Prayers for Pentecost 13

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Ah, dear lord, at this time and in this place we come to prayer.

Be welcome here. Bow your head and sit with us as we pray.

Lord, you are the god who protects us, you are the god who keeps our heads down in the heat of the moment. We see the puff of smoke and hear the ricochet of the bullet. It misses us by inches. We are deafened by the percussive force of the explosion, its heat singes the hairs on our necks. You cradle us and keep us safe, god of the foxholes.

Thank you that you have given us a safe country to live in, free from war, and civic violence and corruption. We are citizens, at home in our own country. Keep the dangers far away from our islands. Remember us here. As we come closer to our elections give us wisdom and discernment to make our democracy and our institutions work favourably for our world, our environment, and for the sustinence of all living creatures. Keep our country at peace. Guard our children, guide our leaders, grant us peace.

Lord, we have looked overseas, and we have seen the Olympics, the competitions, the games, the drama, and the colours. We have seen the beautiful people, the athletic and the strong, the best of the nations. We have seen the triumphs, and the humility. We have seen the defeats, and the disappointments. We know the promises: Higher, Faster, Stronger; and in your kingdom of heaven, you include: Deeper, Slower, Gentler, Older, Wiser. Grant us your blessing to nurture the gifts of your spirit. We have disciplined ourselves in our training, we are running your race. In your coming reign you promise us all a crown and a new name. Bring in your kingdom.

Lord, we are coming through the winter. We count every minute as each day lengthens. Save us from the slippery frost and the treacherous ice that will send us sliding down the hill. Give us our breath as we breathe in the sharpness of the cold air. Keep away the coughs and sniffles, especially the flu. Provide for us the warmth and hospitality of our homes in the day, and snug in bed at nights. Grant us thanks for fine frosty mornings. May there be grit under our wheels to give traction as we spread your Gospel. Give us warm hands, warm toes, and warm hearts.

We pray for us who are Church. Let us find the silence between words, the white space between lines. Let us listen. Let us see the breadth of the diversity and find ourselves in good company. You are the god who salts the earth with words of fire. Teach us to love, to speak words of life and truth, teach us meaning and beauty, teach us to learn together. And together we share the words that you taught your disciples, we sing together…

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.

Amen, amen. Amen, amen. Amen, amen. Amen, amen.

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Prayers for 24 April 2016

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A harvest thanksgiving service, a day before ANZAC Day, and thinking about the arrival of the first Syrian refugees to Dunedin, I wrote these prayers:

Hello god, here is our prayers. Listen to us I pray. Bend down from heaven and bend your ear.

Hear us when we pray to you. Are you ready for us? We are coming to you.

You see before us the harvest offering, tokens of your generosity towards us.

After ten thousand years of civilised history and architecture we are still dependent on the layers of soil beneath our feet, and the promise of rain from the vaults of heaven.

Provide us for our daily needs, for what we produce and what grow, and what we need, from earth and sky and encircling ocean.

For all our pride in being educated first world citizens we still live from day to day.

Our nations, our cities, our communities, even our families – all may be lost and swept aside if the meals stop coming, and we are left as broken stones and foundations in the waste land.

Lord, you know our needs. You know them before they come to mind.

When we call on you we know you will meet us halfway because you know and you are coming to get us.

We do not walk home alone for you are with us and you guide us – share our playlunch with us, we will sit and eat sandwiches together.

In making this gesture of our gifts returned to you we are reminded that renew our citizenship in your kingdom.

We are the wandering people, from the first garden to the promise of the new Jerusalem.

We are highly mobile. We settle for a generation and then we move on.

We have the vision of the city, a city which has the God which gives righteousness and peace at its heart.

We would wish our city to be the welcoming place, to settlers, refugees, visitors and tourists.

Lord, save our land from the violence, from the bombs and missiles that have fallen on others.

Instead let the rain, the wind, the snow, and brief intervals of sun fall on us.

If ours is a safe city, then let us share it with others, let us be hospitible, let us be diverse.

Lord, within these hills, you have set us on a broad place, may it be home to all your people.

We live in our islands on the edge of the world, and the world seems full of danger, keep that danger far from our shores, Lord God, protect our islands, and nurture all who live here.

We remember those who have died to keep our islands at peace in past wars.

If we go from these islands again, then let our men and women go as peace keepers, and not as soldiers and warriors, when they go on that great adventure.

We remember those in our families who have gone, now and in previous generations.

We honour their sacrifice.

Lord, you are the Lord of the Harvest, even if it is the harvest of lost souls.

We do not get out of life alive, and our hope is our children, our grand-children, and our new-born will be our inheritors in a civilisation of peace.

May we be witnesses to your kingdom at this time, and in our life-time, and share our vision for our community with others who walk with us.

Give us good leadership – in our elected leaders in local government and in parliament.

We pray for our moderator, the Right Rev. Andrew Norton, that he would be a man who speaks for your Church.

Make us a generous people, abundant in our celebration, catering for friend and critic alike.

May we see Christ in the eye of the person opposite to us, teach us to see the stranger.

 

…we say together