B – Prayers for Monday

Monday – New Creation

from a Daily Prayer Series by Lawrence Moore, UK

I began looking for a daily prayer series that would nourish me in the sort of spirituality that is necessary to be ‘transformed by the gospel’ and ‘making a difference for Christ’s sake’ (ie life-in-mission). I wanted something that would weekly put me in the place where renewal in the Holy Spirit could happen; where I was engaged with the vital questions posed to faith by our contemporary context (depth experience of God, a habit of prayer and spiritual discipline, global warming, human suffering, and faithful discipleship of Jesus). I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I wrote my own.

In offering them to you, I am conscious of how personal they are. I don’t mean ‘personal’ in the sense of being intimate; I mean it in the sense that they are my words and work for me. I have tried to keep them as free of ‘Church-speak’ as possible; tried to be as honest before God as Jewish Old Testament spirituality encourages us to be, and to make them open-ended and non-prescriptive in the belief that they need to facilitate and create a space in which we can commune with God.

If they work for you, I shall be only too glad – and humbled.

Lawrence Moore, UK

Meditation

jhonathan-and-gabriel-baby
Newborn Gaby, by Jenny Dale

God is making all things new.
The old things are passing away:
death, sorrow, crying, pain.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
Swords will be made into ploughshares.
Justice and peace will kiss.

 

Reading

Read the following passages aloud.

Read this version or a translation of your own choosing…

17For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. 19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. 20No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. 21They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Eternal One— and their descendants as well. 24Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Eternal One.

Read this version or a translation of your own choosing…

21Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. The Eternal One will dwell with them as their God; they will be God’s peoples, and God will be with them; 4 and will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” And, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Read this version or a translation of your own choosing…

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

 

Response

colorado-rocky-crags-thandiwe
Colorado crags, by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

I live in the cracks
between hell-on-earth and heaven-on-earth.
I am a new creation in faith,
but I am not yet what I will become.
This world has been born again –
re-created in hope and promise –
yet I strain to see the new
in the ruins of the old.
Open my eyes to your transforming presence.
Teach me to live
in ways that open the eyes of others
to your Realm,
taking shape in the world.

Praise and thanksgiving

You could have given up on the world,
left us God-forsaken,
abandoned to darkness and despair.

You could have shut your ears to our groaning,
your eyes to our bleeding,
your heart to our tears.

You could have left us to live with our choices,
our death-dealing,
our cries of ‘Crucify him!’

But you are the great Lover,
the caring Creator,
the Good Shepherd,
the mighty Saviour.

In Jesus, you entered our darkness,
walking among us
with words of love,
breathing forgiveness,
defeating our demons,
with arms wide in welcome.

You live among us by your Spirit.
You are God, infinitely close.
This world is the new heaven –
your home among us,
and we can never be the same again.

Amen.

 

Confession

imagePause before the prayer, allowing God’s Spirit to search your heart.

Make your own confession.

Pause after the prayer to experience the reality of God’s forgiveness.

 

The old ways are so comfortable, O God.
They fit like old slippers;
they feel like old friends.

I don them more readily than my resurrection clothes;
I live with the familiar more easily than your future.
I am better at being an adult in the old world
than a child of the New Creation.

How quick I am to forget the cost
of making all things new!
How blind I am to the need that you see,
how deaf to the groans you hear.
How cold my heart is to you and to my neighbour!

Open my eyes,
my ears,
my heart.
Let me live as your Spirit-child
in your New World
on this new day.

Amen.

 

Intercessions

Read the prayers aloud.  At each point, pause to reflect and fill in the names of places and people as appropriate.

There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain,
for the old things have passed away.  God is making all things new.

I pray for those whose life is a living death
because of war, injustice, poverty, starvation, and despair.
God of Life,
make all things new.

I pray for those whose life is filled with sorrow, crying and pain
because of illness, unemployment, rejection, loneliness, and loss.
God of Comfort,
make all things new.

I pray for those who work to make things new:
ministers, church members, social workers, doctors, teachers, and governments.
Holy Spirit,
strengthen and renew them.

I offer myself to your work today.
Here I am, Lord –
send me.

Amen.

 

Blessing

img_3342May the deep peace of the running wave be mine,
deep peace of the flowing air,
deep peace of the quiet earth,
deep peace of the shining stars,
deep peace of the Son of Peace.

Amen.

img_2081
Salisbury Cathedral, by Ana Gobledale

I began looking for a daily prayer series that would nourish me in the sort of spirituality that is necessary to be ‘transformed by the gospel’ and ‘making a difference for Christ’s sake’ (ie life-in-mission). I wanted something that would weekly put me in the place where renewal in the Holy Spirit could happen; where I was engaged with the vital questions posed to faith by our contemporary context (depth experience of God, a habit of prayer and spiritual discipline, global warming, human suffering, and faithful discipleship of Jesus).

I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I wrote my own.

In offering these to others, I am conscious of how personal they are. I don’t mean ‘personal’ in the sense of being intimate; I mean it in the sense that they are my words and work for me. I have tried to keep them as free of ‘Church-speak’ as possible; tried to be as honest before God as Jewish Old Testament spirituality encourages us to be, and to make them open-ended and non-prescriptive in the belief that they need to facilitate and create a space in which we can commune with God.

If they work for you, I shall be only too glad – and humbled.

Lawrence

Featured Photo: newly dedicated sanctuary at Cairn Christian Church, Lafayette, Colorado, reveals a prayerful labyrinth beneath the removable seating.  Photo by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson