PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS (Psalm 103)

YOU FORGIVE OUR INIQUITY:

CS Lewis says that when we ask God to forgive us, what we really want is for God to excuse us. Forgiveness is not excusing; it is forgiving the inexcusable. Thank you Lord that in your generosity you forgive the inexcusable in me, even as I forgive the inexcusable in others.

YOU HEAL ALL OUR DISEASES:

There are a number of people in our congregation living with cancer and other illnesses at the moment. We know only too well the agonising silence we sometimes hear when we pray for healing. Yet we witness over and over again the miracle of dying people who have been healed of the dis-ease of their coming death. Dying has given way to victory, and we are able to say with integrity: Lord you are able to heal us of all our diseases; even sometimes the ones we have in our bodies.

YOU REDEEM OUR LIFE FROM THE PIT:

We all know too many good people, who seem trapped in dark holes, despite their deepest prayers. Yet I have seen, and personally experienced, enough of the power and the promise of this affirmation – that even if I trudge through the miry clay, I am able to hold on to the truth that You Lord, redeem our lives from the Pit. Your desire is that none should perish; your heart is set on saving us – no matter what Pit we may be in.

YOU CROWN US WITH LOVE AND MERCY:

You anoint us, bless us, with your steadfast love and your ongoing mercy. You never give up on us.

YOU WRAP US IN GOODNESS FOR AS LONG AS WE LIVE:

Goodness is in fact never hard to find; and every experience of goodness is a gift from God. Eyes that look for goodness, and hearts that welcome even the simplest expressions of goodness, know it to be true, that you wrap us in goodness for as long as we live. Thank you Lord that Your goodness surrounds us.

YOU WORK VINDICATION AND JUSTICE FOR ALL:

God ultimately makes everything come out right. Lord we have a corrupt President; over and over we see the evil prosper, and justice delayed. It is often hard to believe that you are always setting the world right; it is hard for us to see your hand at work. But save us from despair; save us from cynicism; save us from inaction; and help us to pray with growing confidence that you work vindication and justice for all!

YOU ARE SLOW TO ANGER:

Lord, we have sometimes believed – perhaps too often – that you are angry with us. Help us to understand that your will is only to ‘catch us’; and not to catch us out. That you are for us and not against us. Our fear of you has made us dishonest and pretentious and reluctant. Help us to live confidently knowing that you give us much room to grow and explore and fail and rise again. Help us to bask in the knowledge that we have so much time to learn to love you well, because you are slow to anger.

YOU DO NOT DEAL WITH US ACCORDING TO OUR SINS AND YOU REMOVE OUR TRANSGRESSIONS FROM US:

If you Lord should mark our iniquities, who could stand? Thank you that we get what we don’t deserve. Thank you that our sins don’t define us, but that instead you remove them as far as the east is from the west. Thank you that new beginnings are always possible – even if it means life isn’t quite the way we expected it to be.

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Sunday 04 June Prayer

Written by Chris Karnadi

Triune God, we need your Spirit. Yet God, we do not understand your Spirit, but perhaps neither should we, at least fully. But we know that your Spirit is rightly called a fountain of living water. Your Spirit is the source of our faith, the source of our knowledge, the source of our discipline, the source of our love, the source of our generosity, the source of our patience, the source of good parenting. God, help us to understand how your Spirit is the foundation, the source of all of our Christian experience and growth. God, we need your Spirit.

God, we need your Spirit! Not in the sense that we do not have your Spirit, you have already sent your Spirit into the Church. Your Spirit is rightly called the spirit of fellowship. Without the Spirit, there is no Church. Without the Spirit, there is no kingdom of God. Without the Spirit, there is no love between us within the Church or between your Church and the world. Without your Spirit, there is no understanding of Jesus, no Scripture, and no right understanding of Scripture. Without the Spirit, there is no proper Christianity.

God, we need your Spirit! Protect us from the other spirits which seek to distract us from your Kingdom. Your Spirit is rightly praised as the Spirit of truth. Holy Spirit defend us from the falsehoods of our culture and our lives. Holy Spirit, defend us from the spirit of greed which wreaks havoc on Christian generosity. The Spirit calls us to give as Christ gives, self-sacrificially and even painfully, yet we often obey the spirit of greed and hoard resources and opportunities. Holy Spirit, defend us from a spirit of division which creates disunity, distrust, and hatred. The Spirit calls us to embrace one another in the name of Christ, but instead we let economic status, race, age, and political belief separate us from one another. How rarely we meaningfully interact with others different from us in the Church! Spirit, we need you, we need your work among us. Holy Spirit, come!

Sunday 28 May Prayer

Written by Chris Karnadi

Holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are three-in-one. Three persons working in one perfect will, one perfect purpose, and one perfect love. We look in Creation for something which reveals a glimpse of your unique unity but are hard-pressed to find an adequate analogy. Are you, the Trinity, like a family? One unit unified by blood but distinct in relationships? Close, but even the most intimate earthly family has disagreements. Are you, the Trinity, like a human mind? One entity made of memory, understanding, and will? Closer, but even the most stern person changes his mind every day. We strive to understand your one-ness and your three-ness, but your triune nature is unlike anything in Creation.

If anything, we understand more what your unity is not like. Our many divisions in our societies and churches are unlike the unity that you have and call us to. Your oneness is not like our desperately divided societies, where the rich make money off of the broken backs of the poor and the political right and political left endlessly strive to tear each other’s agenda to pieces. Your oneness is not like our desperately divided churches where different racial groups worship in separate spaces and outsiders are rarely seen and welcomed.

God, we know that we do not live in the unity you call us to, the unity which is so crucial to your Triune nature. Make us one as you are one. Draw us into your Trinitarian life and teach us the dynamics of your godly love in order that we may love each other within the church and love the world even as you have loved us.