By Neil Paynter
Fifty new prayers from old and young and from folks world wide – from Glasgow to Cincinnati, from Malawi to Alaska – that will be utilized in an everyday self-discipline, many at the matters of the Iona neighborhood – poverty and fiscal justice, welcome and hospitality, interfaith discussion, church renewal, peacemaking.
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There is a connection between invisibility and violence. 1 We make visible what is hidden, to ourselves first, and look for where our prayer will be earthed. 2 Kathy Galloway, Living the Rule: The Rule of the Iona Community (Wild Goose Publications) Essentially, prayer is about listening to God – that God who inhabits the deepest places of our being. Peter Millar, Our Hearts Still Sing (Wild Goose Publications) How many are the individuals who rightly decide to engage in personal prayer, but wrongly take care that the answer to prayer – the power of God coming into them – is not allowed to have issue through them and out into the world.
On demos and marches: to root myself firmly in the Word. And I think of it as counter-cultural: carrying a pocketbook of prayers around with you in your coat or handbag or rucksack at a time in the West when there is an attack, by the Conservative Party and others, on the poor, on asylum seekers and immigrants – on Christ in the stranger – and in intellectual circles, on God. There are prayers here for the renewal of global and local community, and for recharging the battery of your mobile phone: ‘Either He is the Lord of everything or He is Lord of nothing,’ wrote George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community.
We pray for the public-spirited, for local activists, for noisy neighbours and for those who hide in lonely rooms. These people, these activities, they are your gift to us. And we are your gift to them. Thank you, living God! Brian Woodcock, England FROM THE GRASSROOTS Lord God of all, who out of nothing created this universe and launched it on its way in nebulae and starry clusters; who opened the eyes of the prophet to see life-giving possibilities in a valley of dry bones; who raised Jesus Christ from the dead; give us the insight, when situations seem without hope, to stand before you as did Ezekiel, empty-handed and expectant, to affirm what you, the source of life, may do which is beyond our power.