We hope you will find the monthly prayer, in addition to the readings and meditations, helpful and comforting.
PRAYER FOR DECEMBER
Emmanuel – meaning ‘God (is) with us’.
The one who is present everywhere and fills everything is coming. He is coming to fulfil among you the salvation offered to all. Welcome him who welcomed everything that pertains to our human nature.
St Andrew of Crete (c 660 – 740)
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)
Lord, we pray that your Spirit of truth and love will fill the hearts of those for whom Christmas has no meaning. Amen
Lynne Newland (Methodist prayers for Christmas 2017)
PRAYER FOR NOVEMBER
A Prayer of Longing for God
As pants the hart for cooling streams
When heated in the chase;
So longs my soul, O God, for thee
And thy refreshing grace
For thee, my God, the living God,
My thirsty soul doth pine;
O when shall I behold thy face,
Thou majesty divine?
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still; and thou shalt sing
The praise of him who is thy God,
Thy health’s eternal spring.
These verses, which come from Tate & Brady; New Version of the Psalms of David, are part of hymn 379 in Common Praise; they are metrical settings of verses one, two and eleven of Psalm 42, a prayer of longing for God.
Many of you will know the lovely anthem by Herbert Howells, ‘Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks’, which Howells wrote in Cheltenham in January 1941 as one of a set of four anthems ‘written in time of war’. Howells sets verses one to three of the psalm, ending with the despair of verse three:
‘When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night
While they daily say unto me
Where now is thy God?’
There is, however, consolation in the version by Tate and Brady which gives the whole psalm, finishing with the hope expressed in verse eleven, [verse three of hymn 379] that our longing for God will be satisfied and that we shall sing the praise of God, our health’s eternal spring.
chosen by John Rea
PRAYER OF THE MONTH (OCTOBER)
(adapted from the Bible Society Prayer in Action)
God of truth, You reveal Yourself to those who seek You in purity of heart and integrity of will. Please open our eyes wide, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit, to see the meaning and beauty of Your Word. Grant to us the power of helping others to draw nearer to You, through Jesus Christ, Your Son. In His name we pray, and for Your glory.
chosen by June Woodland
PRAYER FOR SEPTEMBER
(adapted from the Harvest Collect of Thanksgiving)
Almighty Father, Lord of the harvest, as the year moves forward to the time of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ we give thanks for the fruits of the earth, for your provision of the harvest, for bread, the work of human hands given for our own well-being, and for the needs of those in need.
We pray that our surpluses may be used to feed those in the world suffering at this time from hunger.
In the name of Jesus our Saviour, who fed the hungry on the mountain, we pray. Amen.
chosen by Ian Silcox
A Celtic Caim or Circle Prayer (for August)
Circle me, Lord,
keep love within, keep hate out,
keep joy within, keep fear out,
keep peace within, keep harm and worry out,
keep light within, keep darkness out.
May you stand in the circle with me, today and always.
chosen by Hilary Johnson