- Prayers from USPG
- 'The Bright Field' R S Thomas
- 'Out in the fields with God' Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- Prayer for the Christian community Barbara Glasson
- 'Amen' Malcolm Guite
- Mark 12
- 'Spring' Gerard Manley Hopkins
- 'Gateway to God' Simone Weil
- 'Considerations' Hubert van Zeller
- 'Pandemic' Lynn Ungar
- 'The Imitation of Christ' Thomas a Kempis
- 'Lockdown' a reflection Brother Richard Hendrick
- Prayer for a Pandemic
- 'View from the Window' R S Thomas
- 'The Lamb' William Blake
- 'The Shepherd' William Blake
Prayers from USPG booklet Pray with the World Church
God of yesterday, today and for ever, thank you that in you we may affirm our heritage and forge new paths. Pour your blessing upon your church as we commemorate the past, seek your will in the present and lay our plans for the future before you. Amen
Christ the hope of glory, our praise is in the Gospel. Help us to proclaim in word and deed the wholesome medicine of the Gospel with love and power to heal, in the name of Christ. Amen
Loving God, we pray that through your grace and mercy, you may bring strength, consolation and peace to the thousands who have suffered and are yet suffering because of Covid-19 in the world,
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
(after St Francis of Assisi)
O God, make us faithful witnesses in the mission of your church. Help us to seek justice, to work for healing and salvation of all. Renew and empower us with your Holy Spirit to build your kingdom on earth as in heaven. Amen
Oh, God of peace and safety,
pour your peace on us.
Oh, God of peace,
grant peace in our hearts.
(from an Arabic hymn)
God of Trinity, whose love extends to all your people, thank you that you bind us together in faith, hope and love. Help us always to build one another up in faith, as we recognise your spirit in each person, individually made in your own image.
Lord Jesus, you taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love.
Creator God of Love, thanks you for the gift of life which we share with all creation. Call us again to safeguard everything you have made for the earth and all its fullness is yours.
Father of everlasting compassion, you see your children growing up in a world of inequality, greed and oppression; help them to learn from the mistakes of history, and to build a better world, where your values are shared by all.
Lord God of wilderness, wave and wind, you travel with the wanderers of the world. Stay close, we pray, to all who live with loss, in terror, and adrift, and spur us on to build a world where there is truly room for all.
Lord Jesus, you came among us homeless, and as a refugee. Shake our complacency, rekindle our compassion, and help us challenge our leaders to forge a common strategy that is both truly just and fair for all.
The Bright Field
I have seen
the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
R S Thomas
Out in the fields with God
cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds that play,
Among the lowing of the herd,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
fears of what might pass
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the hushing of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born —
Out in the fields with God.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
For the Christian community
We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours' safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs.
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.
President of the Methodist Conference
When will I ever learn to say Amen,
Really assent at last to anything?
For now my hesitations always bring
Some reservation in their trail, and then
Each reservation brings new hesitations;
All my intended amens just collapse
In an evasive mumble: well, perhaps,
Let me consider all the implications . . .
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30,31)
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
The virtue of hope is an orientation of the soul towards a transformation after which it will be wholly and exclusively love.
Gateway to God: Simone Weil
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed,
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee;
He is called by thy name
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee
Little Lamb God bless thee.
You may like to listen to The Lamb, set to music by the late John Tavener, available on YouTube, sung by The Sixteen.
How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.
For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.
St Cuthbert's Cave, where it is reputed that St Cuthbert's coffin was hidden by monks to avoid a Viking raid.