Prayers & Resources
Prayers for the World
May your love and grace be a comfort to those who mourn and are heavy-laden, and in particular we hold in our hearts and prayers the families of ......and .....who have suffered such sadness this week. May they know the comfort and support of their church family, their friends and loved ones in coming times and may their faith and trust in you guide and uphold them.
We thank you for the freedom we have to come to worship and to be able to live our faith openly in this country. We are mindful that so many of your people suffer repression for their faith, and we pray your strength, grace and love for them.
We are grateful for the peace we know in this country, and are mindful of the many places in the world where others suffer from the dangers and grief of tyranny and oppression. We ask your guidance on the people who are trying to mediate justice and peace in Syria, Israel and Palestine, Korea and other places of tension. Father, please help us to be instruments of your peace and love right where we are this coming week.
We pray for our ministers, Pauline and Stan, as they serve our parish and the wider community. May they know your guidance, wisdom and strength and be blessed in their endeavours. We pray for others who have responsibilities here, and ask your guidance upon them.
Father, you know the prayers in our hearts. Some of them are too painful for us to name at this time, but you know our burdens, our fears and stresses, and we pray that we will know your peace and courage this coming week.
All these things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Season of Creation - Storm Sunday
Loving God help us to always discover you in our boat, be assured of your presence and know that you never stop caring or looking out for us.
Help us in the storms to recognize your power and know your mastery in every situation.
Help us in the storm, to seek the eye of calm, the very peace and comfort of Christ’s presence.
Help us to always hear his words, ‘Peace, be still’ in all the circumstances of our lives and know his grace and power to overcome.
In the words of the ancient prayer …..we pray
“O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, that in quietness and confidence shall be our strength; by the might of your spirit lift us to yourself, to your presence where we might be still and know that you are God.”
Prayer of Offertory & Intercession
Loving God how grateful we are for every provision we receive and so freely use. Bless our offering here and our giving during the week so that your generosity to the world can be shared with all people and particularly those with need in our community.
As we mark ‘Storm Sunday’ we pray for all who go down to sea in ships, on tugboats, ferries and fishing boats and for their families and friends who await their safe return.
For those of high adventure who dare to be different, who go against the prevailing currents, and who risk taking the uncharted course in search of new discoveries. For those from many nations who crew the ships that transport the produce and consumer goods we need.
For those in search of freedom who cross the waves to find a new home. We pray for desperate ‘boat people’ and for those who trade on their plight.
We pray for all who care for seafarers and mariners, and particularly the Seamen’s Mission.
For the special needs and concerns of this congregation . . .
Loving God whom we know in Jesus, hear our prayers and help us in some way to become part of the answer. Amen
O Jesus, be the canoe that holds us in the sea of life.
Be the steering that keeps us on a straight course.
Be the outrigger that supports us in times of testing.
Let your spirit be our sail
that carries us through each day.
Keep our bodies strong so that we can paddle steadfastly on the long voyage of life.
We go now in peace, to sail with God, knowing that whenever we find ourselves overwhelmed by the winds and waves of life,
We can simply turn to Our eternal companion who says, ‘Peace be still” and who invites us to enter the calm of His presence and protection.
In the name of God who gives us life,
Jesus Christ who loves us and die for us
and the Holy Spirit who guides and sustains us.
Prayer based on Psalm 46
God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble
Loving God we give thanks that no matter where we are, what we are facing, whether our lives are youthful, exciting and challenging, or ageing, growing frail, perhaps painfully, you are always with us in our every situation. Your presence, your closeness, your participation in our every experience, every moment, is our strength. When life seems bleak and conditions threaten to overwhelm us, may we feel your spirit of love surrounding us.
We will not fear, though the earth should change, though mountains tremble
In a world of uncertainty where the very laws of nature seem to be broken, where earthquakes and landslides, floods and storms are more frequent and more intense sweeping away lives, possessions, whole towns, we are overwhelmed by a sense of insignificance and confusion over what to do and where to turn.
May we remember that you have promised that you are always with us, you are in every situation we face, we are not alone.
He makes wars to cease
God of peace and mercy you have shown us that it is within our power to restore peace to our world. Yours is a message of love and it starts with each one of us. We pray for strength and encouragement for the many people of different faiths and no faith who work towards the wholeness of humanity – the field workers, volunteers and fundraisers of organizations like Amnesty and Red Cross. The people who work for and towards human rights, equality of peoples and genders, of adults and children.
Be still and know that I am God
In a moment of silence let us make our own prayers for people or places in our world – in your own world – that need to know the stillness and peace of God.
Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among nations, I am exalted in the earth. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Amen
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Prepared by Robin Child
Prayer of Praise and Confession
Quieten our hearts and minds Lord God, as we move deeper into this time of worship. Help us to put aside our worries, our pain, fears for our friends and families and in this short time together, help us to concentrate on your presence and listen for your words.
Thank you for the inspiration of music, of art and poetry and for those people who bring it to us; thank you for happy laughter and for those who make us laugh; thank you for kindness and generosity and for those who work to help others in need; thank you for these fruits of the Spirit of Christ at work amongst us, true lights set upon the hill.
Forgive us Lord for all those things we have done or failed to do this week that have hurt other people. Let us be more thoughtful, more generous and better at putting the needs of others before our own.
Theme: The Living Stone
Prayer of Gathering
Here we are Lord God, gathered in this place to worship you, to learn more about ‘the living stone’, to wait on you for that still small voice of prompting, to hear you speaking to us through our songs, our prayers, the spoken word, the silences.
Help us now to relax our minds, to put aside all the cares and concerns that bother us and bring a quiet spirit to this time together, so that we may leave this place spiritually refreshed, knowing we have met with the living stone, and ready to do your work in the coming week.
Theme: The Living Stone
Prayers of confession
Stones fly and people get hurt; the people hit by stones; the people throwing them; both diminished and robbed of inner peace.
Stones are hateful, spiteful, cruel words; stones are evil deeds; stones are stony attitudes of greed and selfishness.
Forgive us Lord for the stones we throw and help us to make amends for the hurt we cause.
Bring a balm of healing to those who have given up, battered by the pain of life, building a fortress that none may penetrate. Bring them the light of your love so that over time, instead of the dead rock of their lives, they may flower as living stones.
Prayers of Praise, Confession and Intercession
There is so much to thank you for, Oh Lord our God.
For the beauty of this spectacular summer with its warm days and golden islands
its blue seas and skies, the green trees, the reds and yellows of flowers, the browns of earth.
For families and friends and all the happiness and fun we share through the holiday time.
For the promises and challenges of scripture which help to anchor our faith.
We thank you for this time of worship and the chance to put aside the busyness of life and still our hearts before you.
Forgive us, Lord, for our doubts and fears, for our anger and pride and for all those secret things we have done or failed to do that we regret.
May we take new strength from this service of prayer, praise and worship and leave today encouraged by this time in your presence and with your help, be determined to work in the coming week on these our faults.
We thank you Lord that we can bring our prayers to you for our families, our friends, and for the world.
We pray for all those we know who are suffering in mind, body or spirit at this time and ask that your comfort will be with them. Give them patience where it is needed, and hope for a better future.
We pray also for this troubled world, and for the millions of people affected by drought, floods, warfare and greed. We pray for all good people involved in trying to help in these troubles. Give them strength, patience and courage to go on in with their work through good times and bad.
We bring these prayers to you in Jesus name
We have come here today to worship you, source of all love and grace, creator and sustainer of the universe.
Let us put out of our minds all the cares and worries of the week and those things that make us anxious and afraid, so that with joyful hearts we can bring to you our praise and thanks.
We thank you for the coming of Jesus Christ into our world; for the new teachings he brought that changed the old order, teachings that have come down across the ages to our own time to challenge our actions and beliefs.
We thank you for his death and resurrection and the promise of eternal life.
We thank you for the beauty of soft, slow autumn, the calm seas, the colours in the trees, the flowering of camellias, the renewal of bird song.
We thank you for our friends and family and all the joy and laughter we share with them.
And as we worship you, Oh Lord, we are conscious of the many ways we have failed you. Forgive us for the times we have been filled with anger and bitterness, forgive us for the times we have been too concerned about money and material possessions, forgive us for those secret things for which we are ashamed.
Help us to live in unity with those around us, and in this time of great change, help us to be generous in our dealings with others, respecting other points of view and using them to enlarge our vision.
These things we pray in Jesus name.
A Prayer for MOTHERS DAY
Today we remember our mothers, for the women they were and are,
for the gift of life they gave to us each, for our upbringing and for the love our mothers showed to us in the best way they knew how.
We thank you that in the role of mother you ensured that each child would receive unconditional love and nurturing. We are really grateful today for this special gift.
We remember today Lord young mums who struggle with knowing how to be good mums.
It is not something everyone finds natural or easy, and so we ask that you will give young mums, discernment, patience, healing, the support they need from their partners, and plenty of sleep.
Today we remember mothers of older children who try to cope with school age children.
In the busyness of their lives let them know that you are over all and that your protecting love and care is with them and their children.
We think of mums with teenage children. Dear Lord in these difficult years of letting go, and watching them form their own identities and reasons for being, let us trust that the love and care with which they have been raised will form the foundation on which they will build their lives.
Help us as parents not to always have to be in control, but to learn the art of trusting you through this journey.
For those here whose children have grown into adulthood, we ask only that our children be happy and live a life that is full of the beauty of your love.
Written by Shirley Kilgour
Salvation Army Officer and Minister in Association at St Heliers Presbyterian Church
A Prayer based on Mark 6:1-13
God you dwell beyond every temple and cathedral built to your glory. You breathe life into the universe.
God, you seek to dwell among us. You seek community with children.
In our praying, help us listen; really listen.
Clear us of our prejudices and scepticism.
Tender and mighty God we seek courage to join with You and to open our heart to know You and know the life that is Your will for us.
We are people who seem to accept lack of faith as our standard when our Lord was amazed.
We give up easily when there is rejection and we burrow deep into our self-pity. We close down. But yet our Lord looked beyond rejection to pave a way to spread the vision of a new world.
We cling to our familiar ways and we cling to those who think and act like us. We can’t see the potential, the beauty, and the power that is looking to us from strangers and those not in our circles. We love less and we fill our lives with clutter. Yet our Lord saw leaders of the new world in fishermen and in tax collectors; in the suffering and in widows and children. He saw them as great friends in faith even unto death. He brought them into the inner circle of His heart, and He gave Himself willingly and completely on the cross.
You invite us into the inner circle of Your heart. In thankfulness we pray and listen.
There’s a world of hurt, contradiction waiting for us in Your name but it is a world of hope and possibility, of miracles and new life, of forgiveness and light, that the darkness can never put out.
This is Your glory, for ever and ever. Amen
Prayer of intercession for
Refugee Sunday or for any day
Reader One: I speak for a child who has come to a new country with only one parent. The Dad is somewhere in a country where war has broken out. This child does not know where her Dad is. They know no one yet and everything is different.
CHILD: I shut the door, and push my face into my pillow and cry. I think of my Father and wish he was here.
I can remember how, when I hurt myself, he would make me feel better.
Now he’s not here,
And no one can make me feel better. I don’t understand the way the children think. They stare at me. I wish I could be invisible. But my mother needs me – At least I can learn the words quickly. The social worker says “You’re lucky!
I don’t feel lucky. I know the war is far away but so is everyone that I loved and who loved me. Everyone except Mum,
God hear my prayer
Song: O Lord hear my prayer
Reader Two: I speak for a father who has brought his young family to New Zealand because they felt unsafe and their future was under threat. They did not wait to become refugees and endure the refugee camps.
But they are total strangers to the country and the culture and have no relatives
FATHER: Everyone is so polite and friendly they try to help. it is so hard getting a job. All our education doesn’t seem to count and our supply of savings will run out soon. I worked in the university as an engineer but now I would be glad to get a cleaning job.
We need to trust more. Soon we hope we will make some real kiwi friends.
God hear my prayer
Song: O lord hear my prayer
Reader Three: I speak for an old person who through ill health has been forced to leave his home and take up residence in a nursing home.
My room is air-conditioned
My bed is comfortable and the meals are well, okay.
I never have to lift a finger to clean or tidy.
But oh how I wish I was home again.
I know they thought I was not “managing”
I admit I couldn’t see to clean as I used to
But it was my home
And next door were my friends
I know that they think my being here is “for the best”
But I have never felt this useless,
like I am waiting to die and I know I am
but surely there is more then just this
God hear my prayer
Song: O Lord hear my prayer
Prayer said on Easter Day 31 March 2013
Prepared by Alan Jamieson
Lord God, we live in an unbelieving world where all too often the wondrous things you have done are ignored or quickly forgotten.
We pray for those for whom the good news of Easter is just too good to be true; for those who dare not believe or who look for scientific proof where none can be found except in the humbleness of accepting faith. May the risen Christ touch their hearts with his grace that they may believe.
P: Give us new life in you
We pray for your Church in all its many forms and for all Christians from the richness of a myriad of backgrounds and cultures. We thank you for this diversity and may the very things that distinguish us one from another not divide us but be a source of strength for your universal Church.
We pray especially for Christians who serve and witness in places where there is hardship, opposition from authorities and persecution. May your Spirit be ever with them to support, protect and encourage.
P: Give us new life in you
We pray for our broken and hurting world. Where there is violence and crushing oppression, may there be peace. Where there is corruption and injustice, may your Spirit of integrity, honesty and truth overcome evil in all its forms.
Where there is exploitation by the powerful of the disadvantaged, the poor and the weak, may the values that Jesus taught of honour, respect and justice be brought to bear. May the love he brought into the world prevail.
P: Give us new life in you
We pray for our own community. Forgive us Lord when we have shown a lack of concern for those in our midst who are in desperate need. We remember those in our church family who are sick and those recovering from operations and in need of your healing hand, for the sad and lonely and those facing testing times. In silence, Lord, we bring to you the names of friends and special loved ones ………. may you be with them Lord in their time of need.
P: Give us new life in you
Finally, we pray for ourselves. Cement in us a new awareness that you are alive and give us the courage to proclaim with confidence that you are our Saviour and Lord. Fill us Lord with your joy and your power.
In the name of Jesus,