Prayers and Meditations for Mission

2019

THE GATE OF THE YEAR

Minnie Louise Haskins

‘God Knows'

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Diocese of Norwich

Novena of prayer for the discernment of a new Bishop

Nine days of prayer from 3rd – 11th March 2019

Introduction

At a Consecration, the Archbishop reminds the candidate of the calling of a Bishop and the challenges of the role.

On each of these nine days we are invited to reflect on one aspect of this calling, to read a short biblical passage and to pray for a new Bishop who, with the help of God will be able to fulfil the responsibilities laid upon them.

Each day we conclude with two prayers: one for the Crown Nominations Commission who have the responsibility of putting forward a name to the Prime Minister and the other, the prayer which has been used by the Diocesan Vacancy in See Committee as it has thought and prayed about the needs of our Diocese.

Sunday 3rd March (Day One)

Bishops are called to be Shepherds of Christ’s Flock

Reading: John 21: 15 – 18

Prayer

O God the ruler and pastor of your Church, as Peter responded to the call of Christ to feed his sheep, raise up for this Diocese a Bishop who by your grace will nurture and care for all the people entrusted to them; through Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Amen.

Monday 4th March (Day Two)

Bishops are to be guardians of the faith of the Apostles

Reading: Matthew 28: 16 – 20

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ we thank you for the assurance that you are with us to the end of time. Inspired and encouraged by your presence and led by our Bishops, give us all the confidence to proclaim the faith handed on to us by your Apostles; we ask it in your name. Amen

Tuesday 5th March (Day Three)

Bishops are to proclaim the gospel of God’s Kingdom and to lead God’s people in mission

Reading: Luke 24: 44-58

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you call your Church to share in your mission to the world: led by our Bishops give to us all such belief in the gospel and such faithfulness in service that others may come to the knowledge and love of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

Wednesday 6th March (Day Four)

Bishops are to confront injustice and work for righteousness and peace in the world.

Readings: Amos 5:24 and Matthew 5: 6 – 10

Prayer

O God, the King of righteousness, lead us in the ways of justice and peace. Inspire us to break down the barriers which divide people, and to challenge all that is oppressive in our world. May this be a Diocese where all find a welcome and a spiritual home. We ask it in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Thursday 7th March (Day Five)

Bishops are to be obedient to the call of Christ, having special care for the poor and outcast.

Reading: Luke 14:12-14

Prayer

God of compassion, give to Bishops and to all who lead and teach in your Church a deep care for all who are in need and a desire to reach out to those shunned by society. Inspired by their leadership make us all more ready to help and to serve others in whatever way we can. Through Christ our loving Lord. Amen.

Friday 8th March (Day Six)

Bishops are to gather God’s people and celebrate with them the sacraments of the new covenant, leading them in prayer and praise.

Reading: Acts 2:37 - 42

Prayer

We praise you God and Father because your mercy reaches to the heavens and your faithfulness knows no end. We thank you for your grace poured into our lives through the sacraments and pray that inspired by your Holy Spirit and led by our Bishops we may continue to give you praise and glory for ever. Amen.

Saturday 9th (Day Seven)

Bishops are to be gentle and merciful and love those committed to their charge.

Reading: Matthew 9:35-37

Lord Jesus, you have given to us a new commandment to love one another as you have loved us. Bathed in your love, give to your Bishops and those they are called to lead the spirit of gentleness and mercy; that your love may flow into the lives of all your children. We ask it in your name. Amen.

Sunday 10th (Day Eight)

Bishops are to feed God’s pilgrim people and to break open the scriptures for them.

Reading: Mark 6: 30 - 44

Prayer

Christ our Lord, you fed the hungry crowd in body, mind and spirit through your teaching and your actions. Help us all to be hungry and thirsty for what you have to teach us today; that through word and sacrament we may each be sustained on our pilgrimage as we journey towards your kingdom. Amen. 

Monday 11th (Day Nine)

Bishops are to build up the body of Christ and inspire others by their own lifestyle.

Reading: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

Prayer

We pray Lord for all the Bishops of your Church, that you will guide and uphold them in their ministry and enable them to live up to their calling. Fill them with your Spirit; give them energy and enthusiasm in their daily lives; inspiration and integrity in their preaching and teaching; that they may give encouragement and guidance to all those they lead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

EACH DAY

We pray for a new Bishop who will bring these many gifts to this Diocese.

Eternal God, our shepherd and guide, in your mercy give your Church in this Diocese a shepherd after your own heart who will walk in your ways, and with loving care watch over your people. Give us a leader of vision and a teacher of truth. So may your Church grow and be built up, and by your grace accomplish more than we can imagine, for the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We pray for those on the Crown Nomination Commission who will be interviewing candidates in the days ahead, for Archbishops Justin and Sentamu, for the members elected by the General Synod and for our Diocesan Representatives.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously upon your Church, and so guide the minds and hearts of those who shall discern a Bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful leader who will equip your people for their ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Grace