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14 September 2019


Westchurch Laments - Written at a round-table service - 18 August 2019

Human violence

You are the God of love
We come to you in anguish

We see people mistreating the ones they should care for
Destroying each other in vicious cycles
We grieve for the children who witness such behaviour and are worried about what will become of them
We see violence coming from the misuse of drugs and alcohol – and people’s lives are torn apart

We know this is not what you want for your world
We believe you are the God of love and peace and healing

Help us to see each other as you see us
Give us loving and compassionate hearts
Break the cycles of violence and hate and isolation
Bring healing to families and communities that are torn apart
Make us instruments of your peace

We don’t know how you are going to do this – and we may not live to see the resolution of human violence
But we trust in your love and promise of salvation and renewal

God of mercy – Hear our prayer

Sanctity of Life

Dear God,

We thank you that you are the creator, sustainer and ender of life.

We've got a problem. We see people divided on issues of abortion, euthanasia, abuse, war, slavery etc. We know you value life, but we also understand that these issues aren't crystal-clear and people suffer because of our confusion. We grieve for those who suffer and have suffered.

We ask for your wisdom, compassion and discernment of the issues that threaten the sanctity of life. Help us to deal compassionately with other points of view and to find a path forward.

Thank you for hearing our concerns and for your love for each one of us.

We pray in Jesus' name,

Treaty and Bible 
Oh God – Creator of all peoples
We acknowledge the injustices of the past
We desire an end of injustice
We, the Church have failed to be vocal over historical land grabs
Greed drove the injustice

The Church has failed to protect the integrity of the Treaty of Waitangi 
Failed to hold to the truth of the Bible
Our education system has failed in teaching us our history

Lord, you set the times and living places for all people groups
Lord we cannot right all the wrongs of the past
Help us to acknowledge the past
Bring about restitution
Give Maori the ability to have autonomy and mana

Lord you will judge all injustice
You will put aright all things in the end

We pray this in the name of Jesus, our Saviour and King

Christchurch Mosque Shootings

God the creator, creator of our uniqueness, creator of each race and tribe.

God why is there so much hatred?
Why can one man cause so much pain?
How could this happen? And in our city?

Reveal how we could have done better. Forgive us our complacency.

Do not allow division and hatred among us. Draw us together.
Look into our hearts, cause us to consider our responses to others, cause us to live peacefully among our neighbours, may we take every opportunity to be inclusive and welcoming and grow relationships.
Give our leaders wisdom in their decisions and law making.

Praise you Lord that through this tragedy unity has been displayed to the world and many New Zealanders have stood against the evil actions of one.
Praise you for the compassion that has been ignited in our community, may you cause this to continue and grow.

People Displaced from their Homes

Father God, maker of heaven and earth.

We look out into the world, and we see so many people (63 million refugees) displaced by war, famine or government edict. 
We look at our own city, and we see people who lack so much that we take for granted, who need a place to call home. 
The world is filled with people who come from nowhere and need to find somewhere to be. 

God, we believe that you are in control and are working in these situations, even though we can't see it. 

We pray that you will be with each of the people who are in these situations.
We pray that you will help us see and address the needs around us. 
We pray that you will work to bring an end to war, famine, hatred and displacement. 

God, these are huge and difficult issues. We grieve them, and we know you grieve them. We know that you hear us, and we thank you that you are working in the world to set things right. Amen. 

Psalm 79: an attack on God

God, we are feeling completely dislocated,
  Trampled down,
  Stomped all over
We belong to you.

Why, why are you letting this happen
To us?
Stop punishing US for the wrongs THEY have done -
Can't you see that this is just 

Why aren't you doing something to THEM,
Attacking them back - after all,
It's really YOU they are going after,
We are just the means they are using to get at you

Aren't you able - aren't you willing -
  to show your power?
Aren't you interested in upholding your reputation?

It's justice we are looking for - justice -
  For us, that is;
Where is it?

We really think you CAN do it -
So we are going to praise you - permanently -
....but only when we've actually seen you act.........

Canterbury Earthquakes

Oh Lord,

How long must people live with the enormous burden dealing with:
Injuries (mental and physical)
loss of neighbourhood and communities
loss of trust in systems set up to protect them
financial loss
loss of a sense of peace and confidence
a sense of isolation and frustration

All these are too big for people to deal with, albeit some parts of the communities have more to deal with than others.

Lord, we believe you will address all these needs in your time.

You are sovereign, a powerful and compassionate God.
Hear our prayer:
comfort for the distressed
justice for those treated unfairly
peace and well-being for those suffering

Give us eyes to see the needs and show us how we can respond.

So in time, we will praise you and give thanks for restoration of our communities.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Lament that the nation is turning away from God 

Our God

We mourn that our nation no longer looks to you. 

Sunday morning ‘worship’ now takes place at shopping malls. 

Churches built to honour you as a place of worship have been turned into cafes or converted for other secular uses. 

Children are no longer following the faith of their fathers and in a culture & atmosphere where we mustn’t offend people are not standing up for what they believe.

We confess that your church has failed. She has sought her own comfort and has become invisible.

Our God we cry out to you to bring this period of decline to an end. 

Stir up your people to respond.