Saturday, April 04, 2009

Prayer for Saturday, April 4

Day 34 : ‘Threading the needle’

Scripture for reflection: Luke 18:18-30

Prayer: Holy God,
Jesus taught us that to find real life we must die. Such death makes way for
new beginnings. You are the God of eternal new beginnings, the one who
transforms and recreates. Merciful God, show me those things that must
die in me, those things on which I must loosen my grip. Help me to be truly
honest with you and with myself about what it is that enslaves me. Help me to
experience your abundant life. Amen.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Prayer for Friday, April 3

Day 33 : People of hope

Scripture for reflection: Psalm 33

Prayer: Though we live in testing times O God, they are also times of opportunity.
I pray that in the midst of change and concern, I would be able to hang on
to hope. May I not be weighed down by those who proclaim a ‘doomsday’
message, but may I always seek opportunities to make this world a better
place. May I trust in your promise to bring new life and make all things new.
Grant me a hope-charged vision of the future. Amen.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sunday April 5, 2009

This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday in the Christian church. Formerly, the Sunday before Easter was strictly Palm Sunday, but then a lot of churches did not offer formal Good Friday services, so on one week you had The Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) by Jesus into Jerusalem, and the next week you celebrated the resurrection, and the crucifixion was omitted. To remedy this without doing violence to the Holy Week chronology, a liturgy of the Passion (Christ's death) was added to the liturgy of the Palms.
In The Refuge this week, the children will march through waves palm branches, but our main emphasis will be on the crucifixion. We will offer experiential meditations around Christ's passion and the stations of the cross. There is some history of the stations of the cross here. The images we will use are local artist Ted DeGrazia's series called The Way of the Cross.
Our worship this week will be interactive, participatory, and experiential.
The worship bulletin is here.

Prayer for Thursday, April 2

Day 32 : Prayer for people of the Solomon Islands

Scripture for reflection: Isaiah 55:10-13

Wondrous God, with the guidance of your Spirit, the renewing gift of your Son
Jesus Christ and the abiding care of your parental love, your church in all places
is in the process of being born. We pray for the United Church in the Solomon
Islands and the Uniting Church in Australia that they may continue to grow
and develop in living out your love. You braid them among the strands of their
nations’ histories and cultures, to pray with and for those among whom they
live and to point people towards the life Jesus offers. Rid lands of unsustainable
timber-felling, toxic dumps and destructive mining. Reconcile diverse peoples to
draw forth from each other the richness of their cultures. Establish communities
that respect all people, especially those whose voice is weak. Build nations with
justice and mercy. Raise up leaders of integrity and character. And as you do
this, provide for such basic needs as health, training and financial support. We
look to you to draw us into your kingdom where creation is restored, people
cherished and your way upheld. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Prayer for Wednesday, April 1

Day 31 : Tilted in the right direction

Scripture for reflection: Galatians 5:16-25

Prayer: Eternal God,
I am conscious that my life hangs in the balance. The choices that I make
matter. Guide me to decisions that take me, and those in my care, in the
direction of your kingdom. Help me to live a life marked by the fruits of your
Spirit. May I mirror something of Jesus in the way I live my life. Amen.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Prayer for Tuesday, March 31

Day 30 : Finding life by losing it

Scripture for reflection: Matthew 16:21-28

Prayer: Lord Jesus,
I confess that at times I struggle to follow you. I find some of your teachings
difficult to apply. I find your call too challenging and I make excuses not to take
it seriously in some parts of my life. I live in a society that teaches me to put
myself first but you are always there, showing me another way. Like your first
disciples, I am often scratching my head and trying to work it out. Help me to
see the wisdom that lies in following you. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Think about this...

Mike Todd blogged some of his notes from the Emerging Church Conference. Here are some quotes that made me stop and think.

From Brian McLaren
What you focus on determines what you miss. [Wow. Think about that. Identify (in any given area) what you are focusing on. Then understand that causes you to miss many other things.]
Our traditional understanding of Jesus may not have been wrong, but partial.
We must learn to see Jesus through the sight lines of his ancestors rather than his descendants only.

From Richard Rohr
Jesus did not come to change God’s mind about humanity. He came to change humanity’s mind about God.

From Alexi Torres-Fleming
When we pray for God to ‘fix’ a problem, maybe Jesus kneels and prays for us to go out and be the solution.

From Shane Clairborne
You can have all the right answers and still be mean. And if you’re mean, no one will listen to you.

Prayer for Monday, March 30

Day 29 :The wisdom of God’s foolishness

Scripture for reflection: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Prayer: Your ways, O God, confound the world.
The seeming ‘foolishness’ of the gospel can make it difficult for people to
understand the Christian faith. After all, how can there be victory in a cross? Lord
Jesus, today I pray for those who struggle to understand you. I pray for those
for whom the ‘scandal’ of the cross is confusing. I pray for those who resist your
wisdom. Holy Spirit, open eyes and melt hearts. Begin with me. Amen.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prayer for Sunday, March 29

5th Sunday : What hour is it?

Scripture for reflection: John 12:20-33

Reflection – Tipping Point
A tipping point has been reached.
At last the world recognises the need for conversion.
The future rests in the hearts and minds of humanity.
Are we able to let go of our ‘idols’?
Can we let our destructive addictions die?
Can we replace consumerism with an economy of love?
These are the questions that need answering.
The answers to these questions will determine the future of our world.
What will the future be?
We have heaven and hell in our hands. Which one will we let go of?
God, may there be a future for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Prayer for Lent Event project : Solomon Islands

Scripture for reflection: Psalm 107:23-32

Prayer: When the earth shakes, the seas invade, and loved ones are swept away, we
believe, great God, you feel the pain in your heart. We can hardly imagine the
bewilderment and panic people experienced in the west of the Solomon Islands
during the tsunami of Easter weekend 2007. They live now with recurring fears,
underlying anxiety and an unclear future. We pray for people too afraid to come
off the hills and too unsettled to make firm plans. Release resources to restore
communities, rebuild homes and re-establish lives. May the provision of basic
health care, mobile clinics, simple equipment and training for nurses be a sign
of hope and a promise of enduring life, especially in remote centres. Strengthen
those who need to lead and sustain those who provide support. When events
can be forgotten by those of us on firmer land, keep these people in our hearts
as we live with them as a communion of saints, gathered by your Son, Jesus
Christ, through whom we pray. Amen.