This prayer comes from the late Rev. David Ogston, a much-missed Guest Preacher and cherished part of the Canonmills Family
Lord, have mercy upon us.
May God in His goodness turn our desert places
into gateways to new life,
opportunities for new obedience.
And may we turn us again to Himself,
cleaned and refreshed,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
The soles of your feet, O God, have touched the earth. The back street, the forgotten place, the outbuilding, the simple space has been given new importance as the meeting place of earth and heaven. Your light has shined into the darkest corners of human existence and, despite all that we do to shut you out, your radiance and your joy break into our lives. As we have knelt in wonder around the makeshift cradle of your coming this Christmas, so, in this new year, may our songs now rise to magnify your light to others and our unsuspecting bodies be used as the means through which you continue the mighty work of saving the world for which Christ came.
Now is the time for watching and waiting.
Now is the time, wherever we are. When the world was dark and the city was quiet you came – you crept in beside us.
Do the same this Christmas, Lord, Do the same this Christmas… In our watching and our waiting… Come, Lord, Come. In our hopes and in our fears… Come, Lord, Come… In the busyness of our lives and the still of the dark hours… Come, Lord, Come and lead us ON!
God of our journey – you travel with us towards a destination beyond our imagining. Your Presence with us nurtures hope within us and banishes our fears. We sometimes long for short-cuts but you take us by a long and winding road, guiding our footsteps and clouding the far horizon from our weary eyes, leading us through the darkness of despair and doubt by the fire of your spirit that warms our flickering faith into the will to journey on together. You teach us that the Promised Land is not some distant country of which we can only dream, but the familiar wilderness of every day. The Promise is that wherever we are, you are too. God of our journey, THAT is enough!
Creator God, as the days lengthen and the sun lingers longer in our eyes, we try to understand a little more clearly what you are like, although, much of the time, we don’t understand many things about ourselves and what makes us the kind of people we are. May none of the mistakes we have made when looking for you in the past, get in the way of finding you now.
You know how small and bewildered and unchangeable our minds can be, because you made us, and made us AS WE ARE.
Help us to open our minds and open our ears and open our eyes because of what and who YOU ARE. Amen.
Here we are God,
A new year – new resolutions, new hopes,
new problems, new decisions…
and the same old US.
We are determined to start afresh
But this year’s model of new men and women
looks much like last year’s.
Eternal God, you know us as we are.
You have seen better men and women than we
start the new year with the same sense of disappointment
that we can’t be changed, by miracle, overnight.
Help us to put ourselves ‘into your hands’
for your hands have been shaping lives
from generation to generation.
In your unchanging love, we would lose our broken promises and our failed hopes –
for, what ever else may crumble and break this year,
your faithfulness lasts for ever.
Grant that we may live this new year
believing in you, trusting in you,
relying on your love for us, so that,
at the year’s end,
we may not be just one year older,
but one year nearer you.