|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.
Mark 8:27-38.... (Sermon 1: “Out of this World!”)
(Sermon 2: “An Australian Christ?”)
James 3: 1-12....
ENTRY INTO WORSHIP
The grace, mercy and peace of Christ Jesus be with you all.
And also with you.
The Milky Way speaks of God’s glory,
the Southern Cross tells of God’s handiwork.
Day after day witnesses to God,
and night after night offers us knowledge.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in your sight, God my rock and my redeemer.
Nothing we ever do in this house prayer
will be adequate;
Glorious in perfect beauty is our God,
beyond anything we can understand or imagine.
We come not because we are adequate,
but because God is more than adequate;
Glorious in wisdom and resourcefulness is our God,
beyond anything we can measure or estimate.
We come because God welcomes us,
the foolish as well as the wise,
and those of frail faith as well as the strong.
Glorious in patience and generosity is our God,
beyond anything we can describe or praise.
PRAYER OF APPROACH
We come to you, most Holy God, because you have first come to us.
We love you poorly yet sincerely, because you have first loved us.
We want to serve you well, because you first have served us.
We worship and adore you, because you have first cherished and nurtured us.
Let the words on our lips and the feelings that stir in our hearts,
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer.
God of Jesus and our God, waken us to your handiwork blossoming all around us in the season of Spring.
Waken us to your loving presence, and awaken within us a recognition – like a child recognising a loving parent.
Enable us to have an inward dialogue with you, and to eagerly receive empowerment from your Spirit.
Then let this whole church awaken into song, born not of habit but of love and delight. In the name of Christ Jesus.
CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE
We come to the One sure Source of truth and grace; let us confess our sins.
Most holy Friend, we know we are frail and weak creatures, but not as frail as we sometimes pretend. Please unmask our pretences.
Most patient Friend, we know we are foolish creatures, but not as foolish as our irresponsibility would often suggest. Please expose our excuses.
Most loving Friend, we know we are sinful creatures, but not as hopeless as we act in times of self pity. Please deliver us from self-deceit.
Friend, merciful judge and tireless saviour, confront us with the truth. Assist
to accept responsibility, both for our failures and for our many talents.
Where deep within we need forgiveness and healing, come with your Spirit and renew the fabric of our souls.
Where we need a greater faith in ourselves, come with your Spirit and restore our confidence as children of the Most High.
Where we need purer faith in you, come with your Spirit to consolidate the faith we do have and to enlarge our capacity for more.
In the name of him who loved us and gave himself for us, we pray. Amen!
My sisters and brothers in the family of God, let nothing dismay you, let nothing oppress you. God is all-loving, you shall lack nothing. Accept grace and be liberated, trust love and be at peace. God is the best Friend, therefore nothing can finally defeat you.
Thanks be to God.
PRAYER FOR CHILDREN
Thanks heaps, loving God,
for naming Jesus as your Christ:
and our teacher-saviour.
May we really, really trust him
as our only Christ,
not only here in church
but wherever we go
throughout this week.
In the name of Christ Jesus
we say this prayer.
See page 26. “Australian Psalms” (revised ed).
© B D Prewer & Open Book Publishers:
MINI SERMON: DISCIPLESHIP?
Setting a cross on top of a church may be fine
but it is not discipleship.
Putting a cross on the altar is a worthy sign
but it is not discipleship.
Wearing one on a chain might seem enough
but it is not discipleship.
Getting it tattooed over one’s heart might be tough
but it is not discipleship.
Singing about the old rugged cross may feel okay
but it is not discipleship.
Preaching about the cross can point the way,
but it is not discipleship.
Weeping on Good Friday may seem devout,
but it is not discipleship.
Whipping your own back till blood flows out
is not discipleship.
Following the Christ, not counting the cost,
old bridges burning,
listening and learning,
setting your face, trusting sheer grace,
on the steep track,
not looking back,
loving and forgiving, dying while living:
that is discipleship.
Ó B. D. Prewer 2002
Loving God, may we who declare Jesus as your Christ, truly love him without reserve and follow him without deflection.
Let us neither go looking for suffering nor try to avoid it when it comes as a consequence of our love and fidelity.
Give us the strength to endure hard times gracefully, and the sense to enjoy the comfortable times enthusiastically,
and at the end of this narrow road of life, to rest our mortality in the arms of your eternal love and peace.
For your name’s sake.
SERMON 1: OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Mark 8: 29
Mark 8: 33
My sermon title today comes with an exclamation mark: Out of this world! However, you will not hear the words again until the very end.
In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, we are privy to both a high and a low moment in Peter’s life.
Peter got it gloriously right in one insightful moment:
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who would you say I really am?”
Peter answered him: “You are the Christ.” Mark 8: 29
Peter got it grossly wrong a few minutes later, when he dared rebuke Jesus for talking about suffering and death.
Jesus turned on Peter, looked at his disciples, and said “Get lost Satan!
You are not for speaking for God but for men.
AN IMPOSSIBLE MESSIAH?
Was Peter being a fool when he became confused about Jesus the Messiah? I don’t think so.
Were the orthodox Jews fools when they rejected Jesus as Messiah? I don’t think so.
If the truth be told, by all normal standards it was Jesus who was the fool. He took over the popular notion of a Messiah King, who would crush enemies and liberate Israel, and he messed about with the idea. Jesus talked about the Messiah being a servant King, who would get himself rejected, arrested, abused, and crucified.
That suffering stuff, and especially that talk about dying on a cross. just did not fit. It was incompatible with the meaning of the word Messiah. Ludicrous! It was impossible!
As Mark tells us:
Jesus began to teach them that the son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day rise again. He said this bluntly.
Every Jew knew that the Messiah they longed for would be forceful and unconquerable, not gentle and vulnerable. How else could this wicked old world be brought to heal? How else could God’s rule, God’s values, be established on this earth? The Messiah would be a strong man, a powerful somebody, not a crucified nobody.
To this day, this fixed notion of the Messiah remains a stumbling block to most Jews. Even those who regard Jesus as perhaps the most brilliant of their prophets, and the greatest Jew of all,
You may not be aware of it, but today there are some contemporary Jewish scholars who are sympathetic to Jesus and his cause. But not to the Christian claim that he is God’s promised Messiah. For these sympathetic scholars it is unthinkable that the Messiah should be defeated, implausible that God would allow the Christ to suffer at the hands of wicked men. And finally, it was absolutely impossible that the Messiah die on a cross; a mode of death which the Old Testament said was cursed by God; “cursed is any man who dies on a tree.”
One contemporary scholar, Schalom Ben-Chorim has written: “I feel his brotherly hand
which grasps mine, so that I can follow him......................but.................... it is not the hand of the Messiah, this hand marked with scars.”
There is the nub of the scandal: those scars. Our Lord’s suffering and death at the hands of religious and secular authority.
The Messiah would never have scars. He would be without spot or blemish. Nothing will be able to harm him, nothing be permitted to humiliate him. He will rule the world from Jerusalem and bring in the new order of justice and peace. Every other political power shall be under his authority. The Messiah’s strong hand will grasp a sceptre, not a cross.
Peter was not being as fool when he rejected, out of hand, Jesus’ talk of ignoble suffering and death. All this wisdom and hope of his people were present in Peter’s voice when he rebuked Jesus for such negativity.
The big fisherman had every right, so it seemed, to speak up. “Haven’t I said, You are the Christ? Then Messiah Jesus, cease this faithless talk about defeat and suffering and a shameful death.”
Peter and the others had more than once been rebuked by Jesus for their lack of faith. Now Peter was humanly justified in rebuking Jesus. Peter was being as wise as his Jewish faith could ever be. There would be no scars on the hands the Messiah.
DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN THIS TYPE OF MESSIAH?
Are we any wiser than Peter? Before you rush into an answer, think carefully. Do we really believe in the Jesus’ style Messiah? Any more than did the Jews?
Can we truthfully say, with our own health and happiness committed up to the very hilt, that Christ’s way of pure love, which can lead thew rejection, suffering and death, is the right way for a godly person to live?
Does it fit with our idea of successful religion? Does it for even one moment, get past your addiction to physical prosperity, good health, respectable status in the community and the welcome sound of “all people speaking well of you?”
In my moments of clarity I see the truth. I fear the church as a whole is only paying lip service to the crucified Messiah, as the legitimate “way, the truth and the life.” We honour him with a plethora of beautiful words and songs, yet when push comes to shove, we rarely believe in this suffering Messiah enough to unreservedly adhere to either his method or his values.
In the long, story of the church, again and again we have allied ourselves this with world’s values: respectable status, financial success, worldly influence, political power, racist attitudes, hatred of enemies, and unquestioning loyalty to our particular nation.
Many congregations fear being labelled as unpatriotic much more than they fear becoming un-Christlike.
When our home congregation teems with busy members or our parish budget is impressive, we hum with the same excitement as when a new shopping centre is opened, or a record crowd turns out for a madi gras.
We pure like a choir of contented kittens should a Governor, Prime Minister or President or Prince deign to worship with us in our local church.
When some among us becomes very wealthy, they dare to attribute their material riches to the direct blessing of God on their righteous faith. As a pastor I have suffered a few parishioners who have blatantly told me to my face: “I am wealthy because God has seen my faithfulness and rewarded me.”
What is blatant for a few, is surreptitious for many more.
Be honest. We don’t truly believe in a misunderstood and suffering Messiah, do we?
Jesus renounced physical clout and status; we hanker for it. Jesus was unconditionally loving; he made himself vulnerable. We closet ourselves within protective layers of self interest, and now and then make selective sorties into charity if the risk factor happens to be low. Jesus was intent on freely spending his life for others, we hedge and hoard our lives.
No wonder I sometimes wake up out of my pious stupor and hear those unwanted words ringing like an alarm in my mind: “Get behind me Satan. For you are not on the side of God but of man.”
Back to the stark faithfulness of Jesus:
I anyone would be my disciple, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever tries to save their life will lose it, but any who lose thiourea life for my sake will save it. For what can a person give in exchange for their life?”
DON’T BE A LOSER
Peter was not being an unthinking fool when he rebuked Jesus. He was expressing the accepted wisdom of his culture and his religion.
Each of us are exposed to the same shabby values; peppered constantly by the world’s version of wisdom.
If we become seduced by the world, or perhaps try to mix a teaspoon full of Jesus with a bowl of the world’s values, then we are in a no win situation. We will be losers. That is not a maybe; it is a certainty. Losers!
That applies to the church just as much as it applies to the individual Christian:
Whenever the church falls for the blatant lie that a faithful congregation will always be a booming success, we have lost our way.
Whenever we are seduced by the pretty lie that God always rewards true faith with goodies, like perfect health, lots of money, and successful families, we have run our swollen egos into a cul-de-sack.
What is more, the bigger we try to make ourselves, with our proud huffing and puffing, the harder it is to get out of the cul-de-sack. We can only escape by the humiliating process of facing our errors and slowing backing out.
Then we have to retrace our journey back to where a narrow leads off in the direction Christ took.
JESUS IS THE GENUINE MESSIAH
Messiah Jesus is the sole guide for the church. The foolish (in the eyes of the world) Christ of the Gospels is the only authentic Messiah we can ever confess; the only true Lord who leads us to the very heart of God’s love. He is the only one worth following to our lives end. With his blessing a little become more, simplicity produces rich characters, losers become winners, the meek inherit the earth and dead are raised to unlimited life.
If you want quick results, every comfort that money can buy, insurance against calamity, and the frequent applause of the world, then do not follow Jesus. Do not take Christ seriously if you want to pick your own life style. Pay lip service to him if you are so inclined, and say what an interesting guy he was.
But don’t dally long around him; it might endanger your self importance. Scamper off and choose your own brand of wisdom, be a winner in the eyes of the world. Verily you will have your chosen reward. But in the eyes of your Creator, who dearly wanted you to grow up into a creature of utter beauty, you will be a tragic loser.
But if you are willingly drawn to this unusual Messiah, and decide to throw in your lot with him, and lovingly take up your cross daily, you will find the rewards are something else! They are out of this world.
I anyone would be my disciples, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever tries to save their life will lose it, but any who lose their lief for my sake will save it.”
The rewards are indeed out of this world.
* This sermon just would not “jell’. It never got preached. I have retained it as a reminder that in spite of hard work, sometimes we flounder.
Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered him: ‘You are the Christ!”
You are the Christ! said Simon Peter.
What does that really mean to us? Christ? What does it convey, not for Peter or those other Jews who were his first disciples, but for twenty first century Aussies?
Perhaps we had better start with the Jewish understanding. Christ, or the original Hebrew word “Messiah,” meant one who was anointed; anointed by God to rule his people with justice and peace. To signify a king who was chosen by God, a priest such as Samuel would be sent to anoint that king with precious oil.
The Messiah whom the Hebrew people were looking for at the time of Jesus was expected to be a mighty liberator, chosen by God for his mission. A King mightier than fabled king David. One who would throw off the Roman rule and usher in a golden age for the people, with peace and prosperity even better than the days of the legendary King David. The Messiah would establish a utopia ruled by God through his anointed servant. They had high, kingly expectations.
So there we have it. That word Messiah, or Christ in the Greek tongue, was a word packed with meaning. For Simon Peter to boldly name Jesus the Christ meant that he saw Jesus as the fulfilment of the highest hopes of the Jews. Hopes held through many weary centuries of subjugation, humiliation, and suffering. It was an astounding claim! This Jesus was God’s complete answer to their need.
No so today. It has little of that lofty meaning for Australians. The word “Christ” occurs most often among the other pieces of course language that many folk use. Christ is just another swear word. No meaning except as an expletive in response to surprise, pain, anger, frustration or even gratitude. Sometimes it is uttered in the same breath as those more vulgar expressions to which numerous Aussies are addicted.
This saddens many Christians. I too inwardly wince whenever I hear ‘Christ’ linked with an obscenity. But let me clarify one thing. Christ used as a swear word is not blasphemy except if it used by a believer. Non-believers cannot commit blasphemy. Only those of us who confess Christ as Lord can turn his name into blasphemy.
IF JESUS CAME TO AUSTRALIA
Here’s a hypothetical for you:
If Jesus had been born, brought up, and conducted his ministry here in Australia, what expression, equivalent to the Jewish Messiah, would believers use to name him?
I had a long, long, think about that question. Result? I cannot come up with a word that we could use. Maybe you will do better. Words like mate, fair dinkum, true-blue, went through my mind, but these are pathetically inadequate. So instead, I started to think about what Australians really believe in, and what are their hopes? What are we looking for?
If Jesus is the one who embodies our belief, if Jesus is the one who fulfils our hopes, what would than mean? So beliefs and hopes are now where I will try to go.
SOME AUSSIE BELIEFS AND HOPES
Here are some. You may think up more, but these will do for a start.
I have found most ordinary Aussies do have a belief of sorts. Non-churchgoers are often thrown into my company at weddings, funerals, civic functions, in service organisations, or even at the hair dresser. They find they must make conversation with that odd creature they see as a “Rev.” Often they will say something like this: “I’m not a religious person myself. I do have a belief but. I reckon there is something more, y’ know? Something bigger than us, a power or whatever. I wouldn’t call it god but it’s there, y’ know? Has to be. Feel it in me guts sometimes. There has to be”
Australia has never been a church-going nation. Our origins made sure of that. We were founded in barbarism. Cynicism has always been a strong factor in the Aussie psyche. Yet polls reveal that about 75% at least believe in a higher power: “there-is-something.”
This theme has been overdone by politicians wanting to woo more votes. Nevertheless it is true that that one of the highest values in this land is “mateship”. Mateship means close friends on whom you can depend in any circumstance. Those who will go “through hell and high water.” for you. This was one of the highest virtues in the early days of settlement in a wide and often hostile environment. It was reinforced in times of war, when in far away lands your “mate” would stand with you to the very end.
This belief was revealed as very much still alive a few years back in a sad incident when a very high profile footballer (Wayne Carey) was caught having an affair with the wife of a team mate. The outrage within the team was intense. They refused to play with him in the team. He was forced to resign immediately from the club. Their anger was vocalised this way: “We are all mates. We utterly depend on each other. Each of us will put his body on the line, and often cop serious injury for our mates. You just can’t have it on with a team mate’s wife! You can’t do that to a mate! If you do, you are not a true mate.”
3/ “The good life.”
A third characteristic is a widespread belief in the value of “the good life”. It is never clearly defined. Indeed the definition would vary from sub-group to sub-group. Yet there is a wide hunger in our community for a better life: more contentment, better working conditions and pay, more work satisfaction, equality of opportunity, more sharing of the prosperity of the nation, more cultural activity for some and more sporting excitement for others. This notion of the good life is extremely vague. Yet people will tell me “There has to be some way that is better than this.”
4/ “Good luck.”
Australians have always placed a heavy emphasis on luck. Not luck as a cold statistical probability but as quirky fate, the way the dice rolls. Luck is almost like an actual capricious deity who will shower goodies on you one day but may “drop you in it” the next. In the beginning the settler was lucky if his “selection” (grant} turned out to be fertile country, or unlucky if he was given poor country that even wallabies and emus did not want. During the 19th century gold rush, if lady luck was kind, a “digger” became wealthy. But if luck frowned, the digger ended up with nothing but hunger, illness and despair. When you went to war in far away Africa, Gallipoli, Flanders, Borneo or Korea or Vietnam, if luck had your name on a bullet that was it, if luck had you listed to return home you would not matter what. Ironically, the fatalism bred by this belief in luck, made Aussie soldiers formidable combatants.
These are four of the common beliefs and hopes that I can identify: “There-is-something” bigger than us, “mateship,” “the good life” and “good luck.”
OUR AUSSIE CHRIST?
Have we a title to gather up these Aussie beliefs and hopes?
I still cannot think of one. If you can come up with such a word, please let me know?
Maybe it is because we Aussies, unlike the Jews, do not expect one individual to embody the answer to our need. It seems I am stuck without an alternative Australian title for Christ But that does not mean Christ does not answer our beliefs and hopes. Let us take the four I have outlined.
To encounter Jesus is the best luck of all. Those who know about him, (who savour his teaching, dote on his loving deeds, kneel in awe before his cross and resurrection) have won the billion dollar lottery! Here is good luck which once encountered will never leave you nor forsake you. There is nothing capricious about this good fortune. In Christ we have hit the jackpot which will never run dry.
To say with Peter, “You are the Christ” means for us at least this: we have become inheritors of the greatest treasure on earth and in heaven. “Out of God’s treasure house we have received grace upon grace.”
The good life.
Jesus is the good life incarnate. Here is the kind of life-style that offers peace, purpose and the prosperity of the soul which makes any other utopia seem like a cheap imitation. The key to the good life is not in power, fame, gourmet food, the best wines, promiscuous sex, endless travel, designer label clothes, luxury cars, expensive pent-houses or mansions on Gold Coast canals. The good life is not even found in the best literature, paintings of the masters, or the sweetest music ever composed. The key to the truly good life is Jesus of Nazareth, in his immeasurable love. In love he opens up to us unlimited possibilities for ourselves and for the world. He redefines pleasure and brings us a joy that no power, past, present or future, can ever take from us.
To say with Peter “You are the Christ” means at least this: We have found the inexhaustible source of the best possible life imaginable.
Jesus is the fulfilment of mateship at its best. Here is one who is there for us at all times, in every situation. He will go through hell and high water for us. More, he will go through cross after cross for us. It is unconditional mateship. This mate gives his life for his friends. Unlike all other mateship, this which Jesus offers is inclusive. Even the best of common Australian mateship includes some and leaves others out. It is selective. Not so the comradeship of Jesus. It belongs to all, even to the most despised and the most self-despising soul. No one is rubbish in the eyes of this Mate.
To say with Peter “You are the Christ” means at least this: We have found one who will always be our best Mate.
About 75% of our fellow citizens seem to believe in some hidden mystical Entity. They will tell you “There is Something more, you know.” For Christians, this comes to a sharp focus in Jesus. Jesus is ‘There-is-something-more” incarnate. He is both the unique messenger of this Something and the embodied Presence of this Something. Here in Jesus we meet the loving character of the Ultimate Power; that which WAS before the universe began its long story. The Mystery which is all around us yet utterly beyond us, has tasted our pain and shared our joy, personally, in Jesus of Nazareth.
To say with Peter, “You are the Christ” means certainly this: “There-is-something-more” is no longer hidden. It is now and open secret. Jesus shows us the heart of God.
CHRIST FOR US
Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do you say I am?” “You are the Christ” said Peter.
Who do Australians say that I am? Some of us would say:
“Fellow Australians, your luck is in, you have scooped the pool!
Here is the good life, ready to be yours for the asking.
Here is the ultimate mateship, dying to be yours.
Here is “there-is-something-more” wearing a human smile.”
Many of you know how much I am inspired by the Australian continent, with its unique flora and fauna. You know how I have tried to write poetically about it to the glory of God. But this I must say: If it were not for Christ, I doubt whether I would ever write one word. Jesus is the cipher that unlocks this parcel of creation for me. It would be like a closed book without him.
Once on annual leave Marie and I spent a wonderful time in Kakadu National Park, staying with our good friend, the photographer Ian Morris, who was a Ranger at that time. I was overcome by the scenic grandeur, the prolific wild life, and the very long human story of Kakadu. I was, as they say, “gob-smacked” to stand in places where fellow human beings had lived for at least 40,000 years, and to look upon art that went back some thousands of years. But if it were not for Christ, what would it have meant to me? He gave me the key to unlock the scene and recognise handiwork of the prodigiously generous, providential God. Among the poems I dashed off on that occasion was this little one. I called it Emmaus.
If this collection
of shapes and colours
is the only light
how wretched we would be.
If we must deduce
from nature alone
the first Cause
and final Goal
how confused we would be.
If you, Lord Jesus,
had not met us on the way
and opened these Scriptures
how lost we would be.
* For two voices; either leader and congregation and two leaders.
Blessed are you, loving God, joy of the universe! We thank you for the blessings, both seen and unseen, that pour from the storehouse of your love, hour after hour, age after age.
We thank you for light; the kindly light that greets our faces at the window at morning, and the light that greets our souls when we turn to prayer.
We thank you for truth; the knowledge we uncover and accumulate about the universe around us, and the wisdom which we can gain from the experiences of each another.
We thank you for beauty; for the beauty we see in blossoming trees and children’s faces, and the loveliness of the human spirit revealed through times of hardship.
We thank you for peace; the peace that comes when opponents are reconciled and the peace that enfolds us when we trust our restless lives into your care.
We thank you for grace; the grace of swooping rainbow birds, dancing brolgas, and the saving grace that flows from the cross to embrace fools and rebels.
We thank you for rest; the sleep-rest that comes at the end of an exacting day and the sweet rest that permeates our being in response to Christ’s call.
We thank you for laughter; the merriment we share over comic and ironic situations, and the merriment that gathers us up like the wings of eagles on Easter Day.
Blessed are you, loving God, joy of the universe! We thank you for blessings both seen and unseen, and for the promise that the best is yet to come. Through Jesus Christ our light and salvation.
PRAYERS FOR OTHERS
Prayers without actions, or actions without prayer, are less than the best outcome for our faith. We now come to praying for other people. Later we will leave this church to back up our prayers with loving deeds.
Let us pray.
Holy Friend, we your people who have received your joy through the bright and happy times, and known your enabling strength in times of pain and tears, now seek your blessing on our fellow human beings everywhere.
Bless the strong that they may be compassionate, the very capable that they may be patient with the inept, and the attractive people that they may be walk humbly.
Bless the weak that they may find courage, the battlers that they may receive encouragement, and the disfigured that they may find respect and affirmation.
Bless the healthy that they may be gentle, the successful that they may keep the common touch, and the elderly that they may cherish each day as a bonus.
Bless the diseased that they may be given the best treatments, the dying that they may be loved until the end, and the grieving that loss may be tempered with comfort and hope.
Bless the rich that they may be more than generous, the famous that they may use their fame for good, and rulers that they may be seek justice and love mercy.
Bless the poor that they may break free from poverty, the unthanked and ignored folk that they may retain self respect, and the losers that they may become your winners.
Bless Christians of strong belief that they may be gracious, those of many gifts that they may use them gratefully, and large congregations that they may help the weak ones.
Bless the waverers that their faith may consolidate those of small gifts that they may employ them well, and struggling churches that they may encourage one another in love.
Most loving God, keep our hearts always open to the inflow of your compassion, that we may receive it gladly and spend it freely for the welfare of those whom others forget. In the name of our Lord Jesus and to the glory of your new world.
If you and I had to go out of this church trusting in own strength, wisdom and love,
what a disappointment we would be to the world.
Our strength is the God who made heaven and earth, our wisdom is the light shed by the Spirit within us, and our love is constantly replenished from the abundance of Christ’s grace.
Therefore let us go quietly and confidently, praying that our ordinary lives will reflect a little
of the extraordinary glory of God.
Our joy is in the God who cherishes each of us, and our resilience flows from the Spirit whose gifts come as freely as the wind.
The blessing of God, most wonderful beyond our comprehension, will be yours today and always.
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.