As we begin another Lenten journey towards the events of Easter, I thought that this prayer would help us in our travelling. In it our weaknesses are acknowledged, accepted and thence transformed. May Christ richly bless you in your Lenten observance as you pray this prayer.
Let everything I do this day
and in this season of Lent
come from you, be inspired by you.
I long to be closer to you.
Help me to remember that nothing is important
in my life unless it glorifies you in some way.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day
of my life and keep saying,
“Tomorrow, I will spend more time in prayer,”
but now my longing meets your love
and I want to do it now.
Help me to rely on you for help.
The prayer asks you that I reach perfection.
Please, Lord, remind me that “perfection”
isn’t the crazy, “successful” way
I try to live my life,
but a perfection of my most authentic, real self.
My “perfection” might be holding my many flaws
in my open hands,
asking you to help me accept them.
Heal me, Lord,
and help me to find you in the darkness of my life.
Let me reach out in this darkness
and feel your hand and love there to guide me. Amen.
Our prayer this week picks up the themes of poverty and trade justice which we were discussing at breakfast yesterday. The prayer comes from Christian Aid and Fairtrade Fortnight.
Tilt the scales,
O God of the mustard seed:
That the poor shall see justice.
Share the feast,
O God of Eden’s abundant garden:
That each crop may fetch a fair price.
Upset the tables,
O God of the upside-down Kingdom:
That the least can benefit from their trade.
Open our eyes,
O God of life in all its fullness:
That we may learn to walk the way of your son
tilting, sharing, upsetting this world
until the products we bring to our table
Give a better deal, to all who hunger for one.
In His name, Amen.
I was reading my ‘Celtic Daily Light’ today and found my thoughts being directed to the nature of ambition. Having often considered ambition in quite a negative light I was challenged by the words of Pelagius, a British monk from the 4th century, to reconsider my views.
Here is his description of Ambition.
Of all the emotions and desires within the human breast, the one that is most often misunderstood and misused is ambition. This emotion distinguishes us from all the other creatures which inhabit the world. An animal, bird, fish or insect has no ambition; it simply looks for
food in order to sustain itself for another day. But the human being can look ahead, anticipating the consequences of present actions far into the future.
Ambition in itself is neither good nor bad; what matters is how it is directed. Ambition may be directed towards the accumulation of power and wealth, towards material superiority over others. Such ambition is evil, because power and wealth can only be gained at the expense of others. Or ambition may be directed towards holiness and moral perfection, towards becoming like Christ himself. The emotion which lusts after power and wealth is the same emotion which yearns for holiness and perfection; the difference lies in the way in which the
emotion is directed.
So this week our prayer is about ambition, which like so many things in life depends for its value on how we direct it.
Give me the ambition
to use everything I have for the highest purposes,
to abuse no person,
to misuse no powers,
to harness my skills to your service
and to bring great things to flower. Amen.
My thanks to Ray Simpson for compiling this useful aid to prayer.
Sometimes life is simple, we know where we are going and exactly what we are going to do when we get there. However just as we think we have everything sorted, the light at the end of the tunnel is extinguished and we find ourselves in the dark again. if you are feeling like this today then this is the prayer for you.
Refreshing Holy Power of our lives,
we come today, perplexed:
Often we know not where to turn
or what to believe,
You have given us the ability to think,
discern, and decide: .
Help us to look for your presence as a guide,
For it is often found in the most unlikely of places.
Embrace and guide us
as we strive to live your Gospel
As did the One we follow,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
The choice of this prayer might seem somewhat ironic at a time when rivers up and down the land are bursting their banks and flooding the countryside. However just as in the Bible and Shakespeare etc. the external weather conditions reflect upon the state of the heart, so too, the external chaos of the flooding may reflect on our own need for a new experience of the living water of Christ to spring up within us. Hence our prayer for this week.
God of all blessings, we come thirsty for you,
Needing rivers in the deserts of our hearts,
We search for your grace to well up in us
as water from a spring
And we ask for tenderness of heart
and strength of soul.
Choose us this day, gentle God,
and we shall be chosen.
Fill our hearts with your love
so we may your witnesses,
As was the One we follow,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
After our creative efforts at Breakfast yesterday it seemed that our prayer should our encourage us to think about the creativity that God has placed within all of us.
Help me to understand the importance
of welcoming creativity into my daily life.
Give me the time I need
to embrace the side of myself
that brings joy and inspiration
into the lives of others.
Your guidance gives me
the strength to go after what I want,
even if it is in small increments
of time each week.
I feel blessed being able to recognize
the power of these moments
and how quickly they change
my perspective about mundane tasks
like mopping the floor
or paying the electric bill.
Each moment is a blessing. Amen
This week we take our prayer from St Brigid who is remembered on 1st February. Brigid is associated with a cross made from rushes and there is an interesting story attached to this cross.
On St Brigid’s Day each year a cross is blessed and placed in homes and outhouses as an extended prayer – to repel the dark powers of evil and hunger that may have got a hold during the winter, and to invite in the light and provision of God.
This custom stems from the account of how Brigid nursed and witnessed to a pagan chief. To help make the Gospel clear to him she made a cross from the rush matting, and he subsequently became a Christian.
Those who observe this custom take rush crosses to their homes, and to outhouses and places that were not used much in winter but which will be needed in the warmer days of the growing season. Perhaps, in your life, a greenhouse or shed, a weekend caravan or boat, a business or sporting location will soon come back into use. Why not, physically or in your mind, bless these places? Indeed, why not look ahead and make sure that there will be no ‘no-go areas for God in your life?
Circle this place by day and by night.
Keep far from it all that harms,
bring to it all that is good.
May this place be fragrant
with the presence of the Lord,
God’s peace be always here
and in those who dwell here. Amen.
This week our prayer is drawn from material provided for the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Creator of the universe,
who made us different from one another
in myriad ways we can see
and in more ways we shall never know,
yet made us all in your image;
fill our hearts with your love and our minds
with your wisdom, that we may truly become brothers and sisters of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord;
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
Last Sunday I was privileged to share worship at both St Cuthbert’s and Wrose Methodist Church and to share this prayer with them Therefore it seemed appropriate that it should be our prayer this week.
For our first Prayer of the Week for 2014, we begin by reminding ourselves that although our celebration of Christmas is over for another year because of the birth of Jesus we can face the New Year with hope.
O God, who wonderfully created,
and yet more wonderfully restored,
the dignity of human nature:
Grant that we may share the divine life of him
who humbled himself to share our humanity,
your Son Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I pray that we will each experience the presence of Christ sharing our lives this year.
This week we will celebrate again the wonders of the birth of Jesus. This prayer is set in the lectionary for Christmas Eve. It reminds us that the nativity is only the first part of the story and that Jesus will return one day.
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him
as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.