selection of prayers from this site
prayers on this page (except
where otherwise acknowledged), were written for
this web site's (former) 'Just a Moment' page by my colleague and fellow church member Tom
passed away on Tuesday 2 May 2006.
see 'Tribute to Tom' further down
God, father of all — yet, we are reminded that your Son instructed his
brother to care for his mother. So this month we reflect on the mother who
(for most of us) sustained us in our formative years.
gentle care when tucking us into bed, the singing of a children’s hymn
— Gentle Jesus meek and mild, When mothers of Salem brought
their children to Jesus, Jesus loves me this I know.
of this we are inclined to forget due to the passing years and the rush of
living in the 21st Century. Yet as this day comes upon us, this 2nd Sunday
in May, many will think on her through tear stained eyes, for she is no
longer with us.
it is with humble and caring thoughts we pray for our mothers today. They
are faced with tremendous problems — sons wanting to be ‘bigger than
their boots’ — daughters who have never taken the words of St Paul
seriously “Don’t let the world fashion you into its mould”, and for
those fathers who leave it all to Mum.
we pray for all who have the responsibility of raising up children,
fathers, grandparents, aunties and friends who contribute to our
children’s welfare. God bless them all.
is our prayer, Through Jesus Christ our Lord — Amen
of us all, we are glad of the brisk morning air, the early fog, the sun as
it breaks through into another glorious Autumn day. As we enjoy our
breakfast, the smell of coffee, the crunch of our toast, we find it easy
to be happy and be full of the joy of living.
with the love of family and friends, we are able to face yet another day
of living out the teachings of Him who came to serve. May we have a
kind word to those who annoy us, for they may not see the colour of the
autumn leaves but only the drudgery of cleaning up.
the season will gently lead us on to a cold and sometimes inhospitable
winter, so our thoughts are with those whose years are in “The Winter of
their time”. Encourage all who share their life with those who
need caring, may we support them in their noble endeavours and be a
servant to them.
the youth in our care we pray that we may encourage them to be steadfast
and be free from deadening unbelief and purposeless living, free from
vulgar tastes and sensual deeds. As your spirit changed the face of
this world through the young Carpenter of Nazareth, so may some youth in
our day respond to your call having undimmed eyes, being undiscouraged
with world events, having their hearts set on fire for your kingdom may
they go about their daily lives doing the common tasks with an
is our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God --- Father of us all. The world events of the past months leave
us bewildered and uncertain. We are not too sure if You are in
control of our lives --- but we forget that you have given us free will
and the ability to determine the direction that we should go.
God, forgive us for the shallowness of our petitions; for asking as little
children do wanting this and the other. So often we pray for that
which is already ours, neglected and unappropriated; so often for that
which can never be ours; so often for that which we must win for
ourselves; and then labour endlessly for that which can only come to us in
the quietness of our minds we ask that you search our minds and hearts for
we love to do your will; and to seek your kingdom first of all. Sweep
away our fears, our compromise and our weakness, and help us to live
courageously and valiantly in this world.
the name of Christ we pray.
God who is with us in every moment of our lives -- yet we fail to
comprehend the significance of this wonder, may we again learn the value
and experience your fellowship.
the young children who this month set out on the voyage of schooling may
they be guided and led by those who place a high value on their calling as
those who will enter the work force, may they have the spirit that they
are not only building a future for themselves but for this nation.
those who have planed for years the retirement that they now enter into,
may they have a long and peaceful time.
you have been our strong arm amid sorrow when we have mourned the loss of
loved ones and we wonder just how we can cope, but we are grateful that we
have been sustained by prayer and kind friends.
those who are near the terminus of their journey, may the fellowship of
family, friends and your Spirit be a source of strength and comfort.
for us all, grant that we may show the community who we are and whom we
the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
PRELUDE TO PRAYER
us be still for a moment -
a time of quietness - before we pray.
come into the calm of God’s presence bringing our restless lives to Him.
Quieten the great noise of our living, make quiet the turmoil of our
stormy spirits, smooth the irritations of our troubled hearts.
quietness and responsiveness open our doors to Him. We need to be hushed
that we may hear “That still small voice” within us ..... and so
God, we are thankful for the happy and cleansing memories of Christmas,
for the renewed faith they bring in friendship’s fidelity and loves
power; for names recalled of old and young upon whose remembrance we are
grateful for affection given us more than we deserved. For those who
long ago made Christmas beautiful; for little children, who in their own
way teach us that love and affection has no bounds or demands.
pray for all homes in every nation, for mothers who cradle their infants,
for all hungry children, all unwanted children, for the innocent upon whom
fall the iniquities of the world, and as we pray, so may we give. In
this happy and joyous season when we call “Lord, Lord” may we remember
his warning, and do the will of His Father in heaven.
pray for all of the parliaments of this most fortunate nation of ours.
May the spirit of goodwill and understanding be shared will all their
members not only in this season but may it continue into the years ahead.
may this season speak to us in our hopes and ideals. Save us from
conformity with the low standards of this age. Grant us higher
thoughts of Christ’s purpose for us, a nobler meaning of life’s
meaning, loftier goals for our devotion, worthier aims for our
because we have prayed to you, our God, may the character and mission of
Jesus, the ends for which he lived and died, grow vivid in our thoughts
and in our lives. May we arise above our meaner selves, outgrow our
littleness, and render some Christ like service to the world.
is our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord; and may the whole world say -
God we are so much aware of our limitations that we become reticent to
launch out and explore new directions ---- a new careers --- a
new expansion of our faith; but sometimes we are just plain lazy,
comfortable with the status quo and our lives are the same today as they
were 20 years ago. May the changes that face us and the needs of
others revitalise us to attempt to live again and to make our lives an
example of Your spirit within us as it was years ago.
pray for the peace of the world. Save us not only from our sins but
also from our follies. Teach us the futility and insanity of
violence. Lead us under wise and strong guidance into ways of peace,
decency, and humaneness. Save us from the indulged luxury of
meanness of spirit and from the love of retaliation and may the peace of
God rule in all our hearts.
down every barrier that shuts us from our fellow men. Make us one with all
humankind, children of one Father, begotten of one God, living in one
planetary home, destined to one common goal. Across the lines of
race, class, nation and creed our prayer goes out.
pray for better understanding and co-operation between the world’s
religions, guide us to have a sympathetic insight and to look below the
surface into the hearts of all who worship God. Be with every
Buddhist soul seeking to discover the Divine; with every Moslem heart
sincerely trying to do God’s will, with every Hebrew mind endeavouring
to make real to this generation the high ideals of righteousness, which
his prophets proclaimed. Now let your benediction rest on all who
call themselves Christian, of what ever name or sign.
the Spirit of Christ we make our prayer.
taken from a collection of prayers by Harry E. Fosdick (1878-1969)
Minister of The Riverside Church New York)
Preparation For Prayer
just before we pray –
things have happened during the past weeks and we have all been touched in
some it has been a time of enjoying our children being on holidays with
are facing up to new tasks that not only involve themselves but others.
some have problems that are so personal that no voice can be heard, only
us be quiet for a moment and say this prayer for all.
Eternal Spirit, you are the source of all that is excellent. Inspire
us this day as though the sun of a new spiritual springtime has shone upon
us out of inner darkness and gloom into light, out of our deadness of
heart into life, out of barrenness into fruitfulness and the promise of a
thank you for mothers and fathers, for homes where fidelity and good will
have made life beautiful, for friends whom we have loved and known, and
for friends unknown.
of all, it is only on occasions that we acknowledge that we live in a land
that “flows with milk and honey” and in comparison with many other
countries, we are rich.
are well housed, well clothed, well fed and we live in harmonious
relations with our neighbours. In times of natural disasters, we
support each other. We take all of these benefits because that is
the way we have always lived, and we are a ‘happy go lucky’ race of
the recent happenings in our world cause us to think of extending our
responsibilities in ways which we may be able to contribute to the well
being of others, and show us ways that we can work to improve the
stability your world.
Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Grandfathers, Dads-to-be: and those amongst us who live out the role of
being a substitute father --- this our prayer for you.
bless these men: some of them delight in their fathering; for others it's
hard, perhaps very hard, and they're wounded. Hear our confession of sin,
of failure, of ignorance. Help us - all of us - to forgive our own fathers
for their faults and failings. But Lord, we are not responsible for them,
but for ourselves. Help these Dads to love their children's mother. May
they be good role models in their homes and in their communities, leading
their children to a living faith in the living God. And when the Great Day
comes and we stand before you, our heavenly Father, may we hear you say,
'Well done, good and faithful father. Your children have delighted in you
and you are eternally blessed.'
all the people said.
God whom we call Our Father, we are so glad of the memories that we have
of our life’s journey; even those amongst us who are young enjoy happy never
to be forgotten memories. We acknowledge that we are who and
what we are not only because of our genes, but because of the influences
of many people who have shaped our minds, our character and how we act and
interact with our fellows. For all the influences that make us what
person we are, help us to be an on-going influence upon those whom we
meet, that they may see the out-working of your Spirit in our lives.
we come to prayer not forgetting our brothers and sisters in the
wider world. Father of all people, who has said that we cannot love
you unless we love our fellow citizens also, we would come bringing them
with us in our hearts, compassion and goodwill. Before we seek
forgiveness, help us to be forgiving; before we ask for mercy, help us to
be merciful. Take from our hearts the hidden grudge, the secret
vindictiveness, the lurking hate. Give us a universal and inclusive
spirit of sympathy and understanding. From all bigotry and prejudice
of race and class deliver us. Teach us what it means to care even
for those who despitefully use us, and so abiding in love may we abide in
the great game of life help us to remember that we too have to spend our
lives in usefulness for others, so then when our jar of MARBLES IS EMPTY
may we still enjoy the future of whatever life has for us.
send us out with a glad and joyous heart because we have made this our
Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen
the quietness of our room, we think of many things, the thoughts of which
are so private that voice can never articulate but we have this strange
--- almost indefinable, experience that God does and can speak to us, not
in words that we can hear but in the affairs of the world and in our own
dealings with those in whom we love and share this life. It is the
internal witness of God’s spirit with our spirit.
let us be quiet for a moment, then read this prayer, firstly for ourselves
and then for others.
Spirit, we are glad for all that makes life rich and beautiful, with
gratitude we remember our homes and the affection and loyalty of our
families. Gratefully we think of our friends and their comforting
and sustaining fidelity.
be with us as we go about this task of making goodness attractive, give us
grace and radiance. May we make doing the right thing lovable
because of what we are. Forgive us that we should ever misrepresent
Christ, that the world should not see Him in us. Lift us up until the
faith we practise shall sing in our lives.
God, let some faith and hope and love come to help every soul that seeks
to do your will.
Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
God, deep beyond our understanding and high above our imagining, we pray
to you that you will come to us in the experience of inner power.
ask not for easy lives, but for adequacy. We ask not to be freed
from storms, but the will to build houses on rock that will not
fall. We pray not for a smooth sea, but for a stout ship, a good
compass, and a strong heart to sail.
God discover us with the resources of your power that we may be strong to
ask this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen
PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS
God on this special day in the month of May, most of us think lovingly
on the mother who brought us into the world. As we become older
there comes to each of us tender and sacred feelings that can only
reside in our hearts, for no tongue can never articulate that special
emotion that we feel towards our mother.
can recall the hymns and the prayers that our mother taught us, and the
instruction that has been imbedded into our character, making us the
person we are today.
God, we have never seen or heard You, yet we have had a glimpse of the
outward manifestation of Your love to us through our mother.
Enable us to live and proclaim Your love to the world not only by what
we say, but by what we do.
all Mothers we pray, those who have just started the joy and
responsibility of motherhood, for those in the following months who are
preparing themselves and their families for the glad event. For
those who have had to face the difficulties of life not being able to
bear children, and those who face a long and difficult road caring for
children who have enormous problems.
pray for all who share in the mothering of the young, for grandmothers,
aunties and friends who sustain us, and for Christ over all who is able
to guide us.
His name we pray. Amen.
God our God, once more we reflect on the fortunate life that has been ours as
we live in this community.
have been blessed many times by the continual support of friends who have
shaped the pathways of our lives.
are glad of the opportunity to return the love that has made us one, life
would not be the same without our friends.
God, we are glad for this day and for all the days of our lives.
Some we would prefer to forget, yet they have been a lesson for
us, unforgettable experiences that lurk in the background of our
memories, yet wisely used they have been the stepping stones of
we are glad of the friends who helped and supported us in our time
of need, the people who packed our parachute.
is our prayer through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
God, Father of all, many of us have been refreshed by our
holidays. We have met with family and friends, we have
enjoyed our children, thought about their past year and we hope
for another year of progress and growth in their lives.
those times when we have failed to be our best, we are sorry.
We ask for a “Clean heart and a right spirit” as we have
entered into a new year.
us from self-deceit, mean excuses, unworthy evasions.
Prepare us with inner integrity and spiritual resource, that we
may be adequate for all that lies before us.
confirm within each of us some worthy decision. Bring us
into this year with a vision of our duty and a determination to
perform it - and whether in this year ahead we live or fall
on sleep, we shall not be found dishonoured and ashamed before
you, this is our heartfelt prayer.
Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
God, our Father we have enjoyed the time that this festive season
affords us, to enjoy the companionship and love of friends
we start once again to commence another year. Although we
are curious as to what 2005 may have in store for us, we are
reminded of the old hymn which says "One step is enough for
God, in these difficult and uncertain times when nations cannot
resolve their own domestic problems, let alone collective
international disputes, save us from being smug, criticizing other
nations - when we tend to become judge and jury - whilst sitting
in the comfort and safety in our own homes.
may we be like Him who has called us to cast down every barrier
that shuts us from our fellows. Make us one with all
mankind, children of one Father, begotten of one God, living in
one planetary home, destined to one common goal.
our prayer goes out for every Jew, Gentile and Muslim for all have
been made in your image. May multitudes be happier because
through praying for these petitions, we have gone forward to put
our prayers into deeds.
is our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God, Father of all people’s, lovingly addressed by countless
millions as “Our Father”, we gladly come into this happy and
joyous season again, reminding ourselves of the implications for
the world because of what happened in Bethlehem so many years ago.
we meet with family and friends, sharing the rich experiences of
each, we also remember those who will not be with us on this
occasion and never again.
think of the “Possessed” - those who are caught up with the
never-ending task of being acquisitive and never have their needs
think of the “Dispossessed” - those who in the unfortunate
scheme of things have been forsaken by family, friends and the
community at large by their anti-social behaviour and see no
reason to change.
think of the “Oppressed” - those who by the colour of their
skin, accent, gender, faith, physical aberrations, political
views, have found no “Manger” in which to shelter.
we think of these people, may not only our prayers for them be
said, but something of our substance be given.
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God --- God of all peoples, places and seasons --- we are grateful
for the changing seasons, the winter which brings snow and rain,
and the warmth of friendly fires around which friends and family
for the Spring which assures in new life, lambs in the paddocks
and little calves on the farm. For all the blessings of this
life we enjoy, for health, friends and family.
even so, for some, the dark clouds of winter where no sun can
penetrate are still with us. Help those who find themselves
in this unfortunate position. May the God who is within and
about us be a source of sustaining power.
those who sit in our parliaments, we pray that they may be mindful
of their enormous responsibility making their decision not
according what may be best for their party but what is best for
we all go about our business of living, remembering that we are
God's people? Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
God, as we endeavour to draw near to You, we know we are not
skilled in the art of prayer. We lack the ability to express
the deepest emotions that lie hidden in our hearts.
in such moments we have no polished phrases with which to impress
one another, no finely moulded, delicately turned clauses to
present to You.
God, we know that deep within us we are praying the most when we
are saying the least, and we know we are closest to You when we
have left behind us the things that have held us captive so long.
help us in our thoughts about You and for the world.
Enable us to be caretakers with You, by prayer and by doing those
things that Your Son would have us do, this we ask in His name,
God, before we become involved in the routine of the coming month,
we pause to seek your help.
Although we are experienced in the ways of people, we know all too
little of the ways of God.
our wayward minds and hearts to you, forgive the faults and
failures of the past and set us free from them.
Forgive, O God, our failure to apply to ourselves the standards of
conduct we demand of others.
Forgive our slowness to see the good in our fellows and to see the
unkindly spirit that we so often exhibit in ourselves.
our differences may we be kind; in our agreements may we be
humble, so that in our living, we may act as your true people.
Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
God, forgive us that we fret and worry about small things that
really do not matter. We become so occupied with trivia that
things of importance do not enter our mind.
us to be mindful of our friends, neighbours, the people with whom
we work, those who care for our children -- for we are
all your children.
help us in our daily affairs, that we may be good examples of Him
who called us to be his followers.
is our prayer, Through Jesus Christ we pray.
God, Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father. You are
behind all creation, much of which we understand and enjoy, but an
enormous amount leaves us speechless, full of awe. We come
to you, you are the sustainer and the reason of our being.
thank you for all of those who make our life secure, our spouses,
children and relatives, for friends, those with whom we work, the
folk down our street; for without the affection and goodwill of
these people our life would be meaningless. Help us to
honour their trust in us by being the person whom they can trust.
with us the coming weeks; be the source of inspiration for each
the winter rains bring some relief to our drought stricken area's.
For those who find this time of the year unbearable because of
health, may the warmth of friends and the companionship around the
lounge room fire bring a glow within.
Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen
God, each of us in our own place would like to be part of a better
world, and all of us together can help to build it.
our work, our relationships, our conversations, help us to lift
the mind, tone, and hope of all the possibilities before us.
God help us to bring out the best in each other, to confirm the
best in our human nature, and to give priority to the best in all
our interactions with one another.
pray this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From “The deeper longings of the mind and heart”
God of infinite beauty and creative wonder, we pause to
contemplate the wideness of your creation. The change of the
seasons as they merge one following the other to bring us to a
different atmosphere, a change in nature's colour, night fall
coming earlier and the balmy weather that follows summer.
Truly we have inherited a world that as far as we understand,
there is none like as ours.
the rich beauty of the artist's brush --- for music that searches
our very souls --- for husband, wife, mother, father and children
and for dear friends who understand us a little better than
we do ourselves --- yet in spite of our rudeness and sometimes an
uncooperative nature, their warmth of friendship has never
all the blessings that we have been heir to, we are grateful.
Help us in all our dealings with each other, in all our affairs in
private matters, church, community and nation, that we may be
better people because of our deep understanding of you.
we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord ---- and all the people said
God, it is with gratitude that we have celebrated this Australia
day. We remember the pioneers who have established this
nation, the systems, which have been a source of direction over
the few yet important years of our beginnings. For all that
has been bequeathed to us, given that we might invest ourselves
and our communities in the further development of this nation.
are truly the lucky country, help us all to be participators,
helping each other in times of difficulty, happy together in times
of rejoicing. May we be mindful of our heritage.
pray for our parliaments, both state and federal. Forgive us
that we so often criticize our elected leaders when it suites us
and neglect and fail to acknowledge the good that they achieve.
In the years that lay ahead, may our nation take its place in the
world justifying the hope of our ancestors?
God, we thank you for the past year, with it's joy and all the
beauty of those times where the bonds of friendships were
stronger than the forces that would assail us.
good friends, for books and for music and art that has inspired
us, now confirm within us some worthy decision.
to us the new year's beginning with such vision of our duty, and
such resolution to perform it, and such resources for its
consummation, that whether in this year ahead we live or 'fall
on sleep', we shall not be dishonoured and ashamed before you.
Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
God, so often we think in our human small terms, only to be
reminded that you are not to be confined by our mortal thinking
and narrow ways. Help us we pray, to rise above our small
self interests and ascend to a higher plane where our spirits are
able to meditate with your spirit.
so often make our time of prayer as though we are going to our
large super market asking for this and that.
are not unlike the peoples in other places who, on seeing sailing
ships come into shore bringing goods from distant places, from
unknown strangers, have developed a “The Cargo Ship” mentality
of wishful thinking and consumerism of religious practice, when it
should be a time of refreshing fellowship with the God of all
as we enter into this time of goodwill to all people, may we be
among those who show their care in practical ways of service,
remembering it was the Christ Child who came into the world to
the name of Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen
are thankful for those people who have been role model in our
lives. For parents who nurtured us when we were helpless,
for the close family of relatives who made us theirs and for
friends, without which life would be meaningless and empty.
we pray that your human family may remember that we are all
dependent upon each other, and to help each other to find the
source of inner peace.
Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen
God, we admit that we rush in to correct our younger generation;
we forget that we were guilty of acts that were not worthy as sons
and daughters of your family.
us, we pray, to lead by example rather than by “pious
injunctions”, and in the time of sensible rebuke may we exercise
it with a kindly spirit.
Christ our Lord who forgave all manner of indiscretions.
mourn the sudden death of my friend and fellow church member Tom
Straughair. He went into hospital on the Saturday, and died
at 12.15am on the Tuesday - 2 May 2006. Tom was diagnosed
with pneumonia and aggressive leukemia.
was the instigator and a driving force behind the setting up of
this web site. Tom wrote most of the prayers and would write
or source the 'Thought for the Month' for the 'Just a Moment'
was Tom's idea that there should be a 'Touch of Humour' to this
site - Hot News & Humour page. He felt that
Christians should be seen as having a sense of humour, not just
all serious and sombre.
believed that Warragul Uniting Church should have a web
site. He approached me with his ideas. During 2002,
Tom and I (with some input from others), worked together on
setting up this site. The counter on the Home Page
shows that we have been on the internet since 3 September
2002. During the intervening years, we have worked on
improving and adding to the site - encouraged also and given ideas
by comments both verbally and by email.
wanted a friendly, easily navigated site that would encourage
people to visit more than once. Tom approached John Bodycomb,
who then provided him with sermons/talks to add to our 'Food For
the formation of the Uniting Church, Tom and I were both members
(in different congregations) of the Congregational church.
Elements of our shared faith history were also a source of
strength in the bond of friendship between Tom and myself. I
shall miss his thoughtful, kindly, encouraging support.
email to the Web-master:
I have just received this from John Bodycomb and
thought you may be interested. I think it would be good if there
was an obituary on the Church Website as Tom was one of the
instigators of it and his effort with the prayers will be hard to
Euan, what can I say? I
am deeply grieved to learn of this -- although I cannot claim to
be surprised. I have picked up hints 'between the lines' so to speak, that
all was not well. Tom
was the kind of man I have treasured in congregations here and
overseas -- who I could wish were 'cloned' over and over. He
was a genuine exemplar of what I find best in Congregationalism.
When I came into faith at nineteen and saw my
minister to find what was required for admission to church
membership, I asked, "Are there some creeds, catechisms and
whatnot that I should bone up on?" He
looked devastated. When
he had recovered his composure, he said, "Oh, John, we're not
that kind of church." After a pause he said, "All we ask is that you accept
Jesus as Lord and seek to live a life in conformity
That, of course, is rather more daunting than
mugging up on pat answers to a slate of questions. And that is what made Congregationalism not easy -- but
demanding, if any of us were to try to take it seriously. My impression was that Tom was very close to that idea of what
it was all about, and I will treasure the memory of him.
I would appreciate it if you could convey to those
who miss him my sympathy with them.
Blessings on you.
the invitation of Tom Straughair, John Bodycomb has earlier
provided this web site with numerous sermons/talks, which can be
found on the
for Thought page.
FUNERAL SERVICE for Tom Straughair was held at St Andrew's
Uniting Church, Warragul at 11.00am, Thursday 11 May 2006.
life was celebrated, with remembrances by family and
friends. His devotion as a husband, father and grandfather,
his 'quirky' sense of humour; his commitment and passion towards
the many projects he undertook including car restoration, building
model railways and commencing the local community radio station
his steadfast Christian faith and his caring for and reaching out,
to his fellow travelers along the road of life.