PSALM OF PRAYER (ALPHABET PSALM)
- Always and everywhere I praise your name
my God, I will give you thanks continually;
- in the morning it's the first day of the rest of my life
thanks, for all that has been, end my day in the evening.
- Praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ
for all the benefits you have won for me;
- each morning your love is proved afresh
every day for me is another resurrection.
- I bring my praises to you, Holy Spirit of God
you give me new enthusiasm and inspire me to be creative,
- you strengthen me when I need support
when I am unsure of the future, you will guide me.
- Because you always care for me, I give you all my love
you are my creator, I will trust in you for ever.
- You loved the world so much that you gave us your Son
so everyone who believes has life eternal.
- Your goodness is too large for me to comprehend
the greatness of your mercy is wider than the continents,
- your understanding higher than the clouds above me
your love is deeper than the oceans beneath.
- Whatever may happen to me, you have known it before
wherever I go, you are leading me onwards.
- In loneliness and pain, you are with me
in happiness and rejoicing, you are here among us.
- Cast all your cares on God, your creator
your maker, like a parent, sees you through your difficulties.
- Tell God your worries and they will be lessened
shout aloud your anger and Love will not forsake you.
- Your suffering is felt by the man of sorrows
the crucified Christ knows your dereliction;
- lay your burden at the foot of his cross
you can leave it there and walk away in freedom.
- Weep with your neighbour and God lightens your load
in the privacy of your heart God listens to your troubles.
- God's Spirit pleads for you as words can never do
your pain is carried by One who will redeem you.
- Dying brings people closer to one another
in the presence of death we have no words to utter.
- What can I say to a person bereaved
what words are of use to those who grieve?
- Jesus lived at a time of miracle-workers
he was expected to perform God's wonders,
- but behind it all was the caring of his presence
God was in him simply being with those in need.
- Your presence is more powerful than any words of mine
being requires more effort than mere activity.
- Be beside me, my God, for you are my strength
help me to be there for others when they need me.
- Every day I give you thanks and praise
you are my God and I'll always trust in you.
- For you are able to deliver me from evil
you will do what is best even when I don't recognise it.
- Everyone belongs to you, our God
and you don't merely belong to me.
- You are greater than all of us together
and friend to my enemies and opponents.
- Although I can't see the outcome, you will be beside me
whatever happens to me I am always in your hands.
- When good times come be with me also
help me then remember to give the glory to you.
- Forgiveness is your greatest gift
for you, God, are full of compassion and mercy.
- Jesus was friend of sinners
he understands our problems and our weaknesses.
- Holy Spirit mend our separateness
we live in broken communities, come and dwell among us.
- Our bodies and spirits are broken and need your healing
through the power of the cross, bring us hope and love.
- In spite of all our failures we're your creation
because of Jesus we have your forgiveness.
- Come close to us, hear us and heal us
may broken bread be the sign of your real and saving presence.
- God you are our hope and strength
Christ our supporter through all that happens,
- your Spirit fulfils our deepest longings
the Trinity of love is here among us.
- For the world belongs to God
the earth and all its people.
- How good and how exciting it is
to work together in unity.
- Love and faith have come together
justice and peace have joined their hands.
- If the Lord's disciples keep silence
the stones will shout out loud.
- How can I know you as God
are you to remain unknown and clouded in mystery?
- If you made us in your image to be like you
why can't I find human language to reach you?
- You are greater than human beings
you must be male and female
as we're both made in your likeness,
- should we then aim to be more inclusive
to reflect something more of your meaning?
- Since I cannot describe you or tie you down
release me from my search to encapsulate you fully,
- come to me and find me yourself
you have created, redeemed and discovered me already.
- If I can't honestly pray, I'll go through the motions
I'll say the words I remember, as if I meant them;
- if I lose hold on my faith, I'll behave as before
I'll act as if I believed, while I wait for you.
- For nowadays we believe in God as if you weren't there
it's as if you weren't acceptable in our culture.
- So come to me now as a new creation
a breath of fresh air in the cobwebs of my mind.
- For you're still a part of my life, even when I don't acknowledge you
though I may not always notice you, you're woven through everything.
- Heal me and I'll be completely well
rescue me and I'll be perfectly safe.
- Just as I am, you accept me, God
for you found me before I discovered you.
- I don't have to earn the right to be loved
for you have loved me since before I was born,
- so help me stand on my own
you're beside me to support and strengthen me,
- then I can help other people
I'll try to be ready to serve, and not to patronise.
- For that's how you enable me to be myself
you trust me to be adult and make my own decisions.
- Your faith fills me with fear as well as joy
you trust me more than I can trust myself.
- Knowing myself is not easy
as life rushes on and there's so much to be done.
- Until something happens that brings me up sharp
a crisis makes me think for the first time ever.
- That accident could have killed me
how can I go on, in fear of it again?
- That illness could have been the end of my partner
how should I ever survive without them?
- I had never reflected on my purpose in life
my questions had been only about getting what I want.
- Thank you for jolting me into thought
be with me as I work out what my life is for.
- Love came down to earth at Christmas
your Word became the flesh of humanity.
- Now love is exalted to the heavens
and Christ is King of all the world.
- It's God's love that rules over all things
stronger than death and greater than evil.
- The love of other people helps us see divinity here
and by loving, we too can share in your action.
- Nothing is more powerful than our love
wanting what is best for another will always conquer the world.
- We love, because you loved us first
- My heart was strangely warmed this evening in your presence
when you answer prayer I'm unsettled, and yet you strengthen me.
- When you speak to me it's not always in words
but it's clear and decisive and not only what I like.
- So have I heard a shout of terror
a cry of fear and not a murmur of peace.
- God says, “I will not let you go
but when I take hold of you, I shall be fair.”
- You have touched my heart again, and I am changed
you have taken me in your hand and now I must respond.
- Help me not forget this moment, but extend it
so may I be conscious of your presence every day.
- Now I think I know what you want me to do
but achieving it is much more complicated!
- Why don't others know your will so clearly
I'm angry that they will not take my word for it!
- Perhaps it's because what I want is my own idea
it's my selfishness, after all, and not your wishes.
- For I'm so impatient to get things done
and you are prepared to wait for years or centuries!
- I want to do your will
but I need to accept your readiness to be patient.
- I glory in the hope of human aspiration
but I'm frustrated by the bonds of our limitation.
- Open our lips to thank you, God
and our mouths shall proclaim your praises
- Let us worship God together
and give honour to your name for ever.
- But to praise you in public isn't always comfortable
my emotions today aren't the same as other people's.
- Our worship can be dull and boring
why should I be forced to be in tune with established patterns?
- Though at times I'm taken out of myself
you communicate with me whatever my surroundings!
- Help me to savour such a moment
show me enough of yourself to make my faith grow stronger.
- Praying to you is as easy as breathing
your Spirit is with me in my breathing in and out.
- As I breathe in, you come to live within me
as I breathe out, I express my trust in you.
- For you love me and have put your confidence in me
you made me and inspire me for the future;
- therefore I love you and offer you my loyalty
I relax in your presence and give thanks to you continually.
- My God, increase my faith in you
strengthen my confidence in Christ your Son;
- blow your Spirit within me
and I shall breathe your praises for ever.
- Quietness and confidence are your gift
you grant me peace that is beyond my understanding.
- I keep still for you are close to me
as you are beside me I can only be silent and wonder.
- In joy, you fill me with your glory
in sadness, your suffering upholds me in my tears.
- For happiness shared is a blessing increased
but sorrow shared is an evil divided.
- Precious to me is your trust in me
so I can remain in your love for ever.
- You have called me and you keep your promises
so I shall be confident in your continuing faithfulness.
- Rest eternal grant to them, our God
let light perpetual shine on them.
- For your love outlasts our life on earth
those who have died are always present with you.
- Whatever they have done is not wasted
you ask that the crumbs left over may be collected up,
- even the unworthy and unexciting
everyone has value in your kingdom.
- So help me be less guilty about my achievements
what I do is less important than who I am.
- It is by being myself that I have a part in you
and together we shall have life eternal.
- Spirit of God, be close to me once more
I want to pray but I don't know how.
- Can I just stay silent in your presence
or do I need special words to help me?
- “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God
have mercy on me a sinner.”
- The Jesus Prayer is a continuing comfort
repeating it can give me strength and sustenance.
- Or I can daydream in your presence
and be with Jesus in my imagination.
- Meditation helps me reflect on your closeness
in contemplation I can know your abiding love.
- Turn again, our God, and enliven us
that your people may rejoice in you.
- Make our hearts clean by your presence
and renew your true Spirit within us.
- Give us again the joy of your help
with your spirit of freedom sustain us.
- This is the day that you have given
we shall rejoice and be glad in it.
- We will not offer to God
offerings that cost us nothing at all.
- Let us go in peace and serve our God
we will seek peace and pursue it.
- Under your protecting arms I can be safe
peace comes to me in your guarding embrace.
- The world can be very threatening
full of so many forces of evil.
- In the face of the earthquake I shall trust in you
your love is more vivid than the lightning.
- I shall not be afraid of the demons of the future
the terror of spirits cannot ever control me.
- Your angels guard me all day long
the powers of wickedness are under your authority.
- Your love is stronger than death
your Spirit more potent than anything in all creation.
- Violence surrounds me on every side
murders and muggings seem to be more frequent.
- It is too simple to look for vengeance
would judicial murder stop a mad or drunken criminal?
- If not, then what protection have I left
can my faith keep me safe from every danger?
- Or is the greatest danger the fear inside myself
will you give me security from my worries?
- I need to see things in perspective
the world is no more violent than it was generations ago.
- So help me to trust in the future
you can conquer my panic by your loving protection.
- Wildernesses can blossom after rain
and flowers grow on wasted land.
- Nature will re-colonise the bog and the desert
we can reclaim the land that we have left long derelict.
- People say they are near you in a garden
some see you most clearly in blue sky and the natural world;
- you are present also in our human relationships
in our lives and work you are alive and working.
- Be alive in my desert and redeem my wasted time
teach me never to drink except from my own well;
- in my solitary place grow your life
through my wilderness lead me to discipleship.
- "X" is the mark I make to cast my vote
the cross of Christ becomes a symbol of my personal preference.
- “I” should be crossed through by you
help me to see my wishes in the light of your judgement.
- It's better to trust in you
for my own wishes are clothed in selfishness.
- Your Spirit enlightens and guides me
you can show me the way things may seem to others.
- Teach me by your continuing patience
for peace lasts longer than the anger of human beings.
- My view will so often be wrong
your kingdom will overcome, and all things will be complete.
- You spoke to me this morning, my God
you spoke and I was listening;
- not through the words I heard, but in spite of them
not in what I could hear, but directly in my mind.
- While I was occupied you were addressing me
I was following my bliss and you were there within me!
- So many things you sum up in your presence
my life and my love are taken up in you.
- You are full of sweetness and quiet repose
you bring absolute demand, searching and exhausting me.
- For from beyond me, you face me with love
your understanding of me is beyond my understanding.
- Zeal for your kingdom has taken me over
I stand for what's right, the issues are simple -
- why don't other people see it so clearly
why is evil so powerful in your creation?
- Everyone is selfish
yet you are loving to your children who reject you,
- we are full of weaknesses
but you care for us in spite of what we do.
- Here I stand for your justice
I will pronounce your peace in my own generation.
- Your right is stronger than people or nations
your glory is over all our world for ever and ever.
vv. 39-42 and 115-120 based on Iona Community worship.
vv. 133-138 written for and used at the National Garden Festival, Gateshead.