Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love and the tender mercies You bestow unto those who are suffering some sort of tragedy in their lives. I pray a special blessing upon them, Father, as they call upon You with broken hearts.
Almighty God, You said in your Word that You will never leave us nor forsake us. And so, I ask that Your Holy Spirit comfort Your special people at this time.
Help them in their daily walk to be able to call upon You even when they feel overwhelmed, depressed and cheated out of a life of happiness.
God has promised to uphold you with His hand of righteousness. It states in Isaiah 41:10:
Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. And I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I declare that God’s perpetual light will shine upon these families and you will grow in His glory a little more each day.
In the matchless and mighty name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, SO BE IT…Amen and Amen!
Ponder on the following verses:
Lamentations 3:21-23 – “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I John 4:17 – Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petition that we have asked of Him.”
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
Isaiah 51:11 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
I adore Thee,
O most Precious Cross,
which has been adorned with the tender,
delicate and venerable Hands and Feet
of our dear
and imbued with His Precious Blood.
I again adore Thee,
O Holy Cross,
for love of my
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O great St. Peregrine, you have been called “The Mighty,” “The Wonder-Worker,” because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you.
(Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying)
Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.
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There has been a national Royal Commision of inquiry into the tragedy of child sexual abuse and institutional responses, announced by Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (her press release here).
As Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has said,
“The Diocese of Sydney expresses its unqualified abhorrence of child abuse, wherever it occurs. While the terms of reference (of the Royal Commission) have yet to be decided, we will work and pray for an outcome which will result in a safer society for the most vulnerable.”
A colleague reminded me that apart from complete cooperation with the inquiry from the churches, one thing we ought to be doing as Australian Christians is praying for those who continue to be hurt by the impact of sexual abuse.
So here is a prayer prepared by Mark Charleston, and circulated by Phillip Jensen from St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, for use in parishes during National Child Protection week, back in 2010.
A Prayer for Victims of Abuse
Micah 6:8 8…
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Almighty God & Everlasting Lord,
You are the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. We pray this week for those who have been abused within our churches and the wider communities across our nation.
Have compassion upon all who have suffered the injustice, humiliation and pain of abuse – sexual, physical, emotional, spiritual and all other forms of sinful conduct.
In the midst of their distressing circumstances, give them courage to speak. May your perfect love drive out fear and anxiety. In your mercy, create opportunities for these men, women and children to share their pain, reveal their struggles and expose the hurtful actions of others.
Give grace, sensitivity and wisdom to all who will minister to the victims and survivors of abuse. Strengthen those who have been abused and their carers with the certainty of your love for them. In all things, we ask that your name be glorified and that we – your people – do justice, love kindness and walk humbly before you.
We humbly plead these things in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who died and rose and now sits at your right hand in glory.
And here is a prayer I adapted and developed from a couple in A Prayer Book for Australia (not a prayer book I can recommend unreservedly, but one that contains some useful resources).
A prayer for victims and those who abuse
God our redeemer and sustainer, we pray for the survivors of violence, abuse and neglect. Be with them in confusion and pain. Give your power to the powerless, your fullness to the empty of spirit. Heal their wounds, free them from fear and restore them to true health. Strengthen them to face the future with faith in you. We ask this through Jesus your Son, who was himself a victim of abuse and yet in his resurrection, triumphed over the oppression.
Likewise, God of justice, judge of all the earth, we bring before you those who abuse and mistreat others. Turn the hearts of the exploiters from the way of evil. Open their eyes to the truth of their conduct and full them with hatred for the damage they do. And so by your Spirit bring them to true repentance and amendment of their lives.
And now, may your Spirit draw us together, both in our church family, and in the community. May we face our mistakes with complete honesty. But preserve us from unhelpful speculation and gossip. Help us reach out, care for the hurting, and support each other. Strengthen us with the gospel of your grace, for Jesus’ Christ’s sake. Amen.
And lastly, for those who have attended Anglican Churches in the Diocese of Sydney (where I serve), here is its Safe Ministry website, which expresses ZERO TOLERANCE for misconduct and abuse in its churches and provides information about how to report abuse and receive support.
No doubt churches in other places and from other denominations have their own approaches. I pray our Christian institutions will continue to repent of past failures in how we have handled such situations, and improve our processes for the future.