Come rest


Bergsingel, Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Recently I took some friends from Presbytery for a walk around my neighbourhood and we passed this very spot. It’s on the way to my current favourite hangout – two park benches where you can catch the evening sun and enjoy the water and wild life.

I hope you have your own favourite hangout where you can catch your breath and marvel at the signs of life all around you and maybe say ‘Hi!’ to the people passing by.


Call to Worship

inspired by Isaiah 55 : 1-3

Come to the water, all you who thirst —
come drink deeply from the river of life.

Come to the water, all you who are weary —
come rest in the quiet pools of God’s love.

Come to the water, all you who long for justice —
come be renewed in God’s ever-flowing stream.

For God is here among us,
washing away the dust and grime of our lives,
and pouring out the Spirit on all who thirst.
Let’s worship God together.

 
~ Christine Longhurst, posted on re:worship
 


From the blog
Leaving the desert behind
Sabbath rest
When hot and bothered
 

Treasure for our times


 

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
      he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
      a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
      the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah 33:5-6 (NIV UK)

 

Let us look to God and humbly pray that these inspired and inspiring words may come true in our times.


A prayer

Holy God:
with the precious jewel
of holy scripture,
you share with us
the treasure of your heart.
Engrave your covenant –
your hopes, your dreams,
your vision, your peace –
upon our hearts,
that they might beat
as one with yours.

Holy Word:
ever clear,
you keep us from wandering
down the wrong paths;
ever longed for,
you make us persistent
in bringing justice
to the lost and to the least;
ever practical,
you show us how
not to misplace our hearts.

Holy Wisdom:
as you breathe the Word
into our hearts,
tutor us in faithfulness
so we are trained
in using the tools
of justice and hope;
so we are equipped
to share the good news with all;
so we become skilled
in compassion and grace.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our hearts to you.
as we pray as Jesus teaches us, saying,
Our Father . . .

 
~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies


From the blog
Food for thought
Grace upon grace
Theme: Sharing in Jesus’ ministry  [prayer sheet]

In times like these

 

At the height of World War II Albert Camus wrote,

“We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more.”

 

Let us keep praying, till justice rolls “on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)

 


Repenting and lamenting in times like these

You are the God who hears:
hear our prayer today for all who lament or repent.

For those among us who face discrimination every day
because of their skin colour,
we lament.

For those among us with white skin who benefit
from racist systems sometimes even without realizing it,
we repent.

For those among us who have struggled and waited so long
for the Promised Land of freedom and equality,
we lament.

For those among us who have acted in racist ways
and have hurt people of colour,
we repent.

For those protesting injustice who face police brutality
and a justice system rigged against them,
we lament.

For those who think racism is someone else’s problem,
and not a problem for humanity,
we repent.

God of hope, show us how to work for justice together,
standing up for what is right,
stepping in when something’s wrong,
shouldering each other’s burdens,
holding each other accountable,
righting the wrongs we’ve done,
speaking truth to power.

We pray for change, lasting change,
for protection for protesters,
for a de-escalation of violence
and for government leaders who listen.

Deliver us from evil, within and without,
in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

 
~ written by Carol Penner and posted on Leading in Worship.
 


From the blog
Interpreting the times
Not deserted
Protection for hearts and minds
 

Slow time


 

Slow Blessing

God the creator,
who rested on the seventh day after the work was done,
show you how to balance the slow and the fast, the work and the rest.

God the redeemer,
who lived his life at walking pace,
strengthen you to go slow when the world is going fast.

God the sustainer,
who came at Pentecost like a rushing wind,
give you hope in the day when there will be freedom
from the limitations of time.

Go into a world of speed and live at God’s pace.
Amen.

— written by Anna (2004), and posted on the Grace website worship archive.
 


From the blog
Healed from the inside out
Show me the way
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola
 

3 Prayers while waiting


 
 
In Psalm 27:13-14 the psalmist says:
 

I remain confident of this:
      I will see the goodness of the Lord
      in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
      be strong and take heart
      and wait for the Lord.

 

Here are three prayers to keep your heart centred on God while waiting – whether in joyful anticipation, frustration or dread.

 


#1

Now is the time, let us pause.
As we wait, may we hear the voice of God.

Now is the time, let us watch.
In our homes, at our work, even while waiting in line —
may we see the face of Christ.

Now is the moment, let us prepare our hearts.
In our words, in our hearts, in all we say and do —
may God’s extravagant love shine through.

 
~ written by Rev. Nancy J, posted on re:worship
 


#2

In the depths of my being
      I become quiet and still;
I wait for you, my God,
      source of my salvation

~ written by Jim Cotter,
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #604
 


#3

When nothing is right,
when we are weary and lost,
when clouds dull the sky,
help us to be still.

When our cries are unheeded,
when no effort bears fruit,
when the sun sets,
help us to be still.

When love is over,
when hope is gone,
when darkness covers the land,
help us to be still.

For in being still,
in refusing to panic or despair,
we shall come to know that God is there,
suffering alongside and with us,
waiting to show us stepping-stones through the swirling waters,
and to help us sing a new song.

 
~ written by Kate Compston, posted on re:worship
 


 
From the blog
Check the index for more prayers in the “3 Prayers” series, and much more besides.
 

Watch this space


 

Stay close to the cracks: A reflection

inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song, ‘Anthem’

Stay close to the cracks,
to the broken places,
where people weep
and cry out in pain.

Stay close to the cracks,
where God’s tears fall,
and God’s wounds bleed
for love of us.

Stay close to the cracks
where the light shines in,
and grass pushes up
through concrete.

Stay close to the cracks
where wounds
open doorways
to healing and wholeness and life.

 
~ written by Christine Sine, posted on godspacelight.com


From the blog
A new nature
Prepare a way
Theme: He heals the brokenhearted  [prayer sheet]
 

The empty cup

 

Meditation on the cup of emptiness

Hold the empty cup in your hands.
Look at all the room the cup has for filling.
Picture the inner part of yourself.
Notice how much room there is for filling.
Hold the cup out before you in the gesture of a beggar.
Ask God to fill you.
Arise, go and slowly pour something in your cup (coffee, tea, water).
Come back and sit down.
Receive and enjoy the contents of the cup.

 
excerpt from The Cup of Our Life: A Guide for Spiritual Growth by Joyce Rupp, found on spiritualityandpractice.com
 


A prayer

God help us to live slowly:
To move simply:
To look softly:
To allow emptiness:
To let the heart create for us.
Amen
 
by Michael Leunig
from The Book of a Thousand Prayers by Angela Ashwin, #624
 


 
From the blog
From a grateful heart
Wonder-full psalm
From parched to satisfied
 

Make space: release and receive


Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam, after the rain (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

An evening prayer

Gracious God,
We place ourselves in your presence.
Our minds and our spirits are cluttered.
Help us make space for you.
Help us to be fully present here, now.

We release to you all that we have done today –
whether for good or for ill.

We release all that we feel like we should have done today,
but did not do.

We release all of the people
who weigh on our hearts and minds this evening.

We release our fears.
We release our anxiety.
We release our impatience.
We release our pride.

All of the thoughts,
all of the feelings that pull us away from you, O God,
we release.

[silence]

And now with open hearts
we receive what you offer us now:

We receive the gift of this space and this time.
We receive the gift of being with each person here.
We receive the Holy Spirit’s presence within us
for guidance and healing.
We receive the sacred words that will be spoken and thought.
We receive the holy touch of hand and heart.
We receive the silence.
We receive the music.

Fill us now with the peace of your deep, abiding presence.
We offer all of ourselves to you,
our One God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
Amen
 
 
~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith.
 


 
From the blog
Evening prayer #1 ~ written by St Augustine of Hippo
Evening prayer #2 ~ attributed to St Patrick
Evening prayer #3 ~ written by Dag Hammarskjöld
 

A holy space


A “Black Lives Matter” protest march, Rotterdam, June 2020 (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

“All life is a parable … listen to it.”
Frederick Buechner, from a Rewrite Radio podcast

 
 
As humanity reels from one crisis to another, let us pay attention to what God is saying to us in and through the particulars of our lives and our times.
 


Clear a Holy Space

inspired by Isaiah 11: 1-10

Laboring God,
with axe and winnowing fork
you clear a holy space
where hurt and destruction have no place,
and a little child holds sway.
Clear our lives of hatred and despair,
sow seeds of joy and peace,
that shoots of hope may spring forth
and we may live in harmony
with one another. Amen.

~ from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers
 


From the blog
Healing at a cost
Grace notes
In the school of prayer with Ignatius of Loyola (featuring The Examen)