Tag Archives: hope

World is a challenging place

“The world is a challenging place and the future appears uncertain. We have a choice about how we respond – with despair or with hope.” From the sermon: Living with Real Hope

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 23

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 23

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

Labour Day 25th October

(Nearest Sunday)

God of Nations, we are proud of ours and give thanks that we live in this country.
We are proud to own a founding document,
conceived in a time of peace.
Most treaties are the result of war,
but Our Treaty offers the hope of covenant.
We give thanks that we live in a place of peace and
good intention.

We know human rights do not simply happen,
they are initiated by people of vision,
Negotiated by people wanting justice,
and often achieved at considerable cost.
We give thanks for our forebears who worked for justice.

Despite our proud record of justice and
good working conditions,
Some of our citizens are exploited,
disadvantaged and dis-empowered,
Be with those who are working for justice now.

Despite our fine laws on human rights,
some of our citizens continue to be discriminated against, through circumstances of education, employment, race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation.

We pray for those who are over-worked,
and those who are unemployed.
We pray for the ill-treated, the un-treated,
the dis-empowered and the ignored.

We pray for all who oppress,
be they deliberately malicious or merely insensitive, bosses or bullies, law-makers or church-people;
may they be confronted by their actions
and moved to bring change.
May wisdom prevail.

We pray for families,
in all their diversities,
whatever form they take,
that love may prevail. Amen.

From: Lay Preaching Basics by Rosalie Sugrue (2018)

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Prayer / Poem of the Week # 22

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 22

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

106. Rural Hardship

God of the present and future,
bring hope to those facing hardship and loss
in the rural community of …………..

Restore those whose land
has been severely affected by flood/snow/rain/cold/fire/drought.

Encourage those facing big changes
in farm management and lifestyle,
or who face the prospect of having to move off the land
and the challenge of finding new employment.

Have compassion on those
whose marriages or relationships
are under enormous strain
through interpersonal or financial stress.

Resource communities which have lost amenities,
commercial services and farm labour.
Enable people to welcome new settlers and life-stylers,
particularly those unfamiliar
with rural ways of doing things,
and the customs of the local community.

We pray in faith that we shall discover
grace sufficient for each day’s challenges,
in and through the strength of the Holy Spirit.

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 # 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 # 20

Prayer / Poem of the Week # 20

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

Sixty-seven

God, you ask me to be a servant
to do something special for you
something no-one else can do
and even though – a lot of the time –
I seem to have no idea what I’m about
no doubt I’ll understand in the end

I’m like a link in a chain
one strand in this ancient cord of humanity
you haven’t created me for nothing
everything you make is good
and I’ll be good too
I’ll do what you want me to do
like one of your angels, I’ll weave peace
I’ll talk about you here and there
I can’t seem to help it

I trust in your love, Lord
you’ll never give up on me
though I’m sick or confused
my weakness and questions belong to you
you’re with me in my aloneness
even if my friends leave me
and my future plans come to nothing
you know what you’re doing
you know where I am
my life will not be wasted.

From Redemption Songs by Mark Laurent (2016)

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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 # 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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