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
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SUNDAY 26    25 Sept 25 – Oct 1


Mark 9:38-50....                                               (Sermon 1: “Love Is As Tough As Nails”)

James 5:13-20....

Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22....   (Sermon 2: “Positive Discrimination”)

Psalm 124




Let us worship God.

Our help is in the name of God, who made heaven and earth


Our primary aim is–

not to receive but to give,

not to tremble but to trust,

not to escape from the world but to be more profoundly involved.

not to buy some favours but to celebrate free grace,

not to bend God to our will but to align ourselves with Christ’s way.


I welcome you to this household of God.

Our help is in the name of God who made heaven and earth.





If the God of love had not been on our side,

where would we be now?


Let all the people of God say:

If the God of love had not been on our side,

we would have been swallowed alive

by the enemies of faith, joy and peace.


But God was in Christ

reconciling the world unto himself.

God has not surrendered us like prey,

we are liberated like birds from a cage.


Therefore we will sing,

yes in the congregation of God’s people

we will sing praises of love and joy!




Most wonderful, are you, God our Creator-Friend, from whom all blessings flow.

            Blessed are you, O God, the spring of the universe!

Most wonderful are you, Christ our Redeemer-Friend, in you is abundant life and joy.

            Blessed are you, O God, the salvation of the universe!

Most Wonderful are you, Holy Spirit, our True-Friend, in you we are young again.

            Blessed are you, O God, the joy of the universe!




Friends, James, the brother of Jesus, wrote these words: “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other, that you may be healed.”


Let us pray.


Loving God, we admit to you and to each other that we are a mixture of light and darkness. Something much wiser than human know-how is needed to sort us out and make us whole again.


Some days we do well, soaring like eagles over the ranges of the Great Divide. Yet on other days we are like cockroaches scurrying in dark places.

Some times we are like surfers at Coolangatta; truly enjoy riding life’s rough waters. But there are occasions when we just sit in the shallows and complain, allowing the surf to break over us, infiltrating our souls with the grit of self-pity.

There are special moments in worship or in private prayer when we beg you to take us hiking among the highlands of the Spirit. But these may be followed by pessimistic moods when our bleating prayers see no higher than ant hills.


Merciful God, you search us and truly know us. You understand the strange mixture that hides behind our public faces. Please take us in hand. Be to us not the God we think we want but the God we really need for our salvation. In the name of Christ Jesus, our Saviour.





Here is the Good News: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” Grace, mercy and peace are yours for the taking. Accept God’s gift and be free.


The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you!




Hi God, here we are again,

happy to be called your children,

the brothers and sisters of your Son Jesus.


Thanks for being on our side,

and for not getting mad at us

whenever we do stupid or bad things.


Thanks for being on our side

when others seem to be against us,

or when bullies pick on us.


You, loving God,

make our lips want to sing

and our feet itch to dance.


You are awesome!





If it had not been God at our side–

let us publicly admit it–

if had not been for God at our side

when everything seemed against us,

then we would have been engulfed

by all those hostile forces.


We would have been swept away,

like goannas in a Todd River flood,

tumbled, drowned and lost

in the mud-red raging waters.

Wonderful is our loving God

who has not left us as carrion for dingoes.


We have escaped like eagles from a cage,

the door has been sprung and we soar free.

All our hope in the name of our God

who has made heaven and earth.

                                                                                    © B.D. Prewer 2002




Mark 9: 42



Many uses,

  flintstone, flagstone.

Many joys,

  birthstone, gemstone.

Many pains,

  gallstone, hailstone.

Many tools,

  grindstone, whetstone,

Many griefs,

  gravestone, brimstone.



Many hopes

  cornerstone, hearthstone.

One warning,

  millstone, millstone.

Kyrie eleison.






Mark 9:42-48


Christ’s love is as tough as nails.


Any foolish illusion that Jesus was a wimp is do-gooder, should be dispelled by today‘s Gospel reading.

            Whoever causes one of these little children who trust me to sin,

            it would be better for him if a huge millstone were hung round his neck

            and he were thrown into the sea.


Any attempt to reduce the concept of Christian love to pious sentimentality, is here robustly refuted.

The most loving person this world has seen spoke some of the sternest words ever to cross human lips, and for such love he suffered one of the worst possible deaths.


True love is a tough as nails.




Jesus was the champion of the disempowered and the despised, the vulnerable and the abused. Children came into that category. So did new converts, those who were mere infants in the community of faith. In the Gospel (Mark, 9:42-48) the writer tells us that Jesus warned offenders against little children. They were in big trouble. It would be preferable to be thrown into the sea with millstone around their necks, than finding oneself in hell.


That goes for any wilful offence. Better to cut off one’s own offending hand or foot, or to pluck out one’s evil eye, than to wilfully injure others and damn your own soul.


Maintaining our Christian integrity, living lovingly towards others, so that justice and mercy embrace, is never an easy assignment. It takes all our energy and dedication, common sense and profound wisdom. Especially it requires self honesty. Know yourself. Self honesty and clear thinking are essential if we are to get it right in our relationships and to keep it right.


The passage commences with that stark warning about not harming the faith of the vulnerable. “Any person who causes one of these little ones who trust me to stumble, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the sea”


The millstone referred to is not a small hand millstone sometimes used by women to grind flour for the family’s bread. It is the large millstones, weighing some tons. These huge stones were kept turning by ox or ass plodding around and around in a tight circle. Such a millstone is a hundred times larger than would be needed to carry a man to the bottom of the sea and keep him there forever.




What we have here is the typical, exaggerated language of the Middle East. We call it hyperbole. I know I have commented on hyperbole at other times, but from my pastoral counselling I know it is a point I need to make again and again.


Some people persist in trying to read Eastern documents through the filter of Western eyes.

It leads to either confusion of grave error.


If a truth is important enough, the Semitic people do not go in for concise, moderated, (and often dull) language such as the Romans favoured. The Semites expressed truth in vivid word pictures; exaggerated images.


Jesus, a true Semite, used that kind of dramatic language to make his point. Readers of the Bible get themselves into all sorts of trouble if they try reading it with academic, Western goggles on. For our culture, especially when we are writing or giving a formal lecture, the bigger the truth the more careful and concise and logical the language should be.


Not so for the people of the Middle East. Jesus was not a Professor at Cambridge, Harvard, Tubingen, or the universities of Melbourne or Sydney. Nor was he speaking to academics or undergraduates. He was a Semite speaking to ordinary Semites. For Jesus and his people, the bigger the truth the more exaggerated the language might be. Get this right and his teaching packs a punch. Get it wrong and some earnest souls end up with a literalism which leads to grave religious excesses.




Now look again at that millstone. Consigning an offender to drown by hanging a full size millstone around his neck is definitely “over-kill.” That stone would be sufficient to send a team of oxen to the bottom of the sea, let alone one offending man or woman! It is a dramatic picture because Jesus is giving a drastic his warning. He is for real. The danger is real. Cause one of these little ones who believe in him to stumble, and it would be preferable for the offender to consigned, attached to the millstone, to the depths of the sea.


As I mentioned last Sunday, there is the double play in the “phrase little ones.” It can mean the little child or the new convert. Both are vulnerable to the influence of others. Both are easily diverted and corrupted by those in whom they place their trust.


We in the church are warned by the Lord about our influence for good or evil. It is no light matter. What we say and do always has some effect on those around us, for good or evil. Be warned. Jesus took it seriously enough to draw on a vivid picture: that large and heavy stone, and one little human, being plunging into the sea.


There is even more to this image. The Jews were among the world’s worst sailors. Why? At that time they saw the sea as an alien place, belonging to primitive powers of chaos from which God had established the land. For them in that era, to be drowned was to be lost for all eternity. There was no hope of resurrection for those who were lost at sea.  A grim warning to all of us.




The warnings then continue with amputations. Jesus keeps up the pressure by speaking first of our hands “If your hand offends, cut it off, better to live maimed than to go to hell with two hands.”  Shocking imagery, huh? More to come.If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. Better to live lame than go to hell with two feet.” Jesus pushes us even harder: “If your eye leads you to sin, tear it out. Better to enter life with one eye than to go to hell with twenty twenty vision.”


Here Jesus is warning us about making an unholy alliance with sin; sin is never just between you and God; it also impacts on those around you. Sin is like spreading bacteria in a public swimming pool. All sin impinges on others, and trips up other people, especially the “little ones,” on their journey of faith.


I pause to lament the fact that some guilt-ridden folk have missed the hyperbole and taken these words of Jesus literally. They have been a few who have actually amputated a hand or a leg. And even more have blinded themselves wanting to get rid of temptation and sin. That is tragic. Jesus never wants us to mutilate ourselves. His warning was intended, but it was dressed in the hyperbole familiar to his people. We need to get the point he is making, not allow our literalist, western understanding to lead us into the terrible folly of mutilating the body God has created.




The grim warning Jesus gives is reinforced by his repeated use of the word “hell”. The word before we translate it into English as hell is actually Gehenna. Our word “hell” is the best we can do but it is hardly adequate. The word Gehenna derives from the city of Jerusalem’s rubbish tip in the valley of Hinnon. It was a stinking place of maggots and worms, and continual smouldering fires. Jesus is telling us that If we chose to do those things that degrade us and undermine the faith of those around us, we are choosing to be trash.


Please understand that Jesus did not say these things when he was in a bad mood. He was not working of his frustration by using colourful language. He was clear headed and filled with nothing but love for those around him.


If you love others you will care about their safety, long for their well being. True love will encourage, true love will warn, true love will rebuke when necessary. True love will gladly suffer to try and reclaim the beloved from turning themselves into trash, fit for the rubbish dump. Gehenna is no fit place for those who were created to be creatures of light made into the image of God.


Christ loves his people enough to be hard on them. Be grateful for that, my sisters and brothers, and never take lightly either his warnings or his mercies. He who startles us with such dramatic language, also puts his own body on the line for us. Love is as tough as nails





* Too wordy!  Reduce by one third!




Art galleries, especially those that exhibit masterpieces from across the ages, leave me uplifted yet also a little sad. Whether it be in the Louvre in Paris, or the National Gallery set in Melbourne’s gracious St Kilda Rd, I have mixed feelings.


My uplift you art lovers may easily empathise with. But my sadness? Let me explain;


My sadness, especially with the historical collections, is the near-absence of women artists.


Where have all the creative women gone?  Don’t anyone try to tell me that men are more creative than women. Or that women lack the depth of perception or the tactile skills to express themselves on canvas. There must have been some female Talent in places like Florence, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam and London. Where is their heritage?


My answer is blunt. It was a man’s world.  Historically there has been massive negative discrimination. Only the creative works of masculine minds and fingers were considered worthy of treasuring and exhibiting.


It that being savage? I do not believe so. It was a man’s world. Women were but secondary beings. We are abysmally poorer for all the female genius that has been lost to us.


I wish there had been last least some degree of positive discrimination applied by a few brave men. How I wish!




This negative discrimination in the world of art has a parallel in the worlds of religion. When I read the Bible there is much to inspire and uplift me. But there is also a sadness that so few women feature.


In the Bible there are 66 books. Only two of these bear the name of women and centrally feature women: Ruth and Esther. We can be grateful that for reasons that suited the male perspective, these two stories have survived.


Esther is the one we look at today. (Why not read it all when you go home. It will only take you 15 minutes or so) For now, I will give an abbreviated glimpse in three acts.




The Jews are in exile. Taken captive after the destruction of the capital city, their temple, and their nation, they ended up in Babylon. There, as a despised ethnic group, they were used as cheap labour and often abused by the general population. Their plight was close to what it had been, hundreds of years before when they had been slaves in Egypt.


The Babylonian dominance ended. A Persian and Median empire was now ruled by a king called Ahasu-erus. It was said that his kingdom was immense, stretching from Persia to Ethiopia to India.  At a drunken feast in the capital city of Susa, the king ordered his chief wife, the Queen Vashti, to go on display before the men of the city to show off her feminie beauty.


Vashti made the brave yet tragic mistake of refusing to go on display. None of us would blame her for that. But the men of the kingdom were outraged.  What would become of them if all their wives started refusing to obey them. The king agreed and had Vashti stripped of her crown and position, and banished from the royal court. Presumably the men of the kingdom heaved sighs of relief, and returned to lording it over their wives.





A new Queen was needed.


Palace officers went throughout the kingdom rounding up all the most beautiful virgins they could find. In the muster was a beautiful young Jew named Esther. This girl was an orphan who had been lovingly raised by her uncle Mordecai.  A very worried Uncle Mordecai hung around the palace gates hoping for some news of his niece from the king’s harem.


When news did come it was both good and bad news. The bad news was that his beloved Jewish niece was to be forced into bed with the uncircumcised Gentile king. The good news was that Esther had so taken the king’s fancy that he made her his chief wife, and crowned her as the new Queen of the kingdom. Well aware of what had happened to her predecessor, Esther was cautious in her new role. What woman wouldn’t be in that vulnerable position?


About this same time the king promoted a courtier named Haman to be Prime Minister. Haman got high on his own self importance.  He loved his authority. He relished the pomp and the ceremony. He expected every citizen to kow tow , to kneel down in his presence.


Mordecai the Jew, often around the palace these days, would not kneel before anyone except God. This really got up the snout of Haman. But he was wily, he knew Mordecai was the uncle of Esther. He feared that if he got in a direct contest with her, he just might lose; such was the Queen’s favour in the eyes of the King.  Yet he was determined to make Mordecai pay for his insolence.


So this schemer approached the King with a serious complaint: there was one ethnic group, the Jews, who did not obey the laws of the Medes and the Persians.  The king was not aware that the beautiful Esther was one of these Jews.  Haman’s report of Jewish insubordination made the king furious. He agreed to Haman’s plea that at a certain season, all the Jews in every province should be set upon and massacred. The edict was issued, and Haman was beside himself with the pleasure of anticipation. He had massive public gallows erected just to hang Mordecai.


Across the kingdom all the Jews went into mourning, tearing their clothes and covering themselves in ashes.  Uncle Mordecai prevailed upon Esther to take her courage in her hands and dare to enter the King’s presence without being invited.  It was a brazen plan that would usually result in instant execution.


Esther was scared stiff. But the girl did it. She dressed in her royal robes and stood in the king’s court uninvited. He favoured her by beckoning Esther forward to his throne, and telling her whatever her petition was, even up to the value of half his kingdom, he would grant it.


She was winsome yet cagey. But the upshot was that Queen Esther managed affairs so as to turn the tables of Haman. Mordecai was to become Prime Minister and Haman was incriminated in plotting the death of uncle Mordecai and all the Jews. Realising now that even his favourite wife was Jew, and would have fall under Haman’s plot, King Ahasu-erus lifted the sentence against all the Jews. Furious with Haman, he ordered his ex-Prime Minister hanged on the very gallows that rogue had gleefully prepared for Mordecai. The Jews were saved by the Queen’s courage.





Esther seized the opportunity so settle some scores. She proved to have a thirst for revenge. She contrived a royal proclamation permitting any Jew in the kingdom, who had been abused by other citizens, to have the right to rise up and slay them. A bloody massacre took place. Hundreds of Gentiles were slaughtered in Susa and thousands throughout the 127 provinces of the empire.


That slaughter might, and should, sound vicious to us. But it was the old law, attributed to Moses, of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We do well to remember that such a law was a big improvement on the extreme cruelty of this evil world when left to its own devices. It was a modest revenge compared with the more common forms of retribution, where avengers take a hundred eyes for one eye and a thousand teeth for one tooth.


Whatever you feel about those thousands of slaughtered Gentiles, the Jews had been saved from a similar fate by the wisdom of Mordecai and the courage of that woman, Esther. The celebrating Hebrews declared that time of the year to be an annual season of feasting. They called it Purim, a festival of their salvation. Even to this day, Purim is celebrated each year by the Jewish people. And over the centuries millions of Jewish mothers and father s have proudly named their daughters Esther.





There we have it.  A salvation story. One young woman, against her wishes, was forced into the harem of a pagan king. She took her life in her hands to try and save her people. This young woman succeeded. They were saved. Big celebration.


We can easily see why the brief Book of Esther made it into the Hebrew Bible and from there into ours.  She was a notable national heroine, much more successful than Britain’s Boadicea and France’s Joan of Arc.


Esther, like the fabled Moses, became an agent of God’s salvation for the Jewish people. The festival which celebrates the liberation under Moses is called Passover. That which honours the liberation through Esther is Purim. Not many women were so venerated in a religious history that was written by men.


But this woman was and is venerated. We can be grateful for that.




But where are the others?


How much more do I, and maybe some of you, wish more of the stories of famous women of faith had been kept and passed on to us?  I am remain saddened that our Old Testament record has so few female witnesses. There must have been numerous Spirit filled women, prophets and visionaries, poets and healers, of whom the next generation of men failed to speak. Their deeds and words were lost. The record is sparse.


The same is true of our Christian story. Our record of women is much thinner than it should be. Our heritage is much poorer than it ought to be.


Like female artists, and like female composers of music, Christian gifted women were not taken as seriously as men. This negative discrimination continued in spite of the way Jesus affirmed women and made them the very first witnesses to his resurrection.


The paucity in our records is why in our generation, hungry for the feminine voice, we have started to treasure the snippets pertaining to women of faith that have somehow survived. 


We are glad to know that before St Augustine was his admired and respected mother Monica; we wish we knew more about her!

We treasure the few writings that have survived from outstanding women scholars and mystics like Mechtilde of Marburg, and Hildegarde of Bingen,  and Juli-anne of Norwich.

We hang on the stories of St Claire, who was a remarkable advocate for the poor and prayer-mate of Francis of Assisi.

We follow up any glimpse we get of the warm hearted ex-nun who married Martin Luther, and who became his precious and strong Kate.

We are delighted that we know something about that outstanding scholar and educationalist who nurtured John and Charles Wesley, their mother Susannah Annesly.


We Aussies are understandably proud of Christian women who took the lead in matters of compassion and social justice during the early colonial years within Australia. Women like Frances Chisholm, and the resilient and now officially Sainted, Mary McKillop.


But where are all the rest from across the long centuries? How deprived we are!


If it makes me both uplifted and sad to spend time in a top-class art gallery, how much more does it sadden me at the absence of information about other brilliant and loving women who served Christ wonderfully, yet who do not have even one sentence written about them to encourage us who follow in their footsteps.




We cannot change the past. We all know that.


Yet we must make sure that the same, or a similar thing, does not happen in our age. I am not only referring to the role of women, which in some denominations is still restrictive. It is much wider than that. In applies to any minority group.


In particular I ask: What other group of Christians in our land might be marginalised and forgotten today? What inspiration are we missing? Of what special gifts are we depriving ourselves and future generations?


Think of such hardly noticed folk. Other neglected groups across the denominational fences? Across the ethnic and cultural divide? How much do we know about, or even want to know about, inspirational members of those churches that differ markedly from ours? 


How much do we understand, or want to understand, about the vigorous Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian congregations in our cities and towns? Or of the thriving churches of those who have migrated from the Philippines or Korea? Or more recently those Christians who have fled from persecution in some African countries?  What are we missing out on?


Maybe even more uncomfortably: How much do we appreciate, or wish to appreciate, the vitality of aboriginal Christianity in our land?


What stories are we missing? Of what insights are we deprived? What wise leaders within indigenous Australians are we ignoring? Maybe there are some choice souls who could help us find the best way forward in serving our Lord on this ancient continent?




Maybe it is time for some positive discrimination? For a deliberate policy of seeking out those enlightened souls who have been neglected, and giving them a voice? Of shifting the focus away from the obvious and the readily accessible, and seeing those to whom we have been blind? Of tuning our ears to those voices which up till now have rarely penetrated our selective hearing?


I put it to you that God goes in for some positive discrimination. A discrimination that does not to play favourites with one sectional group, yet choses some to further the mission of salvation for the whole world.


The story of Moses and the liberation of slaves from Egyptian captivity, is a story of positive discrimination.

The story of Esther and the salvation of captive Jews who had already suffered much and now were about to be wiped out by ruthless enemies, is a story of positive discrimination.

The Gospel stories of Jesus are accounts of how he actively looked out for those whom others neglected or damaged, bruised or tormented, and with discriminating love found them and redeemed them.

That strong declaration of Jesus: “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over a hundred virtuous people,” is an affirmation of holy discrimination.


You and I cannot change the past. But we can alter the course of today and tomorrow.


Therefore let that woman Esther speaks to us on this Lord’s day. Let her story challenge us to lift up our eyes, and to open our ears, to those who have gifts with which to enrich us, but whom we have definitely shut out of our experience by either our open, or subconscious, negative discrimination.


Maybe a good place to start is among those with whom we mingle after worship today? What positive discrimination on our part is possible right there outside this house of God?


I remind you of some words from among the commonly ignored sayings of Jesus:

            If you greet only those who greet you, what value is there in that? Don’t the worldly             unbelievers do that much? If you love only those who love you, what reward can you             expect? Don’t sinners, such as tax collectors, as much?  Your love must be complete,

            even as your heavenly father is complete.





In spite of ourselves, we do believe.


We believe in the living God, holy beyond our searching and theorising,

who actually picked out one obscure tribe of Semites, headed by Abraham and Sarah,

and chose their descendants to be a light in the dark world of human affairs.


We believe in the discriminating God of Miriam and Moses,

the pastoral God of David and Hosea,

the social justice God of Amos and Micah,

and the visionary God of Isaiah and Ezekiel.


We believe in the God who gave a discriminating blessing

to his only genuine Child, Jesus of Nazareth;

who healed and taught throughout Galilee,

chose to help foreign Romans and despised Samaritans,

suffered injustice at the hands of the chief priests and Pilate,

was dragged outside the city walls and died an agonising death.


We believe in the God who gave a discriminating YES

to all Jesus was and did by raising him from the dead,

and by setting him loose from the restrictions of time and space

to continue to save a love-deprived world.


We believe in the God who has discriminated in our favour,

choosing ordinary folk, stumblers and fumblers though we are,

to find our liberty in redeeming grace of his true Son

and to share the Gospel around this evil-weary planet.


We believe in the untameable Holy Spirit of God,

who discriminates in the particular gifts given to particular believers,

not that any person may boast

 but that we may combine our gifts for the good of all

and for a glory as yet beyond our conceiving.


Yes indeed.

In spite of everything dark, in spite of ourselves, we do believe.

Praise be to God





            Responses: L: Give thanks to God who is so good

                              P: Whose love endures forever.


Daffodils around ruined homesteads

Wirrake wattle among ironbark trees

donkey orchids nodding in soft sunlight

golden daisies carpeting wide desert fields.


Grey-pink galahs nesting in old gum trees

swamp hens escorting chicks on billabongs

limpid-eyes peeping from a grey ‘roo’s pouch

a young koala clinging to its mother’s back.


Croaking frogs from a pond at evening

the laughter of kookaburras at sunrise

the songs of reed warblers along small creeks

the humming of bees among peach blossom


Rainbow-awed children dancing in a sun shower

elderly folk sunning themselves on verandahs

office workers seeking the sun at lunch hour

couples hand in hand walking through parkland.


Driving to church along spring-green streets

turtle doves cooing from steeple or belfry

adoring a God who is the source of all beauty

worshipping a Christ who makes all things new.





We can always be honest with God.


Let us pray.


Is this really the best possible world, Creator-God?


Why are there devastating viruses and pernicious bacteria? Why are there so many natural disasters? Why do you put up with individual and corporate evil? Why do you tolerate the arrogance of the strong and the humiliation of the weak? Why do your permit abuse and war to rage across the planet?


Loving God, even as we ask these questions we know there will be no answer, except the one you have given in the cross and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Help us to trust that declaration of your utter commitment to us, and to turn our questions into the effective practice of love for one another. May every “why” engender not frustration but a deeper sharing in your compassion for this world.


Wherever sin abounds, please let grace abound all the more.


Whenever people are despised and abused, let justice and mercy restore self respect.


Where little children weep, mothers and fathers lament, and even strong believers are tempted by despair, let comfort and hope proliferate.


While some fight demons of the mind, and others fight against diseases of the body, let all the powers and skills of healing be focused on those who need them most.


When the sinned-against folk are deeply bruised, and some brood on their anger and plot revenge, send the spirit of reconciliation among your people.


Wherever faith is new and fragile, and love needs patient nurturing, please keep your church keen and humble in its duty of care for the little ones in Christ’s kingdom.


Redeeming Friend, enable each person in the many churches scattered among the nations, to tighten their faith, heighten their hope, and widen their love, to your honour and praise.

Through Christ Jesus our Lord.





            Go in peace to enjoy and employ your gift of faith.

            Our help is in the name of God who made heaven and earth.


            Fear neither outward foe no inner temptation.

            Our help is in the name of God who made heaven and earth


            Rejoice in your blessings and smile in your adversities.

            Our help is in the name of God who made heaven and earth.


The inexhaustible grace of Christ crucified, the tireless, eternal love of God,

and thelive-in Guest who fills household of faith with many gifts,

will be with you this day and for evermore.




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Although this book was written with young people in mind, it has proved to be popular with Christians or seekers of all ages. Through the eyes and ears of a youth named Chip, big questions are raised and wrestled with; faith and doubt,  unanswered  prayers, refugees,  death and grief, racism and bullying, are just a few of the varied topics confronted in these pages. Suitable as a gift to the young, and proven to be helpful when it has been used as a study book for adults.

Australian Prayers has been a valuable prayer resource for over thirty years.  These prayers are suitable for both private and public use and continue to be as fresh and relevant today as ever.  Also, the author encourages users to adapt geographical or historical images to suit local, current situations.

This collection of original, contemporary prayers is anchored firmly in the belief that no matter what the immediate future may hold for us, ultimately Jesus is himself both the goal and the shape of our future.  He is the key certainty towards which the Spirit of God is inexorably leading us in this scientific and high-tech era. Although the first pages of this book were created for the turn of the millennium, the resources in this volume reflect the interests, concerns and needs of our post-modern world.