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Archive for the ‘Prayers’ Category

Now that we have entered into Lent I would like to share this Lent prayer that arrived in my inbox last week. Thanks to my colleague Puck for forwarding it to me.

A Lent prayer for Asylum seekers and refugees

Wise and compassionate God, help us to bear the burdens refugees
and asylum-seekers carry and not simply seek to shift the burden onto others.
Call our leaders to justice, generosity and compassion. Help them create and
implement strategies that are fair and just and treat refugees and asylum-seekers with dignity and care.

O God, our comforter, we ask you to comfort the broken-hearted and protect the
vulnerable. We pray for those who live in fear of detention and removal, for those who are in detention at this time and for those who face removal to an uncertain future. We ask you to assure them of your great love, surround them with your presence and fill them with your peace.

God bless our eyes so that we will recognise injustices.
God bless our ears so that we will hear the cry of the stranger.
God bless our mouths so that we will speak words of welcome to newcomers.
God bless our shoulders so we will be able to bear the weight of struggling for justice.
God bless our hands so that we can work together with all people to establish peace.

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How many believers are there among believers? Zoya, Class 4

Is it true that to You no one is dead? Lada, Class 3

Might You dream about me sometimes? Valera, Class 3

Make my life long and funny. Olga, Class 2

I would like to have my birthday not just once a year, but five times. Not because of the presents. It’s just that I would see my Dad more often. Nina, Class 2

Why is it easier to believe in You in the country than in town? Andrei, Class 3

Give good health and happiness to Mum, Granny, Uncle Fedya, Uncle Sasha, Uncle Borya and my other Dads. Nikita, Class 2

Lord, I’m grateful for all you’ve already done for me. But please help me now. My Dad has been put in prison for no reason, and he’s been there now for eight months. I’m waiting for him all the time. If I could I would free him. Please, please help me. This is my most important request ever. After this I won’t ever bother you again. Even if I happen to die. Ira, Class 4

I would like to live a happy and healthy life in my youth, and in old age it would be fine if my life was just happy. Vera, Class 3

In my next life could you get me to be born a boy in France. Kira, Class 4

They say people return to earth looking like someone. Please could you get me to return to earth looking like my dog, and get her to look like me, and we would be together again. Alyosha, Class 4

Would you get Mum and Dad to make up. Dear God, please help; I’ll give up smoking. Yura, Class 3

Please would You not let any of the Andronov family die ever. Yasha Andronova, Class 2

I read a poem in a book which said that You gave a crow a piece of cheese. Couldn’t You give me a piece too? Vovka, Class 2

You know, dear God, I would like to have a friend who looks like a cat. Dima, Class 3

When I see You, Lord, for the first time, I won’t ask for anything. You’ll think I’m such an undemanding boy, and will give me a Mercedes. Anton, Class 4

You promised to defend the weak and despised, but somehow I don’t feel it. Roma, Class 3

When my dog leaves the earth, take her in. You’ll have a real friend. Let her out at 7 a.m. to pee and poo; she eats everything; don’t yell at her; she can bite. Zhora, Class 2

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As St Andrew’s Day is around the corner I thought I will share with everyone this prayer written by my colleague. She has kindly agreed to let me publish it here. You might see it published in the 2010 resources for the Week of Prayers for Christian Unity (published by WCC, I think).

Litany of the Scottish Mace

This prayer was written by Rev Lindsey Sanderson for the Opening Worship of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity International Writing Group, Sept. 2008.

The Scottish Mace is present in the debating hall of the Scottish Parliament when it sits in session. A new mace was commissioned for the re-establishment of the Parliament and was presented to the Parliament by the Queen at its official opening on 1st July 1999. Engraved in the mace are the words ‘ Wisdom, Integrity, Justice, Compassion’, the values which the Scottish people desire their Parliament to uphold.

Wisdom
‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom……’ Ps 111.10

God of wisdom, we bring before you the peoples of faith within our nation.
We pray for faith communities who seek to establish harmony within Scotland through the daily living of their faith.
We pray for the traditional churches, that in the challenging contexts they face, they may remain faithful to your Gospel.
We pray for the growing ethnic minority Christian presence in Scotland, that we may find ways of working together in our outreach to the nation.

R. In our witness to Christ may we reveal God’s wisdom through our faithfulness.

Integrity
‘The integrity of the upright guides them…….’ Pr.11.3

God who is righteous, we bring before you all who strive to uphold the values of integrity and righteousness.
We pray for all in positions of political leadership, that they may act in ways which brings about a healthy, vibrant and caring nation.
We pray for all who work with children and young people, that by their example our young people may become responsible citizens of our communities.
We pray for those in leadership in our faith communities, that they may be recognised for their discipleship and witness to faith.

R. In our witness to Christ may we act in ways which demonstrate God’s integrity.

Justice
‘ What does the Lord require of you but to do justice…..’ Micah 6:8

God who is just, we bring before you all who in our nation are denied justice, peace and security.
We pray for those seeking asylum and for those exploited through human trafficking.
We pray for migrant workers taken advantage of because of their lack of language skills and unfamiliarity with our systems.
We pray for all who are judged by the colour of their skin and not for the people they are.

R. In our witness to Christ may we reveal God’s justice to the world.

Compassion
‘As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion…..Col 3.12’

Loving God, we bring before you all who in our nation long to feel the compassion of another human being.
We pray for children, women and men trapped in abusive relationships, often fuelled by alcohol or drugs.
We pray for those who are wearied of caring for loved ones and neglect to care for themselves.
We pray for all who feel cast out by society and beyond human care.

R. In our witness to Christ may we reveal God’s compassion for the world.

God in whom we discover wisdom, integrity, justice and compassion, hear our prayer and enable us to play our part in shaping the life of our nation. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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I would like to know in advance what You are planning: will there be another flood, or will the earth go up in flames?
Kirill, Class 4

I was born, had a look, and the world was already so evil, cruel. Andrei, Class 4

Why before could animals speak, but now they can’t? Well, remember, even the serpent talked to Eve. Eva, Class 3

Why did you make man the most important on the earth? Oleg, Class 4

What cry of misfortune will reach Your ears? Natasha, Class 2

Why do we grow old? Ilya, Class 3

Why are many people so gloomy? Arina, Class 3

Are You happy? Evelina, Class 1

Time – what is it? Nina, Class 3

Why do You give life, while anyone can take it away? Roman, Class 3

What needs to be done with animals so that they land up in paradise with us? Egon, Class 3

You created man in your image and likeness, but what about someone from another planet? Zoya, Class 4

Have you had this experience: you like someone, but he doesn’t look in your direction? Olya, Class 3

Why when one is in love, does one like everything, even a boiled egg? Styopa, Class 2

Does glory make living difficult for You? Vasya, Class 3

Why was I born ugly? Katya, Class 4

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Here are some prayers from a book entitled Children Write to God by Mikhail Dymov was published in Riga (Latvia) in 1997. The book contained messages to God, written by Russian children between the ages of 6-10 and gathered by teachers in 30 Riga schools at Dymov’s request. The publishers hoped to also make the book available for Russia but it was not possible to distribute it there. However a Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, published some of the prayers from this book on the Internet in issue No 63 (29-31 August) 2005. I come across them in the Keston Newsletter No 7, 2008,. Hope you enjoy them.

Hello, Lord. How are things? How are you? How is your health? Zhenya, Class 2
If You organise the end of the world, who will be left to pray to you? Petya, Class 4
What do You punish good people for? Fedya, Class 3
Where does time go? Does it get old? Yulya, Class 3
People suffer so much on earth, surely it can’t be worse in Your hell? Radik, Class 4
Of course, I love You, but I love Mummy and Daddy more. Is that OK? Zoya, Class 3
Could I please not die? Yulya, Class 1
Candles are sold in church – is that a business You organise? Tolik, Class 2
I read that Christ was a Jew; but he’s Your son, so does that mean that You are a Jew too? Asya, Class 2
At what point can you consider someone to be grown-up? When he’s no longer afraid of injections, or when he fancies Svetka? Marik,
Why do we live? Alla, Class 2
Do you like what happens on earth? Andrei, Class 4
All right, so Christ suffered for people, but people are suffering for the sake of what? Grisha, Class 4
How many years older than the earth are You? Raya, Class 1
Lord, but where is Christ now, what is He doing? Stella, Class 2
Why is there no gentleness in the world? Lena, Class 1
Do You have a mind or are You entirely made up of soul? Zhenya, Class 3
But look, men were the first to give birth – remember Eve and Adam’s rib. So what didn’t You like about this? Why did you land such a hard job on women? Zoya, Class 4
You write in the Bible that in the beginning was the word. Which one? Ruslan, Class 1
What was the first thing Christ did after He rose from the dead? Olya, Class 3
Why do the poor beg outside churches – so that You can note down who gives them something? Ira, Class 2
Dear God, did you place my soul in me or someone else’s? Stasik, Class 2
Does that mean, if I’ve understood evolution correctly, You created Adam and Eve and from then on human beings developed from apes? Sergei, Class 3
Dear God, if you let someone have a bite of your Snickers bar, is that love? Raya, Class 2
Don’t you get annoyed by other planets? Andrei, Class 2
Let’s talk man to man. Do You like my Lenka? If your answer is ‘no’, then why did you arrange things so that I spend all my time looking at her, and if ‘yes’, why doesn’t she look at me? Vova, Class 4
Why does it take years for a person to grow up, and then, bang, he’s already dead? Vasya, Class 2
What can one do in life to stop Mum beating me? Lenya, Class 2
Do you know where my dear Dad is? Diana, Class 2
What are You, invisible air? Rita, Class 2
Does the cosmos have a beginning and an end, a right and a left side, a top and a bottom? Vanya, Class 1
And what sort of future did you plan before our era? Alexandra, Class 1
What does it mean – before anything came to be? But there must have been something. Nastya, Class 1
Perhaps I can help you in some way? Sveta, Class 2
Why do I feel so drawn to do something bad? Are You testing me? Pasha, Class 3
Is it true that in Greece there were real myths? Vladik, Class 3
What has my Dad done to You that he has such bad luck? Vita, Class 3
You are good, so why do people have to beg You: do this, send that. Natasha, Class 4
You know, it’s awful being poor for no reason? Irakli, Class 4
Now shouldn’t you create man for a second time? Oleg, Class 3
Is there so much misfortune and pain on earthso that people don’t mind dying? Igor, Class 4
What if people don’t love You, but are frightened of You? Ruslan, Class 2
Why did you create this world? Didn’t you realise it would be such a mess? Marina, Class 4
What would have happened on earth if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed your command about the apples? Valentin, Class 4

More to come soon

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I attended a meeting today in my field of work – justice. Stephen my colleague brought a prayer for us which we read at the start of the meeting. After that we had a few moments of reflection and sharing with each other as to how this prayer spoke to us.

I feel I should share this prayer with anyone who happens to stumble onto this humble site. I hope it challenges you as well.

Thanks Stephen.

Blessing of Discomfort

May God bless us with discomfort
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that we may live deep within our own hearts.

May God bless us with anger…
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears…
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation 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 enough foolishness…
to believe that we make a difference in this world,
so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

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A Prayer from Iona Community

A Prayer from the Iona Community. It inspired me, I wonder if others would be inspired too.

Thanks Stephen for emailing it to me.

A Sower Went Out To Sow

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground he sowed the gift of welcoming,
and the seed grew,
and strangers lost their strangeness,
and foreigners found a friend,
and closed doors became open,
and hospitality overtook suspicion.,
and Jesus was embraced incognito.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground she sowed the seed of listening,
and the seed grew,
and hard problems began to be solved, because there was time to unravel them,
and fears were released, because the fearful one was not judged,
and forgotten people were heard, because someone paid attention,
and the truth was separated from gossip, because there was time.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground he sowed the seed of caring,
and the seed grew,
so that hungry people were fed with more than food,
and ignored people were attended to,
and guilty people were forgiven,
and those who seemed untouchable found themselves embraced,
and the compassion of Christ was known again on earth..
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground she sowed the seed of encouraging,
and the seed grew,
and shy people lost their reticence,
and quiet people found their voice,
and those who thought they were worthless discovered their value,
and hidden talent was revealed.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on the ground he sowed the seed of telling,
and the seed grew,
and stories were told to children,
and history was told to the young,
and jokes were told in cheerless places,
and the good news was told to those who were despondent,
and the Gospel of the Lord of Life
was told through the lives of God’s people.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground she sowed the seed of imagining,
and the seed grew,
and young people saw visions,
and old people dreamed dreams,
and some drew or wrote or danced or sang, who never thought they had it in them
and some stopped revisiting their past, in order to visualise God’s future.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

A sower went out to sow,
and on some ground he sowed the seed of changing,
and the seed grew ,
and people moved from prejudice to truth,
and from despair to hope,
and from apathy to faith,
and old churches became radical communities,
and old people became midwives of God’s coming kingdom.
IN MY LIFE, LORD, BE GLORIFIED.

(from the Iona Community)

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