No. 1/2010 (8) No. 1/2011 (9) No. 1/2012 (10) No. 1/2013 (11) No. 1/2014 (12)


Let my prayer be counted as incense before you.”
Ps 141: 2


Forgive us, Lord, and Gather your Scattered People!

For the little importance we have accorded to that word coming from your divine Heart: 'I have other sheep who are not from this fold: I must also bring them and they shall hear my voice':
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
For our controversies sometimes full of irony, of narrowness of spirit, or exaggeration with regard to our Christian brothers and sisters in other Churches, for our intransigence and our severe judgments:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
For all acts of violence, deserving blame, wrought by us in the past and even today against our Christian brothers and sisters:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
For all attitudes of pride and self sufficiency that we may have shown across the ages to our Christian brothers and sisters, and for all our failures of understanding toward them:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
For our bad examples in conduct, which have retarded, diminished or destroyed the effects of grace in the souls of others:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
For forgetting to offer prayer, frequent, fervent, fraternal, on their behalf:
We ask you to forgive us, Lord.
Across the frontiers of language, race and nation:
Unite us, Jesus.
Above our ignorance, our prejudices, our instinctive hostility:
Unite us, Jesus.
Above our spiritual and intellectual barriers:
Unite us, Jesus.
O God, for the increase of your glory:
Gather your scattered people.
O God, for the triumph of good and of truth:
Gather your scattered people.
O God, that there may be but one fold and one Shepherd:
Gather your scattered people.
O God, to confound the pride of Satan and his hosts:
Gather your scattered people.
O God, that peace may at last reign in the world:
Gather your scattered people.
O God, to bring fulness of joy to the heart of your Son:
Gather your scattered people.

Paul Couturier
Picture: "There will be One Shepherd"
P.Couturier chose it for the
Prayer week for Unity in 1948

* * * * *

Sculpture near the chapel
built near the former Berlin Wall

Lord God,
Forgive us that we are not such as we ought to be: Your faithful, united nation.
Lord have mercy on us!

God, forgive us that Church Christ died for is divided and that it’s difficult to believe for the world that we have one faith and that we follow one Lord.
Lord have mercy on us!

Lord God forgive us that we have been rich among the poor, cowardly among the unjust ones, undecisive among the oppressed. Forgive that we haven’t known to distinguish Your presence among us. Help us to know ourselves as You know us. Grant that we are in peace with ourselves because then we’ll be open to others. Grant us to go where Your Spirit leads us.
Lord have mercy on us!

Eternal God, Your Spirit leads and sanctifies the Church. We thank you for the life of Church in all the world and in all times, for the faithful servants in all generations, for the communion of saints, that overpasses the borders of time and space. Especially we thank you for the courage, faith and light that you grant to people who serve for the assembling of Your Church.
Lord have mercy on us!

Kindle in us the flame of love so that it may revive us, may it alter our view on things so that we may see the way You see. Grant us faith enough to get over ourselves and enough courage to engage zealously in the work of Your Kingdom. Make us able to say a word of healing to each other and to the depressed world.
Lord have mercy on us!

Ecumenical Council of Churches

* * * * *

God, Transform Us!
The image of your son is not visible
- in the pages of our newspapers
- in the faces of our leaders
- in the deployment of our weapons
- in the violence of our actions.
Take our words,
Our world
Our weapons
Our work
And transform them in your image.
So we may see your face
In truth where news is reported
In justice where power is abused
In peace where war is threatened
In reconciliation where deeds foster hatred.
Open our eyes Lord!

The image of your son is deformed by our sin,
Because we sin against you and our neighbours.
Forgive us when we ignore the suffering of your people
And violence and injustice near and far.
Give us the courage to confront our fears and
Help us to act as agents of peace.
Restore to us the vision of one church.
Open our eyes!

We are created in your image.
The only way to show your peace and justice
Is through us.
We are responsible for your world and
For each other.
Transform us through your Holy Spirit.
Open our eyes!

Prayers written during a seminar on Liturgy and Music
organized by the WCC in 2002

* * * * *

Less Worthy Members

Lord Christ, Your church is a mystery:
It is not a human amalgamation of people
trying to be loyal to You.
It is not an army of soldiers drilling together to achieve the discipline to be brave.
It is not a human list of souls trying sincerely to be good.
It is a mystery of Your own creating:
It is Your continuing body on earth:
It is flesh of Your flesh and bone of Your bone:
It is Your bride.
So there just aren’t a lot of churches: because You can’t have a lot of bodies.

So we ask You to open our minds and our hearts next time
we sit at the communion table
to see Baptists and Anglicans, Orthodox and Romans and Presbyterians
all sitting at the same communion table
because that is how You see them:
one body now with You, Your bride, bone of Your bone and
flesh of Your flesh.
Our prayer is that You enlarge our hearts
to serve all Christians with uncalculating love: without waiting:
even should they spurn us or turn from us.
We thank You for the present unity of the Church.
Help us to go right ahead in the light of it.
Let us pray for the less worthy members of the Church:
They are already limbs of Your mystical body:
forgetful You are already the head, and they the limbs.
Less worthy members who retain signs of their one-time earthiness:
with continuing prejudices:
all too ready to whisper the damaging libel about their neighbours:
especially when that libel is true.
All too eager to retell the nasty joke to gain popularity:
forgetting the weaker brethren.
All too tribal, as if Bethlehem were a Scottish village
and Nazareth an English town:
or Capetown were Calvary itself:
when You really died for all men everywhere:
At a crossroads whose signpost had to be in Latin and Hebrew and Greek
and Urdu and Russian and Afrikans.
Yes, Lord, we pray for the less worthy members of the Church.
They are of course none other than ourselves.

George Fielden MacLeod
Iona Community

Photo by Anda Done