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St Luke's Church, Eccleshill, Bradford, UK

Bringing the good news of Jesus to the people of Eccleshill.
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Common Worship
Morning Prayer
Evening Prayer
Night Prayer

Morning Prayer
for tomorrow

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Daily Prayer

"Prayer" is communicating with God. We all stand on the level with God, and no-one else can tell us how we ought to pray. So let the vicar be quiet on this subject!

Except ... if we want to communicate with the real God instead of a god we made up, we should pray the way God said he wants us to!

We Christians believe God has revealed himself in the bible and particularly in Jesus, so we have always tried to pray the way Jesus said and the way the bible says.

Jesus taught a prayer - the "Lord's Prayer". He called God "Father" ("Abba", which means "Daddy" in the language he used). Jesus taught us to ask, to seek, and to knock in prayer, and to relate to God as we would relate to a loving Father. Some of the first Christians' prayers are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul advises us to "pray constantly", and in the Old Testament one of the psalms says "I will praise you seven times a day".

This is why monasteries and religious communities originally had 7 services each day. But 7 a day is too much of a straightjacket - it makes something which should be free into a system of rules. And it's too much of a burden for people who have to work and look after families and do other things in life. So the Church of England combined them into two services - Morning and Evening Prayer.

What do we do in Morning and Evening Prayer? Three things:

  • we centre down on God and focus on him, using words or music for praise and worship;
     
  • we read the bible: a psalm, an Old Testament reading, and a New Testament reading - and we let God speak to us;
     
  • we respond by talking to him about the issues which the bible mentions, the things we'll be doing / have done during the day, and the concerns on our hearts; and we say the words Jesus taught us.

More recently the Church of England has also launched "Prayer during the day" (to help us with private "Quiet Times") and "Night Prayer" (also called "Compline") have been launched in the Church of England.

It's part of the clergy's job to pray, but for too long the ordinary people have left it to the clergy and not joined in - and the clergy haven't helped them. Isn't it time this changed?

John Hartley


The above formed an article in our Link magazine. But it's easier to write about prayer than to pray. So here are some prayers for our church at Eccleshill. Please pray them as you read them through.

 
For the world:

Dearest Lord, as we come into the warmth of your presence, please help us to empty our selves of all our misconceptions and all the things that block out your golden grace. We are so often full of our own opinions, fears and resentments that we fail to see clearly the life that you wish us to lead.

Lord, in your great love, you made all the peoples of the world to be one great family. Please help us all of different races and cultures to learn to love, understand and accept one another. Please take away our hatred, our jealousy and our prejudice, and please show us how to live together in harmony and peace.

We most humbly beseech you, so to work in the hearts of all men and women that our world can be at peace at last. We ask that those people who feel they must keep their nation at war will finally come to realise that fighting will never solve the world's problems.

Let the worlds politicians, generals and their counsellors stop and listen to the advice of those people who keep company with you.

We pray for all those who are fighting abroad and ask that our own service people will be able to return to their own country very soon. We pray for the people of war-torn countries who will have to rebuild their country.

We pray for the forgotten wars in many parts of the world, and the continued unrest in countries which have suffered wars in the past.

There is so much suffering in our world; so much fighting so much deprivation that it sometimes feels that there is nothing we can do. Please help us to continue to trust in your unfailing love and never to stop praying or cease to look for your will in every situation.

Please most merciful Lord let there be peace not just between nation and nation but in the hearts and minds of all people.

 
For our church:
We pray for all the clergy of this world. Please give them peace and joy in their hearts. Draw them closer to you so that strengthened by your grace they are able to guide and correct us.

We ask your blessing on John our vicar and all his family: strengthen the bonds of love between them and hold them safely in your arms.

Help each one of us to do our part in caring for the congregation through our prayers and our actions. Show us how to support those in need. Show us how to be prepared to share whatever is required. Show us how to be ever watchful for those who are lonely or depressed.

Gracious Lord we thank you for the blessing of friendship. We pray that our family of St Luke's may learn the art of friendship one with another. We pray that you will give us joy in our hearts that will reflect the love that you have for us.

Please help us to recognise your presence within us each and every day. Help us when we are tired to control our tempers and to take thought for others. Make us loving and patient, forgiving others as you forgive us.

Help our church to grow together, hearing about you, learning about you and loving you. Help us to serve you faithfully for the rest of our lives.

 
For the sick, suffering, dying and bereaved:
Help us to be cheerful with those who are downhearted and comforting to those who need to be comforted.

Please comfort and heal all those who suffer in body mind or spirit especially those who are known to us and part of our family here at St Luke's.

Please bless all people who suffer the distress of bereavement and we ask that they will remember to turn to you for comfort and support. We pray that you will give them courage in their troubles and bring them the joy of your salvation.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of St Luke and of all your saints we commend ourselves and the whole of creation to your unfailing love. Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Common Worship
Morning Prayer
Evening Prayer
Night Prayer

To help us through the mechanics of which words to use, we are providing on this web site a link to the Church of England's daily services, which have all the bible readings and the seasonal psalms added in so they can be used without any fuss. You'll find the links in the left-hand column of this page (at the top and opposite). It is also possible to find the Book of Common Prayer services (in old language) by clicking on the link below and following the directions there.

Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.

 

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This web page was last updated on 27th January 2010.