ASH WEDNESDAY – The world’s no stage where we are acting

 
 
The world's no stage where we are acting
  
 1          The world's no stage where we are acting 
             to show how good we think we are; 
             this is no place to call attention, 
             or seek acclaim from near or far.
             
 2          Our prayers are worthless, void and empty  
             when uttered for the crowd's applause, 
             much more of worth are silent actions, 
             compassion shown behind closed doors.
             
 3          So find a place, that's quiet, secluded, 
             a simple room where we can pray, 
             and then in words that Jesus taught us 
             let's seek the bread for each new day.
             
 4          Let's join in humble prayer and fasting,
             while making little of the act, 
             and then our witness, plainly worded, 
             will add its essence to love's fact.
 
Andrew Pratt
Words © 2011 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, copyright@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.
Metre: 9 8 9 8
Tune: ST CLEMENT
 
 

For a continuing time of COVID – HYMN/PRAYER – When the weeping of the nations

 When the weeping of the nations 
 fills our hearts with holy dread, 
 when a virus rings with pity 
 those who cannot reach their dead,
 God is in our consternation, 
 weeping by each sufferer’s bed. 
  
 Distanced, lacking human comfort,
 no more in a mother’s arms, 
 fearful faces peer through visors 
 watching, even breathing harms, 
 knowing only humane kindness 
 brings the peace that heals, disarms. 
 
 God bring strength in human weakness, 
 give us grace that we might see 
 through the mists of mortal blindness 
 how to live through agony, 
 how through quiet compassion, silence, 
 we might mark our empathy.

Andrew Pratt 31/12/2020
Words © 2021 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: PICARDY    Metre: 87 87 87
   

Here we will meet to praise – as congregations gather again in whatever way in COVID-19

Here we will meet to praise, with hesitation,
while conscious of our frailty and fear.
Here we will meet for prayer and meditation,
God, Spirit, ever-present, come, draw near.

Here we will raise our eyes to things above us,
while needy people break our sense of peace.
We recognise, O God, that you still love us,
but also those who clamour for release.

Here we will meet in unity of purpose,
enable us to find you in our hearts,
that we might be alive, not just a carcass,
a living, thriving body where love starts.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2014 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.
Metre: 11 10 11 10
Tunes: HIGHWOOD; O PERFECT LOVE
As published on worship Cloud (www.worshipcloud.com)

Is all prayer communication – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Is all prayer communication
formed in silence or through speech?
Might we hear as well as speaking,
learn the truths you need to teach.

Sometimes it might seem to others
that we’re wasting precious time,
yet in prayer we join our spirits
to God’s singing, dancing rhyme.

God can shape our disposition,
helping us to calm our minds,
joining us in quiet communion,
aiding all the spirit finds.
Andrew Pratt 2/11/2019
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: SERVANT SONG (Gillard)
Metre: 8.7.8.7

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.