We rise and look around us – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

We rise and look around us:
all life that breathes or lives,
has shared a common construct
its composition gives.
A careful, complex coding
embodies what we see,
but how we treat each other
defines what we might be.

The cosmos seethes with sadness,
lament infuses prayer,
we cry with one another,
and strength is grounded there.
Yet we are still confounded,
by things we cannot grasp,
for we are only human:
our ignorance will last.

All life is short and finite,
we sometimes live a lie,
that we are born immortal,
yet love will never die.
Beyond this time of living,
through what we see as death
God’s coded love is spanning
our last, our final breath.

Written in response to Professor Peter Howdle’s Seminar on Healthy intercessions
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Tune: ELLACOMBE (StF 311)
Metre: 7.6.7.6 D

Communion with our God in prayer – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Communion with our God in prayer
may be explained in mystic ways:
a prophet’s dream, a shining light,
that flashes through the darkest night.

Yet that same sense of harmony
can be explained in other ways,
as neurones channel, pulse and play,
the darkest night can seem like day.

We question, is this God or self?
Can God in spirit fire each mind?
Is prayer a myth we ought to shelve,
as we experiment and delve?

A deeper wisdom might explain
that neural pulses we detect
show prayer and science can equate,
as cause and symptom correlate.

So it should not seem odd or strange,
that when we meditate or pray,
a God incarnate offers grace,
inspires each neural interface.
Andrew Pratt 19/10/2019

Tune: O WALY WALY
Metre: LM
Written in response to Rev’d Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt seminar on The Psychology of Neuroscience and Prayer
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Minds matter when we come to pray – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Minds matter when we come to pray
as we are held within God’s play.
We call for things we want or need,
or simply rest: a dormant seed.

A spirit moves within each prayer,
intention draws through silent air
direct to God, to other’s needs,
or mystically, beyond our creeds

We feel detached, yet not adrift.
Sometimes our self-awareness shifts,
we seek forgiveness, need a balm,
or find, detached, a sense of calm.

No sacred place, yet words demand,
an explanation of this strand,
a shore where waves will shift and drift,
some spirit that will change and lift.

Caught up, uplifted by a light
within a dark and dim lit night,
and in this place of calm there rests,
a sense of love, ecstatic, blessed.
Andrew Pratt 19/10/2019

Tune: O WALY WALY
Metre: LM
Written in response to Rev’d Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt seminar on The Psychology of Neuroscience and Prayer
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

When faith has lost its energy – learning brings about challenge and change

When faith has lost its energy
and hearts have turned to stone,
communities are lacking love,
and prayer is said alone,
we cling to old, familiar things,
firm routed in the past,
not knowing that rigidity
ensures faith will not last.

To challenge frozen certainty
a fiery Spirit came,
to melt the hearts that sadness killed,
to mend a sagging frame.
Tradition smeared our faith with rust,
we clung to what we knew.
We felt that any change that came
would leave us fraught and few.

A lost, bedraggled remnant feared,
our cherished gift once sold,
would leave our worship cold, bereft,
devalued, rank and old;
such change would lead to darkened skies,
a deep and feared unknown,
diminishing our treasure trove,
all we had left to own.

Another generation then
would gasp in disbelief,
as though God’s loving, faith and care,
was plundered by a thief!
By holding on so tightly then,
we missed the vital chance,
to grasp God’s wonder, grace and love:
we hardly caught a glance.
Andrew Pratt 18/10/2019

Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Tunes: ELLACOMBE; VOX DILECTI
Metre: CMD

Human searching started early – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Human searching started early,
when our mortal race began.
Curiosity was questing:
was life caused by chance or plan?
Science, like a lens, can focus
on components of God’s grace,
guiding us to ask more questions,
help us on the path we trace.

Scientific understanding
offers insight that can stun,
change perspective, alter meaning,
help imagination run.
How we read religious scripture,
things our context has imbued,
can enhance or muddle insight,
warp the way our faith is viewed.

Even tangled vegetation
smoth’ring ground on which we tread,
or the stars that light the cosmos
heighten wonder as they spread.
At our best God’s spirit shows us
from the earth, beyond the sky,
all creation’s awesome wonder,
filled with praise, while we reply!

Andrew Pratt 5/10/2019
Tune: CALON LAN
Metre: 8.7.8.7 D
Written in response to Dr Ruth Bancewicz’s seminar on ‘All creation praises God’.
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.