Fire praise

Whitby sunset  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Call to Worship

(based on Psalm 148:1, 7-11, 13)

Praise the Lord!
You creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and storm,
wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock,
reptiles and birds,
kings of the earth and all people!
Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!

~ from re:worship

Come Spirit like fire

Come, Holy Spirit

Come Spirit like rain, refresh, renew, revitalise.
Come Spirit like fire, embolden, enlighten, enable.
Come Spirit like a mighty wind, move, challenge, enkindle.
Come Spirit like wave, move, tear down, lift up.
Come Spirit, come Breath, draw us close, make song, bring intimacy.
Come Spirit, come Love, make one, make justice, make peace.
Come Spirit, come Kingdom, come Love.

— written by Martin Brown, and posted on the CAFOD website.

For further study

Key symbols of the Holy Spirit

Fire: Matt 3:11, Acts 2:3-4
Oil: Ex 29:7. Lev 8, Ex 27:20, Mark 6:13; James 5:14
Wind: John 3:8, Acts 2:1-4
Water: John 7:37-39, Is 44:3, Joel 2:28-29

From the blog
Newness of life
3 Prayers for summer
Guest post #1 : Fire reflections

Fire not ashes


After the fire

God of Pentecosts,
we have received from you an inheritance of fire, not of ashes.
You have breathed your Spirit into us and we have been born anew.

And now our raised hands look for your purpose.
Our feet look for your path.
We look to spend our inheritance as fools for your grace,
As fools in your grace.
As fools by your grace.

~ written by lutheranjulia, and posted on RevGalBlogPals

Baptism by fire


John the Baptist:
“I baptize you with water.
But one who is more powerful than I will come,
the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Luke 3:16 (NIV)


A prayer

God of grace and glory,
you call us with your voice of flame
to be your people, faithful and courageous.
As your beloved Son
embraced his mission in the waters of baptism,
inspire us with the fire of your Spirit
to join in his transforming work.
We ask this in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

~ from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers

From the blog

The Gift
a 12-part series of readings and prayer poems on the Holy Spirit originally published on the PRAYER MATTERS blog in the run-up to Pentecost in 2017

3 Prayers for a clean heart


Psalm 51 is a classic prayer of confession.

Here are 3 prayers inspired by Psalm 51:10: “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”. I’ve also included a link to Keith Green’s song, Create in me a clean heart, also a classic in my view.


Merciful God,
have mercy on our souls,
according to your unwavering love;
according to your abundant mercy
wipe away our sins and the guilt we have carried for so long.

Instead write on our hearts your love,
your boundaries for our lives,
your salvation that sets us free from our sins
to live the abundant life you have for each of us.

Lord we would see Jesus;
we would love Jesus;
we would follow Jesus;
we would serve Jesus.

create in us clean hearts;
renew your spirit within us.
Do not turn us away from your presence,
do not take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in us a willing spirit.
Write on our hearts, your love O God,

~ written by Rev. Abi, posted on re:worship


God of our Hearts,
not of our outer garments,
nor our church structures,
nor our programs and human plans,
you are the only one who can make us pure.
You are the only one who can wash us clean of all our sin and guilt.
You alone can save us from the terrible Day of the Lord.
You are the merciful and just God.
If we turn, we see you.
Help us to turn, O God of all hearts,
and find you here with us:
Emmanuel – the Christ-heart within us all.
We light our fires for you, to reflect your shining.

~ from Heart of the Matter: Service for Ash Wednesday, written by Rev. Marilyn K. Levine. Posted on the United Church of Christ website

#3 / a blessing

May God create in you a clean heart,
a transformed heart,
a heart that knows and seeks and loves
the justice and mercy of the Lord.
May you accept the gift of salvation –
not your personal possession to be coveted,
but His work, accomplished in the destruction of sin
on the cross of Jesus Christ.
And may you humble yourself before the Lord,
coming before Him with a broken spirit,
a contrite heart,
receiving from His hand
great compassion
and unfailing love.

~ posted on Jeff’s Blog


Go. Speak. Love. Forgive. Receive.

Bird hovering over Wilhelminapier, Rotterdam (Photo: Ina de Visser)

Call to Worship

(inspired by Jonah 3-4)

The word of God came to Jonah.
The word of God comes to us.

despite your fears.

the truth of God.

your neighbour and your enemy.

as you have been forgiven.

grace upon grace
overflowing from the fullness of God.

~ written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith.

From the blog
Theme: Ever sustaining   [prayer sheet]
A very present help in trouble
A prayer to the God of summer

Path to forgiveness and healing

Print of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son at retreat centre, De Spil


if my people,
who are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.


From the blog
Healing at a cost
Healed from the inside out
Theme: He heals the brokenhearted  [prayer sheet]

In the school of prayer with Terry Hinks


Here are some extracts on the topic of prayer by Terry Hinks from his introduction to Luke’s Gospel in God’s Embrace: Praying with Luke.

I’ve also included the prayer inspired by his reflections on the disciples’ request in Luke 11:1, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’.


Prayer as struggle – “It is likely that as we ‘progress in the spiritual life’, or rather think that we do, we again and again need to become beginners asking ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ …  Again and again we will need to ask the Spirit to stir us from complacency (or despair) and to return us to that persistent determined prayer that Jesus describes in his parables (Luke 11:5-13, Luke 18:1-8), that alertness and strength required for the kingdom life (Luke 21:34-6).”   (p. 25)


Prayer as celebration – “Prayer will involve struggle, repentance and lament and will require courage, persistence and humility, but it cannot rest within this sphere alone. It must open out into joyful praise of the one who has done great things, is doing great things here and now and will do great things in the time to come.”   (p. 31)


God’s embrace – “We have been trained to analyse, organise, dissect, manipulate and control the reality that we see around us. Yet these tools that are so useful in many areas of life (from scientific research to cake baking) serve us poorly in our relationships with other people, let alone to the divine mystery that created us. Treating everything as an object degrades life. If prayer is the attempt to manipulate and control an object – getting God to do what we want – it will fail. If prayer is a relationship then all kinds of possibilities develop. The aim ceases to be getting God to do something for us; the aim becomes conversation and embrace.”   (p. 35)


A pattern of prayer – “The constant pressure on us is to go for a quick fix in prayer and to fail to recognise the patience and persistence required to wait on God and to listen. Quietening our minds and stilling our bodies is an important part of preparing to pray – that going into your own room and shutting the door that Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:6). But prayer is never simply down to us. It is not some anxiety-ridden striving after the Invisible, but a conversation with One who knows our needs and our hearts …  Prayer is a meeting of human boldness – the persistence to continue to speak to God whatever we may feel – and God’s grace – the patient loving kindness of God for us all, come what may.”   (p. 38-9)


A prayer

(inspired by Luke 11:1-4)

Lord, teach us to pray
with the whole of our being,
      bodies stilled and centred,
      minds focused on your way,
      hearts warmed by your grace.

Lord, teach us to pray
with the whole of your people,
      connecting to your followers
            of every time and place,
      connecting to your Church in all its varied faces,
      connecting to the world with all its joy and agony.

Lord, teach us to pray
in the power of your Spirit,
      as children of one dear God,
      as brothers and sisters in Christ
      as sinners forgiven and forgiving.

Lord, teach us to pray
      to you,
      in you,
      this moment,
      this life,
      this eternity.

~ by Terry Hinks,
from God’s Embrace: Praying with Luke, p. 91

From the blog
In the school of prayer with Angela Ashwin
In the school of prayer with the Celtic Saints
In the school of prayer with Eddie Askew

All my days and forever

Keeping a low profile: Dandelion verging on the tram rail  (Photo: Irene Bom)

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
      all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord


God, you are enough

Psalm 23 – a paraphrase

You are enough for us;
      you give us rest in soft fields
            and beside whispering streams;
      you restore and renew us,
            and lead us into life-giving ways;

When death and evil come close to us,
      you carry us through,
            you protect and comfort us;
      when others seek to do us harm,
            your grace uplifts and provides for us
            in public view;
      you fill us with your strength
            and we enjoy overflowing abundance;

We have confidence that your goodness and compassion
            will fill our days,
      and we will stay immersed in your life and presence

~ written by John van de Laar, posted on

From the blog | More prayers by John van de Laar

In small ways
Theme: Still small voice  [prayer sheet]
Theme: Good shepherd  [prayer sheet]

Continually curious


A quote by poet and scientist, Lewis Thomas, to inspire us, and a call to worship to further focus our thoughts and prayers.


… the loveliest thing about being human

Reality’s ability to continually baffle us with what we don’t yet know, and our willingness to continually plumb the unknown for new truth and beauty, even as it baffles and terrifies us, is the loveliest thing about being alive. Being alive together, as members of this boundlessly inquisitive and imaginative species, is the loveliest thing about being human.



Call to Worship

We worship the God who inhabits our world
and indwells our lives.
We need not look up to find God,
we need only to look around:
      within ourselves,
      beyond ourselves,
      into the eyes of another.
We need not listen for a distant thunder to find God,
we need only listen to the music of life,
      the words of children,
      the questions of the curious,
      the rhythm of a heartbeat.
We worship the God who inhabits our world
and who indwells our lives.

~ posted on the Presbyterian Church USA website.