A selection of prayers written by Bryony Caron and published in our e-newsletter.
Bryony Caron is the Churchwarden for Ostend, a member of the church council and kerkraad, a lay preacher and the parish’s prayer leader.
Dear Lord and Father,
I have travelled with Your Son through the long weeks of Lent, studying Your Word.
I have celebrated Your Son’s arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and seen how quickly friendship can turn to betrayal.
I have waited in the garden of Gethsemane and felt tiredness overcome me.
I have been near Your Son, yet so far away on Good Friday.
I have waited on Easter Saturday.
I have rejoiced on Easter Sunday.
I have renewed the promises made at my baptism.
I believe and trust in You, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Through these weeks of Eastertide remind me of the times we spent together during Lent and Holy Week and help me to keep close to You, God of Life and Love.
Father God I wonder how I managed to exist
Without the knowledge of Your parenthood
And Your loving care.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am Your child, I know to the depth of my being that I am loved and cared for, that I am precious and unique.
But I realise that recently I have not been keeping You in the centre of my life, where You belong and deserve to be.
I have been busy, out and about in this summer weather, helping people in Your name, as You have instructed, but I have not really seen and heard You, felt close to you.
Have I become complacent?
I don’t think so.
Have I become neglectful?
Have I had the wrong priorities?
Here I am again, Father, open to You, near to You, thankful for all that I can achieve in Your name, by Your grace.
I will try hard not to hurt You, Lord my God, by unconsciously moving you out of the centre of my life, my being.
What took over from Your place in me?
I don’t even know Lord.
Nothing in particular, nothing of importance.
Forgive me Father, and help me to keep You at my centre, because then I know that all other parts of my life will be perfectly in place.
remembering all those who have given their lives in wars,
whether in the armed forces or civilians.
We draw close in prayer to the families and friends left behind,
having to come to terms with unimaginable loss and grief.
We draw close in prayer to doctors and nurses who put their lives at risk
to care for the injured and dying.
We draw close in prayer to service personnel who have been trained
to continue fighting even when a comrade has been killed beside them.
We draw close in prayer to those in positions of power
who work for a just peace after conflict and for reconciliation.
We draw close in prayer to those who have been emotionally,
mentally and spiritually weakened by the horrors which they have witnessed.
We draw close in prayer to poets, authors, newspaper columnists, TV reporters, photographers and artists who make us aware of the reality of war.
We draw close in prayer to faithful members of world religions,
working towards peaceful solutions to armed aggression.
Father God, Creator of all the world, we draw close to You.
PRAYERS IN 2016 (descending order)
A special prayer for the World Day of Prayer 2016
8 February 2016
Our Lord and Father,
We come to You with our hearts open, our minds clear and our souls longing to know You more deeply.
We marvel at the wonder of our power, given through Your power, combining with countless others to further Your Kingdom on earth.
We think particularly of the Cuban women who worked together to choose this year’s theme “Receive children, receive Me” and who created the service which will be shared worldwide on Friday 4th March.
Loving Father, Who cares so much for all Your children, help us to see opportunities to care for children in our communities, in our country and in our world and having seen, to give practical, emotional or spiritual support.
We lift up to You all those who live in fear, in poverty, in pain and in isolation, trusting You to give them comfort and courage.
Father, forgive us for the times we have not appreciated Your steadfastness in our family life, our selfishness in ignoring Your presence.
Make us willing to give You thanks at all times and in all places for Your wonderful involvement in our lives and make us prepared to extend our love and support to Your children in practical ways and in prayer.
You have given us the power of prayer, Lord.
May we use it wisely and well.
Through Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for Eastertide
22 March 2016
God, our Heavenly Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We come to you in the sure knowledge that You hear us, that You listen to us as we express our praise, our thankfulness, our personal worries and our wonder at your all-encompassing Love for us, we who are Your children and Your disciples.
What a privilege to call You Our Father.
We have struggled with Lent, wanting to do always that which is righteous in Your sight, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled with following Christ’s journey towards the Cross, wanting to feel the depth of His disappointment, frustration, weariness and fear, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled to study Your Word with deeper insight, wanting to be shown new understanding but not always succeeding.
We have struggled to make ourselves known in the world as faithful followers of Your Word, wanting to share the Good News, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled with the emotions of Lent and Holy Week, wanting to stay awake and pray with You, and for You, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled with Good Friday, the stripping, the whipping, the mocking, the shocking reality, wanting to live that day in our hearts and our minds, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled with the cold stone, the hurried burial in another man’s tomb, wanting to wait at the foot of the Cross to know what we should do, but not always succeeding.
We have struggled, wanting to feel the Love and Light of Easter in our lives, to be reborn in You, knowing the warmth of Spring as Your creation renews itself yet again.
Yes, Father, we have struggled, but You understand us and You have always succeeded in giving us what we need.
A Summer Prayer
6 July 2016
Dear Lord and Father,
We offer our prayers for the season ahead, when there will be people travelling for pleasure across the world.
We thank You for these opportunities to meet others with whom we would not normally come into contact, to learn about and appreciate different cultures, different scenery, different food.
We lift up to You people who have saved hard throughout the year to be able to pay for a holiday. May they be refreshed and hold happy memories after their return home.
We lift up all those who work in the travel industry, in whatever capacity, thinking of workers on land, on sea and in the air. Make them aware of the importance of their roles in the lives of holiday makers, and help them to provide the best possible service to those with whom they come into contact.
We lift up those whose travel arrangements are disrupted at short notice due to natural disasters, technical difficulties, acts of war, strikes or personal illness. May they be given courage and determination to adapt to new circumstances.
We lift up those who have never had a holiday, those whose lives are a daily struggle for survival because of drought, political corruption or armed conflict. May they know Your peace in their hearts, and trust in Your constant support and love.
Help us, Father, to show kindness and helpfulness to those from elsewhere whom we meet in our local areas, so they may return home with positive thoughts about the region in which we live.
We offer these prayers to You, believing in Your wisdom and compassion and trusting that You are at the heart of each situation.
An Autumn Prayer
19 October 2016
Loving, Heavenly Father,
We come to You with a willingness to clear our minds of daily worries and to draw closer to You, feeling Your peace and Your love.
We thank You, Father, for the beauty of autumn, the richness of colours, the crispness of the air, the clearness of the skies.
There are many opportunities to appreciate Your creation in cities, towns and villages and we are grateful to all who are gardeners, town planners, suppliers of plants and machinery and maintenance workers.
Their task is to make the areas in which we live and work places of pleasure to our senses.
We are also thankful for amateur gardeners who take pride in their properties, enabling us to enjoy their colourful displays.
We thank you Father, at the start of a new school year, for all who work in education, trusting that their daily motivation is to encourage and excite their pupils’ learning, to share their own knowledge with classes and to develop an eagerness in youngsters to be curious and questioning.
We pray for parents and carers, for the wider family, for friends, and all who have an influence on a child’s trust, security, openness and enthusiasm.
We thank You Father, at this season of Harvest, for the variety of food which is so easily accessible to us, the choice of products which is more than in any previous generation.
Help us to be aware of the time, effort and distance involved in bringing these foods to us and may we always remain responsible in our food purchases in an effort to prevent waste. Help us to understand that You want Your children to be fed, not over-fed. Help us also to keep in our hearts and prayers all those who lack sufficient nutrition.
May those with authority and power work together to provide more equal resources in this Earth which we all share. Father, make us aware of what we ourselves can do to alleviate suffering, trusting that however small our effort, it will make a difference.
We bring this prayer to You, Father, openly and honestly, and ask Your blessing on all those for whom we have prayed.
A Christmas Prayer
9 December 2016
Gracious, loving and merciful God,
In this Advent season we look forward to the glory of Christmas,
Welcoming You into our hearts.
You gave Your Son as a baby so that we could learn the simple truths,
You gave Your Son into the world poor so that we could learn the few real necessities of life,
You gave Your Son to an unmarried mother so that we could learn to accept the marginalised,
You gave Your Son to be our life example so that we could learn faith and trust and love.
We are thankful, Lord, that Your story has become our story, and we celebrate Your birth.
Help us, Lord God, to be the faithful, gracious, loving, giving and forgiving people You call us to be.
In these busy days restore the joy of Christmas to our hearts and help us to relax each day and make time for You, our one true Source of Joy.