Tag Archives: Prayer

My Soul is…

A reflection based on John 12:20-33.

Reflect: how does your experience of ‘feeling’ through the pandemic echo with or conflict with what you believe or know to be true of God?

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In John 12, after being approached by Andrew, who has been approach by Phillip, who has been approach by Greeks wanting to come to the Passover festival (are you still with me!?), Jesus begins to talk about his coming death. Or at least, we know that he was talking about his coming death. The author of the gospel of John knew. The disciples, the Greeks, the crowd? Perhaps not so much.

In a moment which, in the text, takes us from a conversation with those around him to a conversation with his Father, Jesus says ‘Now my soul is troubled’. (John 12:27)

Though troubled is perhaps an understatement and under-interpretation of the truth of Jesus’ feeling here. A more literal interpretation of the Greek might be agitated, or more crudely, in shock, turmoil or distress.

Jesus wasn’t troubled in a trite and simplistic way. it wasn’t simply that the shopping delivery had arrived and they had swapped your beloved smokey bacon for your less favoured unsmoked.

Jesus was feeling turmoil and anguish in the depths of his soul because of what was looming on the very near horizon. He was soon to be glorified – which to the Author of the gospel, Jesus’ being glorified was the being ‘lifted up’ – the cross.

As Christians we talk of glory, often, as a good thing – ‘To God be the glory, great things he has done!’ goes the popular hymn. But Jesus was not feeling good – despite knowing what was to be gained through this moment.

Jesus has already talked about how useless a single grain is unless it falls into the earth and dies, to then come forth and bear much fruit. (John 12:24)

Jesus seems to know here, what needs to happen – but his feeling – his feeling was pain. His feeling was turmoil. His feeling was fear. His feeling was urging him to say to his Father ‘save me from this hour, this time that I know is at hand’ John 12:27.

In a moment of pain and fear, Jesus was honest with God about how he felt, despite what he knew was to come.

Friends, when was the last time you told God how you feel? How you really feel? Asked ‘where are you God?’ when you’re struggling to feel God with you, despite knowing that God is there?

Jesus’ experience shows us that it is ok to be feeling something that is contrary to what we know, or think we should be feeling. We can’t deny the truth. Can’t suppress the reality of our feeling – if we do, we start to be dishonest with God, and dishonest with ourselves.

Friends, be honest with God today, just as Jesus was, because through being honest with God about how we feel, we are honest with ourselves.

In this Advent Season…

In this advent season,
waiting & watching,
Known & unknown,
Certainty & uncertainty,
Hopeful & hopeless,
Stability & instability,
in the now & yet to be,
We pray for peace & love,
Grace & wisdom,
Justice & hope,
For all those who make decisions now, which impact what will be.

Originally written on 12th December 2018, in light of the Brexit ‘meaningful vote’

November

As I walk in the dim light of a November afternoon,
the week’s struggles turning in the mind,
Jesus be light to me.

As the fading wind of the mornings storm blows against my face,
the burdens of ministry feeling weighty,
Jesus be hope to me.

As autumns patchwork of browns, yellows and reds
tuck themselves into crevasses and corners,
in uncertainty of what the next week will bring,
Jesus be with me.

Jesus be light to me.
Jesus be hope to me.
Jesus be with me.

prayer: Forgive the violence of our silence

A prayer in the midst of pandemic, protest & fear, responding to the violence witnessed on 13th June on British streets.

God of all,
Forgive the violence of our silence,
The ignorance of our actions,
The foolishness of our hatred.

God of all,
Bring peace were there is conflict,
Love where there is hate,
Calm where there is turmoil,
Welcome where there is rejection,
Justice where it is absent,
Safety where there is fear,
Healing where there is pain.

God of all,
Stir up within us the wisdom of your Spirit,
As we participate in your gospel,
challenge us, lead us and empower us,
Turn our feelings of shame into a striving for a transformation that values the lives of all.

Prayer A-Z during the coronavirus pandemic

A guest contribution to revdanbalsdon.com from Mel Leech, member at Felpham Methodist Church, West Sussex.

After the cancellation of the London Marathon people began doing 26 things…26 circuits of their gardens, 26 press ups… Mel was thinking that the alphabet has 26 letters and came up with 26 things that we could pray for or give thanks for during lock-down. (In fact Mel ended up with more than 26!)

A-Z Prayer

A       
The Ambulance Service will not be over-whelmed.

B       
Bus Drivers will be protected and the Bereaved will be comforted.

C        
Carers working in Care-homes will be recognised for all that they do.

D    
Doctors and Delivery drivers – both so important, and needing our prayers

E        
The Elderly will not be forgotten and have the care they need.

F        
Friends and Family: show them in any way we can how much they are appreciated

G   
Give thanks for our Gardens and pray for those who don’t have one.
Grandparents missing their Grandchildren

H    
Health visitors as they continue to visit the vulnerable.

I     
Intensive Care Units and the patients being treated and the staff caring for them.

J      
Newly qualified Junior doctors and nurses who have been ‘thrown in the deep-end’.

K    
Be Kind to each-other (no need to say more)

L    
Lord ‘what are we to Learn from all this?’

M   
People’s Mental Health – and those who find Isolation particularly difficult.

N   
Contact with Neighbours and seeing they are in need of anything we can help them with and of course continue to pray and give thanks for our NHS.

O       
Give thanks that One Day this will come to an end.

P    
Paramedics as they work on the front-line bringing help as fast as they can.
Remember the Prime Minister as he continues to fully recover and copes with the responsibilities of his job.

Q   
Pray Quarantine measures will continue to work.  
Pray for the Queen and that her faith will inspire and encourage the nation.

R       
There is a sufficient supply of Respirators.

S    
Supermarket shop-workers and those who are ‘shielding’ because of health issues.

T        
Give thanks for the Telephone to keep in contact with each-other. Teachers as they try to continue to give lessons ‘on-line’.

U       
Let’s show ‘Understanding’

V       
Give thanks for those ‘Volunteers’ doing all they can to help the NHS, Farmers and Delivering necessary food parcels and medical supplies etc.

W   
Thanks for daily Walks

X        
Pray a ‘Vaccination’ will soon be found.

Y        
Young people – including children, at this, what must be, a very strange time for them.

Z        
Give thanks for ZOOM.

AMEN


Download a copy of A-Z Prayer

What would you add?

Comment below – what would you add to this prayer A-Z?

Testimony Thursday: Dear God…

This week I share with you, not my words, but the prayerful words of a 5 year old girl who wanted to write a prayer yesterday morning. Working together, this is what she produced. #ProudDad

This 5 year old’s heart to say thank you to God made me realise how I have sometimes been distracted by other things that stop me from embracing and noticing all I have to be thankful to God for today.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Join the conversation

What does the prayer of this 5 year old inspire you to be thankful for? Why not share your thanks and prayers in the comment section below.