Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Can you help the wild bees?

Wild bees support our populations of wild flowers. They have also been shown to make honey bees more effective as pollinators when they are in competition with them.

The wet summer has been disastrous for wild bees. It would help them if gardeners made some plans to help them get through the winter. To see how, please go to:


To see more about why, please go to:


Lord of all creation, I pray that you would help humankind to value and care for your beautiful and wonderful wild creatures.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

The limits of human power

Lord, you know that today I stand humbled before you. We tried to help, using our human resources and wisdom, and it was not enough. It was not nearly enough.

Father, engrave this lesson on our hearts: it is not our human strength or resources that the world needs, but your almighty and loving power. Help us to realise that we are merely poor and imperfect servants of that power, not its directors or masters. Imperfect as we are, Lord, we your Christian people ask that you would use us to speak mercy, peace and truth to the needs of our world.

Help us, Lord, to be really radically dependant on you.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

From poverty and weakness for the poor and powerless

Father, hear the prayer I offer for a young Sudanese orphan who, at the start of his first year of Unversity finds himself without the means to meet his fees. The deadline for payment is so close, Lord, that I know I am utterly powerless to take any practical action that will resolve this dilemma in time. But the universe and everything in it is yours. The cattle of a thousand hills are yours. I pray for Mark to be filled with assurance of your love and blessed by the provisions of your divine providence. Please Lord, could just a small herd be credited to Mark's account?

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Healing and works of power

Lord, I've noticed that there are a whole bunch of people for whom I want to pray for healing. Please show me how best to pray for each one of them. Please show me also who would be glad for me to pray with them, who would be glad for me to pray for them, and who, if anybody, should not be asked or told about my praying at the moment.

In your loving mercy, Lord, please pour out your healing power for my family, friends and neighbours who are in pain, illness, anxiety, disability, deafness and distress.

Lord, I pray also that you would show me how to bring together telling of your wonderful words of grace, mercy and peace, and the experience of your signs following. Please fill me anew with your Holy Spirit, that I may speak, work and pray for your kingdom on earth, as Jesus would speak, work and pray.

Saturday, 21 June 2008


Father, I pray again for Zimbabwe and all her people. I pray for your kingdom to come, and your will to be done in that suffering country, and for the people to be given relief from fear, violence, hunger, poverty, despair and all the oppressions of the Mugabe regime.

Thank you, Lord, that some food is getting to those who need it.


Saturday, 31 May 2008

A Happy Day

We worked really hard and got loads done, but for me at any rate it was a really happy day, with my children both here, and in top form.

Thank you God for such a happy and successful day.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Something to look forward to

I'm really getting excited, because I'm having a "help-the-house" party this weekend, and both of my children and some friends are coming. It's all about getting the house ready to sell. Please God, may we have some dry weather for the painting, and may we have a fun time, even though there's lots of work to do!

I had the nicest walk today with my friend Dylan the dog. We really are good friends now. Thank you, Lord, for giving us dogs as companions.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

If there is a God, why does he feel so far away from us?

"Life Questions" said the U-tube video clip title. 'Looks interesting,' I thought, and clicked on it. A young man was talking to camera, explaining the major questions he wanted to ask about life. And the title above was the first one.

'Poor soul,' I thought. 'How have you never had anyone teach you how to enter and practice the presence of God? ' Very easily, I now realise. When we were a rational, scientific culture, we apprehended God, if at all, intellectually. Now we are a postmodern culture, we want experiences to sweep is up into them, and we want everything immediately - now!

But God isn't like that. He loves us to seek after him, he woos us as we are searching, giving us now an intimation of unspeakable bliss, and now a hint of the deepest peace, and now an unechoing empty cosmos, where we break our hearts as we feel as if he has left us alone.

The two thousand year-old Christian tradition has many ways, formal and informal, of seeking communion with God. But then again, God is not a slot machine, that he should respond the same way every time we go through a set routine or ritual.

The way to the Father, in principle, is through Jesus, his son. And no-one can know the Son, except through the Holy Spirit, who makes him real to us.

So Lord, I pray for that young man, and all the other people who may share his question and also for me, that you would send your Holy Spirit upon us, and help us to know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow Jesus more nearly, every day.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Ponds and progress

Yesterday I refilled my small garden pool, rescued my water-lily from its winter peat, and sank it in the water again. It had already leafed and budded, so should look good soon. (Thank you, Lord,)

Today my friends and I have worked on windows, so I have a good feeling about making some progress. Please Lord, help me to keep my motivation up and the progress going on!

My big frog is getting bolder, even hopping round the smaller pool in the twilight. I do so love having a wildlife sanctuary in my garden, and I do pray that I will find a house and garden where I can create another haven for small but important wild creatures.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Thank you Lord

Yesterday I prayed that the Burmese leaders would put people before "face". Today they have agreed to allow aid agencies into their cyclone-stricken country. Thank you, Lord.
I pray that aid will also reach Burma's persecuted Christian minority populations. The picture shows Karen kids - the Karen being one of the poorest and most neglected of Burma's peoples. I pray that they will be reached quickly by aid workers.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

No, it wasn't the end of the world

My hedgehog has woken up and walked. Thank you, Lord!

Thank you that you love even the smallest and apparently insignifucant creatures.
Thank you that you made them to be our companions on our beautiful blue-white-and- green planet.

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Thank you, God for Water Aid, through which we can express our gratitude for constant clean water and effective sewerage systems in our own country, and contribute to other countries beginning to enjoy the same benefits.


Sunday, 4 May 2008

Why disability?

It seems to me that nobody has a good answer to the question, "Why does disability exist?" The best answer I've heard so far is my son's, which was: "It's just a series of coincidences, a set of circumstances that allowed it to happen." In fact, many people, both Christian and non-Christian have been utterly stumped by the question. Some have provided answers, but answers that don't seem to me to hang together.

If we have suffering and evil in the world because of our ancestors' sin, (a Christian answer), why does it hit some people and not others?

If we are in fact all perfect, according to our form and function, which is to ensure the survival of our species, (an atheist answer) then why do some people have severely imperfect minds or bodies, which limit their quality of life? If life is just about ensuring the survival of humankind, does that mean that I am of no further use, being past childbearing age?

Another atheist answer, (my son's again) is that we can strive for nobility, remembering what he considers a really helpful guideline, which is, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you." He didn't know, or had forgotten, that this was Jesus' command.

What would Jesus say about disability? One (Christian) parent replied that seeing each one of her children as created perfect in the way they are has enabled her to benefit so much from having one child with special needs. "If I can somehow see people with a disability with God's eyes - to see the pearls in the oysters - and to see how precious we all are, as we are, this is God's purpose."

"Why me?" I'm sure that's the question of every person enduring ongoing pain and disability. The only answer I've ever come up with is "Why not you?" I hasten to add, it was the answer God seemed to give to me, when I asked him the question. It's not an answer I've imposed on suffering people!

If we read Chapter 9 of the Gospel of John, and indeed any or all of the Gospels, Jesus seems to see illness, suffering and disability as an opportunity to display God's love, by showing compassion, and bringing healing. I think this can make ongoing suffering even harder for Christians. If Jesus would be like that when he lived with us in the flesh of a human being, why isn't he still like that now, when he lives in us through his Spirit?

Dear Father, what are you up to?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

A Difficult Decision

Today a very difficult decision that I had been delaying just kept banging and banging on the doors of my consciousness. At last I allowed it entry and realised it couldn't be delayed any longer.

So I have made that decision, albeit with a heavy heart, and I now need lots of prayer to enable me to carry it out, and to do that well and effectively.

Lord, I feel it is you who have kept this issue alive in my heart, and I beg your help and protection now to carry out the decision that I have made.

Dear friends, if you are reading this, please pray for me! God bless you all.

Friday, 18 April 2008

When God has other ideas

It's interesting how a day can go entirely differently from the way you planned it, but still be better in every way!

Today I was "set back" in my work programme by meeting a friend after Morning Prayer, and asking if I could accompany her on her walk with her dogs. This was a stunningly beautiful walk, even if the weather was a bit brisk today, so I was glad I did that.

My friend asking me about how my studies are going reminded me that I hadn't heard back from my tutor since submitting my last assignment. I thought it was time I got worried about this, so I phoned him, and learned that he hadn't received it! Having hastily re-sent it by e-mail, I was most relieved to get his comments back by the end of the afternoon, thus freeing me up to attempt the second of the assignments for this module.

So working on the second assignment occupied the afternoon.

This evening I was going to Youth Church anyway, and had the most brilliant time. I think the members did, too - at least, I had great difficulty getting them to go home, and we finished over half an hour late!

So thank you, Lord. Please help us to make Friday evenings a really positive experience for our members. Please help us also to get the Christian message across in an interesting and attractive way.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

A scary moment

As I was walking on our local park, a big brown dog noticed that I had a pocket full of dog-style titbits, and went for me. He was trying to knock me down, bite my hand, tear my coat open - it was really scary. Then my friend the golden retriever with whom I was walking spotted what was happening and came to the rescue. I was really impressed, because every time this big heavy and muscular looking dog approached me again, my friend just shoulder-charged him and knocked him to the ground. In the end, the baddie gave up.

I worked off the adrenaline rush by chipping paint off one of my blank-blank metal windows! Not all the paint, needless to say. That will take DAYS!

I'm hoping to get a good number of hours in tomorrow, and actually get something finished. That would be nice. Please Lord, would you help me to make real progress here?

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

So much love!

My friend Anita and I went to Tiger's funeral this morning. A Romany funeral is rather a wonderful occasion, because everyone who is in any way related will be sure to come, as well as friends, so of course, the church (the big Parish Church) was packed out. But nobody goes in until the coffin arrives. Today the market place and the church lane were lined with grieving Romany people, so recognisable in their solemn black, with gold jewellery glinting brightly in the spring sunshine. I was overcome anew by love for these neglected people, and prayed that the Lord would use today to reach their hearts, since the Church has historically made so little effort to share the Gospel with them.

After the funeral service, everyone follows the hearse on foot to the cemetery, which is often, as today, lined with still more people. The grief of the family was so intense as to be almost tangible, and Anita prayed for God to send his peace and his angels to comfort them, Lord, I pray that your peace will rest on that grieving family tonight, and your angels surround them.

My prayer was for all these people to be protected from the evil one, and to come to know and follow Jesus. I pray now especially for the brother-in-law, who is responding to a call to ministry, to be able to support them, and give them hope in God's promises.

We saw some of those promises fulfilled as we attended the Annual Meeting at St Mary's tonight. God has honoured their tithing by keeping their income at a level where everything necessary is paid for, including, most unusually, the whole of the parish "share". He has also confirmed his call to serve the young people of the benefice by providing a miraculous number of new volunteers to help in the work of the "God Squad" for teenagers. Thank you, Lord!

As I stood in the market place this morning and felt that love surge through me, I knew it was so enormous, so unconditional, so full of warmth and compassion, it was a foretaste of God's love, not only for the Romany people, but for all of us. It is so miraculous, so amazing, so divine, that I am just filled with awe and thankfulness. Thank you, Father.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Romany health, literally a life and death issue.

Today I heard about the early death of a Romany woman aged only 44. I am so grieved to hear of so many deaths at such young ages in the Romany community.

Gypsy Travellers from all groups with a nomadic culture and identify have far worse health status than the mainstream population (For academic evidence, please see:
Sadly and almost incredibly, those who are settled into houses have worse health status than those who regularly travel, although house dwelling may be effect, not cause.

Father God, I pray for the family of this young woman, and the family of E, who was buried today, that they will be aware of you being very near to them and that you will comfort them in their grief. Strengthen them as individuals and families to seek and find ways to improve and protect the health of those who survive. I pray especially for E's widow, and for T's children, that you will watch over them and be their protector and refuge.

I pray that you would motivate our whole nation to eliminate the exclusion and prejudice that results in this terrible, lethal inequality in health.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

The God Squad

The God Squad is the name the members invented for our benefice's Youth Church. The first meeting of this new term was yesterday, and we had a lovely time. Thank you. Lord!

I want to pray for all the helpers and all the members, that we may all give glory to you during the time we spend together at God Squad, and that we may come out alight with the love, joy and peace that are the fruits of the Spirit. May we also learn from your Holy Spirit to show patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I also want to pray for all services tomorrow, in our benefice and in P & G's parish, that God's presence will be awesomely felt at each one. May hearts, minds and lives be touched and renewed, Lord.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Multiple Sclerosis

Today I was talking to someone I care a lot about who has MS, and was saddened to learn that there are people who do not accept that it is a disabling condition. If only these people were right! The truth is that a person with MS does not know from one day to the next what part of their body's functioning - which the rest of us can just take forgranted - is going to be affected next.

The basic facts are available from the MS Society web site at:


My prayer today is for research to show the way to a cure, or at least effective treatment to halt the progress of the condition. Dear Father, I find it impossible to believe that it is your will for thousands of your children to live permanently with pain and disability, and yet I know that so many do. I thank you for those who do so with courage and cheerfulness and ask your special blessing for them. I pray that you would enable our medical researchers to find a cure and/or an effective treatment for MS. I pray also that you would empower your church to pray to you for healing and especially for release from pain.

Finally, Father, I pray that you would enable us to bring good cheer, peace, comfort and affirmation to those we know who experience pain and disability, so that we ourselves may be a blessing to them, and a channel for your loving care.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A normal day - praise God!

For the second day running I spent most of the day crawling behind laundry equipment and climbing on my stepladder, trying to reach all the parts of my utility room to paint it with white emulsion. So I do pray that God will help me get all this done quickly and well. I certainly need the prayer - I'm no expert in this area!

This evening my friends and I met to plan the next meeting of our Youth Church. We have asked for God to be totally in charge, and we especially prayed for everyone to come out of it feeling that they've had a fun evening.

And as I think of the utter normality of my life, and how my worst problems are so very minor, I pray again for Iraq and her people. Lord, please help the security forces, of whatever nation, and the people who are working for lawfulness and order, so that the people of Iraq can go about their work and their leisure in peace.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Robert Mugabe

How does one give up power?

I've never held power, so I can only imagine, but everything we know from history seems to suggest that it is very hard indeed to let go of power. Media discussion assumes that the failure to announce the results of the Zimbabwe elections is due to Mugabe's unwillingness to give up power.

So today, my prayer is for Robert Mugabe. Lord, your child Robert needs to know that you are always on the side of justice. If he hangs on to power that has been voted away from him, then he will answer to you, if not to his fellow countrymen.

Father, I can imagine that he may be terrified at the possible consequences for him personally of a loss of power. Please Father speak courage to his heart, and assure him of your willingness to forgive if he will only repent, and of your fatherly care, if he will only trust you, and do what is right.

Lord and Creator of all, we cry out to you for the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Let there be a new beginning, we pray. May justice and peace begin to be built, and may your kingdom come, in Zimbabwe, and throughout all the earth.

Monday, 7 April 2008


My prayer today is for Zimbabwe.

According to the BBC News pages hundreds of thousands of people and possibly as many as 3 million (25%) have left the country to seek work in South Africa. Now the country seems to be holding its breath, awaiting the announcement of the results of the recent elections. Oh Lord, I do pray that the whole election process will proceed without violence and with fairness. I pray that the country may develop new leadership to take her out of the terrible economic disaster she has been experiencing. I pray also for neighbouring countries, that they will be able to manage the effects of Zimbabwe's instability on their countries, and that the flood of economic refugees will not destabilise their economies.

For current news, please see:

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A lovely day

I had such a lovely day today, with a happy walk with my doggy friend, some time in my garden and my first visit to the puppy-training class.

I let the big pup off the lead today for the first time, and it was wonderful to see him run and play and enjoy himself. He did come back most times I called him - eventually!

My plans for the back garden are starting to come together and it was a special pleasure when the estate agent said, "The gardens sell these houses."

Puppy training was brilliant! I did a successful "Sit and stay" and a successful "Stay and come" with the big puppy.

All of this has made me turn back to the theme of "theological reflection" to see where God is in all this. Somehow I keep coming back to the theme of liberation and a growing conviction that God wants us not only to be free , but to be active participants in our own liberation. How I arrived at these thoughts would take too long to tell but I want to pray for everybody who feels trapped, enslaved,shackled,confined, held down, held back, helpless,hampered or impeded. Lord Jesus, your mission was to set the captives free, and I pray that you would enable each one of us not only to be free, but to walk in and trust that freedom as a gift of your free grace.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


I've been working on an assignment today. The content explains how a concept we were learning about was applied to a real situation, and thereby moved that situation on in helpful ways.

I pray, Lord, that all institutions of learning will enable their students to interact constructively with the world you have made and for the benefit of the people you love.

I pray also for E, who has six weeks of her undergraduate studies still to go, and who is working on her final project. Please bless her, Father, and enable her to do her very best work. I pray that you would guide her career after she graduates.

I pray for my granddaughter, K, who has exams on at the moment. Bless her also, Lord, and help her to stay calm and unstressed, and to respond to best of her very considerable ability. I pray that you will help her to see how to enjoy the spaces between exams, and to relieve any pressure she is feeling through fun, relaxation, socialisation, or whatever works for her.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Good surprises

I was doing some reading for my latest assignment today when a number of lines of thought all came together into a new vision for the local Youth Church. Thank you, Lord!

Then this evening the three current leaders had a lovely evening meal and prayer and feedback time with one of our mentors, and came away much encouraged. Thank you again, Lord.

THe other exciting thing that happened was that I started playing no less than 3 games of Scrabble all at once (thanks to facebook). Since my last Scrabble partner dies some years ago, I've only had one game, so this was just sheer bliss!

My prayer today is for all Christian youth work, that you will show us, Lord, how to be as much fun as Jesus was, while also conveying your truths in interesting ways, as Jesus did. Father, I know for sure that your heart is always with our children and young people, and yet the Church itself always seems so unable to be attractive, welcoming and inspiring for them. Please Lord help all Christians to turn this situation around, not just through a few youth pastors, but through the involvement and commitment of the whole Body of Christ.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


The BBC News today reported the largest teachers' union as having voted overwhelmingly to oppose allowing the Army to visit schools. Their reasoning seemed to be that the Army was using these visits to recruit soldiers (and airmen and sailors?) and that soldiers were being used in illegal wars and in illegal activities within war zones.

All of this seemed to me to refer to the Iraq situation, so I pray once again for all of Iraq - all factions within it and all armed forces stationed there. Heavenly Father, I pray for the daily life of Iraq to be normalised, and that you would empower all those working to this end. May her people be able to live in peace and work to rebuild their prosperity.

I pray especially for our own forces, that they may carry out their roles wth honoour and success and come safely home again.

While I deplore the decision to invade Iraq, I deplore equally the teachers' union for aiming at the wrong target. Their objection is to Government policy. We should all be glad we have armed forces, and that they are composed of men and women who are ready at need to defend the rest of us with their lives. If we are unhappy about what they do and how they do it, we should challenge the Government about this, not the army!

Where were all these people who so vehemently oppose the war when there was an election held AFTER the decision to invade. That was the time for effective action that would not have set one part of the nation against another.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Nearly there!

The coldest Easter I can remember -poor hedgehog! I gave him a new roof today (upturned wheelbarrow), and I've also arranged for a trellis to be put up for the honeysuckle on Monday.

Now I'm all excited because it's nearly Easter Sunday!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Is it the end of the world?

As we demolished the old garden shed today, our brutal destruction of the floor revealed a hibernating hedgehog. Poor thing! It must have thought it's world had come to an end. We did our best to create substitute shelter, in the hope of keeping him alive until the warmer weather, but we had nothing as solid and weatherproof as his extensive wooden ceiling to offer.

My prayer for today is for everyone who feels their world has come to an end - as the disciples thought on the dreadful day of Jesus' crucifixion. May they hold onto both courage and hope, and may they come through to their own personal Easter Sunday of joyful and renewed life.

And please, Lord, may our little hedgehog survive!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Passover

Tonight Christians remember the Passover meal that was the last meal that Jesus shared with his friends.

Some of us prepare a plate like the Jewish Seder plate, with a lamb shank bone, to remind us of the sacrificial lamb - we believe that for us the lamb is the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice is enough to take away the sins of the whole world. Therefore the angel of death passes over us, as he passed over and spared the Jewish people on their last night in Egypt. Then there is the salt water, which reminds us both of the bitter tears that the Jews wept in their bondage in Egypt, and also that we wept when we recognised our bondage to sin. The bitter herbs remind the Jews that life at first seemed sweet with the Egyptians, but later became bitter. So it was with us and sin. We have the unleavened bread, which reminds us of the Jews preparing in haste to flee into the desert, but also of the body which the Messiah allowed to be wounded with the stripes of flogging, and nailed to a cross despite being still unleavened by sin. The Charoset reminds us of the mortar for the pyramids and palaces which the Jews built for the Egyptians, and also of the fact that, through the Holy Spirit, we are built into one body, the Church. The roasted egg is a symbol of mourning for the temple that was destroyed. Christians remember especially the body of the Messiah, that appeared to be destroyed by death on the Cross. On Easter Sunday we will smash the eggs and proclaim that the tomb could not hold him, for he is risen. Hallelujah!

Finally,our practice with the Elijah cup proclaims that the Messiah has already come, for he took this cup after the supper and said, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

My prayer for today is for the love of Jesus Christ to become real and personal for every single person who needs forgiveness and peace with God.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Recycling day

My challenge to me for this week (or maybe I mean this fortnight .... or even this month) is to get my life laundry done. A "life laundry" is a clearing out of all the things you've kept that you don't in fact use or need.

So today I've cleared out and recycled:
* books (Oxfam)
* household linen (Help the Aged)
* china (Age Concern and the local hospice)
* cardboard (Household Recycling Centre)
* wood (Ditto)

I've also turned a lot of woody garden waste into wood ash. (Another lovely burn-up!)

My prayer for today is that that everyone will strive to do their bit for our planet, especially anything that will help to combat climate change, with its devastating effects on the world's poorest people.

Please see:


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

For retired friends

Everyone says, "When you're retired, you'll be so busy, you'll wonder how you ever found time to go to work." This is true.

The other sad truth is that, however busy you are, it's no longer a good enough excuse not to do the housework.

I pray today for all my retired friends, that they will find both meaning and joy in their lives, and not get bogged down with chores.

Monday, 17 March 2008

At last! A sunny Monday

Such a beautiful day to be out in the garden, even if I did have a ginormous job to do, clearing up the honeysuckle that the gale blew off my shed roof. I hadn't really cut it back for years and years, because I quite liked it rambling everywhere. That'll teach me!

When I came in to catch the evening news, all was gloom and doom about the crisis on the world's financial markets. So my prayer today is for all those people who are trying to get on the housing ladder, but who will now find it harder to get a mortgage. Dear Lord, please help them to find a home where they feel comfortable and secure, even if they can't own one yet. I also want to pray for all the people who won't be able to pay their mortgage for whatever reason this year. Heavenly Father, I pray that you would watch over them, help them to manage their siuation as well and as calmly as possible, and to find new homes where they can be happy. May they know the peace and assurance of your never failing love for them.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A day for saying thank you

Thank you, God for my beautiful daughter, who came house-hunting with me today.

Seeing other people's houses makes me want to say thank you so much. Lord, for my wonderful garden and its wildlife. Thank you for my big kitchen and convenient utility room. Thank you for the morning sun in my bedrooms and lounge. Thank you for the evening sun in my kitchen.

I pray now for everyone who is homeless, and especially for those who are roofless. I think of the Iraqi Christian refugees in particular, and also of everyone in Dorset who has nowhere safe and warm to lay their head at night. Watch over them all, Father, and bring them safely through their ordeal to a place they can call their own, where they can feel secure.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Wet Friday

Friday has no right to be wet and grey! I took a walk with a big wet puppy and his owner, which meant I at least got some full spectrum light, and did some chores like re-writing an assignment. (The pic definitely can't be my young friend - he doesn't do standing still.)

To my great disgust, I've discovered that I have more friends on Facebook, which is seriously boring compared to myspace, despite having such nice people on it.

My prayer for today is for my poor brother and everyone else who is suffering from flu at present. May they recover in peace, and return to full health and strength soon.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Too Late? Too Difficult?

With new legislation about age discrimination, it will be interesting to see if I get an interview for the job I applied for today. It requires someone to be the public face of the organisation, so I would normally expect them to be looking for young and attractive - we'll see!

My prayer for today is for people who constantly live with pain. I pray for two things, Father. First, that people will understand just how debilitating and disabling pain is. Second, that you would show me how best to pray. Of course I long for everyone to be healed of their pain. Is that something within our area of responsibility, Lord, or something only your sovereign power can achieve?

I pray for all research into pain relief to be guided and inspired by your Holy Spirit; for all with responsibility for the medical care of people in pain to play heir part conscientiously and to the full, and for your loving presence to give comfort and hope to those in pain. For nothing is too difficult for thee!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Day 30 of 30 days of prayer for the voiceless, and the topic is slavery.

Lord, please help each one of us to feel in our own hearts, minds, bodies and spirits what it must be like to be a slave, and so to know your burning desire that all humans beings should be free. Jesus said, "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed." I thank you for Jesus, our redeemer and liberator, and pray that you will help us all to end slavery in my lifetime.

Father, I know that this means we need more William Wilberforces and Caroline Coxes, and I pray that you would raise them up in every nation, and draw around them the support they need.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Dear Lord, although we cannot understand Iran, or the moral code by which its leaders live, we know you do understand, and you love all the Iranian people as much as all other people on earth.

I pray for your blessing on them and that your Holy Spirit would be at work, in Iran as elsewhere, to lead human beings into all truth, especially the truth of your love for every single individual human being, of whatever race, creed, gender or culture, and despite any or all imperfections of body, mind or spirit.

Single mothers

Paul and Susi Childers point to the economic deprivation and hard work of being a single mother. I pray for all single mothers and their children who are experiencing poverty, that they may be lifted out of that poverty, and may know economic security. I also pray for strength and wisdom, that mothers will be able to do the work that is necessary, but will know when to stop, and give time to their children.

Lord, you know how much more than these things oppresses single mothers and their children. Please comfort them in their heartaches, and assure them of your love and care.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


Lord. this old world is depriving itself by denying many girls and women an education. For the sake of justice, peace, healthier families and release from poverty, I pray that you would turn this situation around, and help us to use all the talents of all our fellow human beings.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Missing Women

The world's population is missing millions of women because of selective abortion, gender-related violence, deprivation and discrimination.

Poor world! Lord, have mercy on us.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Day 25 of Prayer for the Voiceless focuses on the issue of dowries, particularly as it affects women in India. See, for example,

Lord, I pray for women for whom their husband's expectation of a dowry has become not only a burden for their family, but a threat to their life itself. I pray that you would lead the men of India, and other countries where a dowry system prevails, to value their brides for their own sake, and to learn the joy of mutual love and support.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Violence against women

Day 24 of prayer for the voiceless is for women who have experienced a sexual assault. I would like to include men who have been violated in this horrible way as well.

Father of mercy and of justice, I pray for healing for all those wounded by rape, and for protection for all those at risk. Help us, Lord, to look after ourselves where that is possible, to come under the protection of our communities and societies, where that would make a difference, and to come under heavenly protection where nothing else will avail.

I pray especially for children to be protected.

Father, please may all societies recognise this as a most horrible crime, and deal with it accordingly. And finally I pray that we will learn to create societies where this kind of crime is less likely. Where we glorify de-personalised relationships for our own self gratification, help us, as a whole society, to repent of this and to see its consequences.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Day 23 of Prayer for the voiceless asks for prayer for Africa. Paul and Susi Childers ask for prayer for the problems of AIDS, low life expectancy, lack of education and sex trafficking.

Lord, hear our prayer that you would help Africa's people and governments to address these problems.

Hear our prayer also for:
* Zimbabwe's elections this month to be free and fair, and to lead to real change which will benfit all Zimbabwe's people

*Kenya's tribal conflict to be resolved peacefully

*Sudan's peace process continue to build unity, justice and right relationships. May the new Archbishop be able to give a strong and inspiring lead to the whole country as Sudan recovers from long years of civil war.

* The UN forces in Darfur to receive more support, and to bring peace and reconstruction to the area, and safety to all its people.

*Somalia's Christians to be protected from persecution.

Saturday, 2 February 2008


Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time passing.

If only, like flowers, human beings could protest by lying down and dying when they have suffered too much.

If only, Lord, like the sky, we could be shiny and new after storms in our lives.

If only, Lord, like a computer screen, we could clear our memories of expeiences that are just too terrible.

If only, Lord, we could learn from our past to guide our future.

As none of these things are true, I pray you would be merciful to all the women and children who are innocent victims of war. Extend to them your compassion and protection as war passes over and through their homes, their families and their bodies. Breathe healing into their damaged hearts and lives and limbs, and new life into their ability to live in love and hopefulness.

Bless the peacemakers, the reconcilers and the reconstruction workers. Bless the encouragers, who dream dreams and paint visions for peoples and nations ravaged by war.

And forgive us, Lord, for all the wars we are guilty of, through word or deed or inaction.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Relating rightly

This is my twenty-first prayer for the voiceless, Lord, and I'm feeling so sad. Is there no end to the ways in which this world will degrade and abuse women and girls? Isn't it time we cried out for justice? for freedom? for right ways of relating that respect each person in the relationship?

If God can honour Rahab, if Jesus can enable the woman at the well to be his first apostle, can the world not see that women are just as much your children, whoever they are, whatever they do or have done to them, as any other human being?

And can they not see that to be your loved child is to have innate dignity and worth?

Father, I pray that you will so act, that no-one will find it profitable to exploit women and their bodies.

I really believe I can pray this in the name of your son, who loved and valued women without ever exploiting them.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Honour killings

After the conviction of a father and uncle for an honour killing of a lovely 20- year-old woman, Detective Inspector Caroline Goode is reported as saying:

"Clearly there is no honour in killing."

Caroline added, "I think it is the ultimate betrayal for a parent to kill a child."

Thank you, Lord, for detectives like Caroline, who will uncover and prosecute such crimes.

Dear Father God, I pray that you would both comfort and protect the victim's sister, who is reported to be hiding from her family. The sister is quoted as saying:

"To do this to their own flesh and blood was unforgivable. Forgiveness isn't even a question. They don't deserve to be on this earth."

Dear Lord, please heal this young woman, who must have suffered shock, terror and grief. In your mercy, Lord, I pray that you would also heal the souls of those who feel it necessary to kill for honour. I pray that in your willingness to forgive, you would cleanse their hearts of all such thoughts, and show them the sanctity of human life. I pray that they would see parenthood as a sacred trust and privilege, granted by you, and never to be abused in this way.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Teenage mothers

Dear Lord,

I thank you that Mary, mother of Jesus, was willing to carry the child for whose arrival the world had waited so long. Thank you Lord or Jesus, who was that child.

The developed world is now seeing teenage pregnancy as a problem, citing the likelihood that teenage mothers will not complete their education, that they will bring their child up alone, and in poverty, and that both the child and the mother will be at risk of social exclusion.

The developed world points to the high infant mortality in countries where teenage marriage is commonplace, forgetting that it is more likely to be poverty than the age of the mother which is the risk factor.

Father, my prayer is for every child who is born to be a planned and wanted baby. I pray that no child in the whole world should be brought up in such poverty that his or her physical, educational or emotional health and development is at risk. I know that the change has to start with those who have the economic power to make a change. Please help Christians in the developed world to maintain a concern for and a focus on children of all nations, and to see them as a priority.

I also pray that you will fill young people with a knowledge and respect for their own potential, and enable them to develop to fulfill their own potential and their own dreams.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Female Genital Mutilation

According to the United Nations, three million girls a year are subjected to genital mutilation. For the average girl, there is no use of anaesthetic or sterilized instruments. The damage done is irreversible.
(See: http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sudan/infocusnews.asp?NewsID=1015&sID=24
http://www.stopmgfe.org/client/sheet.aspx?root=318&sheet=1435&lang=en-US )

Lord, may your creation be respected and honoured. May all people understand that every part of a girl's body is created good and clean, and for a purpose which you have designed.

Father, I pray that you would empower the women of countries and cultures where FGM is practised to gain respect for their own bodies, to organise themselves to advocate for their sisters and daughters to be protected from this brutal violation and to change hearts and minds so that both laws ands customs hold this practice as wholly unacceptable.