A prayer arising from 1 King 19
God ever-new and ever-old,
Teach us to listen:
To listen with patience, when we want immediate answers;
To listen with openness to a new word, when we are more comfortable with the old;
To listen with deep respect to the roots of our faith, when we would prefer a new, flashy solution.
Teach us to hear your voice in stillness and silence, when we expect thunder and lightening,
To hear a renewed call to return, even when this means hard, incompatible work.
Teach us to listen, ultimately, with faithfulness, knowing that your voice can come in unexpected places, through unlikely people.
And, listening, give us courage to act.
Merryl Blair is Senior Lecturer in Old Testament at Stirling Theological College, Mulgrave, Australia
We pray for Empathy – seeking to understand:
ideas, people, situations, ourselves, our faith, our hopes,
seeking, exploring the why of life, the why of who we are.
because we know that only by seeking, do we go beyond ourselves, to where answers reside, answers that we had never considered.
And we are enriched, by becoming more whole.
We pray that we would be Vulnerable – open to being influenced
to new ideas, new possibilities.
Lives enriched with new experiences, horizons, things we thought not possible. Surprise us, our God
We know change causes us to be vulnerable;
as we become less capable of adapting, changes seem greater
as our limits become more apparent, our abilities seem in decline
simple things, small changes take on greater magnitude.
Keep ideas, possibilities, dreams, hopes, growing in and around us.
So that change is not an inhibitor, but stimulation into new life.
Cause our attitude to change to be invitational, not to create whirlwind in our lives, but measured growth
Keep us Curious about life, exploring and discovering, growing into understanding, more of the mystery of life as we walk with you author of life, and our guide.
As we seek these things for ourselves, we pray that they become realities for those around us.
Use us as channels of understanding, influence, curiosity, to help others grow. We take our part in your creation more fully when we offer ourselves to others and to you. Use us, we pray.
Place people in our path that will cause us to grow and whom we can help grow. The things we desire, we pray for those whom we find difficult to love, as well as those close to us.
Lord, lead us into wholeness, whatever that may be,
in Jesus name.
The writer, from Hartwell Church of Christ, Melbourne, Australia, references The Congruent Life: Following the Inward Path to Fulfilling Work and Inspired Leadership by C. Michael Thompson, (pages 180ff) as the inspiration behind this prayer.
is vast and measureless,
wider than the universe,
unlimited and infinite:
WE WORSHIP YOU.
will never run dry,
will never fall short,
will never fail:
WE WORSHIP YOU.
knows nothing of our distinctions,
our notions of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’,
and which encompasses everyone:
WE WORSHIP YOU.
We praise you that your love reaches us,
in our struggles and our joys,
in our hidden place of fear and shame,
in our sorrow and disappointment.
We praise you that in your love
you meet us as we are, where we are,
sweeping aside any sense of inadequacy,
overturning misplaced dependencies,
and opening a window of light and hope,
until we see in you our one true home.
We praise you that your love comes gently,
a warm scented breeze in the winter hurricane,
a creeping tide smoothing rough sand,
a depth of stillness to a heart in turmoil.
your love is beyond all we can tell,
yet we know that you are here with us,
and that you care for every detail of our lives.
We offer you hearts filled with gratitude.
WE WORSHIP YOU.
written 30/01/16 for Sunday 31/01/16
Your living word is not static
but the unfolding story of your actions in the world
We pray that we would be part of that story
as recipients and participants
cutting across the addiction people have for the world
cultural addictions of greed, of status, appearance, recognition,
of voyeurism, celebrity worship, the need to know.
giving meaning to existence
giving meaning to work
giving meaning to leisure
giving meaning to contemplation
giving meaning to action
by recognising that all is part of your unfolding story
We know there is no single right way
We pray for the companionship of the Holy Spirit
Guiding us, leading us, standing back to let us fall
We know we will make mistakes
We pray the mistakes we make will be mistakes of generosity – of giving too much
As we endeavour to be Christ-like in our living and giving.
Risking comfort for the world’s sake.
We pray that we would be a people saying no to the power, violence, greed of the world
And instead, be active participants in healing the world
by doing what we can to enable all to contribute to society with dignity and honour.
Acknowledging, accepting and working with the diversity you have given us.
One, valuable person, at a time
We pray that we would be your faithful disciples
Bringing together whatever has been broken in your world
Living and loving as Jesus loved
in whose name we pray
The writer, from Hartwell Church of Christ, Melbourne, Australia, references Becoming the Authentic Church by Gordon Cosby, p38f as the inspiration behind the prayer.
The world is more magical, less predictable, more autonomous, less controllable, more varied, less simple, more infinite, less knowable, more wonderfully troubling than we could have imagined being able to tolerate when we were young.
able to operate without us
and into this environment, we are.
We live, we grow, we interact, we flounder, we survive, we cope, we struggle, we are.
We are yours.
We are yours, and we are not alone; as those with the capacity to love, we reflect your image to the world.
We bring our cares and concerns, our joys and sorrows, our celebrations and our doubts.
We give thanks for the things that have fitted in to the pattern of life we enjoy.
Lead us into the thanks and praise for the things that don’t fit our pattern but fit yours.
Guide our prayers away from the selfish things to the things that are of the Spirit.
Guide us to prayers that are generous, that are gifts, that are life-giving, that are humble and aware.
Lord, the world is more magical and mysterious than we can imagine, so we limit ourselves to our field of vision.
Enlarge our imaginations, roll back the limits to enable us to pray effectively.
We give thanks for your church community here in this place, where we can grow in faith in a loving environment. Bless your churches in this district and wherever you people meet.
For the places where you are not recognised, we pray that your Kingdom would come, and your will be done.
Bless our efforts to be your disciples, and bless us as we offer ourselves as gifts to the world.
The writer, from Hartwell Church of Christ, Melbourne, Australia, references the quote on page 25 of Falling Upward by Richard Rohr as the inspiration behind the prayer.
Links to more resources…