CSW – Prayer Diary: Sudan

Sudan has been on our minds a lot this year with the case of Reverend Hassan, Reverend Kuwa, Mr Jašek and Mr Abdumawla, all of whom were on trial on unjust charges last year. The men went through many months of imprisonment, separated from their families and frequently enduring harsh conditions. But God is good – Rev Kuwa was found innocent of all charges and released in January 2017. Mr Jašek received a presidential pardon and was freed in February, and in May both Mr Abdumawla and Rev Hassan were set free after receiving a presidential pardon. This, of course, exists in a wider context of extreme pressure on Christians in Sudan: let’s pray through the things they’re facing this week (source, HERE). Read More »

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World Vision – A Prayer for Refugees

World Vision has just made public this little clip containing a prayer for the Middle East uttered by my friend and former colleague Dr . Chawkat Moucarry, a Syrian Christian born in Aleppo.

Lord, hear our prayers!

Scot McKnight -Why Be Anglican: Prayers of the People

No question about it, but in many churches there is not a designated time for the people to pray. Some churches are just too big for that, and even too big for a pastoral prayer. Others are so focused on the sermon that there is not time left for what we Anglicans call the “prayers of the people.”

In our liturgy, every Sunday, we have a time where we are led by a lay person in prayer. It’s called “intercession” or “intercessory prayers” when we pray for others, and when we do it in public it needs to be the sort of intercession that belongs in public. As a seminary student I had one professor whose opening prayers were of such significance that I wish they had gone into print, which of course they didn’t because they were not scripted prayers, but also because Murray Harris knew his class-opening prayers were so tied to that class, on that day, in that time in history that they weren’t relevant to others in different places and times.

Evidently Sam Wells, formerly chaplain, dean and professor at Duke and now Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, offered memorable prayers in chapel at Duke, so much so that folks began to gather them up and now we have in Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession, by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher, a fine study and collection of intercessory prayers.

Question for you who offer intercessions in public: How much time do you spend preparing? What do you think are the ingredients of good public intercessory prayers? And, pastors, do you offer a Pastoral Prayer in your public worship?

Read the entite text HERE.

 

Richard Rohr – What do we mean by “contemplation”?

Richard Rohr – The Welcoming Prayer

welcoming prayer

I’d like to offer you a form of contemplation—a practice of accepting paradox and holding the tension of contradictions—called The Welcoming Prayer.

First, identify a hurt or an offense in your life. Remember the feelings you first experienced with this hurt and feel them the way you first felt them. Notice how this shows up in your body. Paying attention to your body’s sensations keeps you from jumping into the mind and its dualistic games of good-guy/bad-guy, win/lose, either/or.

After you can identify the hurt and feel it in your body, welcome it. Stop fighting it. Stop splitting and blaming. Welcome the grief. Welcome the anger. It’s hard to do, but for some reason, when we name it, feel it, and welcome it, transformation can begin.Read More »

An Urgent Call to Prayer for Russia – UPDATE

prayer

For years we have watched as huge changes take place in Russia under the increasingly dictatorial rule of President Putin and his administration. Freedom of religion represents a threat to the current political agenda in Russia. Today, few—if any—foreign Christian mission groups have an official presence in Russia, having been pushed out by anti-evangelical regulations. Which is why it is crucial that we continue training national Next Generation Christian leaders in Russia through programs like Mission Eurasia’s School Without Walls. Equipping in-country Christian leaders with the training and tools to make disciples and influence their nation is the only effective approach to sharing the gospel in a country that is so hostile to outsiders.

I am writing today to inform you of a new, extremely alarming anti-missionary bill that is being considered tomorrow by the State Duma—the legislative house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. If passed, the bill would, among many other things, prohibit missionary and evangelistic activity in residential areas of Russia and limit missionaries to acting only on behalf of registered religious groups. I believe this is the most draconian anti-religion bill to be proposed in Russia since Nikita Khrushchev promised to eliminate Christianity in the Soviet Union.Read More »

Prayer for the 16th Session of the Anglican Consultative Council, Lusaka, Zambia, 8-19 April 2016

anglican2

prayer

(Source, HERE)

#PrayForTheWorld

Our hearts break for children and families affected by indiscriminate violence across the world each and every day. Pain is real but so is hope and so is love. Join us @worldvision and #PrayForTheWorld

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You – A Celtic Blessing | Prayers for A Pilgrim Church

Source: May the Road Rise Up to Meet You – A Celtic Blessing | Prayers for A Pilgrim Church

Dear friends,
I have just created a new blog, where I intend to share with those interested the prayers I have gathered along the years from various Christian traditions. Enjoy, and if you want to share with me, for the blog, any prayers that have ministered to you, please do. God bless you all.

Interfaith Prayer for Peace

prayer of a child

O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis.
Your power changes hearts.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
Children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.

Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these
truths by the way we live.
Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love.

And as a follower of Jesus,
I pray these things in the name of Christ.

Amen!

(Thanks to my friend Rev Mae Cannon for this annonimous prayer.)

Justin Welby – Dangerous Prayer

Justin Welby is Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

St. Basil the Great – Care for Creation Prayer

Yesterday was Earth Day, Caught up with posts related to the Armenian Genocide Centennial, I did not mark this important day. So. here is a great prayer for creation from the great Eastern Father St Basil the Great.

O God, enlarge within us the sense of
fellowship with all living things,
our brothers the animals to whom thou
gavest the earth as their home in
common with us.

We remember with shame that in the past
we have exercised the high dominion
of man with ruthless cruelty
so that the voice of the earth,
which should have gone up to thee
in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for
us alone but for themselves and for
thee, and that they love
the sweetness of live.

 

 

A Celtic Blessing – For Those in Need

WN Pope - Celtic Motif

May God give you

For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

You can do it, my friend: you can thrive with a daily practice of silent prayer | Carl McColman

You can do it, my friend: you can thrive with a daily practice of silent prayer | Carl McColman.

A little bit of help for those who struggle with personal silent prayer.

Clint Baldwin – Prayer. The Simplicity of Complexity? The Complexity of Simplicity? Both? And We Wonder Why People Don’t Pray More…

MaryKate Morse - A Guide to Prayer

I want to share with you today a few thoughts that Clint Baldwin, from George Fox Evangelical Seminary, was shared on his web page on a new book on prayer by MaryKate Morse. Here is the beginning of the article.

* * *

MaryKate Morse’s A Guidebook to Prayer offers a multiplicity of windows into the character and the heart of the Triune God. What’s great about Morse’s work is that she well recognizes the simple truth that “one size doesn’t fit all.” And even if one size were to fit all people at one time or another, one size certainly doesn’t fit all the people all the time. Morse offers all kinds of ways forward for growing in faith in all kinds of different moments and seasons of life.Read More »

Mary Oliver – The Summer Day

Mary Oliver - The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.Read More »

A Prayer for Our Violent World

Celtic2

Compassionate God and Father of all,
we are horrified at violence
in so many parts of the world.
It seems that none are safe, and some are terrified.

Hold back the hands that kill and maim;
turn around the hearts that hate.
Grant instead your strong Spirit of Peace –
peace that passes our understanding
but changes lives,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

(From the website of the Church of England. Thanks to my friend Deaconess Gill Kimber for the quote.)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide – Please Pray for Persecuted Christians

CSW logo

Iran
Amin Khaki, from the Church of Irani, was released on 3 January, after being arrested last March at a picnic and suffering harsh treatment in prison.

However, Pastor Farshid Fathi, unjustly imprisoned on false national security-related charges, was given an additional one-year sentence at a trial on 29 December – on another false charge.

Nigeria
There were no attacks on churches over Christmas – instead we heard encouraging news of Muslims and others joining forces to protect churches holding Christmas services in Borno State.

However, on New Year’s Day a suicide bomber attacked a church in Gombe State. He died and eight church members were injured.Read More »

Thomas Keating – Centering Prayer & Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a private devotion and while it’s useful to do it in common it was originally designed to be a private experience or encounter with the scriptures. View transcript in PDF form HERE.

Thomas KeatingThomas Keating

Richard Rohr on Centering Prayer

Fr. Rohr-Franciscan
Fr. Richard Rohr

In the 1970s, Trappist monks Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, and William Meninger reintroduced Christians to contemplation through the simple practice of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is one good way to draw us into the silence that surrounds and holds us, but of which we are too often unaware. It helps us sink into the wordless reality of who God is and who we ourselves are.

1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, breathing naturally, relaxing deeply. Become aware of your love and desire for God in this moment.

2. Choose a word or phrase that expresses your intention to be open to God’s presence (such as this week’s Gateway to Silence—“Just be.”—or Grace, Rest, etc.).

3. Hold the word gently, without speaking, repeating it in your mind slowly.

4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, sensations), simply return to the word, which symbolizes your intention.

5. Gradually let the word fall away as you slip into silence. Rest in silence.

6. Continue in silence as long as you wish (20 minutes twice daily is suggested by many teachers).

Prayer for the Nation

WN Pope - Celtic Motif

O Father,
We pray that you will grant to the people of this nation the will to do good,
To flee from evil, and
To practice all righteousness,
asking us to be respectful of life and sharers of your blessings,
Caring for one another in mercy and truth.
And we pray that you will banish all evil from our hearts and wickedness from our laws,
enabling us to be servants of your holy will and performers of your love.
Through Christ our Lord,
Amen!

From Orthodox Church in America (courtesy of Scot McKnight)

 

 

Caryn Rivadeneira – School Prayer Doesn’t Need a Comeback

prayer in school

Note: I absolutely love this article, which tries to bring a little  bit of rationality into a debate that was marred by fanaticism and the sick presuppositions of the ‘cultural war’ pathological obsession of the Religious Right in the United States.

I will paste here just a few quotes, as a teaser. I hope I will succeed in making you interested to read the entire article, which you can do HERE. The bold passages are my emphases.

* * *

It was a mistake to read about Janine Turner’s push to bring prayer “back” to school so early in the morning.

Then came my next mistake of the day: reading what Facebook commenters had to say about the article. “It’s about time we put God back in school.” “No coincidence: schools got violent when we took God out of them!” Likes all around. These self-proclaiming Christian people were apparently totally comfortable with the idea that we are powerful enough to remove God from the world he created. Fine with this blasphemy that we can take God out of schools, just like we can take Christ out of Christmas.

This conception of God, though, is not one that I can get behind. I object to any mission to bring prayer “back” to school because I can’t support the faulty theology—downright heresyof implying God is only around to hear our prayers when the building sanctions his presence.

Prayer never left schools. And God never did either. To suggest otherwise should make us shudder.Read More »

I Raise My Hands: A Prayerful Response to Ferguson | Osheta Moore

I Raise My Hands: A Prayerful Response to Ferguson | Osheta Moore.

Christians respond in prayer to racist killing on Ferguson.

A Prayer for the Middle East

prayer of a child

Lord, you are the rightful Advocate of peace, teach us to carry the torch of peace and justice that it may reside within the hearts of Palestinians and Israelis, and radiate in our Middle East. Banish the violence and evil within all combatants in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Israel. Through the grace of Love transform the Middle East into a heaven, where Sunnis, Shiites, Jews and Christians can live together as brothers and sisters, and sons of You Almighty God.

Welcome into your kingdom all children killed in Gaza, and comfort the wounded people from both sides, sustain parents and families who are under siege and fire. Sustain our staff in Gaza that they can provide light and hope in a very desperate environment.

Lord, it is time to end violence and hatred. We cannot go on like this, something should change and we are waiting for your intervention. Change our hearts and transform lives of all people especially children. Strengthen our faith that we continue to witness Your love and mercy among people surrounding us.

Lord we trust in You.

(I have received this from my friend and colleague Dr. Charlie Abou Saada, in Bethlehem, Palestine.)

 

Dr. Yohanna Katanacho – Cry with Us – A Lament for Gaza

Cry-for-Humanity-Gaza

This is a season of weeping and mourning, but it is not void of hope.

Our tears are the bridge between brutality and humanity;

Our tears are the salty gates for seeing a different reality;

Our tears are facing soulless nations and a parched mentality;

Our tears are the dam preventing rivers of animosity.

Read More »

Novena of the Holy Spirit – Day 9

Holy Spirit Novena

Goodness

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Goodness within us.

We want to be like your Saints in heaven. Holy Spirit, renew us by your power with your Goodness that we may bring the Good News to the world.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,

Amen.

Find the Original Here.

Novena of the Holy Spirit – Day 8

Holy Spirit Novena

Self-Control

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Self-Control within us.

Your Martyrs had the overwhelming self-control to go joyfully to a painful death without shrinking from the opportunity to join You in heaven. Give us this self-control to have command over our emotions and desires that we may serve You more fully.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,

Amen.

Find the Original Here.

Novena of the Holy Spirit – Day 7

Holy Spirit Novena

Gentleness

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Gentleness within us.

Despite the gravity of our sins, oh Lord you treat us with Gentleness. Dear Holy Spirit, give us your power to treat all in our lives with the Gentleness of the Saints.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,

Amen.

Find the Original Here.

Novena of the Holy Spirit – Day 6

Holy Spirit Novena

Faithfulness

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Faithfulness within us.

You, oh Lord, are ever faithful. You are faithful until the end. Though we are weak and distracted, please give us the grace to be faithful to You as you are to us!

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,

Amen.

Find the Original Here

Novena of the Holy Spirit – Day 5

Holy Spirit Novena

Kindness

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Kindness within us.

Jesus approached sinners with immense kindness. Holy Paraclete, please treat us humble sinners with the same kindness and give us the ability to treat all others with that kindness as well.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,

Amen.

Find the Original Here.