Tag Archives: Baptism

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 7th May 2017

The Fourth Sunday of Easter.


Audio expires approximately after 90 days after posting.

Father of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, You sent Him to Earth to care for your flock. To lead, not to heard. To open the gate to Your pasture, Not to round us up when we stray but to show us the way back to Your fold.

May this prayer encompass not only our words to You but, guided by Your Holy Spirit, that which you need us to hear today.

At Jesus baptism, You sent the blessing of Your Holy Spirit upon him as a dove. Send Your Spirit today to all those being baptised. Protect and sustain children as they grow, guide their parents, godparents and all who will care for them, that they may thrive.

Creator spirit, remind us of our own baptism and confirmation. Open our hearts and minds, to hear Your life giving word and be renewed by Your power.

Thank You Father that we live in a free democracy. We pray for the coming election. May the campaigns be fought on policy, not personality. On debate, not disparagement or dogma.

Source of truth and wisdom, guide us as we examine the options and remind us of our responsibility, to consider good and justice for all, not just our own needs and ends.

Heavenly Father, comfort all who grieve the death of a loved one or friend. Give strength to those who handle the formalities of death. Heal the unwell and injured in body or mind, according to their own need. and hear too the care of our own hears that we may say in silence within ourselves. 

Merciful Father, hear this prayer in the name of Your son, our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Intercession Prayer For Sunday 4th December 2016

The Second Sunday of Advent.

Steadfast God who loves all equally, encourage us to show each other the love you show us. We give You thanks for that love, and for bringing us into Your presence. Hear this prayer offered in Jesus’ name.

Help us not to get caught up blindly in the commercialism of the coming Christmas. Remind us of those people for whom Christmas is a struggle to survive, the same as any other day. We pray for those for whom a kind word, a hot meal or a hand of friendship is as great a gift as any purchased item.

Loving Lord renew our faith in this Advent time. Help us to know you afresh and wonder at the miracle of the coming Nativity. May Advent bring people into Your house and that there they will find a few moments of peace and time for reflection amongst the hurly burly of the season.

Father God, You sent John ahead of Jesus to prepare Your people for His coming, baptising the people of Israel. As You called Your people then, still You call us today.

Bless everyone You have called to be baptised, and for the young ones bless their parents and Godparents who make vows for them, until they are old enough to be called to their own life in Christ Jesus.

We pray for everyone who needs Your healing, comfort, guidance and strength. We pray for those who have died and whose memory we treasure. We name before You those we know who are unwell in mind, body or spirit and those still recovering from treatment and we ask for your blessing on them.

We each bring to You the cares and concerns of our own hearts and minds. Bless us with Your peace from those worries.

God of hope and joy, thank You for listening to our prayer. Open our hearts in preparation to welcome again Your Son, to make radiant the night of the waiting world.

Merciful Father, accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Intercession Prayer For Sunday 6th November 2016

The third Sunday before Advent.

Blessed Father who watches over us, who sent Your Son to teach us to live in peace with one-another, send Your Holy Spirit as we are gathered to worship You. You hear every prayer, whether or not we perceive your answer. Hear this prayer offered in Jesus’ name.

Thank you for sending Your son to invite us to Your feast. Too often we find excuses to eat at a different table, food that sustains our bodies but not our souls. Forgive us for not choosing your bread of life.

We remember the homeless, especially of Italy who suffered earthquakes and are recovering from the rebalancing of creation. We give thanks that there are no known fatalities. Comfort the hurt and strengthen those who cannot yet return home, or whose homes were destroyed.

We pray for refugees still being re-settled from the camp at Calais known as The Jungle. Help us to show them, especially children, Your compassion by offering them safe homes.

We pray for aid workers helping refugees. Feeding them, translating, giving medical services and education. Give them the resources they need for the task.

God above, thank you for the sacrament of baptism, brought to us by Your servant John the Baptist, who baptised Jesus Christ. Bless all who you have called symbolised by baptism with the promises of their parents and Godparents for the children. Bless them with your love throughout their lives and guide them in the way of Jesus Christ, to grow knowing your love and His grace.

May we each be reminded of the commitment of our own baptism and confirmation, living our lives as your representatives and serving our communities.

We pray for the sick and the hurt, those who care for them and for anyone grieving the death of someone they loved and may be facing an uncertain or lonely future.

Thank you Father for the fresh joys and challenges of each new day; for the love and encouragement your Spirit gives us, may it sustain us through the coming week.

Merciful Father, accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Prayer

Edited prayer, missed from Sunday 5th June 2016.

Prayer1-1-small.jpgEternal Father, creator of us all, who sent your son amongst us to be the Servant King who showed the way to freedom, help us to become His servants and find the true freedom He offers to all who have faith. Father Hear this prayer that we offer in Jesus name.

We pray for all who are not free, whether their captivity is physical, mental or of the spirit. May national and international leaders work for justice, peace and freedom where there is oppression, intolerance and dictatorship.

We pray Queen Elizabeth II, and remember her quoting her earthly father:

I said to a man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me light that I may tread safely in to the unknown” and he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light , and safer than a known way.”

Let us follow our Queen Elizabeth II’s example, and each of us place our hand into God’s hand.

God of water, Lord of life, we pray for all being baptised today. We welcome them into Your holy family. Bless them and guide them now and throughout their lives that they may thrive.

May we who are Baptised be renewed in our baptismal promises in a spirit of love and trust.

Gracious God, we pray to You to lay your healing touch upon the unwell, the hurt and the injured, whether in mind, body or spirit. Let your healing power flow into them and fill them with renewed life and strength.

May the light of God surround them,
may Your presence enfold them,
and may Your power heal them.

Glorious and gracious Father, as we leave this place, let my ears hear you, let my eyes see You and my heart perceive you and as we feel your presence,
may we dream Your dreams, reflect Your love, do your work and may we taste your peace.

Merciful Father, accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Tongues Of Fire

An extra post for Trinity Sunday,
reprised from an earlier post about Pentecost.

A roaring like wind
assaulting their ears
not understanding,
terrified, many fears.

Tongues of fire,
dancing above,
the Holy Spirit,
spreading God’s Love,

Speaking to all
many voices, one word
spreading the message,
Of the risen Lord

Thousands come,
to the call of the few
Repentance, Baptism
Christianity new.

Splash Again

Matthew 3: 13-17, My idea of how it almost certainly was not.

A tongue-in-cheek view of the same
events 
as the previous post.

Yuck, got a mouthful.

He stood in water that was almost up to his waist, from time-to-time moaning about how long it was going to take for his scruffy clothes to dry out and how cold his feet were. He was in the middle a wide, relatively shallow part of a river where people from the nearby village came to collect water, wash, or to cross. He wished for the umpteenth time that the women washing clothes were doing it downstream of him and wondered why they bothered at all, in such murky water. He also briefly wondered why he hadn’t thought to stand upstream of them. He had been standing in the water so long now that his skin was wrinkling.

He must have ducked a hundred or more people so far that day, who had come to be baptised and with every one he’d had to flick his wet hair out of his eyes as he stood up again. He was getting a bit fed up repeating and hearing the same few phrases every few minutes: “Do you repent”. “Yes I repent” splash, “Next”. He was also looking with mild surprise at the colour of his own skin, where the river had washed away the layers of desert dirt.

He was starting to get a bit uneasy about a group of a dozen or so blokes on the bank, watching him, talking amongst themselves and occasionally pointing at him or gesturing in his direction, sometimes laughing. Once he even shouted at them to shut up or go away. In the end, one of them, who seemed like he might be the leader of the gang, detached himself from the group and came down to the river’s edge. Sitting down he started to take off his sandals but one of the others shouted at him to “keep them on, you don’t know what’s in there”. Another shouted Take off your robe, it’ll take hours to dry. You don’t want to sleep in damp clothes tonight”.

Eventually he waded in fully clothed, too embarrassed to strip down to his undies. By the time he reached the man ducking people under the water, he was already soaking wet from head to toe, having slipped over twice on his way to the middle of the river Jordan.

John turned back to the man in front of himself, for a moment ignoring the new guy, muttered in a perfunctory way the words he’d been using all day and pushed him over in the water. The guy came up spluttering and moaning “that’s not fair, I wasn’t ready. Is that it?”. John waved him away negligently and turned to the bloke that had watched him for so long, with his unruly mates.

Peering closely he said to the new guy “should I know you, you look kind of familiar?. “The guys over there”, he said pointing to his gang still on the bank “call me Jez but I’m Jesus, maybe you’ve heard of me. I’ve come all the way from Galilee, just so you can Baptise me.

“Me, baptise you! I dunno bout that, mate. Seems like it oughta be tother way around”. “Look, John, I’m here now so just do it anyway, or I’ve wasted my time coming here”.  “Ok Jez, can I call you Jez too, Here goes” and he shoved him over just like the others. “Don’t you ever wait till people are ready” Jesus said spluttering as he came up and spitting out a mouthful of the river Jordan. “Yuck that tasted horrible”.

AS Jesus waded back to the bank, falling over and baptising himself twice more on the way, the clouds in the sky overhead parted. Looking up, he muttered to himself “oh no, Dad was watching. I might have guessed he’d have to stick his oar in”. However a moment later the sun shone through the clouds and, as Jez climbed back up the river bank to his gang he said, “see Dad’ll dry my clothes so I don’t catch a cold”.

A moment later, Jesus said, “Oh hang on a mo, Dad’s up to summat” and they watched as an invisible hand pushed and poked and shoved the remaining clouds together, until they looked a bit like a big, grubby dove. Then a booming voice that, caught everyone by surprise and startled all the other birds around into flight, thundered out ” that’s my Boy and he done good.

Splash

 Matthew 3: 13-17, An idea of how it might have been. 

Figure study by Juan Carreño de Miranda, in preparation for his painting Christ Baptized, circa 1682

He stood up to his thighs in the water, scruffy and unkempt but clean and wearing cheap, rough ill fitting clothes. He was at a wide, relatively shallow river crossing close by where people came from the village to collect water, or to cross. He had not been immersed himself but with his bending and the splashing he looked as if he had; water dripping from his long hair which he was constantly flicking out of his eyes.

Every so often there would be another splash as he ducked someone else under the slow, flowing water of the Jordan river. John was Baptising the people who came to him, that were prepared to repent and seek the forgiveness of God for his or her sins.

John had baptised many people that day, perhaps hundreds but nevertheless a small group waiting and watching from the river bank, who all seemed to defer to one of their number, had caught his attention. In particular, a slim youngish looking man in the group, with a look of sinewy strength about him, had intrigued John so he guessed this was their leader. After watching with his friends for a while, the slim man picked his way carefully over some stones by the river’s edge and walked slowly into the water to wade towards John, fully clothed. He did not even remove his outer robe as so many others had.

John turned back to the man in front of himself, waiting to be baptised, and asked him his name and said “Do you promise to sin no more, to obey God’s laws and seek his forgiveness?”. After the man had answered yes, John placed one hand on the man’s back between his shoulder blades and the other on his forehead. Pushing him back into the water, face up, John immediately assisted him to stand upright again, using the hand at the man’s back. As the man shook the water from his head and blinked it out of his eyes, John knew, without looking round, that the man he had seen earlier on the bank was behind him waiting his turn.

Turning to the man whom he already knew stood behind him, although he did not yet know the man’s name, he found himself looking into a pair of intelligent, piercing eyes that seemed much older than the look of the man himself would have suggested. “I’m Jesus, I’ve come from Galilee to be Baptised” the man said. “I can’t” John said, “it’s you who should baptise me”. “You must do this” Jesus said, so placing his hands as he had on so many others already that day, John pushed Jesus quickly back immersing him in the Jordan river and bringing him back to his feet.

As Jesus started to wade back toward the riverbank, the clouds overhead parted letting the sun blaze through like heaven had opened, catching a dove in it’s light and making it look as if the light were shining around it and casting it’s shadow briefly across Jesus, like the Holy Spirit passing over him. Everyone by the river saw this and also heard a voice, as the Spirit passed over Jesus, say “This is my Son, that I love; I am well pleased with him”.