By Neil Paynter
Fifty new prayers from old and young and from folks worldwide – 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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Extra resources for 50 New Prayers. From the Iona Community
The reality of worship and prayer is not found in abstraction from life but in engagement with the kingdoms of this world, in light of the promise that they will become God’s Kingdom. It is the whole world which is to be brought in and spread out before God when the people assemble, as Hezekiah spread out his letter. It is sin in all the dimensions in which it thwarts God’s loving purpose, small-scale and large-scale, which is to be confessed. It is the whole field of the world which is to be irrigated by forgiveness, offered up with hope and expectation, entered into by a company prepared to present their bodies as ‘a living sacrifice’.
O Eternal Chancellor of love, through the centuries of accumulating interest, our multiple accounts have gone into arrears; our outstanding loans remain toxic; our borrowings in months and pounds have been unwisely and selfishly spent, when they should have been credited to the statement sheet of the world and all people, and not just a few. May we, with you, re-audit our assets of time and money, and recalculate our budgets so that they become redeeming, redistributional and just. May deep gratitude replace our unthinking expenditure; and may deeper compassion more regularly repay the excessive capital of your love.
When we need challenge teach and stretch us. And when we need rest provide a stopping place on the way. ’ We know that that gives you your unique place – the centre which is life-giving, which we can affirm by grace. We know that it is to you and no other that all authority is given in heaven and on earth. Yet we confess that your church is continually tempted to raise other authorities to positions which may distract from your unique centrality. So we give thanks for the sign provided by small Christian communities that to gather in your name is to relate to the only authority that matters; that since such communities ‘are self-convened before the Living-Word-in-Christ, without human masters’ * they tell us to seek you alone as we find our way through life.
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