The fruit of lips


A GDR family savours a banana  (Artwork ** by Irene Bom)

 

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

 


A prayer

Blessing and honour, thanksgiving and praise
more than we can utter,
more than we can conceive,
be unto Thee, O holy and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
by all angels, all men, all creatures,
for ever and ever.

 
by Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)
from The Open Gate by David Adam, p.48
 

A more contemporary/inclusive version of this prayer:

Blessing and honour and thanksgiving and praise
more than we can utter, more than we can conceive,
be to you, most holy and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
from all angels, and all people, all creatures
for ever and ever.

from churchofengland.org
 


 
** The photographs used for this collage come from a National Geographic article on the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collage (together with the quote that inspired it) is from a 100-day project on Instagram channel irene.bom, beginning in April 2020.
 

Open the door, open the window

 

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

 
~ Jesus,  from Revelation 3:20
 


A prayer

O God, You who are always doing a new thing, we confess that we sometimes close windows against the fresh air of new ideas, against the noise of other people’s worries, against the winds of change. God of every place and time, we confess that we often draw the curtains against people who are different, against world news or community concerns. Forgive us our insulation in our locked homes, our shuttered churches, the security systems on our hearts. Open up our lives, and let your Spirit blow through. Amen.

 
~ written by Rev Teri, posted on revgalprayerpals.blogspot.com
 


 
From the blog
Treasure for our times
How good, how pleasant
Embrace the cities and towns
 

Quiet / rest


 
 
In Mark 6:31 we read how Jesus, at the end of a busy day, ministered to his disciples’ need for rest and restoration, saying:

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Are you in need of some rest and restoration yourself? Hear Jesus speak these words to you, and follow his lead.


Call to Worship

(based on Matthew 11:28-30)

Come, all that are weary, all that are carrying burdens so heavy
Jesus will give us rest
Come, take what Jesus has to offer: love, forgiveness, and grace
Christ will give us peace
Come, find rest, and learn from Jesus
For our Savior will give us rest in our souls
Come, let us worship our God
Let us follow our Savior, who leads us into life.
 
 
~ written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution.
 

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]

“A Good Night’s Sleep” inspirations

 

Do not try to cover more than one good day’s journey at a time.

Ann Siddal, from #15

 

In July/August 2019 I decided it was time to address my struggle to go to bed on time, and I foraged for Bible verses and prayers to help me turn over a new leaf, writing them up in a little booklet I made.

My struggles also inspired a song to share with a group of creatives who might also be trying to do too much and regularly miss out on the benefits of A Good Night’s Sleep. (Follow the link for the lyrics and a recording).

I’m still struggling to go to bed on time, but during this Lenten season I hope to make it my daily practice, drawing on my collection of Bible verses and prayers for inspiration, and maybe adding a few more entries.

I share this resource with you, aware that our struggles with sleep may have different causes but a good night’s sleep will benefit us all.

 
Please feel free to share your own inspirations in the comments.
 


#1

We can rest,
we can sleep,
we can say no to this activity or that invitation,
we can quit the exhausting work of trying to sustain ourselves,
because You never slumber or sleep.
You are faithful always.

O my soul, praise the Lord.

~ by Grace Olsen Claus, posted on re:worship (excerpt)


#2

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again,
because the Lord sustains me.

~ Psalm 3:5


#3

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

~ Psalm 4:8


#4

In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat –
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

~ Psalm 127:2


#5

My soul finds rest in God

~ Psalm 62:5


#6

May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us –
yes, establish the work of our hands.

~ Psalm 90:17


#7

All the lands are at rest and at peace;
they break into singing.

~ Isaiah 14:7


#8

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

~ Psalm 91:1


#9

Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

~ Psalm 116:7


#10

This is the resting-place,
let the weary rest –
this is the place of repose – listen.

~ Isaiah 28:12 (adapted)


#11

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.

~ Isaiah 30:15


#12

I am saying this for your own good,
not to restrict you,
but that you may live in a right way
in undivided devotion to the Lord.

~ 1 Corinthians 7:35 (taken out of context, but still valid)


#13

There will be no rest day or night
for those who worship the beast and its image …

~ Revelation 14:11


#14

Lord, you put twenty-four hours in a day,
and gave me a body which gets tired and can only do so much.
Show me which tasks you want me to do,
and help me live prayerfully, as I do them.
Sharpen my senses that I may truly
    see what I am looking at,
    taste what I am eating,
    listen to what I am hearing,
    face what I am suffering,
    celebrate the ways I am loved,
    and off you whatever I am doing,
so that the water of the present moment
    may be turned into wine.

~ by Angela Ashwin, from The Book of a Thousand Prayers, #262


#15

In the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims, go now …
Consider how you may simplify your days,
so that you may travel lightly.
Be alert to all that could side-track you:
notice that which beckons alluringly,
or with apparently greater urgency,
than the pilgrim journey Christ invites.
Do not try to cover
more than one good day’s journey at a time.

Know when to stop for food and sleep,
so that the journey will not be too great for you.
Walk humbly, knowing that the goal
is not recognition, achievement or reward,
but simply to have come to know Christ
and yourself more intimately.
Be on the lookout for other pilgrims,
caring for those who limp, or fall;
those who cannot see the way forward:
pilgrimage is richer in community.
Go now: place your hand
into the outstretched hand of Jesus Christ,
allow the words of the story to guide you,
and pray for purity of heart and mind. Amen.

~ by Ann Siddall, posted on re:worship (adapted)


#16

God with us in our restlessness and wakefullness,
    give us your rest.
God with us in our sleep and calm,
    give us vision of newness.

~ by Meredith Holladay, posted on re:worship (extract)
 

Sparks


Road worker on night shift  (Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Jesus said,

I tell you this:
if you had even a faint spark of faith,
even faith as tiny as a mustard seed,
you could say to this mountain,
“Move from here to there,”
and because of your faith,
the mountain would move.
If you had just a sliver of faith,
you would find nothing impossible.

Matthew 17:20, The Voice

 


A prayer

Hope of the World,
You rise like a shoot from a stump.
You are the Resurrection and the Life,
springing forth from what was dead and forgotten.
You are making all things new.
May Your new life spring inside us
when we are numb from the world’s despair.
May Your new life shine a path for us
when we cannot perceive taking the next step.
May Your hope spark in us like a match struck
that cannot be put out,
and may we shine bright,
for the world desperately needs it.
We pray in the name of Christ,
who is coming.
Amen.

 
— by Rev Mindi and posted on rev-o-lution.org.
 

3 Ancient Prayers


Rome  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 

3 prayers from ancients living in the 4th and 5th century to help us keep the faith in 2020.


Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Almighty God,
in whom we live and move and have our being,
you have made us for yourself,
so that our hearts are restless till they rest in you;
grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose,
that no passion may hinder us from knowing your will,
no weakness from doing it;
but in your light may we see light clearly,
and in your service find perfect freedom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

from 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell, p. 30
 


John Cassian (360-435)

O God,
be all my love,
all my hope,
all my striving;
let my thoughts and words flow from you,
my daily life be in you,
and every breath I take be for you.
Amen.

from 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell, p. 34
 


Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89)

Lord, as I read the psalms let me hear you singing.
As I read your words, let me hear you speaking.
As I reflect on each page, let me see your image.
And as I seek to put your precepts into practice,
let my heart be filled with joy.

from 2000 Years of Prayer compiled by Michael Counsell, p. 42
 


 
From the blog
Check out the Index for more posts in the 3 Prayers series
 

A Peace Garden


 

The Lord’s directions for growing a Peace Garden

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. (James 3:18)

– Sow some seeds (hardy ones like mercy and forgiveness)
– Feed them with love.
– Sprinkle them with truth.
– Weed them every day.
– Give them room to grow.
– Wait.
– Share the goodness with everyone you know.

 
by Anne Osdieck, and posted on The Center for Liturgy Sunday website.