Tag Archives: devotional

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 21

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 21

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Sea Song

Rippled sand
with strands of clinging seaweed
gulls floating effortlessly
   over the ever-changing blue
suddenly soaring up into deeper blue
wheeling and swerving
strong black backs, cruel beaks,
the busy pink-legged herring gulls
   scuttering before the foam.

And footsteps in the sand – whose are they?
And whence do they come, these marks of human contact
   fleeing the concrete prisons?
long, strong, steady, with tiny staggering prints beside.
He leaves the treadmill
raucous insistent clamour of phone
and endless words
            words
                     words
with his small son
to enter a new world
  of wind
  and freedom
      of tiny crab, and fragile bird claw prints.

Together the man and child
laugh with the gulls
splash through the glittering wavelets
all care cast on the limitless ocean
flowing out – out – out
  to the misty horizon
where the sea meets the sky
and all is peace and light.

From A Celebration of Life by Meg Hartfield (2016)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 19

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 19

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Prayer for the Otakaro-Avon River

We gather on the bank to pray for this river
that was here long before us,
and will continue to flow
long after we have gone.

Let us give thanks
for the snow-fed aquifers,
and the peaceful springs
that birth and sustain her life
every day, every moment;
and for the little streams and creeks
that make her stronger
as she flows through our city
towards the sea.

We celebrate the life that is within her –
the micro-vertebrates,
the inanga,
the eels,
the fish…

We rejoice in the beautiful birds
that grace her waters,
that she supports –
the waterfowl and
their songs that are heard
day and night
along her reaches.

We give thanks
for the sustenance she has provided
so generously, constantly
for the people of this place
ever since the first ones came here,
food for body, mind and soul
for generation after generation.

Yet our gratitude and joy
are coloured with sorrow
our spirits are troubled
as we can see with our own eyes
how polluted she has become,
how much she suffers.

We know that she is burdened
by what we have asked her to carry,
and she has lost much of her sparkle
her vitality, her spirit…

Her waters are polluted with the wastes
of the city, chemicals, effluent,
and a tide of human refuse,
debris from a careless throwaway society.

O Creator, forgive our lack of respect
our failure to love and cherish
this beautiful, life-giving river.

We have built a city around her
and asked her to do things
we should never have asked,
we have treated her like a drain,
a convenience, a waste disposable unit
for all the things we don’t want.

We know that it will take
a transformed city
to heal and restore her
to fullness of life.

Transform our hearts and minds,
change us deeply so that we begin
to take responsibility
for our abusive behaviour.

Holy Spirit, count us in,
give us the strength and wisdom,
the aroha and grace
to return the love and life
we have so freely been given.

As she has blessed
may this spirited river
be blessed
by all who live here.

Amen.

— New Brighton 2014

From The In-Between Land: Psalms, Poems and Haiku by Mark Gibson (2015)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 17

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 17

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Pastoral Prayers 2

Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise,
Immortal God, in you we trust;
We give thanks for the eternal assurance of faith.

We come from a long tradition
of those who seek you in the community of Church.
We meet now in this place
seeking to enrich our faith through worship.
We seek release from all that hinders us from encountering you.

Invisible God, in you we trust;
we give thanks for the intangibles
that confirm your reality –

the comfort of love; the ability to trust;
the hope that faith keeps resurrecting,
and the inclination to goodness
you seeded in humankind.
Enable us to use our faith
to do justice and love kindness.

Wise God, in you we trust;
we give thanks that you are there when we understand,

and you are there when we don’t understand.
As we live within you, may you live within us.
Grant us the wisdom to walk
in humble confidence with you.

God of justice, kindness and mercy,
May we never forget that we are made in your image,

Grant us a vibrant faith
that increasingly reflects the Way of Christ.
We come in faith.
We come seeking to be better people. Amen.

From: Lay Preaching Basics by Rosalie Sugrue (2018)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 15

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 15

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Swords Into Ploughshares

Ploughshares –
   implements for cutting furrows
Swords –
   implements for cutting people.

Ploughshares –
   fixed in a frame
   drawn by a horse
   guided by a man
Swords –
   fixed in a hand
   wielded by a man.

Ploughshares –
   used before sowing
Swords –
   used for cutting down

Ploughshares –
   used for rooting out weeds
Swords –
   used for rooting out lives

God help us
  to prepare our life-soil
  to receive your seeds
   of fruitful love.

Isaiah 2: 4

From A Celebration of Life by Meg Hartfield (2016)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 14

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 14

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Seventy-one

Create a quiet place in me, Lord
hush the babble of my mind
the racing of my pulse
then my heart will begin to hear
    your ‘gentle, murmuring voice’

Slow me down, Jesus
I need to take time
to see the beauty of creation
the exquisite intensity of your care
that way I’ll come to appreciate
    and be thankful

Teach me to listen, Abba
to the cries of those in need
the questions of the confused
    so I can learn compassion

In this unquiet world
help me to find a quiet place
    and a quiet time

Lord, I need to hear
the counsel of your spirit
the poetry of your love
then I’ll have something to share
    with those who cannot hear you.

From Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent (2016)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 13

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 13

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

They’re taking my city away

like some failedexperiment
they’re taking my city away

house by house
block by block
whole suburbs
disappearing
to hidden forest
blackhole

dirty trucks
on shattered streets
moving much more than bricks and wood,
moving mem’ries
moving hopes
moving all
the little things
that take a lifetime
to grow

sadness haunts
the empty land
where children once played,
couples made love
argued and cried
neighbours chatted
over fences
about grandchildren
and things

nor’wester
sucking up dust
they’re taking my city away
ground going too
filling our hair
getting in eyes
gritting mouths
with the bitter grain
of what was

they’re taking
my city away
now the sacred task of building
a new one starts –
may we all be the builders
may we build with
wise heads
raise up with
love in our hearts.

— East Christchurch, 2013

From The In-Between Land: Psalms, Poems and Haiku by Mark Gibson (2015)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 12

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 12

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Spirit God (Gathering)

Genesis 1:2; Exodus 19:18 – 20:1-21; Psalm 78:14; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 43:1-5; Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:9-13; Acts 2:1-4

Spirit God, hovering over a watery world,
ordering creation from primordial chaos,
clothing earth’s nakedness with nature’s abundance,
breathing your spirit life into our humanness;
shelter us under your motherly love,
transform our turmoil into tranquillity,
fill up our emptiness with your wisdom divine,
raise us aloft on the winds of eternity.

Spirit God, dwelling in pillars of cloud and of fire,
alighting on Sinai in flaming splendour,
thundering forth commandments of covenant,
sanctifying holy a nation of slaves;
guide us on journeys through barren wastelands,
help us climb mountains for encounters with you,
speak laws of love into our consciences,
make sacred a church of commonplace folk.

Spirit God, filling with glory Solomon’s temple,
soaring heavenward on chariots of fire,
inspiring your prophets with visions that challenge,
promising the coming of the Davidic Messiah;
form from your people your present day temple,
transport us above our everyday thinking,
show us the ways of heaven on earth,
make of us true disciples of the Anointed One.

Spirit God, as a dove descending,
declaring beloved of the Father his Son,
driving the Christ into the wilderness,
inspiring rebuffs to the tempter’s allures;
fly down upon us the blessing of peacefulness,
proclaim our membership of the family of God,
be there for us in our spiritual barrenness,
grant us release from the enemy’s snares.

Spirit God, on Pentecost coming,
sounding like wind and appearing like fire,
descending upon the hundred and twenty,
bringing to birth the new covenant church;
bless our celebration of time that is holy,
full us with the joy that gives light to our lives,
be in our midst as we gather together,
proclaim in and through us the gospel of God. Amen.

From: Prayers for Southern Seasons: Poems and prayers for Christian worship and devotions. By Joy Kingsbury-Aitken.

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 10

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 10

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

41. Thanksgiving for Winter

God of all seasons,
we give you thanks
for the grey wet mornings,
for the cold southerly days,
for the mist that hovers in the hills,
and the fog that blankets the river valleys,
for the fresh snow on the ranges and mountain tops,
for the clear sharp sunny days
that follow the frosts,
for all that makes winter
a time to dress snugly and keep warm.
We give thanks for the reserves
 of silage and hay and winter feed
to supplement the needs of stock,
for the long acre and the electric fence,
for the pruning of fruit trees
and grape vines,
for the season of rugby, league and football,
for hockey and netball,
for golf, and for pony club,
for dog trials and other sporting and social events,
for raincoats, swanndris and gumboots,
for roaring fires, hot soup and scones
and safe shelter from winter’s chills.

From The Shepherd’s Call – Te Karanga o te Hēpara:
Prayers and liturgies for rural Aotearoa New Zealand
By Bill Bennett (2018)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 9

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 9

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Pentecost

Waiting
wondering – how long Lord?
their hearts yearning
   for the sound of his voice
   the touch of his hand
   the sight of his face
and those eyes,
searching, compelling, loving –
   above all loving.

It had seemed that love was dead
life empty, pointless,
worse for them who had lived
   with the Lord of Life
   living now with stifling grief
   hardly to be borne.

Then, of a sudden – GLORY!
their Lord alive
   breathing
   moving
   loving
unutterable joy
   bursting in Easter light –
glorious excitement
   of never knowing when
   but knowing that he would come –
a warmth, a light, a joy, and a peace
and Jesus in their midst.

Then, finally,
their tear-filled eyes straining
   for one last glimpse in the sky –
   and he was gone.

Again Lord
the agony again?
from heights of happiness
   to be bereft, empty, lonely again?
“But you shall have power,”
he had promised.
When Lord? When?

So they gathered
to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost –
and suddenly –
   rushing
     swirling
        buffeting
the mighty wind of God’s breath,
leaping tongues of living flame
   darting
      flickering
        alighting
empowering each, loosening tongues
hearts aflame
souls outpoured in love and praise,
the gathered world could hear
   and comprehend
   the mighty words of God –
a Presence, a Power, overflowing
the Holy Spirit of God.

And I Lord,
weak, fearful, doubting
even I Lord
   would be filled –
but to be full of you
   is to be empty of me?
So be it.

I wait, with outstretched hands
in awed certainty
   as the promised power floods in
   filling
   warming
   irradiating
   equipping me
to be the face of Jesus
the hands of Jesus
the voice of Jesus
the love of Jesus –
   for a hungry world.

From A Celebration of Life by Meg Hartfield (2016)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 8

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 8

Come back each Monday night for a free prayer or poem from one of the books we have published.

Sixty-three

River of life flow through me
I’m weary as a traveller can be
I need your water to wash over me

River of life flow through me
I’m weak as a baby can be
I need your power to strengthen me

I was lost in the desert
I was dying of thirst
I would never have found you
if you hadn’t found me first

River of life flow through me
I’m dead as a sinner can be
I need your spirit to revive me

We’re all on this journey
it’s a hot, dusty road
without you to sustain us
we’d never get back home

River of life flow through me
I’m lonely as a pilgrim can be
I need your song to comfort me

Let your water wash over me
River of life, flow through me.

From Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent (2016)

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