Archive for the ‘ Prayer of the Week ’ Category

(c) Auckland Castle; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationOur prayer this week comes not from the ancient traditions of the church but from John Cosin a 17th century Anglican Bishop of Durham.

The prayer is divided into two halves. In the first author asks Jesus to be everything to him.

In the second his response is to offer himself completely to God. It is an equation that we need to remember. If we want more of God then we must allow him to have more of us.

Lord Jesus, be a light to my eyes,
music to mine ears, sweetness to my taste,
and full contentment to my heart.
Be my sunshine in the day, my food at table,
my repose in the night, my clothing in nakedness, and my succour in all necessities.
 
Lord Jesus, I give you my body,
my soul, my substance, my fame,
my friends, my liberty, and my life.
Dispose of me and all that is mine
as it may seem best to you
and to the glory of your blessed name. Amen.
 
John Cosin

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Today many people will gather to remember the events that led to the outbreak of the first world war – prayers will be said and vigils held. I am reminded that this this war was supposed to be ‘the war to end all wars’ and yet today there is still war throughout the world – The Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Gaza come immediately to mind. As do the words of Albert Einstein:

Peace is not merely the absence of war
but the presence of justice…’

If we are to see peace in our world then we must be seekers after justice. The Bible puts it this way:

And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

So this week our prayer seeks to remind us of our need to seek peace with justice.

God our Creator,
As we look around the conflicts in your world today
We are painfully aware
that we fail to seek your justice,
and swerve from the way of your righteousness:
look with compassion upon those facing danger, disaster, and devastation.
Guide us all along the path of life,
and make us valiant for truth, peace and justice,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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For the final Prayer of the Week for July we have again drawn on the Celtic tradition. This prayer focusses on all that God is and all the places he is to be found. May it be a reminder to us of God’s presence in every moment of life.

You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from harm
You are the light that shines in dark
You are the heart’s eternal spark
You are the door that’s open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me still
You are my love, keep me from ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Saviour this very day.
 
You are God – Celtic oral tradition – 1st millennium

stcolumbThis week we draw again on the Celtic tradition for our Prayer of the Week. The prayer was written by Columbanus. He was born in 543 in Ireland, and died in Bobbio, Italy, in 615. During his journey from Ireland to Italy, he and his followers had established numerous monasteries in France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, which became strongholds of safety, education, employment, and culture amidst the turmoil of the Dark Ages.

His work across Europe has left a lasting legacy. Robert Schuman, a founding father of the EU considered him an inspiration for modern Europe, stating on 23 July 1950 in Luxeuil, France, “St. Columbanus, this illustrious Irishman who left his own country for voluntary exile, willed and achieved a spiritual union between the principal European countries of his time. He is the patron saint of all those who now seek to build a United Europe.”

Who says that Christians cannot have any effect on the world in which they live!

I beg you, most loving Saviour,
to reveal yourself to us, that knowing you,
we may desire you,
that desiring you, we may love you,
that loving you we may ever hold you
in our thoughts.
May your charity possess us,
and your love own us,
and may your affection fill our senses. Amen.
 
From a prayer written by St. Columbanus

KMILL_wordart-Peace-2With there being so much apparent conflict and disturbance in the world, we need to seek the peace of God which the Bible describes as passing our understanding if we are to make a difference in our world. Our prayer this week focuses on that sense of peace.

Peace be in this new day,
peace of heart and mind,
peace with the past, peace with the future.
May the peace of Christ
make a home in my heart,
may it disarm anger and calm all fear today,
may it settle in my soul and stay. Amen

 

potteryI found this prayer in a little books of prayers by Joan Copeland. It spoke to me because I sense that we are in the midst of being re-shaped by God into something new and fresh. We need to allow him to do his work even though the process might prove uncomfortable.

You are the Potter, Lord,
and we the clay.
My life is like a shelf of little pots.
Many are ugly
and misshapen things.
They need to be remade,
re-thrown by you,
stamped with your Name.
But in the end
You, Lord, must take them all,
mould them together
in one single lump,
throw them upon your wheel,
fire with your love,
fill with your Spirit.
Then shall I be whole.
A fitting vessel for your glory,
Lord. Amen.

mertonThis week our prayer comes from the pen of Thomas Merton (1915-1968). It contains one of my favourite spiritual thoughts.

‘I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.’ 

Very often we do not clear the path ahead clearly but Merton suggests that providing it is our desire to please God which motivates us then however poor or sometimes misguided are our efforts, God does take pleasure in us.

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact
that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me
by the right road though
I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.” Amen

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The doctrine of the Trinity is, if you like, a signpost pointing ahead into the dark, saying: ‘Trust me; follow me; my love will keep you safe.’ Or, perhaps better, the doctrine of the Trinity is a signpost pointing into a light which gets brighter and brighter until we are dazzled and blinded, but which says: ‘Come, and I will make you children of light.’  The doctrine of the Trinity affirms the rightness, the propriety, of speaking intelligently that the true God must always transcend our grasp of him, even our most intelligent grasp of him.”
~ N.T. Wright, in For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church

Our prayer this week gives us the opportunity to reflect on and pray to the Trinity.

The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son
Holy Trinity, Three in One,
be in our meeting
and our greeting,
in the worship we share
and the words of our prayer.
The blessing of Father, Spirit, Son
Holy Trinity, Three in One,
be in our living
and our breathing,
that through our hearts and our words
your truth may be heard. Amen.
 
Jon Birch

pentecostThis Sunday being Pentecost it seemed appropriate to focus our prayer for the week on the person of the Holy Spirit. This ancient prayer was composed by St Augustine in the 4th Century and is yet still as pertinent today as when it was first written.

Breathe in me O Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit
that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit
that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit
to defend that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit
that I always may be holy.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
 
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Our prayer this week comes from the Celtic tradition and has the familiar pattern of bring God into every aspect of life. This prayer can be used as a means of arming ourselves with God’s presence for each day.

WE DWELL IN HIM
In you I live and move
And have my well-being:
God in my thinking,
God in my working,
God in my sharing,
God in my caring,
God in my deepmost soul.
 
In you I live and move
And have my well-being:
God in each meeting,
God in each greeting,
God in each turning,
God in each learning,
God in my deepmost soul.
In you I live and move
And have my well-being. Amen.