Category Archives: Meditation & Prayer

Prayers and meditations

First Sunday of Lent: A Prayer


[A prayer for Sunday 21 February 2021
To listen to the sermon and the prayer, click here
]

Lord, you know us far too well.
Better than we know ourselves;
Better than we want to know or be known.

We are not proud of our lives.
Oh, yes, there are things we have done
and things we have achieved.
But we have failed some of the more important tests:

We have not been the loving children we could have been;
We have not been the loving parents
or partners we could have been.

We have been chasing dreams instead of creating memories.
Looking for treasure instead of building relationships.
We have lived fearfully, hoarding what we have.
Yet you have called us to live generously
as you have lived with us,
To give, so that we can receive and give again.

You know us so well,
Yet you remain our loving heavenly Father;
Full of love for us, full of joy at the possibilities you see in us;
Delighted to spend time with us.

Jesus, our friend and brother,
Our Saviour and Lord,
We want to walk with you on this Lenten journey.
Help us to turn from our sins
and renounce those things that destroy relationships;
that create barriers among us;
that separate us from you.

Help us find ways to connect with you
and connect with one another in these strange times.
Help us share one another’s burdens,
Share each other’s pain,
and walk with each other towards the light of resurrection
to discover our place within your family.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Prayers and Meditations, Sermons

Are you the one? A prayer for Advent 3


Lord we do feel as if life has been held hostage.
Around every corner, there seems to be another obstacle —
Barriers that stand in our way, trip us up and challenge our faith.

Lord we confess that our hope is not fully in you,
Our faith is not in your loving power at work in the world.

We so often put our faith elsewhere.
We put our hope in a new president,
In the activities of politicians,
In the work of scientists overcoming Covid-19,
In the improvement of the economy and our finances.

But while we pray for all these things,
Only you can save us, give us hope and bring us safely through.
Remind us, Lord, that your gift and our goal
is not health and happiness in this world,
It is not wealth and peace and security.

Your gift is eternal life, a place in the family of God;
You give us the gift of love and caring relationships,
The gift of discovering Christ at work in the world,
Finding the presence of God in the lives of people around us,
And bringing hope to desert places.

Though battered and bruised by the challenges we face,
Though afraid of what the next day might bring,
Though weary and desperate for rest,
Give us eyes to see you, a heart to receive you and courage to share our joy.

Help us to challenge our own and our neighbour’s fears
With the sure and certain hope that God is at work,
That those who hold life hostage are being defeated,
And that flowers are blooming even in our wilderness.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

A prayer for Sunday 13 December 2020
To listen to the sermon and the prayer, click here

Leave a comment

Filed under Meditation & Prayer, Prayers and Meditations

The Greatest Commandment: A prayer for Pentecost 23 (25 October 2020)


See also: The Greatest Commandment: A sermon for Pentecost 23

Let us pray

Lord, your love for us is revealed in so many practical ways.
You touched the leper, welcomed the outcast,
blessed the children and responded to a mother’s cry.
You loved even those who rejected you,
and you gave your life for every one of our sins.
And you call us to love.
You declare that our love for others is your love in action.

Lord, we confess that we limit your love.
We love those we like
And we turn away from those we fear,
those who challenge us, those who oppose us.
We limit our loving to what we think we can cope with,
have time for and can afford and that will not overwhelm us.

Yet we have the grace of God in our hearts
and the resources of heaven at our disposal.
Teach us, Lord, to love bravely, to love more widely
and to love more passionately.

We pray for our Covid-19 world:
For those finding a way forward
and for those caring for the sick and quarantined,
for vaccines and treatment programmes,
for those who have lost loved ones
and those who have lost jobs and homes and their sense of security.

We pray for America as it goes into one of the most challenging of elections on 3 November.
And we pray for South Africa as we look for a way forward from the corruption, anger and conflicts that dominate our lives.

Help us to love so that the world will discover a better way to live.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen

4 Comments

Filed under Meditation & Prayer, Worship & Preaching

God hears and hearing God: A prayer for 21 June 2020


 

Prestbury Methodist Church

Let us pray

Lord our creator God,
You allow us to call you Father, our parent.
We also claim the title ourselves,
Yet we fall far short of the ideal and practice of parenthood.

Forgive us for our failures,
Forgive us fathers, especially, for the ways in which we have given fatherhood a bad name;
For our abuse of power and our fear of love;
For our criticism, our negativity, our controlling ways.
Forgive us when we have destroyed or contributed to the destruction of a family.

You are the God who hears,
and we live in a world desperate to be heard.
There are cries for lives and for livelihoods lost,
for the violence that has erupted in our homes and across the globe.
There are cries of pain and anguish and fear.

Our loving Father,
As you hear us, your people,
So, help us hear the cries of those around us.
Help us to be wells filled with your compassion, bringing grace and mercy and hope.

In the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray together:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come, your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory
For ever and ever.

Amen

This prayer follows the sermon for this Sunday, which can be found here

3 Comments

Filed under Prayers and Meditations

The Great Shepherd and Covid-19: A prayer for 3 May 2020


Let us pray

Great Shepherd, you invite us to know you, to trust you and to obey you.

But, Lord, we confess that we don’t like being sheep.
We don’t like waiting for others to tell us what we are allowed to do.

We confess that we have been irritated by this lockdown.
We are also afraid of this virus, Lord.
We are afraid for our lives and for those of our loved ones.
We are afraid for our jobs and our livelihoods.
We are afraid that there may not be a place for us in the post-lockdown world.

Lord, we confess that we have sometimes let loose our fears and frustration on our families.
We have forgotten that they are experiencing the same fears and uncertainties.
Instead of comforting them, we have added to their burdens.
Yet you do not come as judge, but as shepherd, to love, to heal and to transform.

You invite us to know you and to be transformed by your love.
To marvel at its length, to wonder at its breadth, to be awed by its heights and inspired by its depth.
And to realise that we have experienced only a fraction of the glory you still want to reveal to us.

You invite us to trust you
To trust the one who knows better than anyone just what we are made of and what we are made for.
You invite us to trust you on our journey.
A journey that may involve green pastures but that, just as often, takes us through the darkest valleys.

Great Shepherd, you invite us to obey you,
not by following rules and regulations,
but by learning to love as we have been loved,
by learning to bring love into every relationship, every situation, every day.

Great Shepherd, as we have been loved,
so teach us to love you, to love our neighbours and to love one another.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen.

This prayer follows a sermon for this Sunday, which can be found here

 

1 Comment

Filed under Prayers and Meditations, Sermons

Rebecca: A Prayer from the Well


Lord Jesus,
You choose a donkey rather than a proud camel.
You meet us at the well, rather than the synagogue.
We expect to find you in this place, on a Sunday morning,
But you are waiting for us in the supermarket, in the playground, in the taxi, every day of the week.

You invite us to go with you,
as the Samaritan woman invited her village,
as Abraham’s servant invited Rebecca.

Forgive us, Lord,
for we allow the call of the world to drown out your invitation,
the brightness of our toys to dull our sight,
and there is no room for you in the busyness of our lives.

The fear of missing out is so strong, we dare not stop and listen.
If we go with you, what will happen to our friends, our future our fortune.
If we don’t Like and Post and Update and Share, we’ll be left behind.
No-one will Like us.
We will be unfriended and alone in the cyber world we call our home –
where we count Friends and Likes and Shares to determine our worth.

Yet, Lord, you offer to fill the much deeper emptiness within:
our longing for value, for meaning, for purpose;
our cry for healing, forgiveness and love.

But the noise of the world drowns out our cries.
Our busyness fills the empty spaces for a while,
allowing us to make believe that all is well.
But ‘make believe’ doesn’t see us through the night.
Virtual friends don’t embrace us and walk the darkness with us.

Still, Lord, we are afraid to commit.
Our virtual world allows us to flit here and there,
to ignore the uncomfortable, scorn the ugly and laugh at the foolish.
We choose our own way, our own friends our own family.
It’s hard for us to go with you, to commit to your journey, to become your family.

Help us to hear your voice, Lord Jesus, and respond to your call.
Free us from the demands of the world and the demands of our dreams.
Open our hearts to your love,
Open our ears to the cry of our neighbours
And our arms to embrace them.

Drive us into the highways and byways,
The corridors and shopping aisles,
The boardrooms and playrooms.
Give us courage to declare our love for you
And to issue the invitation with boldness:
‘Come see a man ….’

Amen

[A prayer used in conjunction with the story-sermon Rebecca: The Other Woman at the Well]

1 Comment

Filed under Meditation & Prayer, Prayers and Meditations