St John’s at Home - A prayer booklet for these times
This booklet has been produced to help you to continue with your journey of faith in your own home while we are unable to worship in St John’s Church.
Maybe you can pray ‘easily’ because God is always near, but if you are on the journey, as most of us are, it may help to have a special place where you pray. A simple candle or tea light with a bible, or flowers, or music may help you to turn towards God.
Prayer Lighten our darkness, we beseech you O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Spirit of the Lord, come down, Spreading your protective wing over all that you have made, infecting us with your most contagious love, this day and always. Amen.
This booklet is to encourage you to remember you are not alone. A team of people offering support is being co-ordinated by Rosanne Bond (01483 579462) and Helen Chambers (01483 846574). Please telephone them if you would like a phone call or need some help with shopping or a prescription. We are a strong community here in Merrow; we pray for each other, and care for one another. WE are the Church, not the building, and we are, and will continue to be A Community growing in faith.
We offer for your personal use one of these forms of daily prayer. It is recommended that you have a Bible within reach and suggested that you might like to play some peaceful music at the same time. You can begin each prayer by saying ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.’
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
Silence is kept.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me;
Christ beside me on my left and my right,
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek yet all powerful
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
In the mouth of each who speaks to me,
Lowly and meek, yet all powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me on my left and my right.
Scripture reading: Add your choice of reading here.
Prayer: Add your own intercessions here, or simply sit silently.
The Lord’s Prayer - Our Father…......
Blessing: May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors. In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
My brothers and sisters, our help is in the name of the eternal God, who is making the heavens and the earth. Eternal Spirit, flow through our being and open our lips, that our mouths may proclaim your praise.
Let us worship the God of love.
Verses of Psalm 119 (as many as you like) Prayers concluding with The Lord’s Prayer
O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate on you, and a life to proclaim you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen.
O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. Let your ways be known upon earth your saving power among the nations. You are in the midst of us, O Lord; and we are called by your name. (In Eastertide: Alleluia.)
A few words of prayer about the day are said here. Followed by: Teach us to live in this passing world with our hearts set on your eternal kingdom, where, freed from sin and redeemed by your saving power, we may praise and worship you for ever. Amen.
Then follows a time of Self-examination and Penitence. Maybe play some quiet music at this point.
A Psalm may be said (you could read 2 or 3 each evening)
A Bible reading may be read
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) (why not learn this by heart?)
1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
2From this day all generations will call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
3He has mercy on those who fear him, from generation to generation.
4He has shown strength with his arm and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
5Casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.
6He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, to remember his promise of mercy,
8The promise made to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children for ever. Luke 1.46-55
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Prayer – God of life, do not darken your light to us, God of life, do not close your joy to us, God of life, do not shut your door to us, God of life, do not refuse your mercy to us, God of life, crown us with your gladness. Amen.
Thanksgivings and Intercessions
The following Evening Collect is said.
God the source of eternal light, shed forth your unending day on us who watch for you; that our lips may praise you, our hearts bless you and our lives glorify you; through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Night Prayer (Compline)
Calm me O Lord, as you stilled the storm,
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm,
Let all the tumult within me cease,
Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.
By day the Lord directs his love
At night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.
Reflection: Review the day and hand it back to God in prayer.
Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.
The God of life with guarding hold you; the loving Christ with guarding fold you; the Holy Spirit, guarding, mould you; each night of life to aid, enfold you; each day and night of life uphold you.
May God shield me; may God fill me; may God keep me; may God watch me; may God bring me this night to the nearness of His love.
Prayer: O God, bless and keep my dear ones
in every place where they are.
(Name in your heart all those for whom you pray.)
The Lord’s Prayer is said.
Whoever has chosen to make the shelter of the Most High
their dwelling place will stay in His overshadowing.
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety.
He is my God and I am trusting him.
I will lie down and sleep in peace
for you alone Lord make me dwell in safety.
In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.Amen. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow. Most merciful God, we confess to you, before the whole company of heaven and one another, that we have sinned in thought, word and deed and in what we have failed to do. Forgive us our sins, heal us by your Spirit and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen. O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.
The following hymn may be sung
Before the ending of the day, Creator of the world, we pray That you, with steadfast love, would keep Your watch around us while we sleep. From evil dreams defend our sight, From fears and terrors of the night; Tread underfoot our deadly foe That we no sinful thought may know. O Father, that we ask be done Through Jesus Christ, your only Son; And Holy Spirit, by whose breath Our souls are raised to life from death.
The Word of God
Psalmody - Psalm 4, or Psalm 91, or Psalm 134
Scripture Reading - One of the following is read:
You, O Lord, are in the midst of us and we are called by your name; leave us not, O Lord our God. Jeremiah 14.9
Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in the faith. 1 Peter 5.8, 9
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me under the shadow of your wings.
The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) is said
Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace. Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace: your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people; A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel. Luke 2.29-32 Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen. Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.
Intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered here. The Collect Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
Silence may be kept.
Visit this place, O Lord, we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
In peace we will lie down and sleep; for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.
Abide with us, Lord Jesus, for the night is at hand and the day is now past. The Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace. Amen.
Loving God We pray for all those who are suffering because of the coronavirus, may they know your healing power. When we are afraid for ourselves and our loved ones, give us your strength and courage. When we feel alone and isolated, reassure us with a sense of your presence. Give wisdom to those in authority and may our community work together for the good of all. We give thanks for those who care for others and ask you to bless them in all they do. We ask this in the name of Jesus, healer and physician. Amen
Prayer by Diana Pinchin - A time to be still and at peace.
In silence you come to us as we seek to find you,
and welcome you into our hearts.
We open our inner thoughts to you.
And we seek your will for our lives,
as we sit is stillness with you.
Prayer is a two-way conversation,
words at times are not needed.
Silence and stillness are all we need,
both when alone and in a group.
Prayer is powerful, and can change lives,
Sometimes in a big way, but often it is a gentle push.
We need trust and confidence, to believe you have a job for us,
and we need to say yes, however hard the yes may be.
Prayer can bring release to those, in need of a healing touch.
We pray for that healing touch, whatever form the healing takes.
Prayer supports communities, who seek to know
the will of God, as churches reach out to those in need.
“Grant that I may not pray with my mouth alone; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart” Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Take your ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, work, and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1
You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness,
but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:1-5
Jesus said “So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.” Luke 11:9
My Lord God, I have no idea where I’m going,
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following Your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always,
Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen
I’ll go before you into the morning,
I’ll be beside you all of the day,
I’ll wait there for you at your home coming,
I’m deep within your heart always.
I am the tree within the forest
I am the flow within the stream,
I am the warmth within the sunlight
I am the song deep in your heart.
I am the joy within the sorrow,
I am the pleasure hid by pain,
I am the peace within the turmoil,
I am the one beyond all names.
I am the stillness in the dancing,
I am the calm beneath the waves,
I am the water of the ocean,
I am the air which all life breathes.
I am the moment which you’re living,
I am the present, I am now.
I am the wonder of all living,
I am the mover, remaining still. Sr. Hilda Mary CSC
“If you find it hard to pray, don’t give up. Be still; make space for God to come in; let Him look at you,
and He will fill you with His peace.” Pope Francis
Help me listen to the sounds of your world and find joy
in seeing the colour and shapes around me.
Give me discernment and courage to use
both words and silence for you and give me direction
that I may use my feet to walk in your path.
Make my hands gentle, caring, generous,
reaching out in love, not anger.
Help me to trust you and give me grace
to follow your path. Amen.
Sometimes we find it hard to be still and just ‘be’ with God. This is the time to read your bible or use the prayers of others.
There are many ways of using your own body to still yourself and letting it lead you into prayer. One way is sit comfortably,
but upright and concentrate on your own breathing until you are quiet. Be aware of the feel of the floor on your feet, and slowly let the feeling travel through your whole body.
Then stand up and be thankful for this moment.
Perhaps say The Lord’s prayer out loud.
Our Father, who art in heaven…
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.
A prayer of St Ignatius
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.
For those who are lonely
O God, our sovereign and our shepherd,
who brought again your Son Jesus Christ from the valley of death,
comfort us with your protecting presence
and your angels of goodness and love,
that we also may come home
and dwell with him in your house for ever. Amen.
For those in pain
Lord God, whose Son, Jesus Christ,
understood people's fear and pain before they spoke of them,
we pray for those in hospital;
surround the frightened with your tenderness;
give strength to those in pain;
hold the weak in your arms of love, and give hope and patience
to those who are recovering;
we ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
For those who mourn
Gracious God, surround us and all who mourn this day
with your continuing compassion.
Do not let grief overwhelm us, or turn us against you.
When grief seems never-ending, take us one step at a time
along your road of death and resurrection
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things. Amen.
Bless to us, O God, the moon that is above us,
The earth that is beneath us, the friends who are around us, your image deep within us, the rest which is before us. Amen.
O Lord God, from whom we come, in whom we are enfolded,
To whom we shall return: bless us in our pilgrimage through life;
With the power of the Father protecting,
With the love of the Son indwelling,
And the light of the Spirit guiding,
Until we come to our ending, in life and love eternal. Amen.
If you have internet access, download the Church of England Daily Prayer app and then listen to Morning and Evening Prayer on the St John’s website. www.saintjohns.org.uk.
We also recommend the prayasyougo.org app, sacredspace, and the Diocese of Guildford website.
Resources in this booklet have come from a wide variety of sources, including Daily Prayer from Church of England, The New Zealand Prayer Book, The Book of Common Prayer, The Northumbrian Community, and Bruce Carlin and Tom Jamieson’s book Daily Prayer. We hope you will find them useful.