Prayer

A prayer of Thanksgiving for Wilderness

Gum flower

A Thanksgiving for Wilderness
Creator God, we thank you that you show your face to us
in wilderness and desert places.

We praise you for the deep places of the sea,
and for coastlines smashed by surf
and caressed by gentle waves.

We praise you for the sun-baked, wind-swept lands,
and for rocks and mountains older than human memory.

We praise you for the rivers that sculpt the plains,
and for salt lakes that wait for the blessing of times of flooding.

We praise you for the fragile life that flourishes
in places too hot, too cold, or too dry for human comfort,
and for forests rising
through tropical rain and cool southern mist.

We thank you for showing your glory in creation
to the first people of Australia,
and for their long and careful custody of the land.

We thank you for new ways of protecting the land
so that future generations may also rejoice in your handiwork.

Give us grace to recognise your wonders
in the dust at our feet and the haze on the horizon,
and in all the creatures you have made,
in their astonishing diversity.

And give us voices to praise you in awe and gratitude,
both now and for evermore. Amen.

Thinking about Prayer

Jesus and prayer

From the ABC online Religion department, between now and Holy Week there will be four reflections on the nature and practice of Christian prayer by between now and Holy Week, renowned Anglican theologian and Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, Sarah Coakley. You can read the first one on:

ABC Religion Articles

Pointing to a central paradox in Christian prayer, she point to St Paul who writes in the memorable passage in Romans ( 8:14-17, 26-27), that we do not know how to pray, and Jesus, in  Luke  (11:1-4), who offers the model for prayer in the Lord's prayer. 

Professor Sarah asks whether prayer is 'impossible' when we can be so easily distracted, except in the face of some personal challenge? She points out the words of St Pau;

Over and against St Paul's words, she looks at the approach of Jesus, pointing out that, returning from a whole night of prayer, and confronted by the request from his disciples to teache them to pray, offers the Lord's Prayer "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name".  She points out that Jesus is pointing out that prayer must begin with adoration, 'hallowed be your name."  She writes:

That's it - that's prayer. You have to ask, but not before you've first adored, before you've first acknowledged your utter dependence and your human creatureliness. This is where it all starts, in this tiny pause, this surrender, this turning of the will to God.

Read her article, it is thoughtful and interesting.  She sums up the paradox:In short, I do this by standing with Jesus in the Spirit and facing into the abyss and intimacy of divine "Fatherhood." Everything else is done by him. To want to pray is to pray. It is humanly impossible, precisely because it's done by God.

The Lord's Prayer

Jesus Christ

The Lord's Prayer has been handed down, generation by generation, from when Jesus first offered it to his disciples as a model for prayer.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

 

 

Prayer Articles

Prayer for the new Archbishop

St George's Cathedral, Perth, interior

Election of the new Archbishop

Eternal God, shepherd and guide,
in your mercy give your Church in this diocese
a shepherd after your own heart
who will walk in your ways,
and with loving care watch over your people.
Give us a leader of vision and a teacher of your truth.
so may your Church be built up
and your name glorified;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer, the heart's desire

James Montgomery

In 1818, James Montgomery penned the words for the beautiful hymn that commences,

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

You can read the words for all this beautiful hymn, and listen to the tune to which it is normally sung here.

He was a British poet, hymnwriter and editor and was particularly associated with humanitarian causes such as the campaigns to abolish slavery and to end the exploitation of child chimney sweeps.

He wrote the lyr­ics for this hymn at the re­quest of Ed­ward Bick­er­steth, who want­ed them for his book Trea­tise on Pray­er. Mont­gom­ery called this “the most at­tract­ive hymn I ev­er wrote.”

Other of his hymns we still sing include Hail to the Lord's Annointed and Angels from the realms of glory.

I love this hymn because, as its opening stanza suggests, it perceived prayer is first the longing of the human heart for the divine, for that which is beyond our mere physical life. 

It reminds me of what a 20th Century theologian, Paul Tillich, speaks of when he speaks of God as the "ground of our being."

God to Prayer is the soul's sincere desire and read the the whole hymn, use it as a prayer, let your spirit respond to the Holy Spirit of God, and bring what you are, and what you desire, before God.

 

Prayer Time

The Anglican Communion

In our busy world it is often hard to find time to be still, to be apart with God.  On this page we are seeking to offer some of what others have put on line to help us in our daily prayer.

Our Worldwide Anglican Communion offers the set readings for our prayer for each day.  You will find it at The Anglican Cycle of Prayer.

Other Christian communities world wide have provided some beautiful online resources that are a great blessing to many.

Check out the links to the Daily Prayer offering below and find what helps you.

If you know of, or find another, that people may find helpful, why not use the contact form on the Contact Page to let us know about them.