Abandon Us Not – a prayer for a sick friend

Abandon Us Not – a prayer for a sick friend

In his book ‘The Aramaic Sayings of Jesus’ Basil Fletcher draws out what he calls the “sublime simplicity, poetic perfection and deep human quality of the words of Jesus…” that somehow become hazy when translated into Greek, and from which come the English translations.

For this post, I want to draw out just one element of Fletcher’s insights from ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – the line:  “Lead us not into temptation.”

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Praying for Palestinian Justice

The Wave of Prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this ‘wave of prayer’ washes over the world.
 
Sabeel Wave of Prayer – Thursday 31st May 2018
During the ninth consecutive week of the ‘Great March of Return’ more than 100 Palestinians, including seven children were wounded by Israeli snipers along the border in Gaza. There is a desperate shortage of drugs and medication for the treatment of the wounded in Gaza as a result of the ten year Israeli blockade.
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Lord, we continue to pray for the safety of the Palestinian protesters and their commitment to non-violence. Dear God, we pray that those who have been injured in the protest may soon recover and that the families who are grieving for their loved ones may find solace.
Lord in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer.
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The Israeli Knesset has proposed a new bill which would make it a criminal act to film or photograph an Israeli soldier on active duty. The bill is supported by the right-wing Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and if passed, those found in violation of the law could face a prison sentence of up to five years. Palestinian journalists view the law as an attempt by the Israeli government to ‘escape punishment and international justice’.
Lord, we pray for the safety of all people who risk their lives to document the human rights violations of the powerful. We pray that journalists may still be able to report the truth of all they witness in the occupied territories.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Friday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition from six human rights groups to declare that ‘the Israeli military’s regulations that allow soldiers to open fire at unarmed civilians is unlawful’.
Lord, we continue to depend on your mercy and justice as Israel validates the use of violence against Palestinians through legislative means. We pray for the protection of those who exercise their right to protest against the occupation.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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On Thursday, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Defence Minister, said in a statement that he plans to seek approval for the construction of 2,500 Israeli settler homes in the occupied West Bank.
Lord, the Israeli government continues to demolish the homes of Palestinians and ruin their crops as well as appropriating their land to build illegal settlements for Israelis. We pray that the international community would undertake to hold the Israeli government to account for flouting international law. We ask that due process would be brought to bear on any attempts to colonize the West Bank.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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Last Sunday, May 20th, the Palestinian residents of the village of al-Aqaba received demolition orders from the Israeli forces. They were informed that twenty homes would be demolished within a period of sixty days as they were alleged to have been built without the requisite Israeli construction permits.
Over the weekend, Israeli settlers raided Palestinian vineyards in the Hebron area and used electric saws to cut down over 1700 vines. The settlers also spray-painted threats on the walls around the vineyards.
Lord, Palestinians continue to fall victim to the policies of the Israeli army and politicians. We pray for the safety of Palestinian villages and for renewed strength for the farmers who have lost their vines just months before the grape-harvest. Have mercy on the Palestinian people Lord, as they grow weary.
Lord in you mercy . . .
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Three toddlers were found dead in the Palestinian town of Bethany east of Jerusalem. Initial investigation by the police shows that the three children, two sisters and a friend, trapped themselves in an abandoned car while playing and died as a result of suffocation during a heat wave.
Lord, we pray for the families of Youssef, Raneem and Rahaf as they mourn the deaths of their beloved children and ask that they would find comfort in their grief.
Lord in your mercy . . .
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A Palestinian teenager died on Wednesday after succumbing to wounds sustained during protests in Ramallah.  Adi Abu Khalil was only fifteen years old when shot in the stomach by an Israeli soldier last week.
Lord, the Israeli occupation continues to target Palestinian children and teenagers. We pray for your spirit to comfort the family of Adi as they grieve for their loss. We pray that soldiers firing live ammunition at children would, one day, be held accountable for their action.
Lord in your mercy . . .

How do you pray?

Martin Luther was taking a break from the Reformation (like you do) and decided to get his hair cut.  His barber asked him a question whilst he sat there under the blade, “How do you pray?”  – the great reformer wrote a forty page response to his ‘lowly’ questioner.

Here’s a snippet:

barber“A good clever barber must have his thoughts, mind and eyes concentrated upon his razor and the beard and not forget where he is in his stroke and shave.  If he keeps talking or looking around or thinking of something else (however important), he is likely to cut a man’s nose or mouth or throat.  So anything that is to be done well ought to occupy the whole man with all his faculties and members.  As the saying goes:  he who thinks of many things thinks of nothing and accomplishes no good.  How much more must prayer possess the heart exclusively and completely if it is to be good prayer?”

This is good advice to us in our short attention span age, distracted from one second to the next with all manner of things that will keep us from Christian basics, such as prayer.  Prayer that “occupies the whole [person]” is a challenge that people who call themselves “Christians” must surely wrestle with.  Multi-tasking is not a virtue, even though our culture tells us it is.

I know I need this advice.  I know we likely all do.

 

(Picture: ‘Barbier Deutschland “Hofampterspiel” for King Ladislas “Posthumus”, c. 1455)

A Prayer

Merciful and loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we open our hearts before you now.
We repent of our sins.
Our praise and worship make no sense unless we are repentant.
We confess to you faithful God, our sins in thought, word, deed and nature.
We confess freely and boldly.
We are a redeemed and sanctified people.
Not by our own righteousness. As if.
But by your righteousness, and the righteousness you give to us.
We are so blessed to be called your people.

For you do not treat us as our sins deserve.
Neither do you leave us wallowing in them
You lift us up. You crown us with love and compassion.
You declare us sons and daughters; heirs and co-heirs.
We acknowledge we have been bought at great cost.
We are not our own; but belong to you, in relationship with each other.

You have sent your Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus to live in us.
Not to be religious but righteous.
Not to live in piety but in power.
Not to be aloof but to be a saint.
Not to be sanctimonious but to be a servant.

Father God,

May your heart for us ever shape and heal our own hearts.
May we see you not as an insurance policy but as you are: Holy, Holy, Holy.
May we share your love in real, genuine ways.
May our evangelism be empowered and Spirit led, courageous and fearless, yet wise.
May our witness be authentic, natural, loving, sacrificial.
May our service to others be beautified.
May our giving cost us more than the cost of giving!

Meet with us Father God. Meet with us in a vast and complex world of fear and pain.
Meet us in our own pain and sickness. We pray for healing in the name of Jesus.
We also pray not just for healing, but encounter. An encounter with the resurrected Jesus.
And Father, if we fear that our prayers have not been answered, as is the repeated testimony of the Psalms and of your people through the ages;
Assure us that if in our praying, our prayers have not been answered, we have.
So we do not lose hope; we do not despair. You are the Rock on which we stand. You alone.
You – Jesus, are faithful and true. All sufficient in life and eternity. Bread for body and soul.
May we ever feed on you, Lamb of God. May we ever seek you, Pearl of great price.
Lord Jesus Christ, you do have mercy on us. Build your church through us we pray.

Amen

IMG_6748Steps in Torquay on my daily dog-walk.

Send Your Word, O Lord

Send your Word, O Lord, like the rain, falling down upon the earth.
We seek your endless grace, with souls that hunger and thirst, sorrow and agonise.
We would all be lost in dark without your guiding light.

Send your Word, O Lord, like the wind, blowing down upon the earth.
We seek your wondrous power, pureness that rejects all sins,  though they persist and cling.
Bring us to complete victory; set us all free indeed.

Send your Word, O Lord, like the dew, coming gently upon the hills.
We seek your endless love.
For life that suffers in strife with adversities and hurts, oh send your healing power of love;
We long for your new world.”

By Yasushige Imakoma, The United Methodist Publishing House
(based on the text of a Japanese hymn)

dew

JOY!

DSC_0769Here’s a bit of a Puritan prayer on joy!  I don’t know who wrote it nor where it comes from, but I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

“You O Lord God are preparing joy for me and me for joy.
I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy.
Give me more than I can hold, desire or think of.
There is no joy like the joy of heaven, for in that state are no sad divisions, unchristian quarrels, contentions, evil designs, weariness, hunger, cold, sadness, sin, sufferings, persecutions, toils of duty.
O joyful place where none are sick.
O happy Lord where all are kings and queens.
O holy assembly where all are priests.
How free a state where none are servants except to You.
Bring me, bring us, speedily into the land of JOY.”
Amen