Tag Archives: prayer

Pray into every plan

Awhi Mai Awhi Atu – Action Point 35

Prayer is a natural normal part of our creation care as we rely on God’s guidance, surrender our hopes and plans, uphold each other, and return praise and thanks for God.

* * * * *

From the chapter See Where God Takes Us by Honey Thrupp
in Awhi Mai Awhi Atu, edited by Silvia Purdie. 

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PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

Breath of the Spirit is not just a print book and eBook.

We have used the images in the book to create a collection of 57 PowerPoint slides to display in your worship services.

The images are royalty free so long as you display the credit at the foot of the slides.

You can download the set immediately after making payment.

Click here to Order your set of 57 PowerPoint images


Controlled by Love

A Thought for Today

“…The group learned to prepare and lead prayers and then other parts of worship services.

Some of us moved on to try preaching. It is both uncomfortable and exhilarating to preach five sermons in a year and have them critiqued by your peers, to qualify as a lay preacher. Thank you to the members of this congregation for putting up with my first attempts and encouraging me since.

Today, I’m very comfortable choosing music and prayers and putting the rest of a service together, but writing the sermon is always a challenge. I start with some initial personal responses to the Bible readings and have an overall structure in mind. But once I start writing I don’t know exactly what will come out. I’m not in total control. I must let go and let my words be directed the spirit, by intuition, by the mystery and love that flows from God…

Life isn’t like a model railway. I can’t control all of it. Sure, I need to take my duties and responsibilities to my family, business partners, customers and suppliers, church, choir and clubs seriously, but at some point, I must let go control. And that is a relief. I don’t have to do it all. I can let other people give a lead. I can leave room for the spirit to guide me in a new direction.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.”

Let’s make room in our lives for the mystery of the love of God as shown through Jesus’ example and enabled through the Holy Spirit.

Let’s re-orient our lives to accept the love of God. We don’t need to be in charge all the time. We can be controlled by love.


* * * * *

From the sermon – Controlled by Love – 12 August 2012
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

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On a Clear Night

A Thought for Today

“How can we make sense of the stories about the resurrection in the gospels? Did Jesus really appear to the two travellers on the road to Emmaus, to the disciples in a closed room or in the dawn next to the Sea of Galilee?

Our minds and senses today are full and cluttered with television, radio, multi-media, noise, music, business. All these sensations blot out the natural and maybe supernatural world.

On a clear night, in the city, we get a good view of the stars, planets, the Milky Way galaxy, but go out into the countryside where there is no artificial light and then look up at the sky. It is stunning. That view makes me feel small and insignificant.

People in first century must have been more aware of and in touch with nature and with the wonders of God’s creation.

I mentioned that I often feel that my Grandad and Mum are present with me. I can’t see them with my eyes or touch them with my hands, but they are here in my heart.

I imagine therefore that in a less cluttered, noisy age, Jesus’ friends and followers would have had an even stronger sense of his presence with them, after his sudden and shocking death. The resurrection appearance stories might reflect this understanding.

* * * * *

From the sermon – Keeping Jesus Alive in Our Hearts – 11 March 2012
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

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Breaking through to Love

Thought for the day

“…I’m pleased to be part of a church that welcomes all people to the communion table without demanding to know whether they have been baptised or confirmed. This reflects the radical inclusiveness that Jesus showed.

He would even ask for a drink from a Samaritan woman.
The Samaritans and Jews were neighbours and didn’t get along. Their enmity was deep seated and long standing.

Jesus didn’t ask anything difficult of her at first, just to provide him with a drink of water from the well. A simple act of sharing. Communion is a simple act of sharing, which we did when we poured a cup of water for each other.

The good news of the gospels is that God loves us and is always with us. The life and actions of Jesus are constant reminders of this transforming love.

 * * * * *

Did you try dropping a stone in the water?

Did picking up the stone remind you of something that you would like to change or let go of in your life?

The Samaritan woman was freed by Jesus to make a change in her life.

When we are ready to ask, God’s free, transforming love can also enable us to make changes in our lives. Amen.”

 * * * * *

From the sermon – Breaking through to Love – 27 March 2011, in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

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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
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.


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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