Archive for the ‘ Prayer of the Week ’ Category

23844-St-Benedict_WAfter our GraceSpace day this prayer came to mind. As we seek to know the mind of God for our future, it seems important that we ask the Lord to provide us with the wisdom and discernment to know his will.

Gracious and Holy Father,
Please give me:
intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
ears to hear you,
eyes to see you,
a tongue to proclaim you,
a way of life pleasing to you,
patience to wait for you
and perseverance to look for you.
Amen.
(Benedict of Nursia c. 550)

St Benedict is famous for introducing his rule and founding the Benedictine Monastic Order. Interestingly he is patron saint of Europe and students – which is a strange combination.

good_shepherd-icon-thumbThis Sunday was Shepherd Sunday and so our prayer for this week is to Jesus – the Good Shepherd. It calls on us to act as a shepherd to those around us.

 
Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you
to care for all that are close to us,
to protect those who are threatened,
to welcome those who are rejected,
to forgive those who are burdened by guilt,
to heal those who are broken and sick,
to share with those who have little or nothing,
to take the time to really know one another
and love as you have loved us.
 
Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you
to spread compassion to those who are far away,
to speak for those who are voiceless,
to defend those who are oppressed and abused,
to work for justice for those who are exploited,
to make peace for those who suffer violence,
to take the time to recognise our connectedness,
and to love as you have loved us.
 
Good Shepherd,
Teach us to follow you
and to be faithful to calling you gave us
to be shepherds in your name. Amen.
 
—John van de Laar, © 2009 Sacredise

weather_the_storm_by_capturedbykc-d61159aOur prayer this week has been prompted by the untimely deaths of Julie’s sister-in-law Michele and of the tennis player Elena Baltacha. These remind us of the temporary nature of life but also of the permanence of God. Our thoughts and prayer go with their families.

Lord, may the swirling storm clouds
remind me that I am a creature, not Creator,
that I am liable to suffer from the changes
and chances of this mortal life.
May the clouds teach me to look always to you,
the Creator of both storm and sunshine.
May they teach me to maintain joy
when life is frowning
and to maintain perspective in and out of season. Amen.
 

blessed-to-be-a-blessing

A very down to earth prayer this week, reminding us to look for God in everything we see. God is there waiting for us if we seek him. Jeremiah writes this as a promise of God for us: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord‘ (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

My prayer this week is that you might indeed see that God is all around you.

Living God, may we encounter you this day
in the laughter of children,
in the skills of those who create,
in the pauses of the elderly,
in the patience of those who teach,
in the loyalty of friends,
in the dedication of those who serve,
in the exuberance of animals,
in those willing to make fools of themselves.
May we be your blessing to one another.
Amen.
Jim Cotter (2009)

easter-empty-tomb revisedAs it is Easter we gone all liturgical in our Prayer for the Week. This week we shall be sharing a ‘litany’, which dictionary describes as:

form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications with responses.
Now obviously if you use this prayer by yourself, then you will have to play both parts but I suggest that you speak the parts in bold aloud and then read the response quietly and allow it to speak to you.
Our story is a resurrection story.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come to wanting to celebrate
an extraordinary historical event.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that our story has a context.

Our story surges with life.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come ready to celebrate
the extravagant welcome of a hero.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that the radical inclusivity of Jesus
wasn’t always welcome.

Our story is an invitation to insurrection.
Christ has risen! Christ has risen indeed!

We come with reserve to celebrate
the exceptional life of a saint.
Be gentle with us as we remember
that Jesus asked us to follow.

Christ has risen!

Let the resurrection insurrection begin!
Christ has risen indeed!

Holy-weekThis week the choice of prayer was simple. A prayer for Holy Week was surely the most appropriate choice. So here we go.

A Prayer for Holy Week

Lord Jesus Christ,
in this sacred and solemn week
when we see again
the depth and mystery of your redeeming love,
help us to follow where you go,
to stop where you stumble,
to listen when you cry,
to hurt as you suffer,
to bow our heads in sorrow as you die,
so that, when you are raised to life again,
we may share in your endless joy. Amen.

serenity-stormThis prayer is written by Reinhold Niebuhr, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take it for our own. It is useful when everything seems to be going wrong. Here are the words:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
 
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

 

all-i-have-is-yours_3917_1024x768

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory,
my understanding,
and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You gave it all to me;
to you, Lord, I give it all back.
All is yours,
dispose of it entirely according to your will.
Give me the grace to love you,
for that is enough for me.
(Spiritual Exercises No. 234)

What a radical prayer! You may not be able to say it with your whole heart and mind right away. If you find it too much, ask God to help you be able to say it and mean it. When you get right down to it, this prayer is only an expression of the truth of things, namely that we are all creatures who have everything by gift from God’s creative hand and heart. It is an expression of the first commandment, affirming that God alone is God and everything else depends on God’s creative desire at every moment.

From William A. Barry SJ in Changed Heart, Changed World: The Transforming Freedom of Friendship with God, Loyola Press.

Pass it onA simple prayer this week which reminds us that whatever blessings we receive from God are designed to be passed on to others.

 
Generous God,
Your amazing love overflows
and touches every soul who turns to you for help.
As you have loved me,
help me to love others.
As you have shown mercy to me,
help me to be merciful.
As you have forgiven me,
help me to be forgiving.
As you rejoice in every soul who seeks you,
help me to be glad and encouraging.
As you celebrate every single life of faith
help me to share the truth  of your redeeming love with those I meet.
May my life be a witness to your love,
to your grace
and to your joy. Amen

Election prayerThe papers are full of unrest and inequality both around the world. Troubling stories come to us from The Ukraine, Syria, Turkey and Malaysia. Here at home we read that the latest research from Oxfam shows that inequality in this country is growing rapidly.

‘The UK’s five richest families have accumulated more wealth than the whole of the bottom 20 per cent of the population, with the gap between rich and poor continuing to grow, according to research published today. The handful of billionaires – have amassed a combined wealth of £28.2bn, more than the poorest 12.6 million people in Britain.’

With all these events it is very tempting for us to blame those in government, and whilst it might be true that they have a case to answer, the Bible clearly calls us to pray for those in authority.

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Saviour God wants us to live. 1 Tim 2:1-3

So this week our prayer is for those in government that they might serve all the people fairly and seek to do what is right rather than what is popular or serves personal interest.

Prayer for the Government
 
Heavenly Father
source of all truth and wisdom,
who knows and loves the whole creation,
watch over our nation:
that truth may prevail over distortion,
wisdom triumph over recklessness
and the concerns of every person be heard.
 
Lord Jesus,
who chose the way of the cross
in the Garden of Gethsemane,
help us to turn our backs on self-interest
and to support policies that sustain the poor,
the vulnerable and the frightened
people of this world.
 
Holy Spirit,
who brought understanding among myriad peoples
and languages at Pentecost,
give to all your people a passion for peace
and inspire us to work for unity and co-operation throughout the world
and in our political life together.
Amen.