Lenten Voices: Psalm 51

The first day of the Lenten journey involves some healthy introspection. Psalm 51 (50 in some translations) is a penitent prayer that is bold in its confidence and trust in the One petitioned. The Orthodox tradition through the centuries has been a thorough exemplar of this combination of strong trust and humility. Listen and prayContinue reading “Lenten Voices: Psalm 51”

Stand-up comedians at prayer

Wagging it from church while on holidays, we turned to what other waggers often confess to me – that’s right “Songs of Praise“. A stand-up comedian was being interviewed on the role of her faith as she laboured on a demanding routine of gigs. I was intrigued – I see many similarities in our respectiveContinue reading “Stand-up comedians at prayer”

Prayer – a light side!

My faith community purposefully set itself up in the 60s as non-gender biased – quite a statement in the conservative setting of the times. It did not matter whether it was male or female that performed ministry functions among us and there continues to be no distinction at all levels of leadership. This does notContinue reading “Prayer – a light side!”

The “why?” question arises again

In the wake of the NZ earthquake, as with other natural disasters, the “Why does God allow it?” and “Why did God not prevent it?” questions have arisen in some of my circles. These questions are not new and are part of the human reaction to traumatic events that range from personal to worldwide inContinue reading “The “why?” question arises again”

The real deal

Here’s a prayer book with a difference – it certainly arrested my attention. It’s called “Common Prayer: a liturgy for ordinary radicals” and you can see a daily on line version at http://commonprayer.net/ An excerpt from today’s offering demonstrates the true meaning of radical (“from the root”) Frederick Douglass [1818-1895] wrote in his autobiography, “Between theContinue reading “The real deal”

Australia & the World Pray for the UK & Ireland

Many countries deserve our thoughtful prayers from week to week and we are certainly mindful of the dramatic events affecting millions of people in Egypt right now. Focused attention on troubled and changing regions does not deplete a disciplined and planned approach to prayer, however. Ireland and the  United Kingdom comprising England, Northern Ireland, Scotland,Continue reading “Australia & the World Pray for the UK & Ireland”

Unanswered prayers

Not a terribly good week so far. Two people within our circle of concern have died following debilitating illness, both leaving young families. Another’s grandson has received a long prison sentence. Some are wondering about the effect of long and sustained prayers for these individuals and their families.  Where is God in all this andContinue reading “Unanswered prayers”

Praying for Tunisia

Churches around the world who participate in the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle will focus this coming week on the North African nations of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, the Western Sahara and Tunisia. Tunisia is very much in the news right now; rioting as the result of widespread dissent has led to the sacking of the government andContinue reading “Praying for Tunisia”

What happens when we pray for others?

If you have moved beyond the idea of prayer as some sort of cosmic slot machine – where you put in a request and hope that a combination of piety, good will and divine mood will line up and discharge a favourable response – then what do you expect happens when you pray – particularlyContinue reading “What happens when we pray for others?”