This month's prayers are written by Pat Bennett.
Pat is a mature postdoctoral researcher working at the interface between science and theology. She is a member of the Iona Community and a regular contributor to Wild Goose Publications.
5 January (Second Sunday after Christmas Day)
'In the beginning was the Word ... to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.' (John 1:1,12)
move over the chaos within me,
calling forth form and order,
that I may know you in my shaping,
and in the shaping,
surrender my life to yours.
pierce the darkness within me,
calling forth insight and understanding,
that I may know you in my seeing,
and in seeing,
follow the way of your kingdom.
indwell the life within me,
calling forth passion and purpose,
that I may know you in my living,
and in living,
embody you for the world.
Pat Bennett, from Hay and Stardust, Wild Goose Publications, 2009
6 January (Feast of Epiphany)
'On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.' (Matthew 2:11)
Give us the perseverance and courage
to seek out and approach you
- wherever you are to be found;
Grant us the vision and understanding
to see and recognise you
- whenever we might meet you;
Gift us the grace and generosity
to respond freely and fully
- whatever you might ask of us.
12 January (First Sunday after Epiphany)
'A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth.' (Isaiah 42:3-4)
God of faithful justice -
Give us gentle hands and tender hearts
as we stand with those who suffer,
and give us also
resolute hands and unquenchable hearts
as we stand against those who oppress.
19 January (Second Sunday after Epiphany)
'I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind.' (1 Corinthians 1:4-5)
'I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation.' (Psalms 40:10)
God of revelation and epiphany -
Through the words of the prophets
You have shown us the world
of your dreaming and longing:
A world built on justice,
overflowing with plenty,
and crowned with joy.
And through the coming of Emmanuel -
his living and loving,
his words and actions -
you have shown us
how such a world might be fashioned.
Help us to take, hold and grow into these understandings;
and, like Jesus,
may we always be ready
to live generously,
and act courageously,
that the Kingdom of your dreaming,
with its justice, abundance and joy,
may become the present reality
of all the peoples of this world.
26 January (Third Sunday after Epiphany)
'The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.... For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.' (Isaiah 9:2,4)
O God -
When the world grows dark
and the advance of evil appears unstoppable,
may we never lose our vision
of Emmanuel's light.
When society seems uncaring
and indifference predominates,
may we never forget the warmth
of Emmanuel's love.
When people cry out for justice
but self-interest prevails,
may we never lose the fire
of Emmanuel's anger.
When we know we must speak out
but our tongue seems to shrivel,
may we draw boldness from the truth
of Emmanuel's proclamations.
When those we must confront are powerful
and our hearts grow fearful,
may we take strength from the courage
of Emmanuel's actions.
When the moment comes
and we must make our stand,
may it always be
at Emmanuel's side.
For more of our prayers, please use the red arrows below to see our prayers from previous months.