let the words of our mouths

            and the things we mull over in our heads,

            be acceptable in your sight,

            O God, our strength and our redeemer.




We thank you, most loving God, for the opportunities offered in this your house of love,

opportunities which have been created by the grace your crucified Son.

Do not allow us to be like spectators, but draw us into the soul of the music, prayers, psalms, and Bible readings.

Let us be ready to hear within, yet beyond us, that Living Word which surpasses all human sentences as the sunrise surpasses a candle.

Through Christ Jesus, your crucified Son.





Let us come to God, whose nature is always to have mercy and abundantly pardon.


Let us pray.


Lord have mercy. / Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy. / Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy. / Lord have mercy.


Honestly God, when it comes to putting faith into practice, we are not very smart, yet we are not as dumb as we sometimes pretend.

We are not particularly good, but not as hopeless as we sometimes may fear.

We are not remarkably loving, but not as insensitive as our words and deeds might suggest.

We have bad days on which we look back with disappointment and considerable frustration.

We have better days when we can gratefully look back at the light and love we have shared.

We are what we are, yet also we are what your saving grace is making of us.


We thank you for your forgiveness which expunges our shame, for your word of love that reconstitutes our confidence, for your belief in us which enhances our gifts for use in your service, and for your joy which replaces a sense of duty with a rush of delight. Please, saving God, continue your healing work in us. Through Christ Jesus our Lord.





My fellow disciples, through the cross of Christ we by faith dare lay claim on the gift of salvation. We trust that liberation and healing which God freely bestows.




You are I are set free by abounding grace. Let us use this liberty to the glory of God as we employ the love we have been shown.


This is our pride and joy.





Dear God,

please save us from bad tempers;

from using anger to get our own way

or from using it to hurt other kids.


Teach us good anger.

Help us to get angry

about all those wicked things

that frighten and hurt other people.


Give us more of Jesus’ brand of anger

which was filled with love for you

and love for those poor people

who were being treated badly.


In his loving name we pray,




            see Australian Psalms page 26. Ó Open Book Publishers.





John 2: 13-22


I was in the temple courtyard

that day when this Jesus came

and walked around among the stalls

at first with shoulders squared

like a centurion on inspection

            but the more he saw the more

            his shoulders sagged

            like one dismayed and overwhelmed

            by some gross indecency

            institutionalised and on display

            without apology

            or any hint of dismay.


I watched him move to near a door

and as the common pilgrims looked on

he took some cord and plaited a whip

before squaring his shoulders once more

and storming among the stalls

            he up-ended tables and money boxes

            while the traders looked on with shock

            to see their silver and golden gods

            go rolling across the pavement floor

            and all the while his whip whirled around

            as he drove them with the sheep and cattle

            from that holy ground.


The thing I remember most sharply

were the eyes of that young Christ

not so much glinting with anger

            but tearful with enormous angst,

            pain such as I have never seen before

            and may never see again.

                                                                                                         Ó B D Prewer 2002




God our best and most holy Friend, turn our hearts towards your true Son, that we may see in him the same saving love that cleansed the temple courts and died on the cross forgiving enemies.

Give us his mind and his spirit, that in the midst of the busy commerce of the world, we may discern what should be done and have the faith and love to undertake it willingly.

Through our Saviour Christ, who lives and loves with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.





Exodus 20: 1-17, John 2:13-22, 1 Cor 1: 18-25


If you never want to look like a fool, then don’t be a Christian, or at least don’t make it obvious that you are one of Christ’s believers.


Christians are without doubt very foolish people. That is how the sophisticated people of the world will always see us. The foolishness we espouse is set out in three of the Bible readings for this 3rd Sunday in Lent: in Exodus, John’s Gospel, and Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Take a look at what we have in these three selections for the Bible.




Here is the foolishness of having high values.


We do not take our spiritual and moral standards from the latest opinion polls but from what God has revealed to us as the truly good life. We aim at a high standard. The world at large will never accept our values as the practical way to go. We have to go it alone and against the general flow. Isn’t that patently ridiculous of us?


The world wonders why bother. Keeping commandments pays no obvious reward. In fact, they may often disadvantage you. Take one example: “Thou shalt not covet.” How do you follow that line in a pervasive culture that is based on consumerism? How can you take part in commerce if you do not want people to covet?


What is more, high standards like this will always make you look stupid because you will always fall short. The world settles for reasonable, comfortable, attainable standards. What is more, Christ takes us further than the Ten Commandments; he sets the bar even higher.


It all seems like wasted idealism, destined to failure and guilt, increasing disillusionment and maybe cynicism. Yet to such idealism God calls us. One cannot hold the Biblical faith without taking on the apparent foolishness of its values.


For this the world either sniggers at us or turns up its nose and totally ignores us.




Here is the foolishness of tackling abuses and injustices.


Jesus went for public protest. Jesus plaited a whip, and stormed in amongst the stalls and money changers and created chaos! He drove out the traders along with the cattle and sheep.


What were the reasons for our Lord’s drastic protest? Of this we cannot be certain. But three possibilities can be noted ¾

¾ Some think he was protesting against the whole temple cult of sacrifices; the bringing of birds and animals for sacrificial offerings in an attempt to either please God or twist God’s arm. If this was his reason he certainly stands in the tradition of many of the prophets of Israel.

¾ Others believe that Jesus was protesting against the blatant rip-off that the market represented. The majority of the pilgrims were exceedingly poor people. Yet the priestly establishment rigged the system so that animals had to be bought at the temple market at fixed high prices if they were to pass inspection as unblemished offerings. Also high commission was charged on the exchange of Roman money for the temple coinage for the monetary offerings.

¾ There are also those who interpret the protest as stemming from Jesus’ concern for Israel’s mission to the world. The large outer court was the only place when non-Jews, the Gentiles, could attend. What went on there did not respect true piety but was just another noisy market. Maybe Jesus was furious at this bad example to the Gentiles.


Whatever the reason or reasons, the obvious question is: Was it worth it? What did he achieve besides making himself hated and marked for elimination by vested interests? Wasn’t this protest really a futile gesture? An absurdity?  The next day it would be business as usual.


So it is with many Christian’s efforts when protesting against abuses and injustices. We believe evangelism and social justice cannot be put asunder. We raise our voices, we join protests, we write letters to those in power, we do it again and again in our desire to reform society. Sometimes we achieve a little. But usually our efforts often appear futile. It is business again the next day. All we seem to mostly achieve is to make ourselves look foolish.


Yet as followers of the Christ who threw his weight around in the temple, we cannot do anything less. We have a go. We leave the ultimate results in the hands of our hidden God. Again that looks stupid to the eyes of onlookers.




Here is the foolishness of allowing yourself to be expendable


Looking at him superficially, what did Jesus achieve except to lose his life? He was so young, so gifted, what a colossal waste! What a squandering of talent and opportunity.


The cross could have been avoided. He could have moderated his message a little, been more polite to those in power, and certainly he did not need to walk into the loins den and challenge the priestly pride to do its worst.


He could have stayed in Galilee where he was safe. He could have gone away with the Greeks who came asking for him in the final days. He could have gone overseas, written a book, made sure his teaching was unequivocally set down in ink, and his deeds recorded in an authorised biography. Would not that have saved later scholars a lot of conjecture and misunderstanding?


But no, he did the foolish thing and willingly allowed his enemies to triumph over him. Does it make sense? The end result of his turning the other cheek and going the second mile was that they nailed him on a cross.  Futile? Stupid? Pathetically absurd?


However, we Christians believe that the terrible Cross was the most wonderful, loving, history-changing event in all history. And we believe that the resurrection was not a reversal of the cross but God’s seal of approval on it. From the world’s view, we are now the fools of that winsome fool, Jesus of Nazareth. “For talk of the cross sounds absurd to on a path of self destruction, but for us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”




So there we have it. Triple foolishness.


1/ Nevertheless (praise God!) the fools of that loving fool, Christ, will continue to aim for the highest ethical and spiritual values. And whenever we fall short we know that we are forgiven and restored for another shot at the heights. We are the lucky ones who can dare to aim high without the factor of fear or despair at failure.


2/ The fools of that fool Christ will continue to try to change things in society. They will lobby and protest, make a nuisance of themselves and refuse to be intimidated. For we know that no effort we make will be wasted within the hidden management of the kingdom of God.


3/The fools of that fool Christ will persist in trusting the cross as the pivotal moment in history, the point where God is closest to us with saving grace. Against all the world’s futile exercise and praise of power, we know that there is more power in that loving man on the cross than anywhere else.


Fellow fools, whenever it is God’s precious brand of foolishness we espouse (in contrast to our own cheap brands) there is nothing to fear and nothing to lose. Live, love, laugh and be happy, for you have every right to do so.





John 2: 13-17


In the temple Jesus found the market for oxen, sheep and pigeons, and the busy money changers. He plaited a whip of cords; he drove all of them, along with their sheep and oxen, out of the temple. He tipped over the tills of the money changers and overturned their tables. He ordered the pigeon sellers, “Get those things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market place.”


His disciples remembered how it was written in the Scriptures: “My zeal for your house, O God, burns me up!”


What burns us up? What inflames us and makes us angry?


Please don't try to tell me it that all anger is sinful I won’t buy that line. While a lot of anger may be evil, and much is at least tainted, there is also good anger. Good anger is that which stems from love. It is the anger which flows from our love of God, respect for our own integrity, and our compassion for misled and mistreated humanity.





Jesus has sanctified for all time, the anger which is fed and shaped by love.


There is a Bible verse which says: “Be angry and sin not.” Jesus displayed that good brand of uncontaminated anger.


Much anger is allied with evil, and is to be avoided by those who follow Jesus. But not all anger is to be renounced. There is good anger. There is godly anger. There is the type of anger Jesus displayed when he entered the temple courts and confronted the marketeers in there. Making a whip leaves us in no doubt about how he felt. Grabbing the cash boxes and flinging them across the paving stones, driving men and animals out of the temple court, ordering the pigeon sellers to clear out, is enough evidence of the anger of Jesus. On top of that John tells us the disciples remembered the Bible text: “Zeal for your house, O God, will burn me up.”


There may have been a number of reasons why Jesus was so angry about that temple market, a market which was established and managed by the priests, and the money from which ended up in the grasping hands of the elite, priestly hierarchy.


Maybe he had been pondering this temple abuse ever since he visited the temple as a child, and stayed behind to ask awkward questions of the temple staff. Perhaps one of those childhood questions had been, “Why do you allow any part of God’s house to be turned into a common market?”


It is possible that for years Jesus had been waiting for the opportune time to challenge this sacrilege. Perhaps like a young Abraham Lincoln, who on observing a slave market, vowed: “If I ever get the chance to hit this thing, I will hit it hard.”


We can easily locate a number of possible reasons for Jesus’ words and actions that day. With good cause, the cause of love for God and humanity, he was an angry young man.





It certainly was not the only time when Jesus became angry.


Do you remember that occasion on in a synagogue on the Sabbath day when Jesus noticed a man with a withered hand? As his enemies looked on, he openly offended them by daring heal that man. Mark says: “Jesus looked around at them with anger, grieved at the hardness of their hearts.”  Because he loved the underdog, cared about sick and poor people, Jesus was angry with those self righteous types who put their fussy religious regulations ahead of loving actions.


On another occasion he was angry with the disciple Peter. Last Sunday we witnessed the anger of Jesus when Peter tried to dissuade him from talking about the cross that lay ahead of him. Peter was tempting Jesus to surrender his own spiritual integrity. Out of respect, or love for his own true soul, Jesus turned on Peter and rebuked him. “Get behind me Satan.”


Matthew tells us that one day Jesus became frustrated with some of the Pharisees. He turned on those among the uppity Pharisees who not only despised the lower classes but put impediments between the poor and their God. Jesus poured out a torrent of condemnation on them. You will find his extraordinary, angry attack on hypocrites in Matthew chapter 23.


Jesus was angry out of love. He fulfilled the Scripture: “Be angry and sin not.”




If we are to follow in the footsteps of that angry young man, Jesus, then some anger should have a place in our lives. It is hard to see how we cannot at times get angry.


How can not get angry when we find devious deeds in the high places of religion. When sexual abuse is covered upon and the victims made the scapegoat.


How can we not get angry when finicky points of church dogma are allowed to outrank the value of Christian love, and as a result keep Christians separated? When in some cases one denomination will Castigate and ridicule another?


How can we not become angry as citizens of a nation where normally 50 times more is spent each year on pet food than on donating to feed the hungry and starving peoples of this world?


How can we not get angry when our politicians (no matter what party is in power) appear only develop a social conscience for the underprivileged when an election is in the offing; or when the cause of some individual is taken up in a burst of publicity by a TV network?


How can we not get angry if churches judge themselves as successful by the size of a congregation rather than by their quality of love to the needy and the marginalised members of the community? When respectability is prized above getting hands dirty, or being misjudged, in the service of our fellow sinners. Whenever in some churches “all people are treated as equal but some are treated as more equal than others.”


How can we not get angry when in our suburbs the elderly can get bashed for their few pension dollars? Or when little children are exploited by the obscene child pornography industry, or when the sex trade makes virtual prisoners of Asian women who hold no valid Australian visa?


How can we not become angry with this self centred society? Where many do not give a damn for anyone but themselves? Like in the recent account of that man who went to the rescue of children caught in a rip off Carrum (Port Philip Bay) and when, finally struggling to keep three others afloat he begged help from a passing launch. Yet the occupants just shook their heads and speeded out to sea and their favourite fishing spot.


How can you not become angry when we read yet another report about the heartlessness of a big industrial or mining companies? The other day there came to light the plight of a small aboriginal town in New South Wales, where a company employed unprotected workers  in its asbestos mine for years, and even dumped tailings around the town for children’s playgrounds.




One could go on and on and on. “Be angry and sin not.” Lent is a good time to be angry. But not if we use our anger wilfully. It’s not a good anger unless we focus on practical things that we might be able to do to redress wrongs.


Our anger needs to be focussed on attainable targets. It must be carefully and worthily applied.


This is the difficult part.  Getting angry is not difficult. Expressing our anger in appropriate ways, that is where the going gets tricky.


It is rarely easy for us to confidently focus and use our anger to the glory of God. Our motivation can be corrupted, we might mistake the true target, our timing can be wrong. What guidelines do we have?


Love is the only guideline we have. Not any old brand of love, but the Jesus brand. It must be the kind of agape-love that Jesus lived. It must stem from “Love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.”Such love can be costly. Sometimes it will mean “taking up our own cross and following Jesus. That is, being ready to suffer in the cause of Christ.


Only with the love of Jesus as our template, can we dare to be angry yet sin not.




With that tough yet tender quality of love in mind, I invite you to use Lent, not to deny and suppress your indignation over wrongs, but to face it and use it pro-actively. I invite you to take the initiative and focus your anger in practical ways, no matter how small. You and I might only be able to strike what may seem just minuscule blows against evil, but that is worth it. It is from the pool of those who are faithful in the little things, that God can find the right people to tackle larger challenges.


Look again at that angry young man making a whip. See again the money boxes spilling their coins out across the paving, and watch the table being overturned, and hear him shout: “Get these things out of here! You shall not make my Father’s house into a market place.”




The Lord be with you.

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts!

We lift them up to God!

Let us give thanks to our loving God.

It is our joy and privilege to do so.


We thank and praise you, loving and glorious God,

bountiful in creation and prodigious in redemption.


We praise you for the Christ from Nazareth

who heals the sick, befriends the misfits,

forgives the sinner and wakes the dead.

Our thanks and praise are yours, most wonderful God.


Particularly in this holy season of Lent

we thank you for Christ’s tough love:

for his conquest of beguiling temptations,

for his resolute final journey to Jerusalem,

for his zeal for your house of prayer,

for his faithfulness under betrayal, trial and abuse,

and for his love willingly poured out on the cross.

Our thanks and praise are yours, most wonderful God.


We give thanks for you undying care of him,

for his risen presence face to face with women and men

who became his witnesses to the end of the world.

Today even we have become numbered among those millions

who have been granted the gift of faith

and have received from his lips the Spirit of peace.

Our thanks and praise are yours, most wonderful God.


Therefore with angels and archangels.......




We do not pray for others because we are superior to them. We pray because they are one with us in their need of God’s assistance

Let us pray.


Holy Friend, let your blessing fall upon us and upon all those for whom we pray and seek to aid; for without your blessing our prayers are null and our deeds are void.


We pray for the people we take for granted; family, friends, good neighbours and loyal workmates. For the producers and preparers of our bread, meat and fruits; those who maintain power, gas and water supplies; all who drive busses, trains, trams, taxis and those who pilot planes; people who deliver our mail, collect our garbage, mend our roads, and give us weather forecasts.

Loving God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, bless your people and encourage any who are forgotten, neglected, misused or whose duties have become too heavy to bear.


We pray for people we may recognise and admire; fire fighters, ambulance officers, nurses, surgeons and therapists; radio announcers, writers, film personalities, musicians and sports stars; and those intrepid souls who fight corruption in high places, or the many who serve as volunteers abroad in dangerous circumstances.

Loving God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, bless your people and encourage any who are forgotten, neglected, misused or whose duties have become too heavy to bear.


We pray for those people for whom some of us may have mixed feelings: some among the judges, politicians, journalists, police officers and traffic wardens; dieticians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, school teachers and social welfare officers; employees, employers, unionists, managers and those who tell us it is time to retire.

Loving God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, bless your people and encourage any who are forgotten, neglected, misused or whose duties have become too heavy to bear.


We pray for those people who may annoy us a lot; pontificating social commentators, wordy premiers and prime ministers, theoretical ethicists; dogmatic scientists, verbose clergy, environmentalists and economists; hair splitting lawyers, bureaucrats,  repetitive TV interviewers, and religious zealots.

Loving God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, bless your people and encourage any who are forgotten, neglected, misused or whose duties have become too heavy to bear.


And now we pray for those particular people for whom we have special concern this day. We silently name them before you, loving God...........................…………………………………..

Whatever their need or personal crisis, whatever their age, health, sins, faults or virtues, we ask you to guide, guard, nurture, sustain them.

Loving God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God, bless your people and encourage any who are forgotten, neglected, misused or whose duties have become too heavy to bear.


Holy Friend, thank you for listening to us.  Your love is already doing more than we can ever imagine. Use us, please, to be a part of your divine loving. To the glory of your name and the healing of the ills of the world.





It’s time to get up and get going. Are we ready and willing?

We are willing, please, God,  yet  rid of any tardiness.                                                                         


There are plenty of responsibilities out there waiting for you;

But more importantly God will be out there with us, sharing the load.


Remember that the wisdom of Christ may appear foolish,

and the strength of God may seem like weakness;

But those who walk by faith will discover both true wisdom

and inexhaustible strength.


The saving mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the providential, loving ground of God,

and the embracing fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

    will be with  you

today, tomorrow and for evermore.



              BY ORDERING ONLINE

My Best Mate,  (first edition 2013)

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

ISBN :  978-1-937763-79- 4: USA

Australian Prayers

Third edition May 2014

ISBN   978-1-62880-033-3 Australia

Jesus Our Future

Prayers for the Twenty First Century

 Second Edition May 2014

ISBN 978-1-62880-032-6

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.