Strengthening words

Walking through the valley — Ana Gobledale, UK

Walking through the valley of the shadow of death… Death accompanies us all. Waiting silently for acceptance. Not frightening, except for those who fear shadows. Peaceful. I’m grateful for those who show me how to transition from the life we know into this unknowable mystery. So many names and angles of understanding: eternity, resurrection, dust-to-dust, […]

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From where I stand, hymn — Sam Goodman, UK

Tune: In Christ alone You are my rock, safe and secure All that I treasure comes from you When other fade, you will endure Your promises are always true Chorus From where I stand, from what I know You are my strength, you are my guide Wherever I am called to go Your love will […]

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Prayer in time of chaos — Kay Lowe-Wendling, USA

No matter how bad things get, there’s always hope. Even when things were at their worst for the young Anne Frank, she wrote: ‘The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does […]

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Transforming our fears — Cara Heafey, UK

Our bodies are so fragile Our time here is so brief Our lives are but a single drop in the ocean of eternity And yet… We are known We are loved We are held May our fears about our death be transformed And may all our suffering be transfigured. May we discover, within ourselves, a […]

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Prayer of approach & confession — Cara Heafey, UK

Prayers of approach and confession Loving God Our souls sing out in worship And all of creation bursts forth with praise! For you look with compassion on all who suffer. You shed tears of sorrow with those in grief. You reach down into the dark pit of hopelessness. You kneel in the dust to lift […]

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Dark Moments — by Ann Lewin, UK

A reflection on Dame Julian of Norwich’s text from Revelations of Divine Love: ‘All shall be well. You shall see yourself that all things shall be well. That which is impossible for you is not impossible for me. I shall keep my word in all things and I shall make all things well.’ ‘All shall […]

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Prayer before Preaching — Ana Gobledale, Zambia

God, prepare me. Proclamation Channel Instrument Prepared yet overtaken Connection Identification ‘That’s me!’ Mouth of God Beyond words translated Interpreted Confirming purpose and usefulness Use me, God. Keep me humble. Use me beyond my perceived limits. Today may I be on fire With your spirit With your word Consumed yet refined Given yet received Blessed

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Rainbow of God’s design — Wellingtone Bawalya, Zambia

Inspired by 1 Corinthians 4:3-6 (Eighth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A) This prayer arises from a homily given at Morning Chapel, United Church of Zambia University.  Wellingtone’s words have been adapted as a prayer by Ana Gobledale. My parents, sisters and brothers in Christ, join me in prayer. Creator God, how wonderful it is that […]

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Carers’ Prayer — Heather Smith, Carers UK

Let me be kind when tiredness overwhelms my weary brain and turns my legs to lead; let me brave when truths must be conveyed, confronting the past and all things left unsaid; let me fight on for you when various rules make nonsense of your rights and reinforce your fears; grant me the stamina to […]

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Psalm 23 for today — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, UK

Inspired by Psalm 23 God is my shelter, my protection, and my guide. I want for nothing, and I will practice thanksgiving! God invites me to places of peace and beauty where wildflowers bloom and mountain streams flow. God will restore me, and I will practice sabbath rest. Even when anxiety and fear threaten to […]

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The desert is not alone — Angie Combs, Colorado USA

Sun light fades shadows blend united into layers Darkness shrouds The Night is not alone. Aged with patience Saguaro keeps watch his feathered guards at the helm ready The Crown is not alone Steady, enduring, branches like steel reach yearn cradle the stillness The Ironwood is not alone Vipers tucked in hiding coyote sings lullaby […]

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By your side — Chris Roe, UK

By your side There is peace, A quiet place Of beauty and realisation, Where wisdom Seeks reason and understanding, Where myth is laid to rest By the reality of knowledge. By your side There is hope, That arrogance and greed Will not destroy, That selfless love Will prevail. By your side Life is sacred, A […]

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Hopeful brokenness, in response to a bombing — Ana Gobledale, UK

Written April 2018 during a time of personal reflection in the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, UK, following the bombing of Syria by the US and the UK. Broken Bombed Darkness descends How did it come to this? God groans The world whimpers. We cower Fearfully crying out, ‘Which way?’ What about our grandchildren? Follow the […]

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Stilling the storms of life, Mark 4:35-41 — Ana Gobledale, UK

Stilling the storms of life, a guided reflection  Text: Mark 4:35-41   NRSV  (Lection 5th Sunday of Pentecost, Year B)   Prior to reading the passage, set the scene: Jesus’s days, filled with healing and teaching by the lakeside, have tired him and the disciples out.  In chapter 3 he asks for a boat to stand […]

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Worn Spot – Steve Garnaas-Holmes, USA

   There’s a dip in the stone step in the threshold of the old cathedral, worn where thousands of pilgrims have stepped as they entered the darkness to pray. Even in the old country church the railing is rubbed bare where the faithful have grasped, have leaned, have hoped. There is a worn spot at […]

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Cafe Church, Open Table service — Standing firm in our faith

Open Table Worship – using inclusive language and imagery for intimate worship settings at which everyone is welcome and valued Theme:  Stand firm in our faith A complete worship service weaving together scripture, drama, reflection, conversation & communion Compiled & written by Ana Gobledale for Open Table This service is designed for a congregation gathered […]

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Prayer response to violence, 1 John 4:20

Adapted from a prayer written by Revd Terri Hord Owens, USA, originally forged in response to peaceful demonstrations and violent response in Charlottesville, North Carolina USA. God of Love, our hearts break at the violence in our world, the loss of life, the dishonoring of children of God, the vile insults hurled and the wounds of […]

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Prayer for approaching an horizon, St Edith Stein

Appropriate for sharing with the dying, at a funeral, crematorium service or at a memorial service       O my God, fill our souls with holy joy, courage and strength to serve you. Enkindle your love in us and then walk with us along the next stretch of the road before us. We do […]

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Communion in a Time of Dread (hymn) — Jim Burklo, USA

Tune: Sursum Corda 10.10.10.10.  (How Like a Gentle Spirit) (Use freely, with attribution) One truck delivers us our wine and bread Another swerves and leaves our children dead One driver sings a hymn of love and life Another chants a call to holy strife One phone is used to set a bomb alight Another used […]

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Blessing as one nears death — Cara Heafey, UK

May you greet each day as a gift And look for the treasure within it. May the story of your life hold meaning, For you and for those who will follow. May you have time enough to say all that needs to be said; To do all that needs to be done. May your relationships […]

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Trinity of Love, prayer — Louise Gough, UK

Loving God who conceived life, originates ingenuity, embraces individuality, welcomes everyone, celebrates diversity, encourages unity, offers serenity, gifts simplicity, lavishes compassion, we worship you! Living Jesus who breathes our air, walks our streets, feels our pain, sheds tears, enjoys company, bubbles with laughter, holds our hands, we worship you! Gentle Spirit who strengthens fragile spirits, […]

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Black History Month UK

What words do we use to lift up the history of oppression, the current struggles and future hopes? How is our language in worship shaped by race? What colours do we see as we speak the words of our faith? Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. […]

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The Church is Me is You — Liz Grant, Salisbury, UK

Our Church meets in a building, That is a civic pride. We sometimes need a shoehorn To fit the folks inside. We have many groups, who meet here And do the things they do. But the buildings only made of stone The church is me, is you. Many folk can tell you Where our church […]

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Sistering — Glennon Doyle Melton, USA

When times are difficult we can lean on one other. The SALT Project has produced an inspirational short film about the strength of “sistering.” The SALT team writes: ‘We teamed up with Glennon Doyle Melton (New York Times Bestselling author of, Carry On, Warrior, mastermind behind Momastery.com, and all around amazingly strong and witty human […]

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Renew our Lives, a prayer — Bernard Thorogood

O Holy Spirit, Spirit of God You are Love. Fill our hearts so that we may know how to forgive.  How to understand. How to cherish and how to let go. Holy Spirit, you are truth. Teach us the way of Christ. Expose all falseness in our values and cleanse us from prejudice. Give us […]

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Prayer for Openness — Joyce Rupp

Remember the Holy One is with you. Bring to mind this loving presence within you and around you as you pray the following: Open my mind to remember your presence. Open my mouth to speak your wisdom. Open my heart to extend your love. Open my hands to serve you generously. Open my whole being […]

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Peace Prayers — Disciples Peace Fellowship, USA

We pray for peace in our world, our nations, our communities and our homes.  The Disciples Peace Fellowship offers weekly Peace Prayers relevant to the concerns of today.  The language strives for inclusivity. It is easy to subscribe so the prayers pop up in your email each week. The Disciples Peace Fellowship is connected to […]

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Isaiah 61, Prayer — Christian Aid, UK

O Christ, you lived as an ordinary man not in style but simply, yet still you caused uproar, and questions everywhere; you drew the expectations of hungry crowds, and brought buried conflicts to the light. May we, who are sometimes swayed by the crowd’s approval, and who often avoid conflict for fear of its cost […]

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Psalm Before Beginning Work — E Hayes

From Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim, Fr. Edward Hayes To You, O Divine One, from whose hands comes the work of creation, so artfully designed, I pray that this work I am about to do may be done in companionship with you. May the work that I will soon begin sing praise to you, as songbirds […]

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