Prayers for Lent

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ’s sake, Amen

St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)
[http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Lent]

 

Loving Father,
all the fancy words
in the world,
expressed in eloquent prose,
decorated with emotion,
spoken with conviction,
cannot compete with a heartfelt
‘sorry’
when all other words fail.
There are times
when we are all too aware
of our limitations,
conscious of sin,
and the distance it creates between us.
Sometimes ‘sorry’
is all the heart can bear to say aloud.

It is only you
who can read and understand
the language of our hearts,
only you who can translate our ‘sorry’
into the prayer we would have prayed,
if we had the words within us.
Then you forgive,
and having forgiven
surround us in an embrace of love,
drawing us close to your heart,
as it was always meant to be.
Thank you, Loving Father,
that you listen to hearts,
as well as voices.
Thank you.

From http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Lent

And there are many more, more traditional, prayers for Lent to be found at that same page.

Advertisements

Two Prayers for the New Year

Image result for New Year blessing

Gathering Prayer
Loving God, as we gather today in this place,
We thank you for your unfailing love.
We pray that we may be rooted and established in your love.
We pray that we have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –
that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of you.

Morning Prayer
Sometimes, Lord, it seems
my faith is mere gravel flying against the wind
of lovelessness and pain.
Yet You have chosen and placed me here;
laid Your grace deep within my being
used my fragments in Your kingdom-building plan.
I pray, Lord, that today
even my shakiest stones
might be a safe place for others to tread.
In Jesus’s name. Amen

From http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/starters_for_sunday/january
(for 17 January 2016) (Webmistress’s note: I see this source page is no longer available.)

An Advent and Christmas Miscellany

A Collection of Advent Poems, Prayers and Blessings

A Liturgy for Advent and Christmas

Betty Shore has sent us an Advent/Nativity reflection/study she used with a group. You may be able to use all or part of this

A Birth in Bethlehem – a Nativity Play – by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

If Jesus Came for the First Time This Year – A Nativity Story with a Modern Twist – by Joy Kingsbury Aitken

A Collection of Christmas Prayers and Blessings

Some Very Useful Websites

The Text This Week – a great starting point as you begin to work on service preparation

Faith and Worship – Prayers

Weekly Worship – this is from the Church of Scotland and provides useful material related to lectionary readings, prayers, and ideas for a children’s talk

Related imageStorypath – connecting Children’s Literature with our Faith Story – using the lectionary reading and providing good suggestions for linking the children’s story into the service

Lectionary and Worship – from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – has range of resources including suggestions of hymns from the New Zealand Hymn Book Trust that could be suitable for each Sunday, as well as Te Reo Maori worship resources

Week in Prayer – each Thursday posts a current prayer of intercession for the following Sunday.  You can sign up to have it emailed to you.  The sample below shows just how current it is.  It reflects the US environment from which it comes but it is truly international and, with a little tweaking, can be very valuable

World News This Week in Prayer – Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dear Lord,

Your people in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean have looked up into rain flooded skies and out onto destroyed homelands, waiting for water, food, shelter and the provision of medical care. Open the hearts of decision makers to release funds to continue the rescue, to bring relief and stability. Smooth the communications to move people to care as the USNS Comfort (US naval ship) waits for the needy. Help us to grow in compassion as a people as we listen to news from hurricane-devastated places and during the long recovery, not forgetting the gulf coast.

We pray for the Rohingya peoples who await smugglers to take them across the Naf River between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Others make the treacherous journey to safety through jungles and mountains and into refugee camps such as BalukaliKutupalong and Nayapara, where the depth of need is continually expanding. Dear God, our Comforter and Protector, be with the nation of Bangladesh and the NGO’s as they summon all their capacity to meet the needs of these deeply suffering refugees. Surround exhausted families with nourishing sleep. Tend to the children who make up 60% of the refugees – lost and torn from their families. Open our eyes to the horror of genocide, as a people are being erased from Myanmar’s history and annihilated. Come Holy Spirit. Guide the world as it seeks to address this calamity.

Some look up into smoke and ash filled skies in the western United States barely escaping burning homes and a tortured landscape and yet 10,000 firefighters – including 100 women prisoners working as firefighters – move toward the flames. Renew their energy to endure and guard their steps. We are so grateful for their unique skills in this treacherous work. Dear God, provide shelter to families bereft of everything they owned. Sustain the communities in their great work of serving these families, providing food, a listening ear, counseling and guidance in next steps and getting in touch with family. Be with the 42 families who have lost loved ones and the 68 families with unaccounted for loved ones. Hold them in their distress.

Some hide in the shelter of darkness yet afraid. “Has the fighting stopped?” Oh Lord, how seemingly endless is the noise and dust and calamity of war and the horrific suffering, the interminable loss and degradation. We pray for the peoples caught in the wars within wars, in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region of Kirkuk, for the police killed in Taliban raids and bombings in the Paktia and Ghazni provinces in Afghanistan. We pray for the dead and wounded civilians as they were waiting to get their identity cards. We pray for an end to 6 years of suffering in the Syrian civil war displacing 6.3 million people internally, causing the deaths of 400,000 with more than 5 million Syrians fleeing the country.

Open the hearts of combatants to give safe humanitarian access. Our hearts are torn again as we hear about the global food crisis, severe food insecurity, and the increasing risk of full on famine in northeast NigeriaSomaliaSouth Sudan and Yemen. Some are too week to sit or even cry, hungry to the point of death. Oh God, you are listening. You surround them. You love them. Open our hearts. Help us to prayerfully consider our time, talent and treasure. Help us to share the wealth from our tables. Bring peace in those places where war creates famine, where conflict creates war, where war seems to be endless.

We watched with deep concern as Ireland and the UK received the effects of Hurricane Ophelia downgraded to a tropical storm. We are saddened at the loss of life as severe winds toppled trees on to cars. We are grateful for advanced warning such that the Irish Defense Forces were ready where needed and schools were closed keeping children safe. Be with families in their sudden grief and with those experiencing the deep deep losses in Portugal and Spain as wildfires fanned by the winds of the very same hurricane have brought further catastrophe. Again we pray for the 6,000 firefighters and nations called to come together in these wildfires. Be with the injured and their caregivers as severe burns are treated. Comfort those who are in mourning of the over thirty-two victims including a one-month old infant taken so quickly. Many weep for their cherished lands and fields, and livestock so vulnerable. Comfort them in their mourning. Give them your strength.

And your people in Mogadishu, where the Somali nation again suffers a bombing so despicable and barbaric with over 276 lives destroyed in an instant. Oh Lord, we take-in this news of the over 300 injured and suffering, and families still searching for the missing. We hear of the need for donor blood, the exhausted hospital staff, and how they keep going, as its populace is weeping, weeping, weeping. Help them as they assemble and arise as a people to discern steps for increased stability and safety in their nation. Comfort your people of Somalia in their great sorrow. Bring them peace.

Guide us in our faith. Help us to seek your will.

May we rush to understand one another, to love urgently, and to grow steadily in becoming more tolerant.

From you comes all blessings and life itself.

Amen.

 

Week of Prayer for World Peace

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless us with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that we may seek truth boldly and love deep within our heart.

May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbours who are poor.

Source:
http://www.thegreatpeacemakers.com/st-francis-of-assisi.html

Free – From Philip Garside Publishing Ltd –

Creative WorshipCreative Worship Volume 1Songs, Prayers & PoemsPhilip Garside. PDF eBook, 32pp. ISBN 9781927260791. Philip Garside Publishing Ltd. (2017). Free. Click to Download now

Fresh songs, prayers and poems for worship and reflection.

Here are 11 songs, in a variety of styles, for your church or choir. You can copy and sing them for free!

“…Come and dance with us,
sing with us, walk along our way.
Help us bring alive God’s kingdom
on earth today.”

The arrangements are simple and include guitar chords. Some are best sung unaccompanied.

To help you learn them, links to midi and mp3 files of the melody, and to the Noteworthy Composer software music settings are included for each song. There are also notes about how and why the songs were written and tips for performing them.

The songs, poems and prayers in this book have all been successfully used in worship.

We hope you and your congregation or choir will enjoy them.

Winter resources

winterSome time ago, Joy Kingsbury-Aitken wrote a prayer of thanksgiving entitled Winter’s Lessons – it may well be an appropriate time to recall that winter does have its lessons and blessings.

A Winter Prayer has been “borrowed” from Rev Kate Wilkinson, and could be useful as a prayer for others, especially those affected by the cold – the elderly and the homeless – as well as a reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

And these Prayers for others – winter time, by Hannie de Beer of Christchurch continues the themes found in the other two resources for Winter.