|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.
| Title: Brief Prayers for Busy People.|
Author: Bruce D Prewer
Available from Australian Church Resources,
web site www.acresources.com.au
or by order from your local book shop
or online on amazon.
John 6: 35, 41-51....
2 Samuel 18: 5-9, 15
ENTRY INTO WORSHIP
If you arrive here hungry for more of that divine bread which feeds your soul, then I welcome you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I, your minister, may sometimes disappoint you, but he will not. His grace is sufficient for all your needs.
Jesus says: “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me shall not hunger, and those who believe in me shall never thirst.”
It is time to stop rushing,
to rest our lives in the love of God.
I wait for the Lord,
my soul waits and in God’s word do I trust.
It is time to let go of frustration or fear,
to let go of doubt or despondency.
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than night watchmen wait for the morning,
yes, more than watchmen long for the morning.
Let all people put their hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is faithful love,
with God there is plentiful redemption.
PRAYER OF APPROACH
God our holy Friend, you are wonderful beyond all other wonders.
You are much closer than our deepest prayers,
loftier than our songs of praise,
more beautiful than our purest hopes,
much more profound than our noblest creeds,
far wiser than all the books in the libraries of the world,
and more loving than the love of all the apostles, saints and martyrs put together.
Yet you are humble enough to lunch with a common wayfarer,
and simple enough to converse with a child.
Gladly we come to this house of prayer,
to offer our worship, renew our vows, receive your grace, and adore your love and loveliness.
Through Christ Jesus, the true reflection of your glory.
CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE
In sincerity and truth, let us confess our sins.
Let us pray.
“If you, God, should count our iniquities, who would be left standing?
But with you there is forgiveness and we stand in awe of such grace.”
Brainwashed though we are by the false values and brazen deceits of this world, we come to you, most merciful God, seeking your saving intervention in our lives.
Without you we slither further down into error and shady-ness,
with you we are uplifted towards light and truth.
Without you we either wallow in shame or in vain self-justification,
with you we find catharsis, hope and peace.
Please forgive those sins of which we are keenly aware, and forgive us those sins which escape our recognition at the present time.
Deliver us from both sin and stupidity, and sharpen our ability to know ourselves better and to know you more surely and comprehensively as the God of our salvation.
Through Christ Jesus, our Saviour.
“O people of God, put your hope in Christ!
For with Christ there is steadfast love
and with him is plenteous redemption.
And he will redeem his people
from all their iniquities.”
Thanks be to God!
PRAYER FOR CHILDREN
Why is it, God,
that when we are in the wrong
we don’t want to admit it?
Why is it we argue so much
instead of confessing our mistakes?
Why is it that we find it so hard
to say sorry?
Dear God, you understand us
better than we know ourselves.
Please take a good look,
see what’s wrong
and put the spirit of Jesus inside us
to sort us out.
With his help we can do better.
See “From the Depths” Australian Psalms
© B D Prewer & Open Book Publishers
I cry to you, God from the bottom of our heart,
will you please hear my voice?
Let you ears be always open
to every whimper from my struggling soul.
If you, Lord, should decide to count our faults,
who on earth could stand innocent?
But with you there is always forgiveness,
grace that leaves us trembling with awe.
So my poor soul waits for you,
my soul waits and hopes.
My soul waits for you
more than watchmen for the dawn;
more than watchmen for the morning.
O church of Christ, the new Israel,
put your hope in the Lord.
For with God there is constant love,
plentiful redemption for all,
and the Lord will fully save us
. from all our evil ways.
Ó B D Prewer 2005
THE BREAD OF LIFE
Much more of soft bread
much-loved by the world
and sweet on the tongue
and we shall be dead.
Much more of this bread
fresh from the baking
and scenting the air
and we shall be dead.
Much more of this bread
though it come to us
packaged and sliced
and we shall be dead.
Yet a crust of Christ’s bread
with the meek and poor
who dare to adore
and death is no more.
© B.D. Prewer 2002
Feed us now, Child of God, as you fed your first disciples.
Feed us with that soul-food which nurtures enough love within us to outstrip the fears and enmity that ties the world up in knots.
Feed us with that spiritual bread which strengthens our hands for serving those broken and lost people whom this world deems a waste of space.
Feed us, so that we may be fulfilled with some of that joy which the universe cannot contain. For your love’s sake.
SERMON 1: PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE MORE?
* Too lengthy. Abbreviate by one third.
John 6: 35, and 41-51
In Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist the homeless and hungry lad enjoys a plate of food in the dubious establishment of cunning and ruthless Fagan. He startles the gang by daring to ask: “Please Sir, can I have more?”
Hunger is like that. Real hunger takes more than one plate of gruel to satisfy it.
Do we ever stop and realise how much we need hunger? Do we ever pause and give thanks to God for the pangs of hunger? It is a major blessing.
Lose our physical hunger and we will lose life. Some of you have endured the distress of seeing a loved one lose all desire for food. You have watched them pick at a few scraps and then push their plate away. You have seen them losing life little by little, day by day. It is a terrible blight to see happening.
Lose hunger, lose life. It is as simple and as ominous as that. It’s a helpful thing to be hungry.
It is a healthy thing to ask, “Please Sir, can I have more?”
Could that be also true of spiritual hunger? True of that hunger for spiritual depth and meaning in life? That hunger for spiritual nourishment? Without that hunger, where would we be? What if we lose our spiritual hunger, yet on the physical level gain the whole world, it not that to lose our very soul? To forfeit the very thing which is beautiful and godlike about us?
JESUS; I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE
For three consecutive Sundays the Gospel readings, from St John, have been about bread. Food for the body. Food for the spirit.
These three readings commenced with the story of Jesus in the company of about five thousand hungry people, who were gathered in a barren, wilderness place. Looking out over the crowd, Jesus spoke to his disciple Philip: “How can we get enough bread to feed this many people? You recall the rest of the story? That generous boy with his five barely rolls and two salted fish?
But what is it all about? Why does John think this story so important that it leads on to another 57 verses? Much in those verses seems to be so convoluted and repetitive that congregations find it hard to keep attentive when the lesson is read aloud?
Let me remind you of some basics. There are two kinds of bread just as there are two kinds of wilderness. There is bread for the body. There is bread for the human spirit. There is the harsh wilderness of the countryside (like much of the red inland of Australia) and there is a barren wilderness of the human spirit where many find themselves hungry and desperate.
Jesus was vitally concerned about both. He did not down-play physical hunger. He was not some neurotic, body-hating, religious fanatic.
Those later Christians, who fostered a fear of all sensuality and became body-punishing extremists, cannot claim to have learned this from Jesus.
As Jesus saw it, the body was a noble thing and it needed its nourishment. But even more than that, food and drink were a pleasure. Unlike the austere John the Baptist, Jesus was accused by his enemies of being a gluttonous man and a heavy drinker. An exaggeration of course. But his life style showed a man at ease with his own body. The body was to be cherished as a good gift from God. So he fed hungry people, he straightened twisted limbs, he healed diseased bodies,
Yet he was no superficial hedonist. He had higher priorities, larger visions. He would never rest content with a world full of plump, well fed and disease-free bodies. There were yet higher values for humanity.
“Man shall not live by bread alone” he exclaimed when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” he insisted in his famous ‘sermon on the mount.”
Then in the debates that followed his feeding of the five thousand, Jesus told enquirers:
“Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts into eternal life.”
MORE THAN THEY COULD STOMACH?
Then things are pushed even further. John’s Gospel has Jesus making the astonishing statement:
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger.
And a little later he asserts:
I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
If anyone eats this bread he will live forever.
Jesus dared to offer himself as the bread that would give the people the fullness of life. I few souls dimly understood and found enough hope to cry out: “Lord, give us more of this bread always!” Or in the words of Oliver “Please Sir, can I have more?”
But the majority took offence. Who does this Jesus think he is?
The claim was without doubt an astounding one.
No wonder many said “This is more than we can stomach!”
No surprise when some people thought Jesus was mad.
It is not unexpected when we read that by that evening, most of the 5,000 had melted away. Jesus was left with the small band of followers. He sadly asked them: “Will you also now go away?”
Really, what else could Jesus expect? His words must have at first seemed preposterous. ‘I am the bread of life? I am the true manna from heaven? Eat me and you will never hunger again?’ What next!?
Is this fellow a kindly yet pathetic lunatic? Or perhaps he is an evil con-man? Or something else?
MY QUESTIONS TO JESUS
Early last week, as I began preparing myself for this sermon, I pondered long over this claim of Jesus as told by John. I did not reach any conclusions.
Later, on Friday morning I returned to the theme and found myself directing some hard questions to Jesus:
Why aren’t I offended? What is it about you, Jesus of Nazareth, that I find to be so satisfying? What is it about you in my experience that leads me to welcome your words, I am the bread of life? In what way are you truly the bread of life to me? Why do I always come back for more?
I continued to vigorously push these questions, as if addressing Jesus, face to face.
Jesus, son of Mary, is the bread of life that Christmas magic which we celebrate each December?
You taking on our human flesh? The baby in a manger? The mystery of the incarnation as told in the stories of Luke’s shepherds, Matthew’s wise men, and John’s weighty thoughts: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” Is that the bread of life?
He answered me not; but glanced sideways into my eyes
with a slight twinkle in his
So I moved on with my questions:
The bread of life, Jesus, is it the wisdom in your teaching?
Well yes, and no, I answered for myself Yes because no other human being speaks to me with such clarity and sanity as you do, Jesus. No, because your words alone cannot satisfy my spiritual hunger; in fact some of your words increase my hunger; I want more.
Again, no reply from rabbi Jesus. He seemed to be watching a wild raven
that perched in a nearby gum tree.
What is it then, Jesus? Is the bread of life found in your teasing, yet profound parables?
Those parables are an unsettling, Master. In them you set me the task of recognising a truth for myself. It is true that in them you catch me with surprise, and hold up before me some glistening hopes. You by-pass my normal stodgy patterns of thinking and give me brief glimpses of a secret realm already here, a new age already established. Yet Lord, however much they get me in, those parables are not sufficient to be called the bread of life to me.
I looked quizzically at him. He pursed his lips, but remained silent.
Jesus of Nazareth, could it then be the loving way you treated people?
Is the bread of life the way you included the lame, sick, blind diseased? And embraced the lost, the lonely and the foolish? I am indeed, Lord, enthralled by your inclusive love. Sometimes you are as tender as a mother’s kiss on a baby’s cheek, at others times your love is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. The deeds you did are perfectly in tandem with your words. Now that in itself is unheard of in my street and city. Is that the bread of life for me? Close maybe, but is it enough?
It seemed to me that the Lord bent down and wrote in the dust.
But I could not read his letters.
Then Jesus, son of Mary, is the bread of life your cross?
Where the just dies for the unjust. Where a life is freely given not taken. That holy paradox of horror and beauty, of defeat and victory, of loss yet richest gain? That hour of darkest evil yet brightest grace? The broken body and the shed blood? Is this the bread of life for me? Now I am getting very close to the answer. Is there something more?
As I spoke of the cross, a distant look came into the eyes of Jesus,
and he seemed to be seeing things beyond the range of human vision,
to the far corners of the world and the distant stars. He sighed deeply.
I was determined to pursue my questions. Your resurrection maybe?
That baffling yet indomitable Easter happening? Is that the bread of life? That glorious day when disciples met you in a garden, watched you enter a locked room, heard your greeting, ‘Peace be unto you,’ recognised you in the breaking of bread, saw for themselves your wounds and found forgiveness, had breakfast with you on a Galilean beach, heard your command to take your love to the needs of the earth? Is your resurrection the bread of life on which I have fed all these years?
He leaned closer to me and whispered something. Sadly my hearing is defective;
I don't always hear the word of the Lord as well as I should, but I think I caught
the words ‘getting close, little friend.’
So on Friday morning I kept pushing, and pushing myself for the answer. What is it? What in truth makes you, Jesus Christ, the very bread of life to me? Why do I keep coming back for more, and for more!
I returned to the fact of my hunger, and started there. What a blessing which was mine. Maybe even the hunger is itself the first taste of the bread of life? But I needed more than a taste.
Slowly I searched deeply into my own mind and soul, into its rooms and chapels. I concluded there is an indisputable truth:
It is the complete Jesus who is the bread of life for me. Not just one aspect but the lot. Because in the complete Jesus I find God.
Yes, God. Not just a wise man, not a superman, not even a guardian angel, but God. In the complete Jesus I encounter the awesome fullness of the Spirit, the Divine grace that feeds the hungry soul.
Only God can supply the bread begged by our deepest human hungers. Only God makes the human soul ask for more.
At that moment in my Friday thoughts and feelings, I could not isolate any one aspect of Christ’s life. Not even the cross, no matter how central, by itself is not sufficient. It is the whole package that brings God into my life, which is the holy bread of life.
The life, teaching, death and resurrection of Christ are like the seamless robe that Jesus wore. There are no joined segments, no divisions. From Bethlehem to Egypt, from Nazareth to Lake Galilee, through Samaria and Jericho, on the mount of Olives and in the temple, along the streets of Jerusalem and by the pool of Bethesda, in an upper room and in an olive grove, dragged in front of Pilate, forsaken on the cross, meeting Mary in the garden and answering the doubts of Thomas.
The whole package. Like a seamless robe. Birth, teaching, parables, healing and forgiveness, including and empowering; suffering, dying, rising, and sending us out in his name. The complete Jesus nourishes my life with the Living God.
THANKS BE TO GOD
Thank God for my hunger. Thank God again for Holy Love which satisfies it!
A change came within me. I shifted from questioning Jesus and began worshipping. It was the God of Jesus alone for my salvation. Nothing less that the Divine Friend; bread of life for me. Nothing more that the Divine Friend, bread of life for me.
Through the whole Jesus happening, the Lord of all things seen and unseen nourishes me. I am not offered any secondary food but fed with God’s own life; nourished by God’s own Being; sustained by God’s personal love.
It the realm of God’s grace, is good to be hungry!
This is my body given for you. This is my blood shed for you.
O blessed hunger! O blessed bread!
I should have known it all along. When we follow Jesus closely, we always end up in the one. sure place: with God. And having once experienced how nourished we can be by this God of Jesus, we want more.
Those who are blessed with hunger, cry aloud together with some to those hungry folk who long ago, near the shores of Lake Galilee, listened eagerly to the words of Jesus:
“Sir, give us this bread now and always.”
“Please Sir, can I have more?”
SERMON 2: PARTICIPANTS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE
It appears to me that the world is awash with chattering commentators. On radio and TV 24 hours a day. A plethora of commentators.
politics, football, books, wines, drama, house decoration, music, ecology, the economy, gardening, criminology, restaurants, sociology, tennis, terrorism, medical ethics, the weather, genetic engineering, films, basket ball, fashion, sexual practices, family life, superannuation, and so on and on. Verbose opinions from those who sit on the sidelines and commentate.
We even get on TV commentators whose main game is to comment on the comments of other commentators.
It happens also at the ordinary level of life.
We find “home grown” commentators all over the place. Sitting in their homes watching Teli, drinking at a bar with their mates, standing on the street, playing snooker, at work in factory and office, attending a bbq, during interval at concert or play, sitting on park benches, lying on the beach. Home grown commentators are thick on the ground, eager to give the world the benefit of their opinion.
We also encounter them in churches.
These commentators may comment after a service if the organist touched a wrong note, if the preacher split an infinitive, if the reader mispronounced “sojourn”, and even (as on one actual occasion!) if one candle burnt down more quickly than the other one.
Some of these church commentators are erudite.
They can comment on who really wrote the letter to the Hebrews, describe in detail the relevance of the latest archaeological finds in Megiddo, Jerusalem or Qumran, and even address the theory of “J” and “P” writers of the book of Exodus. They know their stuff! They’re well aware that Barth, Tillick and Kung are not the names of race horses but of eminent theologians of the 20th century!
But when it comes to commitment, they shy away.
They are more than happy to be commentators but not active practitioners in the life of Christ’s church or the art of cross carrying. Plenty of opinions, a minimum of action.
THE NITTY GRITTY
No amount of theory is worth one smidgin of practice.
We need to get down to the nitty gritty. Is our belief an intellectual exercise or a way of life in Christ Jesus? How do we perform in the common scenes of life?
You may have heard of the wife of a young minister
who was about to have a notable visiting theologian to dinner. Somewhat overawed, the husband told his spouse (a lawyer) in detail about the visitor’s degrees, his major teaching positions, the books he had published, and the esteemed bodies he chaired. At last, when he took a breath, she was able to interject: I’m not very interested in all that stuff. What I want to know is: how does he treat his wife and kids?”
Now that is getting close to the nitty gritty.
Even allowing for a little “needle” in her response to her gushing husband, her question was valid. Does this man who writes, talks and lectures about God, practice what he preaches? Commentator of participant in the ways of Christ Jesus?
PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS
Back to basics. We see this happening in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.
The early passages of this letter are a lyrical celebration of what God has done in Christ. It is wonderful visionary stuff! Like a magnificent hymn of praise! Paul writes like someone on “cloud nine.” He hardly stops to breathe as he spells out the wonder of what Jesus has done, not just for the Ephesians but for the world and the whole universe. Paul celebrates the reconciling power which will bring all things into one harmony. One Lord, one faith, one baptism!
Paul is no small mind,
paddling around in backyard puddles and climbing anthills. He is a genius theologian. Paul launches out on the ocean of God’s glory and climbs the highest peaks of available. He sees visions far beyond the commonplace and struggles for words to even hint at the ultimate wonder of it all. The sentences roll on as if there was no punctuation possible once he got launched on his subject.
Then suddenly the mood changes,
the sentences become short, his theme deals with the nitty gritty of Christian behaviour. After soaring through the universe he comes back to our street, our homes, and our market place.
It is not that Paul utters a big sigh,
shakes his head, puts the theology aside, and says: “Okay enough of the high theory, now let’s get real.”
What he writes about is the essential outworking of his high vision,
but expressed now in the common affairs of life. If we believe with Paul that Christ is about transforming all things, then we must begin at home.
Listen to a few of the basic implications that he mentions;
it does not get much simpler than this. I will paraphrase a few of them:
Stop lying. No more half truths or white lies. Speak the plain truth to one another because you are already members of the body of Christ.
Watch your moods, deal cleanly with your anger. It’s natural to get angry but make sure it does not lead you to do something bad.
Stop stealing. Those who have been thieves must start working honestly for a living, not just for their own sake but so they have something to share with the needy.
Filthy language must not pass your lips. Speak only what is good and helpful in a situation, so that your conversation brings blessing not negativity.
Don’t do anything that is offensive to the Spirit of God who now lives in you. The Spirit’s presence is a foretaste of the greater liberation you will one day enjoy.
Cut out spiteful words and actions. Don’t nurse your resentments. Stop looking for revenge on those who wrong you.
Loud mouthing and malicious gossip must cease immediately. Slander is never the way that Christ would take.
Be always generous to one another, kind hearted, forgiving as God in Christ has forgiven you.
What do you reckon?
Could Paul get more down to the nitty gritty than this? This is what his lofty theology means on the streets of Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, New York, and Manila! On the streets of Sydney and Perth, Dimboola, Cunnamulla, Innamincka, Nuriootpa and Kalgoorlie! This shows us the practice of lofty theology. We are called not to be commentators but practitioners of faith in Christ Jesus.
WE ARE NOT SUPERIOR
You and I are not in a position to feel superior to those early Christians to whom he wrote this letter. When we read about cheats, liars, thieves and slanderers, we may be tempted to comment: “What a rough lot they were in the church at Ephesus!”
But we are not called to be commentators about them and their faults but practitioners of Christ here and now. The practical implications of what Paul wrote still have application to us. Who among us can bear, without flinching, his check list?
Stop lying? No white lies. And no deceit by truth withheld? How does our honesty in all our dealings stack up?
Anger? Recognising when we are angry, and then channelling it for good not evil? Do we pass this simple test?
Theft? There are plenty of ways of stealing other than breaking into houses, from tax evasion to robbing another of their dignity. What is our record?
Verbal abuse and the disrespect for others that lies behind it? Racist and religious prejudice? Does that lurk among us?
Do we choose words to bless others rather than hurting them? Words that affirm, encourage, inspire and lighten the load that others bear?
Spitefulness? Nursing resentments? Getting your own back is regarded by some as the smart thing to do. Are we infected with that disease?
Gossip? Now there’s a thought! It is not just those libels that end up in court that do damage. Good will and trust can be shredded by some of the more sneaky slanders.
Being generous and merciful? Giving without looking for reward, and forgiving as Christ forgives us? Is that truly our style?
Not offending the Spirit of God within us? But always respecting the honour that God has bestowed upon us?
How far advanced are we beyond the Ephesians?
To our chagrin, we are not. The down-to-earth practical things still challenge our faith to get off its commentator’s cushion and to extend itself in action.
Small things matter.
Paul’s grand vision of Christ reconciling everything, and drawing all together in beautiful harmony before God, comes down to such basic issues. The multiplicity of small words and deeds should embody the beauty of our belief. It is not enough to be voluble Christian commentators. Our calling is to be practitioners.
A STEP BY STEP VENTURE
Ours is an era that puts emphasis on speed.
Cars can cover long distances in a few hours. Our Airliners can take us to the other side of the world while we eat, drink and sleep a little. By telephone we can directly communicate with a dear one just about anywhere on the planet. Things happen quickly these days. We like speed.
Not so with our journey as disciples of Christ Jesus.
This is still like a pilgrimage by foot. We move towards the magnificent future that Paul says lies in store for us, step by step. There is no quick option for the impatient.
On this journey the road can be rough and full of pot holes. There are deep ravines and high mountain passes to traverse. Sometimes robbers may fall on us and try to steal our faith. False guides will meet us at cross roads offering tantalising diversions or false short cuts. At pleasant camping places we may meet some very genial residents, expert commentators who have watched many other pilgrims go by, and who invite us to stay on there with them, and discuss at length the profound questions of life.
Some mornings we may feel exhilarated by the new day, and by evening we have intriguing stories to swap around the camp fire. Other evenings we will lie down weary and bruised, and maybe wonder why we bother. But by morning the call of Christ lifts us forward again.
That is how it is. Speed is not the essence of this journey. The small details of faithful, practical love are. We have received from Paul the glorious faith that all things will be drawn together in harmony by Christ. We also learn from him that the glory of such lofty creeds is best seen in the detail of loving deeds.
The world is not on tiptoe waiting for our opinion. But it desperately in need of practitioners of faith in Christ.
Most loving God, we take too much for granted. Help us to rectify that. By your Spirit within us, change us into thankful people. May we may wonder anew each morning at the privilege of being alive, and go to bed each night giving thanks for all that the day’s living has given us.
We give thanks for all the influences that have brought us to this hour in your church. For family, friends, Sunday School teachers, visitors, pastors, neighbours or helpful strangers who have pointed our feet in the direction of Christ.
We give thanks for our early encounters with the ways of Jesus, and for those people whose example has enlarged our faith. For memories on which we can draw when we are low in spirit, and those faces we can picture when we are tempted to falter.
We give thanks for the hard lessons as well as the easy. For the frustration and disappointment, the pain and the turmoil, and the growing pains of the spirit. For the losses and the tears of grief, through which you have ministered to us even when we thought you were far away.
We give thanks for those special people whom you have sent our way, either as comforters or as discomforters. For every wise or kindly word that has restored our sagging hope, and each confronting word from one who loves you and us enough to dare speak the unpalatable truth.
We give thanks for the very fallible communities of the church in which we have worshipped, shared fellowship and given service to the wider world. For dear kindred spirits, and generous co-workers. But also for those whose views have disturbed us, or whose failings have saddened us and reminded us that we are all sinners being saved by grace.
Most loving God, for these your gifts, many which we have taken for granted, some which at the time we may have complained about as unwelcome impositions, we give you our thanks. Please continue the work you have commenced in us, and let gratitude continue on, not just a matter of words but as an enduring attitude. Through Christ Jesus our Lord.
PRAYERS FOR OTHERS
Holy Friend, there are times when our prayers seem a weak and ineffective exercise in the face of the world’s enormous need. Please keep reminding us that though we are weak and unwise, you have infinite resourcefulness and wisdom. May the full and inexhaustible grace of Christ crucified and risen, keep us praying with faith and serving with humble compassion.
Holy Friend, we pray for those who feel too harried, or too broken, or too despairing to pray for themselves. Please surround them with your everlasting arms of love, and bring some warmth and hope into even the bleakest situation.
Holy Friend, we pray for many who are subject to injustice and abuse, and all who are used up and then cast aside like garbage. Please bring down tyrants and bullies at every level of life, and lift up the downtrodden and heal the broken in body, mind and spirit.
Holy Friend, we pray for young people who are put in uniforms and ordered to make war on others; to bomb villages, blow up bridges, burn harvests, strafe refugees, and take few prisoners. And also for those who are sent incognito as suicide bombers into crowded places to create maximum carnage. Please bring this world back from its addiction to anger and violence to your ways of peace.
Holy Friend, we pray for all who feed the hungry, tend the injured, stand with the oppressed, house the homeless, watch with the dying, comfort the grieving, encourage the handicapped, empower the weak, and befriend the very fearful folk. Please widen our love to include all your children on earth.
Holy Friend, we pray for your church in its glory and its shame. Help us to repent of our corporate sins, to increase our love for other denominations, to live the love of Christ among the neglected and the lost, to encourage one another in fellowship and prayer, and to live optimistically by faith and love where the secular world wrings its hands in despair.
Holy Friend, God and Saviour, lead us on towards that glory which you have prepared for all who love you. Through Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you have found some of the good bread of Christ here this day, then don’t hesitate to share it with others.
For this is the bread that increases the more it is given away , and nourishes us best in the presence of goodwill and laughter.
Go on your way in good spirits, for the best is yet to come.
The grace of our Saviour,
the love of our Creator,
and the friendship of our Enabler,
will be with us
this day and evermore.
My Best Mate, (first edition 2013)
ISBN 978-1-937763-78-7: AUSTRALIA:
ISBN : 978-1-937763-79- 4: USA
Third edition May 2014
ISBN 978-1-62880-033-3 Australia
Jesus Our Future
Prayers for the Twenty First Century
Second Edition May 2014
|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.