Monthly Prayers July 2016

This month’s prayers, written by spirituality volunteer Sue Allerton, reflect upon the nearness of God.

Opening Reflection

I am the Holy One in your midst.

Find me in the wind rustling through the grass.

Find me in the aloneness of the strand where you walk.

Find me in the ground beneath your feet.

Find me in the life-giving air around you.

Find me in the dark pools.

Find me in the rocks and crags,

carved, smooth, jagged, etched by ages.

 

 I am the Holy One in your midst.

Find me in the stories of your people

who lived and struggled.

Find me in the stone of ruins which witnessed my glory

and echoed to the sound of my praises.

Find me on the paths walked by the long-forgotten

who are always present to me.

Find me in the legends and traditions of story-telling,

passed from generation to generation.

Opening Prayer

Come Lord, stand among us, awaken us to your presence.

Scripture      Hosea 11:1-4.8-9

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the more they went from me;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and offering incense to idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with bands of love.
I was to them like those
who lift infants to their cheeks.
I bent down to them and fed them.

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my fierce anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and no mortal,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.

Gospel          Matthew 10:7-15

As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

 

Reflection

To pray unceasingly, as St Paul asks us to do, would be completely impossible if it meant to think constantly about, or speak continuously to, God.  To pray unceasingly does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to talk to God instead of talking to other people.  Rather, it means to think, speak and live in the presence of God.

 (from “Spiritual Direction” by Henri Nouwen)

Closing Reflection

I am the Holy One in your midst.

Find me in the mystery of your heart.

Find me in the companionship and loneliness

of the journey.

Find me in the laughter and joy, in the tears and the pain.

Find me wherever justice and peace are sought

because I am the Holy One in your midst.

 

Closing Prayer

 Loving God, who fathers us and mothers us:

may we always know your presence.

May we always feel you near us.

May we live with your breath and love with your heart.

In Jesus’s name.  Amen.

 

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