Prayer of Thanksgiving
We raise our prayers to the One
who shares our wounds
who shares our lives
who shares in our past and present and future.
We give You thanks for the simple things of life:
for nourishing food which is readily available,
for roofs over our heads, to keep us safe,
for easy access to healthcare,
for committed educators, widening horizons and encouraging imaginations,
for families and support, and a faith community, to share in our lives and support us in love.
Help us, Eternal Spirit of Love,
never to take for granted all that we have.
We thank You for the inspiration of the disciples,
who emerged from behind hidden doors
and walked and acted in faith, sharing in all the possibilities
in which You, Jesus Christ, called them to engage.
We thank You for the people of faith,
down through the centuries
who similarly have shared their faith
and showed it in practical ways
that so many could be touched and affected by faith.
We thank You for the people around us,
who share in worship and work:
that this place and people
will continue to walk and act in faith,
as Christ has called us to.
These prayers we make in the name of Jesus Christ,
The One who stood in the upper room and changed the lives
of Thomas and the disciples, and now, even us.
Prayer of Confession & Absolution
Creator of the bluebells and larks
Sustainer of the stars and galaxies
Redeemer of everything that has life and breath,
we confess that we are far from perfect
and we lack the subtle word of encouragement,
the vision to be the solution to hurt.
We speak too much
and rarely listen as we ought.
We move when we should be still,
and we come before You today without focus.
We lay our lives into the palm of Your hand,
You, who holds us, carries us and pushes us when we need it.
Forgive us through the hands
which reached out for His mother from the manger.
Forgive us through the hands
once stretched out on the cross.
Forgive us through the hands
held out for Thomas to touch.
Receive the confessions of our hearts
In this time of silence
(Silence is kept)
In Christ we are offered hands,
leading us into a future
surrounded by His love.
Receive His promise of forgiveness
and be released from the burdens which bind you,
so that you may open the doors of your hearts
and, with confidence, walk into the future
surrounded by Resurrection Hope.
In Jesus Name,
Prayers of the People
Gracious God, as we move forward as a people of the resurrection you bless us with your wonderous gift of forgiveness. A gift given out of your great love for the world. A gift given out of the costly sacrifice of one man.
May we, your forgiven people, never take this gift for granted but reflect with wonder that you, our God, should love us so much that you would continue to forgive us over and over again.
May we, your forgiven people, constantly live out of this gift and offer this gift of forgiveness to those people whom we come into contact with, in our families, our friends and our communities.
May we, your forgiven people, remind our fractured world that your costly gift of forgiveness is so that the whole World may find peace and work out ways to be reconciled to each other, as we are first reconciled to you through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Rev Andrew Gunton, Moderator.
(Uniting News – 19 April 2022)
Prayer for a World Where Hope Seems Dim
Dear God, the World seems so dark and foreboding.
Where are the signs of hope? What are you calling us to do?
Wars, uprisings, displacements, hunger, poverty, and disease continue to claim victims by the millions around the World each year.
Our ears do not want to hear their stories and our eyes do not want to see their plight because the suffering and destruction is so massive and cruel.
In our hearts and minds there is a desire to help somehow, but the crisis seem so overwhelming that we shake our heads in dismay and we wonder what the point is for us even to attempt to be witnesses for healing and hope in this hellish morass.
We beg you to open our eyes that we may see glimpses of truth you have for us.
Help us to follow the path of Jesus, the Suffering Servant. Give us the courage to be willing to walk the path of depression and pain with the victims of injustice here at home as well as abroad.
Help us to seek ways to light candles of hope, however small, through our words, our deeds, and our prayers, to encourage our sisters and brothers to hold onto the faith in spite of the pain and suffering they are facing.
And help those of us who are among the fortunate ones, who have enough bread to eat, good health, and who live in relative peace, to open our heart to learn from our sisters and brothers who are living lives of grace and forgiveness in the horrid circumstances which surround them. O God, help us to light one candle rather than to curse the darkness.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, who knows what being a light in this dark world is all about.
– Larry Kehler, Mennonite Central Committee, Canada, 2009
A Prayer for World Peace, 1978
We pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding on to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a World emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men or women to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men and women were created.
Prayer for Peace—Pope Francis
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: “Never again war!”; “With war everything is lost”. Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarrelling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that, with patience and perseverance, we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words “division”, “hatred” and “war” be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be “brother”, and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace!
A Daily Prayer for Joy and Strength
Dear God, at the start of each day, help us to recognize you above all else. Enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might see you, and notice how you’re at work through our lives. Give us wisdom to make the best choices, fill us with a desire to seek after you more than anything else in this World. Let your Spirit and power breathe in us, through us, again, fresh and new. Thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day. Thank you that your presence goes with us, and that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances, but it is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we’re up against. We ask that your peace lead us, that it would guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives this day. In Jesus’ Name. (Debbie McDaniel)
For the Peace of Christ to Rule
Dear Lord, help me remember you are indeed Lord of my life. You have the right to rule all that I think, believe and do. When I allow my mind to run to places that destroy my peace, remind me these are unauthorized thoughts. You do not want me to dwell on thoughts and emotions that contribute to unreasonable fears.
I know my mind will remain in perfect peace as I fix my thoughts on you; so Lord Jesus, let your peace rule in my heart. Remind me of the peace I have in your family, and teach me how to be thankful for those circumstances that cause me to run to you, focus on you, and abide in you. I never need live with fearful, anxious thoughts. The truth is, you are in control! ~ (Dawn Wilson)
we dream of a World free of poverty and oppression,
and we yearn for a World free of vengeance and violence.
we pray for your peace.
When our hearts ache for the victims of war and oppression,
help us to remember that you healed people simply by touching them…,
and give us faith in our ability to comfort and heal bodies and minds and spirits
that have been broken by violence.
When the injustice of this World seems too much for us to handle,
help us to remember that you fed five thousand people
with only five loaves of bread and two fish…,
and give us hope that what we have to offer will turn out to be enough, too.
When fear of the power and opinions of others
tempts us not to speak up for the least among us,
help us to remember that you dared to turn over the tables of money changers…,
and give us the courage to risk following you without counting the cost.
When we feel ourselves fill with anger at those who are violent and oppressive,
help us remember that you prayed for those who killed you…,
and give us compassion for our enemies, too.
When we tell ourselves that we have given all we can to bring peace to this World,
help us to remember your sacrifice… ,
and give us the miracle of losing a little more of ourselves
in serving you and our neighbours.
Walk with us, Lord, as we answer your call to be peacemakers.
Increase our compassion, our generosity and our hospitality for the least of your children.
Give us the courage, the patience, the serenity, the self-honesty
and the gentleness of spirit that are needed in a World filled with turmoil and terror.
~ written by Jack Knox, pastor of Salem (Oregon) Mennonite Church
Posted on Global Christianity: the blog of Matt Stone
Gracious God, as we prepare for this coming Anzac Day,
we bring before you all those who have and continue to serve in our Defence Forces.
We remember and give thanks for their service to our country.
We pray for all those who suffer in war and continue to suffer from the trauma of war.
We pray for comfort in their grief.
We pray for supportive communities to journey with them in their struggles, healing and recovery.
We give thanks for all our Defence Force chaplains.
We thank you for their response to your call to offer spiritual leadership and pastoral care to Defence Force personnel and their families.
We pray for all those who are negotiating for peace in situations of war and conflict throughout our world. Bless them with wisdom, strength and resolve to find ways we can live together in harmony and respect for one another.
We pray that we might be bearers of your peace.
Through Christ, who is our Peace, we pray.
(Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia, 2021)
Lord of Peace,
Let us remember.
Let us remember the human cost of war.
Let us remember the sacrifice of those who fight because their country calls them to.
Let us remember the death and destruction that results when people take up arms against one another.
Let us remember those who have lost their life as a result of hostilities, both soldiers and civilians.
Let us remember the wounds and scarring that so many carry having been involved or caught up in conflict, whether they be physical, emotional or psychological.
Let us remember the lasting impact upon people, families, regions, countries and cultures in the aftermath of war.
Let us remember the reasons that have led to war.
Let us remember the peace-makers who have worked, and still work, to prevent war and conflict.
Let us remember the joy of peace and the power of reconciliation.
Let us remember the way of the Christ which leads to peace.
Let us remember all these things, that we might yet learn
And that we, as Humanity, may yet find a way to end conflict that leads to fighting and war.
Let us remember. Lest we forget.
O merciful God, fill our hearts with the graces of the Holy Spirit, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Teach us to love those who hate us, to bless those who curse us,
and to pray for those who abuse us,
that we may be the children of our Father: who makes the Sun shine on the evil and the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust.
In adversity grant us grace to be patient; in prosperity keep us humble;
may we guard the door of our lips; may we lightly regard the pleasures of this World,
and thirst only after Heavenly things; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
St. Anselm, 1033-1109
Deliver us, O God, from a lazy mind, all lukewarmness of heart and all depression of spirit.
We know that these must deaden our love for you; mercifully free our hearts from them all.
And give us such a lively, fervent and cheerful spirit that we may vigorously perform whatever you command, thankfully suffer whatever you chose for us, and always be eager to obey your holy love in all things; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John Wesley, 1703-1791
Uniting Church in Australia ANZAC Day 2022 Video Resource – https://vimeo.com/701075654
(Featuring a reflection from Rev John Dansie, Regional Support Chaplain Lavarack Barracks, alongside a prayer from Rev Robyn Kidd, Chaplain 26 SQN (City of Newcastle Squadron) RAAF Williamtown.)
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come,
your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today 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.