Before the harvest, there is the planting and the nurturing.|
For the harvest, there is the thanks.
After the harvest, should come the giving.
Lord, as we come to You today in Prayer, we are mindful of this sequence - of planting, nurturing, thanks, and giving.
Over 65 years ago, a seed of evil was planted in the hearts of ordinary people. Nurtured by stupidity, racial hatred, and blindness, fertilized by madness, it grew into Belzec, Treblinka, Dachau, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and many other centres of darkness.
60 years ago that murderous weed was harvested and burnt. Lord, we do not celebrate the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, because that place should never have been.
But we offer our thanks that it was liberated, and that so many were saved. We give our thanks for the many who worked tirelessly to save others, and for those brave and strong enough to be able to tell of those dark times.
Lord, we give our commitment to You that we will live out Jesus’ commandment to Love one Another - friend or enemy, to ensure that whatever our blindness, we shall never permit such a thing to occur again.
In 1824 the Reverend Arthur Broome founded the RSPCA in England. A seed was planted which has grown in so many countries, including ours, to help ensure our commitment to the covenant made between You, mankind and all of the animals.
Many good and noble people have nurtured this seed, through money and time, through love of You and of Creation. Today, we live in an age where we are guilty of torturing and killing our fellow creatures of creation for fun, sport or profit.
We are thankful for the gifts and company of our pets, of our wildlife, and of all the animals that share our lives (known or unknown). The colourful, and the bland. Those with scales, with fur, with feathers or with skin. Those with no legs, those with many legs. Without them, we could not live. You have given us dependence on them, dominion over them, and responsibility for them.
Lord, We give our commitment to You that we will execute our mastery over Your other creatures with love, compassion, and concern - refraining from harm and having respect for Your creation.
In March, 2003, a seed was planted in Iraq. Arguments for and against the war, propaganda for and against the war, and emotions for and against the war have polarized opinion throughout the world. Nurtured by vested interests, hidden agendas, and political gain, our so-called war against terrorism is paid for, like every war, with the blood of the innocent.
As we are about to reap the harvest of this uncertain crop, we cry for the children who have been killed or orphaned in the process. We hope and pray, Lord, that good will come out of this terrible conflict. We offer our thanks that the situation has not escalated into a truly global conflict. We are thankful that so many Christians and Muslims are strong enough in their faith, and their love of You, to resist the manipulation and pressures applied by the worlds terrorists, and remain tolerant and supporting of each other.
Lord, we give our commitment to not exploiting the situation in Iraq for our own gain, but to providing all of the help and support needed to bring lasting peace to it’s people. Regardless of the justification of this conflict, may we be able to hold out both hands in friendship to give, rather than to take.
Lord, on Boxing Day an earthquake and tidal wave brought death and destruction to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. In this terrible field of destruction, You laid the seeds of compassion within the hearts of the world. While some blamed nature, and other’s blamed you Lord, You nurtured love in our hearts regardless, which has grown into tolerance and support for those affected, and resulted in an unbelievable level of generosity in donations of money, goods and time. We are thankful not only that we were safe in our homes in Australia, but also that You have touched our hearts and filled them with a true Christmas, Christian, spirit, and made ’good Samaritans’ of so many.
Lord, we give our commitment to You that our response to this disaster was not a pure novelty or seven-day-wonder, but a genuine desire to help. And we pray that we will not let this tragedy overshadow the other pressing causes that challenge us - that we will give whatever we have to help those who need it.
Lord, The richest countries of the world, in one of which we live, have planted a choking, noxious weed in the economies of the so-called developing countries of the world. Nurtured by greed and power, we perpetuate the Third World debt, ensuring our wealth by ensuring their poverty.
We have now a chance to harvest this weed and destroy it. We offer our thanks that the spirit of forgiveness and compassion is moving through the World Economic Forum, and pray that Prime Minister Howard, and the G7 (the worlds richest nations) will listen with their hearts and cancel the Third World debt in it’s entirety.
Lord we give our commitment to You that we will not be like the unforgiving servant. We like to think that we pay our way and that we have earned all we have. But all that we have and all that we ever have, we have because of Your grace. And we promise to live, as best we can, as forgiving servants.
Lord, in Bethlehem, You planted the seed of salvation. That seed grew into a man, called Jesus. With His death on the cross, You harvested the sin of the world.
We give thanks again and again, for Jesus. For the truth that He spoke, for the truth that He lived. We give thanks for the Holy Spirit, and for the Church that has grown up under Your care. We pray for our Minister, for our Elders, and for our congregation as they lead us in our worship.
We especially pray for …… [insert names here]
Lord, we give our commitment to You that we will grow the Church, and the faith, that we will know Your will rather than our own and bring honour and glory to You.
Lord, You have planted in each of us the seed of faith. For some, this seed has been nurtured and grown strong. For others, it has become withered, and dried. Yet not died, for You never give up on us, though we may give up on ourselves.
We pray that our faith will grow everyday stronger. That through our faith, we may help nurture the growth of others. May we bring glory to you, and become as a field of wheat bursting with life and goodness, ready for harvest.
Lord, we give our lives to You. Harvest us into your light, that we might remain with you forever.