I came across this beautiful, yet challenging, excerpt from a compassion liturgy while leading worship at St Michael’s Church in Bryanston last month. The wording is quite poignant as it describes many of the hurts of this world juxtaposed alongside Jesus’ expansive mission. However, notice also the dynamic interaction in the text between the call and response paragraphs. We call on God for His power and intervention, swiftly followed by the response chorus, which returns the call to action to join with Jesus in His work.

I share it with you by way of invitation to pray with me as we trust God to mould us all, in His great compassion, into the likeness of Jesus, so that we might join Jesus more and more in His life-giving work.

 

Do not rush the words; but savour each line, each phrase, each word.

There is abundant life available when we indulge in persistent and unhurried prayerful communion with our God. It opens the way for the Spirit of God to perform His great gardening work within our hearts, our souls, our lives.

A Call to Compassionate Prayer

Lord God, in Jesus

You touched the suffering,

Listened to the ignored,

Gave the depressed hope.

You bandaged the broken with love and You healed them.

We believe that Your power to heal is still present.

So, on Your help we call.

 

Through our lives and by our prayers,

Your kingdom come.

Lord God, in Jesus Your body was broken by the cowardly and the powerful. The judgement hall of Pilate knew Your silence as surely as Your critics knew Your voice.

 

In word and silence, take on the powerful of the world today:

Those whose word sentences some to cruelty or unmerited redundancy;

Those whose word transfers wealth or weapons for the sake of profit or prejudice;

Those whose silence condones the injustice they have the power to change, yet choose to remain indifferent.

O Saviour of the down-trodden, free your people.

Through our lives and by our prayers,

Your kingdom come.

We remember those whose minds are menaced by thoughts which worry or overwhelm them.

We remember those whose hearts are broken because love has gone, or because the light they lived by has turned to darkness.

We remember those whose feet walk in circles;

Stopping only when they are tired,

Resting only to walk in circles again.

 

We remember those whose flesh and bone or mind and spirit are filled with pain.

We remember those who feel discarded or disposable.

O Christ, place Your hands on them.

Through our lives and by our prayers,

Your kingdom come.

Lord God, by the authority of Scripture we learn that we are the Body of Christ. Even though we are different, we are still Your Body.

Lord, make us like You that our souls may be the stained glass through which Your light and purpose bring beauty and meaning to each other and to the world.

O Living Lord, fill us with compassion and trust.

Through our lives and by our prayers,

Your kingdom come.

Your kingdom come in joy and generosity,

in the small and the large,

the ordinary and the special;

And to You be the glory, now and always.

 

Amen

Reference:

This liturgy was written by John L. Bell. He is an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland, a member of the Iona Community and develops resources with the Wild Goose Resource Group.