Morning Prayer Friday, 23 July 2021
My beloved spoke: Arise my love and come away, for behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its fruit and the vines are in blossom; they give forth their fragrance!
From Solomon’s Song 2: 12
Good morning, Cornerstone Fellowship. Welcome to our time for morning prayer.
We have enjoyed the refreshment of rain this week and the cool early morning that follows.
Let us praise God in gratitude for summer and what it brings.
Let us begin our conversation with prayer.
thanks for looking after me last night,
for ensuring my comforting sleep and my awakening with the soft summer light.
As I prepare to step into the traffic of a busy day I hand to you all that I may do or say,
all my connections with the people I will meet.
I plan to live today in the bubble of your security, your loving care.
Help me to speak and show and share your care in our community today.
In the name of Jesus, I am bold to pray.
The summer heat this week became oppressive, like a heavy weight pressing down on every move, on every breath.
Green leaves drooped and curled over. Even the birds took shelter in deep shade.
Then distant rumbles and a flash of lightning and the heavy air could carry the moisture no more.
The dry earth drank in the rain and revival came.
The flowers were sticky with pollen but the scent of the lilies stayed locked up in the hot, still air.
When I walked in the garden after the rain, I was surrounded by fragrance from roses and lilies and sweet peas.
The world was refreshed and renewed.
The book of Isaiah begins –
‘Come now, let us settle the matter,
says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson
they shall be white like wool.’
Isaiah 1: 18
the refreshment of rain, the purity of fresh perfume, like your forgiveness, washes away all stains, all darkness, without a scrub.
Your great and wondrous forgiveness is cleanliness without effort.
Your clean-forever forgiveness freely given at great cost. How could I ignore such love?
How could I remain away from refreshment? How could I hold such forgiveness tight within my clenched fist?
How could I leave that clean white shirt still hanging on its peg, still waiting.
May I live a forgiven and forgiving life. May I offer soul’s refreshment, sweet life, to all in need.
Keep all our hearts and hands open with the offer of your own welcome, with your invitation to live in communion.
Help us make this all real for everyone in our community.
Early morning is a good time to remember people standing in the need of prayer,
be they well known in our fellowship or lonely in our neighbourhood.
We are committed to making Cornerstone an oasis of HOPE in our community,
in CMK – committed to keeping refreshment available for all who are here and all who may be yet to come.
The quiet of morning before the noisy day begins
reminds me of the voiceless and softly spoken people with no companion in their search for dignity,
for recognition, their search for justice in community. This is a good time to pray.
stay close to our shut-in friends today.
Be with Ruth in her mourning, with Eric and Joan in their companionship, with Martha in her walled garden.
Give us forgiving hearts that we may treat today as a clean sheet for tomorrow.
Give wisdom to our civic leaders – wisdom and the vision necessary for its application.
Give curiosity to our neighbourhood to drop their fear of the building on the hill
and step inside to find the fragrance of friendship and the fresh face of hospitality.
As the Psalm (141:2) says,
May my prayer be like sweet incense rising before you and the lifting up of my hands like an offering in evening.
Let us go out into the sweet freshness of this new day!