Prayers & Reflections

Prayers and Reflections will be shared here from time to time.

Please click here to download the Prayers for Peace, Hope & Justice of Sunday 19 May 2024 by Heather Hill.

As we are all acutely aware, in 10 days’ time, South Africans will head to the polls to cast their votes in the general election. After what seems to have been a very long and drawn-out build-up to these elections, the time seems suddenly near. Over the last couple of weeks, I have become increasingly aware of the anxieties and fears people are experiencing, with regards to the future of our beautiful country. There is unease amongst many as we wait for the IEC to make its final decision on Jacob Zuma’s eligibility to stand as his party’s candidate. There are murmurings of a repeat of the violent July 2021 riots and looting if the decision does not go in favour of the former president. The signing of the NHI bill into legislation this week has also created much consternation, and I have heard many people wondering if the exodus of friends and family to other countries was the right thing to do after all. “Is our country going to go belly up?” It is difficult to deny that the anxiety, the mistrust, the fear, is real, and has crept into so many of our communities. This barbed wire has become intertwined in our conversations, in some of our actions; it has brought prejudices, and perhaps even ugly hatreds of some people or groups of people, to the fore. Come, let us pray. Holy Spirit, just as your disciples sat behind closed doors, filled with fear and uncertainty on that first Pentecost, we acknowledge that we too are fearful and uncertain, about what may happen over the next couple of weeks in our country. The threat of possible violence; the fear of the unknown; the despair of worsening poverty, unemployment, lack of health care and education…it all looms large for so many.

And so, Lord, we pray firstly, that you will settle our souls, our hearts, our minds. Remind us again that you are the Spirit of the Living, the Living God. The pink hue of the sunrise, the soft touch of the drizzle, the changing colours of the autumn leaves, whisper your presence, and remind us that you are in love with your world, and in love with your people. And as we face the winds of change in this country, may we recognise God’s gentle breath blowing over the land. May we breathe in what you breathe out.

Spirit of Peace, we pray for those in power; those whose priority is protecting themselves, and what they believe to be theirs; those making promises they probably have no intention of keeping; those burning flags; those threatening with guns; those driven by ego and self-centredness; those determined to dominate, regardless of consequences – we pray that you will open their hearts to choose Life, not death. We pray for the miracle of the Jesus Way of justice, mercy, humility, gentleness, compassion, and peace. Move us all in this time, to pray for our enemies; to find the less trodden path of forgiveness.

We thank you that in uncertain times, you are the Spirit of Surprise – may we be surprised by Hope. May the fear of fires and riots be replaced by the hope of the flame of your Spirit, the love and the light represented by the burning Candle. May we move out of love, not out of fear, knowing that whatever we are facing as a nation, your love will never let us go. Lord God, we abandon ourselves into your hands, surrendering the barbed wire of doubts, anxiety, fear, and prejudices, and trusting in the Light of peace, hope and justice. Renew our beloved land, we plead.

And so, we pray together:

God bless Africa and all the world.
Guard our children.
Guide our leaders.
And give us peace.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 28 April 2024 by Jacqui Couper.

Here we are, in this place, in the now, here, and now.

We long to be near to You, but the gulf of where we are keeps us apart.

You invite us to come closer, and we are afraid to let go of all that holds us.

We long but stand still on the edge, not sure, can we let go fully and trust you?

We know the things that hold us down, make our feet heavy and sluggish.

We know the emptiness of our inner well that is even too thirsty to make different choices.

We know our dried-out parts like scaly skin, longing for some moisture and comfort.

We know our fears, like a heavy weight on our shoulders, that keep us looking down.

We know our anxieties and shame that rots within our guts of the things we do unwillingly.

We hold our deeper knowing and hear the invitation to come, to leap with joy, and dance and sing.


We are stuck yet,

You know our longings and come to us,

You surround us with love,

You remind us that you accompany us in all that we are and do,

You remind us that our very own breath is a gift of life,

You warm our shoulders with love and lighten our load,

You calm the raging sea of doubts and thoughts with love,

You embrace all that we bring to you with incredible love that has no words,

We do not know how to even receive this love; it is too much.


We pause for a moment and say thank you for the love that binds us to you, like branches to a vine, connected, joined, together.

We ask for grace to receive love and come with You to where you lead us.

We ask for grace fill the emptiness that fully embraces our path and destiny.

We ask for grace to stand up and allow uncertainty to be our friend on this journey.

We ask for grace to still our fears and know that love carries us.

We ask for grace to take the risk and surrender our lives to you.

We ask for grace to receive love as a choice to love you.

We thank you for coming to us, each moment in time as an immense gift of life and love.

May we know the immeasurable love of God, higher than the sky, deeper than any ocean, wider than the world around us. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayers for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Good Friday 29 March 2024 by Terence Parker.

As Holy Week services started across the country, on Wednesday a hail of bullets killed 5 people and injured 5 others at a home in Imizamo Yetu in Hout Bay.

All indications are that it is yet another round of killings associated with gang warfare.

Victims of a cycle of violence. Killing for territorial dominance, revenge killing, and the cycle continues.

As we contemplate the killing of Jesus of Nazareth, we reflect on the things that begin the cycle of violence, whether in Hout Bay, Ocean View, Lavender Hill, Hanover Park, Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, Russia.

But on Sunday we will be reminded that the cycle of violence can be broken, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray:

O Lord, as we recall your violent, painful death on the cross, we weep with the loved ones of those who lose family members in violent deaths every day.

Whether it’s the cycle of violence between gangs, religious groups, nations or angry individuals, we know that you can relate.

When we recall the cycle of violence that tore our country apart, we know that what seems like a miracle can break the cycle.

Lord, we pray for a miracle to break the cycle of violence between

  • Gangs on the Cape Flats, needing to belong, exercise power.
  • Taxi associations fighting for territorial dominance.
  • Israel/ Hamas/ Palestinian Authority fighting a decades long battle, sparked by the
    October 7 attack.
  • Russia/ Ukraine/ ISIS fighting for control.
  • Every warring party across our continent and the globe …


We cling to the hope of the resurrection …

We pray for the courage to break the cycle of violence and addiction in our own lives.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We pray the Prayer for Africa and the world:

God bless Africa & the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace, Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayers for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 17 March 2024 by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

According to Al Jazeera, since the current war in Gaza, Israeli Forces have killed at least 10 000 children. On the Al Jazeera website the categories of the children have been identified under specific headings. I will share some of them today.

0 years old – did not live to their first birthday

1 year old  – killed before their first birthday

2 years old – not able to use their first words

3 years old – they died as toddlers

4 years old – deprived of the joys of preschool

5 years old- did not make it to primary school

6 years old – silent playgrounds

7 years old – broken young friendships

8 years old – countless empty classrooms

9 years old – didn’t reach double digits

10 years old – lives ended before adolescence

The list goes on and on. Additionally, every single university in Gaza has been destroyed. Children are now also being subjected to starvation, injuries, and completely inadequate medical care. Children are also having to deal with the deaths of their family members and communities.

Let us pray:

The barbed wire represents every child in the world who is exposed to war and who has to bear the brunt of its violence and the shame of the adults who cannot prioritise a working peace and co-operation over violence and competition.

We pray for a world where if a child is affected by war and violence, common sense prevails, and alternatives are sought, but this is not the world we live in. But it is the world children die in.

Dear God help us to be compassionate to every child we see, right here in our own war-torn communities, in countries like the Congo, Ethiopia and Sudan on our own continent and further afield in Haiti who are experiencing violence and pain. Give us the courage to stand up for what should be a different way to live and love.

We live in a world where we can watch the names of thousands of children killed scroll past on a television screen and it does not stop the clocks or immediately create the circumstances for a ceasefire to be called. Forgive us for how we have forsaken the least of these.

We pray for those who continue to protest and shine a light on what is happening in conflicts all over the world.

We give thanks for organisations like the Gift of the Givers, the United Nations Relief workers Agency for Palestinian Refugees. UNICEF and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent who are working tirelessly to bring hope, relief, healing, and aid.

God of miracles of justice and of peace remind us how to be family, to make kin, and to show love especially when it is difficult. We pray for a world where a list of children dying in conflicts will never make the news for the headline should actually read – no children killed in conflict today. Help us make this world a reality.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 10 March 2024 by Jacqui Couper.

We give you thanks for always welcoming us into your embrace.

We have scrambled to be here, rushed, and squeezed through the traffic but are here.

You welcome us and our endeavours to show up.

We come with our busy week behind us, being pulled in more directions than we want to know about.

You welcome us and our spread and stretched out experiences.

We come with our concerns for families and friends, those who have lost loved ones, those who have been sick, those who have lost something.

You welcome us and our care for others, and you remind us that Love seeks out all those who are lost.

We come with our coping strategies for life that involves load shedding impacting traffic, last minutes adjustments, and so many irritations.

You welcome us and our struggle to adapt to all that we face . You remind us that Love is a constant presence.

We come with our concern for those who do not have enough food and shelter.

You welcome us and our noticing that some are struggling, and You see this too, that many are suffering.

We come with our not knowing what to do about the raging wars and destruction in society.

You welcome us and hold the inner turmoil and the world in your Loving hands and by grace there is hope.

We come with our fears and threats that artificial intelligence and social media have on our lives.

You welcome us and remind us of who we are beloved, and you guide us to find a way through all the mess of our daily lives.

We come with our desire to pray but actually not sure how to.

You welcome us and all the honesty that we bring, and You teach us how to dialogue with You. We listen and talk, and this is enough for You.

We give you thanks, the Source of all Life and Love, even the air that we breathe.

We give you thanks that Your light that shines through our world and each day there is a new sun.

Come awaken our hearts that we may know your Heart.

Come sit beside us that we may know your Work.

For, without you we can do nothing.

It’s your love that loves through us.

We ask Love to guide us to the still Voice within to stay true to our hearts centre.

We ask that you awaken us to the knowledge that lives within us.

Help us to come out of the darkness and gloom and break through the fears that hold us prisoners.

We ask that you guide us how to honour all relationships as sacred and to live in peace and in balance with all living things.

And in this way, we hope that the Great mystery and wonder of all life can be honoured.

Thank you for your Presence and welcoming all of us and all parts of us in your open and loving embrace.  Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 25 February 2024 by Peter Storey.

We greet you this day Jesus, beloved child of God and brother to us all, with the words of your disciple: ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…’

Deep within each of us is a longing for those words, words that feed the dry places of our souls and resurrect us to new life once more. Speak the words we need today!

In this Lenten season, Jesus, you invite us to walk with you toward Jerusalem, and because we know the story, we also know that this can never be a comfortable journey.

On this road we will laud you Jesus, for marching unarmed and alone to confront the corrupt powers and vested interests of a great city, yet we often find ourselves shrinking from confronting the many little corruptions and compromises we live with – often quite comfortably – each day.

We have grieved in these days for those suffering the seemingly unstoppable terror and destruction of war and homelessness – and you have invited us to recognise with shame that we can’t even pray justly – that even the way we allocate our compassion can be tainted with bias and discrimination.

We have wondered, Jesus, at the pain you carry in your great heart of love, yet even as we walk with you toward Jerusalem, we continue to make crosses to crucify you. Try as we might to separate ourselves from the people and powers and prejudices that put you on the cross, we are implicated.

Therefore, as we walk with you on this Lenten road, make real our penitence and enlarge our hearts with your kind of loving, by helping us once more to see how much you have loved us and all of your world.

Because of you Jesus, we want to be different; help us to lean into your love, to receive your forgiveness, and to know the newness you are always holding out to us.

In your name we pray, AMEN

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 28 January 2024 by Gilbert Lawrence.

Creator God, source of light, love for all of creation.

As each day ebbs and flows and as we are subjected to the inevitability of time,

we are so grateful, for the magnificence of your care and love for us.

Our senses quiver in expectation of what can be. O Lord.

What newness, what revelation, what deepness of sound, taste, touch, smell and feel continue to form your creation in all its wonder.

Patient, parent God, forgive us when our impatience takes life itself for granted.

Remind us, O God of your breath in the morning breeze, so that we waken with thankful hearts.

We will praise you by freeing our God given heartbeats for others.

To share love, to help, to bring hope and encourage, to enable, to care for.

Ever present God whose promises are true, create within us that peace that passes all understanding.

Grace us with your spirit as we make decisions that affect others too, as we manage conflict and aggression, as we wrestle with our egos, as we curb our ever-ready prejudices and biases.

Our living, loving, faithful God, we give thanks for Jesus and his spirit of compassion and gentleness, that endures and enables us to love and be love.

Our senses quiver at what can be, O Lord.

And so merciful Lord, we worship you today in spirit and truth.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 28 January 2024 by Terence Parker.

In a conflict that has claimed the lives of almost 30,000 people in 3 months, injured/ maimed thousands, mostly children, and displaced more than 1 million people, in a neighbourhood that Jesus knew,

A glimmer of hope appeared on Friday when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) directed the State of Israel to, among other things, STOP

  • Killing
  • causing serious bodily or mental harm
  • deliberately destroying physical infrastructure
  • preventing the births of Palestinian children


15 of the 17 judges who heard arguments from SA that Israel is committing what amounts to GENOCIDE in Gaza agreed that the excessive violence against the Palestinian people must stop

Of course, it hasn’t stopped, with 175 people killed within hours of the judgement, and Israel has responded by causing 7 countries to cut funding to the UN agency bringing relief to Palestinian refugees and pledging to continue to eliminate Hamas, even if civilians are caught in the cross-fire

But the judgement ends Israel’s impunity, and reminds us that however brutal the situation, however powerful the forces, through the denial, lies and hatred (BARBED WIRE), we must never stop using every means in our power to protect the lives of people created in God’s image.


O Lord, you know the hearts of everyone involved in every conflict on the planet

Your Word reminds us that we’re all created in your image, but we fall short of your glory.

As the power of your Holy Spirit turned Saul from a persecutor to Paul, a passionate preacher and disciple who lived by faith and suffered persecution himself,

We bring before you today, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, Ismail Haniyeh and every leader/commander planning war, death and destruction, directly or indirectly …

We bring before you every foot soldier causing pain and suffering as they carry out instructions from warmonger leaders, gang leaders …

We bring before you everyone involved in manufacturing, transporting and trading in weapons of war …

We bring before you our own weaknesses, faults, insecurities that cause fear that leads to excessive, violent behaviour …

May your Holy Spirit convict them & us, speak to them & us, touch their lives and our lives to see the victims of their and our decisions, choices and actions as precious, beautiful members of your family, created in your image.

We bring before you everybody using whatever resources they have to stop the killing, injury, destruction …

Every negotiator, lawmaker, administrator of justice, fieldworker, peacemaker working in formal and informal structures …

Every organisation protecting, housing, feeding, healing victims of war and persecution …

We thank you for the flicker of hope that they bring.

We thank you for the reminder that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for you …

Empower us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be the light.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord & Saviour

We pray the Prayer for Africa and the World:


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 21 January 2024 by Ian Proudfoot.

I don’t know about you but when I start to think about all the injustice in the world at the moment, from right in front of me to the vast issues in some nations and huge corporations, when I look at how many people and places yearn for peace, I become overwhelmed at where the hope is in all of this. But, when I look up to the one we have committed our lives to, to the one who claims to offer hope, I am reminded that we do indeed have hope in the one who is described as the rock of refuge to whom we can continually come.

I often don’t even know where to start when praying for the big issues, especially when there are so many layers of political, financial and sometime religious elements to the situation. But what I know I can do, regardless, is try. Please pray with me for a few minutes.

Supremely powerful, yet amazingly loving God, as the despair and hopelessness seems to rise all around us, we acknowledge that you have clearly said to us that, Christ in us is the hope of glory. Somehow, you’re working through us has the power to be hope for the nations. The psalmist yearned to be able to walk with you with integrity everywhere, to mirror your love to all he met, to reflect the freedom of your truth and to live as a beneficial presence in the world. So too, we would join ourselves to his heart’s desire.

We therefore come to you again this morning to shine a light into our own lives. In the wide variety of situations that we find ourselves in in this community, show us where we have the potential to choose between standing for justice or maintaining the status quo, or facilitating peace versus allowing dissension, discord and disharmony to flourish.

We think of our homes with spouses, children, siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or perhaps just housemates; show us all the mini-injustices that we contribute to that lead to a lack of peace. Show us the issues we have failed to address, the hurts we have caused, the love we have failed to show. Responding to your mercy, Lord, we are listening.

We think of the varied spaces that our lives outside our homes offer us as opportunities to reflect the freedom of your truth and your ways. Give us eyes to see the injustices more clearly, courage to respond and wisdom to know how. Grow us Lord into being godly peacemakers so that, with Francis we can say, where there is hate, let me show love, where there is offence may I bring pardon and where there is discord, may I bring harmony. Responding to your mercy, Lord, we are listening.

And, raising our eyes to the bigger issues in South Africa and the world, we bring to you politicians, the jurists and the diplomats. Lord, please raise up people of principle and courage, to stand for what is right, not just for what is expedient. To blaze a way of truth in the midst of lies and hypocrisy. Give them courage Lord and surround them with people of integrity to support them.

Oh God, so much is in such a mess at the moment yet in it all, we know we can keep turning to you. As we close we pray together the prayer for Africa:

God bless Africa and all the world, guard our children, guide our leaders and give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 14 January 2024 by Gilbert Lawrence.

The horrors of the Israeli-Palestinian war are presented to us in vivid real time detail. Inescapably uncomfortable and which cannot be ignored.

South Africa has taken a legal dispute against Israel to the International Court of Justice. Protest marches continue, policy and political debates resound in the corridors of powerful states. Yet the kill rate continues to climb especially for women and children.

Words have now become serious points of contention: War, genocide, retribution, self-defense, retaliation, retribution, pure evil….

We await the outcome of South Africa’s case, hoping it contributes to a complete cessation of the war.

Conflict, aggression, and war are so inherently part of the human condition.

And wherever and whatever the conflict is, sides are quickly taken by anyone and everyone. Children, adults, old people. We all seem to want to be right about all things. And when challenged confronted or even ignored, we rise to the occasion, but often negatively.

And we have learnt to use so many strategies like hierarchy, gender, race, country, faith, privilege, the law, my people, causing conflict to fester and escalate.

A serious consideration comes to us as a Christian community.

Are we mindful of our own conduct and example when we are in conflict situations or talking about other conflict even war.

What are we sharing around the supper table, at work, at the gym, at the club. What is our impact on children. Are our children seeing another side of us. Does it scare them because maybe, our handling of conflict, of anger, may express violent words, thoughts and even deeds. Our anger may be righteous, our discussions and debates may be useful, enlightening, and factual, but are we mindful of the harm of our spontaneous expressions, often in anger, often consistent with our lived experiences as possible perpetrators, victims, or bystanders.

The light of the candle is an expression of the risen Christ in the world, bringing hope for all God’s children to be in relationships of reconciliation and peace.

Let us pray:
Dear Lord, we give thanks for the light of Christ in the world. For the hope we have.

Parent God we are thankful for individuals, groups and even nations who have raised their voices and rallied to protest war, to seek peace, to provide resources and aid and especially people who risk their lives in providing help and health care in the midst of death.

We give thanks for all positive initiatives to end the killing.

Lord, guard our tongues, clear our minds as we face our own demons of conflict and violence. Help us to understand and with determination choose the Christ way.

O God of all that is good,
Soften our hearts to be more compassionate in our own living.
Harden our hearts against injustice and war.
Enlarge our hearts to embrace all of humanity. We are we, not them and us.
Strengthen our hearts for the difficulties that will come.
And bless us Lord to be instruments of your peace, hope and justice. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 12 December 2023
by Heather Hill.

God of great Mystery

As we’ve entered this time of preparation for your coming, each of us is here at a different point in that journey. Some of us wait in excited anticipation for the celebration of your birth. Most of us feel an oh-so-familiar staleness that this time of year brings. Some of us feel alive and nourished. I think perhaps too many of us feel spiritually exhausted, longing to be re-enchanted with the wonder of the Christmas story. For it is a story that should truly fill us with awe and amazement – a baby, made in love, by love, and for love, born into the humblest of circumstances, was to be the purest reflection of the Divine in human form. Emmanuel. God with us.

So forgive us for getting swept up in the superficial, trivial and fake messages that this time of year brings; for being taken in by the glamour and glitter that society screams is so necessary. Forgive our boredom with the familiar story; for some of us feeling we’d rather Christmas was cancelled. Empty us of our usual expectations, our traditional beliefs, our routine understandings. Fill our cup with new things, new ideas, new hope, new love. Give us insights into a greater meaning of the beautiful mystery of Emmanuel. God with us.

Help us, we plead, to find stillness in the rush of life passing us by, to rediscover the wonder of a God who did not remain silent, a God who did not remain distant, a God who chose to come to us in our darkest places of despair. And so we rejoice in Emmanuel. God with us.

Us, a world undeserving of mercy, a world that by so many of its actions should be deemed unlovable. Us. You chose to be with us.

Your compassion for your children knows no bounds, and so with renewed awe and amazement, we thank you for your gift of great grace. We thank you that in difficult and troubled times, we hear your voice gently saying “comfort these, my people”. You gather us, your lambs, in your arms, and hold us close to your heart. So as we feel the embrace of your tender, yet almighty, arms around us, raise in us a new hope. Give us new life. Awaken our hearts to a new way of peace. And may the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us, never grow dim.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 26 November 2023 by Heather Hill.

It feels like just last week that I was up here, leading the candle prayer, but it was in fact 5 weeks ago. A lot can happen in 5 weeks. Many things can change in 5 weeks. And many things just remain the same.

In the last few days, there have been reports on how our education system is in tatters in many areas of the country, in part related to apartheid policies from decades ago; in part related to budget cuts, questionable decisions by government, and corrupt leadership. Some things remain the same. There have been yet more reports on water crises in our country; on how air pollution is killing thousands of people each year; how companies are still looking to wangle further coal mining deals, despite the cries of climate activists, and others. Some things remain the same.

We have seen that perhaps our so-called justice system favours high-profile privileged and famous Paralympians, while the endless anonymous and unseen “nobodies” continue to endure limited “justice”. We’ve been reminded that a blind eye has been turned to most of the recommendations made by the Zondo Commission. Some things remain the same.

And we have continued to witness the devastation in Gaza – in the last 5 weeks, approximately another 13000 have been killed in Gaza. Over 6000 of those are children. So many things just remain the same.

I’ll be honest – I struggled initially to prepare for this morning – because so many things remain the same. But then in between the blank spaces and the feelings of emptiness, I started to hear whispers of hope and comfort. Let us pray together.

Beloved God, week after week as we light this Candle of Peace, Hope and Justice, we inevitably feel saturated with the heartache, despair and injustice in our world. We struggle to get our heads around what is happening. We struggle to find the words to pray. We struggle to sit patiently in our silence. We struggle to wait faithfully for you to do the totally unexpected. We struggle to see you in any of it.

And yet…if we wait for long enough, you gently remind us that you are in it. You take us by the hand into the places of deepest suffering, and you reveal to us that that is where you are. You are fully human in suffering. And yet…you are fully God.

Jesus, we know that you weep for the world – you wept at the death of a friend, and you surely weep at the senseless deaths of so many through war; at the unjust systems at play all over the world; at the destruction of Mother Earth, and the interwoven tapestry of life she has birthed. You surely weep at a sick world where there are rules of war – rules about when and how we can kill each other, but no real rules about how to live in peace together. Where extending a ceasefire cannot be agreed upon for fear of the enemy having more time to rearm, rather than any consideration for the mothers, fathers and children dying of hunger and illness and their wounds of war, because they have been cut off from all basic care. We know you are not numb to suffering, and we are strangely comforted by this.

Jesus, we pray that you will show us how to truly identify with the lowly and the least. With the victims of the unjust and often cruel systems of our world. Remove the scales from our eyes so that we will no longer be blind to their humanity. Help us to see them as sacred and worthy, to see them as family, and to see them as your precious children. Remind us again and again that what we do to the least of these, we do to you. Remind us that to love you, is to love them.

God of Tenderness, more often that not, the world feels like a place of despair. And yet…we see your footprints as you’ve walked into those places – give us the courage to walk with you. We see your fingerprints on the hearts of the suffering – give us the compassion to touch them as you do.

God of Mercy, the barbed wire can seem overwhelming.

And yet…your divine love appears like light shining through all the cracks in the darkness. Your compassion radiates in the hidden darkness. And so we cling on to those rays of light, holding onto hope. A hope that we have because of the undeniable reign of Christ. A hope that we have because there is no greater power than the love of Jesus for our world. A hope that we have because Christ alone reigns.

We are grateful that in these troubled times, when so many things remain the same, you too remain the same – yesterday, today, and forever. And that is the whisper of hope.

We pray together: God bless Africa and all the world. Guard our children. Guide our leaders. And give us peace.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 19 November 2023 by Gilbert Lawrence.

All life is sacred.

Are some lives more sacred than others?

I feel for the babies dying and who have died, and their families, in Gaza. Doctors and healthcare staff desperately working in the midst of war. Trying to heal comfort and give hope. There are inadequate facilities, diminishing resources, unrelenting need, and constant fear.

All life is sacred. All cannot be saved.

I feel for the family of yet another student knifed to death by someone close to her. Gender based violence again and again.

Are some lives less sacred? Human violence diminishes all of humanity.

We have amazing God given minds and we have a cognitive ability that responds instantaneously for our pursuit of daily life. Yet that same ability allows us to be able to be negative too. To judge others, to share negative views, to ridicule or denigrate, to judge that the other whoever, and wherever, near or far, is less worthy in our view..

Our upbringing, education, peer groups, family, social groups all help to feed that negativity. So, we determine a value of the human beings we meet or even live with and even sit alongside in church. We struggle to be impartial, fair, non-discriminatory. O yes, we do have great flushes of love, care and charity and are commended for it. But, sadly for some the negativity Is expressed in violence. whether it be interpersonal, group, gang or even state violence that ultimately is embellished in war.

All life is sacred, are some lives are more sacred than others?

Let us pray.

Lord of all of creation, forgive our foolish ways. Create in us new hearts and new minds in Christ, to see, believe and know that all life is sacred.

We mourn the deaths of so many innocent victims of violence. Singly, or en masse. Forgive our ability to rationalized; to ignore. We want to be faithful Lord, we want to care, to love, to be a true neighbour for all as your commandment proclaims. Heal the possibility of violence in me lord. In thought, in word and in what I do and what I am capable of. Help me to confront what can be. Heal our violence lord. Heal our nation’s violence. Heal our world’s violence. Merciful parent God, we pray for the souls of all the babies whose lives were crushed by human violence. They will never experience life in all its fullness. They will never be able to pray as the psalmist: “God, you created my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”.

Dear Lord, thank you. All life, is sacred. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 22 October 2023 by Terence Parker.

Lord God, we gather today to adore you.

You are the ground and source of all that is.

You hold us in being, and without you we could not be.

Before we were born, before time began, before the universe came into being, you were.

When time is finished, when the universe is no more, you will still be.

Nothing can take your power from you.

And in your presence we can only be silent before the mystery of your being, for no words of ours can do justice to your grandeur.

We gather to be changed, O Lord. For our thoughts, words and deeds to be congruent to your calling on our lives. So that our living may reflect your image. Your image carved within our innermost being.

Forgive us for living as if it matters little that Jesus was raised from the dead,

For scrambling for more and more, never believing that we have quite enough

Forgive us for living in doubt and discouragement, desperately trying to make our lives secure, without much hope for the future

Forgive us for thinking that the solution to our conflicts is destruction of our enemies, for forgetting that we are all created in your image,

Yet you have spoken to us.

Out of universal silence your living word has sprung.

You have spoken, and given form and beauty to the world.

You have spoken, and given purpose to human life.

You have spoken, and declared the forgiveness of our sin.

You have spoken, and freed us from the fear of death.

Lord Jesus Christ, divine Word, speak to us now.

Continue to remind us of the beauty of life;

unite us to your eternal purpose for our lives;

remove our guilt; conquer the fear of death in our hearts.

Lord, speak, and let us hear

Thank you that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us now,

Thank you for displaying your strength and love in our everyday lives, and enabling us to love you and give ourselves for others

Thank you for the promise that we, too, will be raised and that we will one day see you face to face.

In the name of Christ,


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 22 October 2023 by Heather Hill.

South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Mozambique, Cameroon, Somalia, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, the DRC, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Gaza. If you try and research how many armed conflicts and wars there are currently in the world, you will find that there are as many as 110. These include what we traditionally know as war (Russia-Ukraine), but also civil war, ethnic war, terrorist insurgency, and drug wars.

Although every aspect of war is sickening, what I have found particularly distressing and heart-wrenching this week are the images of the children of war. About half the population of Gaza are children, and we have probably all seen pictures of injured or lifeless children caught in the middle of the violence in the Middle East. If the children aren’t killed by gunfire, bomb explosions or airstrikes, there is every chance that a lack of food, water and access to healthcare will cause death. In Yemen, 2.2 million children under the age of 5 have been treated for malnutrition during the time of strife in that area. A child dies every 10 minutes from hunger in Yemen. In Afghanistan, it is reported that 15.3 million people are malnourished, with many parents selling their children so that they no longer have to try and feed them.

Homes are lost during war, leading to the refugee crisis our world faces. At least half the refugees worldwide are children.

In war-torn Haiti, it is reported that 300 children have been kidnapped for financial or tactical gain, for sexual violence, or to recruit them as child soldiers to fight their wars. It is estimated that 225 million children and teenagers worldwide have had their education come to a standstill as a result of conflict. The long term effect of this will be devastating.

I went for a run a week ago, and along the route there was a group of people peacefully showing their support for our sisters and brothers in Palestine. Amongst the group were some children, holding out their hands for runners to touch as they ran by. I found it all incredibly moving, and found my hand lingering in one of the children’s as I ran by, holding onto it for an extra second or 2, as the pain of children around the world flashed through my mind.

Let us pray.

Ever-loving God. As we are fed statistics, pictures and videos of the horror of the conflicts around the world, the barbed wire seems to be completely overwhelming. We do not know where or how to begin to pray. And so sometimes we just sit in silence with you, so so grateful that we have the gift of silence, and not the sound of gunfire reigning down all around us. The death and destruction in war-torn parts of your beautiful world are simply unimaginable to us, and so our words feel so small. We might wonder how they can make a difference. And yet we want to cry to you again, as we do each week, ever-loving parent – guard our children. Somehow, somehow, may they know the Presence of the great comforter. May they hear you whispering that you know each of their names, that you see them in their pain, and that you want them to be free. May they know that your deep presence will go with them, that you will give them rest, rest that is perhaps a mystery to us all. This morning we acknowledge and celebrate the precious belovedness of one of your children through baptism in the safe space of this sanctuary. We pray for the miracle of your children on the battlefields somehow also knowing their precious belovedness.

Closer to home, we ask again that you guard our children – the children in our families and in our communities. Guard them from the deception that they are superior. Guard them from ever believing that they are “less than”. Guard them from mistrusting others based on race, religion or ethnicity. Guard them from the temptation of believing that a solution is to oppress, intimidate, dominate, violate, hate…another. May they rise to be lovers of peace, compassion, gentleness, courage and justice.

Right now the barbed wire does seem overwhelming. God, it is difficult to see you in the chaos and the carnage. It might even be easier to stop looking and to turn away. But as Peter once asked, to whom else can we go? To whom else can we turn, other than the God of peace, and mercy, the God of compassion, and comfort, revealed to us in Jesus.

God of the silence – may the gunfire cease. The noise of the airstrikes be muted. The loud destruction of bombs be silenced. The agonising wailing of parents be hushed. The crying children be comforted and stilled. In the stillness, may your voice be heard. Out of the quiet, may your desperate invitation for your people to live in peace be heard. With hope, we pray that your light, symbolised by the candle, may rise in the darkness, and that our gloom will become like midday. Ever-loving God, may your hand linger forever in those of your children of war, as you hold them ever close.

And so we plead with you again together, as we pray

God bless Africa and all the world.
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 15 October 2023 by Ian Proudfoot.

Loving, all-knowing parent, we sit with you today for these few, brief minutes as we collectively take stock of the escalating pain and suffering enveloping the world at this time. Not ignoring so much of the pain and suffering continuing in so many other places, we cannot do other than reflect on the catastrophe currently unfolding in the Middle East. A newspaper cartoon this week summed up the complexity of the situation by putting on the table the realities of the barbarism on both sides of the conflict, the bigger powers behind it and simultaneously noting a root issue of systematic violence and oppression of a population group for 75 years. Perhaps it was equally well expressed in the words of an Israeli journalist who said, “There is no military solution to Israel’s problem with Gaza, nor to the resistance that naturally emerges as a response to violent apartheid.”

You counsel us not to be anxious about anything but instead, in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to let our requests be made known to you. We therefore turn to you now, to try and do just that yet, not actually sure how to do this.  

We ask you each week to guide our leaders, so we bring them to you first. Most of us acknowledge that violence is not the answer and will only be escalated as revenge and retribution are given free range to fuel it. And yet, so many of our global leaders believe and act out the exact opposite. We ask you now to raise up the peacemakers at multiple levels in societies around the world, who, against so much currently polarised sentiment, need to have their voices heard. Cause ears to be opened to hear and eyes to be unveiled to perceive the truth and give power and authority to turn it into action. Blessed are the peacemakers, you said, for they shall be called children of God. Raise up these your children at this time. We pray this, not only for the leaders in the region but also for those in positions of greater power behind the regional conflict. We ask this too for those in polarising positions all around the world, where all too easily strong opinions add fuel to simmering fires.  

And, as always, we bring it closer to home, to us as individuals in our relationships with our neighbours. We ask you each Sunday to bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world. We do this again today as we reflect on how we too are complicit in this, sometimes just in small ways. We consider for a moment the regular acts of mini-violence in our own lives. You say that vengeance is yours, not ours, and that we must love our enemies, yet so often we either think vengeful thoughts or actually carry them out in various ways. All too often too, we struggle to love those for whom we have no strong feelings let alone our enemies, whom you commanded us to love. You ask us to fill our minds with things that are true, honourable, just, pure, lovely and commendable yet we acknowledge that, at times, we allow our minds to be cluttered with gossip or entertainment media that does the exact opposite.

So, loving parent, we lay ourselves before you again, crying out as the psalmist said, to create in us a new heart. Shape us again into your likeness, oh God as we choose to yield again to the potter’s loving hands. You remain, as always, the God of grace, the God of mercy and the only one who can give true absolution. We sum up our hearts cry to you again, as we do each week in saying,

God bless Africa and all the world, Guard our children,
Guide our leaders and give us peace, Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 17 September 2023 by Ian Proudfoot.

Pure, loving and forgiving God, as we bring ourselves deliberately into your presence for this hour in a week of our full lives, we stop for a few minutes to reflect on just a small part of who you really are. The psalmist has said of you that you are sheer mercy and grace, that you don’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor do you pay us back in any way for our wrongs. How amazing this is, and so contrary to our ways of thinking. What an extraordinary God you are that this should define you; not anger, not power, not revenge, but unmerited favour, forgiveness when totally unwarranted, and loving engagement when it just seems so illogical.  

We agree with you that, as the sky soars above the earth, so the way you think and work surpasses the way we do. When we are wronged or hurt our first instinct is to be angry, to lash out, to want revenge and you, in sharp contrast, are not easily angered, nor are you vengeful and furthermore, are always quick to forgive. When you walked this earth, you told us to forgive seventy times seven, to never stop forgiving and you modelled it again and again. How extra-ordinary is this that you should be like this.

We come to you now, oh extraordinary God, in our brokenness and failure. Broken in our natures that need so much work to be like you, failure in the many times that we continue to bear a grudge, the times we hold onto grievances and wish harm on others for what they have done to us or others we love. We acknowledge that you have forgiven us for way, way more than anything anyone could ever do to us. You cleared our slate once, you did it again and you continue to do it out of your amazing nature. Please forgive us once again, beautiful God. Draw us in close that we may again be set free to know the freedom of forgiveness from you and the freedom of our forgiveness of others.

 And, as we move into the rest of this time with you this morning, we know once again, that you have extended your hand of freedom and forgiveness. In your mercy you have seen a contrite heart, a willing spirit and in your love, you once again hear our prayer. We now turn together to you to prayer in the way you taught us … Our Mother-Father …

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 20 August 2023 by Heather Hill.

God of All.

Creator of everything.

From that which is invisible to the naked eye, to the vastness of the galaxies.

Your beauty shines through in the twinkling of the stars.

Your attention to detail in the delicate wings of a butterfly.

Your tender fragility and femininity in the soft spring blossoms.

Your sense of fun in the call of the guinea fowl early in the morning.

You are perfect giving, and perfect receiving.

Perfect meekness, and perfect power.

Perfectly hidden, and perfectly revealed.

You know perfectly when to act, and when to be still.

You are perfectly within us, and perfectly outside of us – in the joys and celebrations of this world, even more so in its pain and struggles.

You are perfect Love.

And you love us with all our many imperfections. Show us how to love, oh God.

Forgive us when we have not looked for you in the sinful, tragic, painful places around us.

For denying your love when we have looked past outsiders.

For our acts of violence towards others when we have excluded them.

For slamming shut your door of healing on so many.

For avoiding the untouchable, and the untouched.

For deciding who are your beloved, and who are not.

God of All, forgive us.

Lord, we hear your invitation to the sacred space of Oneness – One with you, One with your creation, and right now, especially One with our neighbour.

And we answer yes.

Break down the stuff in us that stops us from being one with those we don’t like or agree with.

Help us to trust in the truth of our Oneness in you.

Lead us into the waters of your suffering love, a journey we know will bring pain, as it did for you.

Help us to let go of ourselves completely, knowing that when we have emptied ourselves, you will perfectly restore us.

And when it feels like it has become too painful for us to care, when we are numb in despair and helplessness, when we have no words, but only tears, we lean into you as you share the heartache of a gutted world.

Give us your strength in our fragility, weakness, brokenness and failures.

Give us your strength to not avoid the struggle of loving others, to not try and sidestep the anguish of what it means to live as One.

As we walk in your garden of grace and see the promise of new life and hope in the green buds and pink blossoms, we too want to grow. But we know for growth to be true and meaningful, there is usually pain. May we not shy away from this pain, but rather embrace it. Because it is an exquisite pain – the more we touch it, the more it is soothed. Soothed by the healing balm that is Jesus.

Lord, you are our Being.

You are the deepest flow of life.

You are the air we breathe. Our small minds cannot understand this mystery.

And so, we just breathe it in.

As we breathe out, may we breathe shalom, love, forgiveness, truth, mercy.

May we know that we, and every other person in this world, are held by the eternal embrace of the God of All. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayers for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 20 August 2023 by Terence Parker. This broadcast is referred to during the prayer.

This week I was reminded about the trauma and suffering of people living amidst gang violence in Cape Town.

A foster mother of 7 children living in Manenberg, Raeefah Benjamin, posted a video on social media taken after shooting between 2 rival gangs in her neighbourhood.

In desperation, she appealed for someone to give her a plot of land or a rundown building to establish a safe home for her family (01:31-02:09):

“…I don’t want to live here anymore … every day they shoot through my window …”

On Friday morning she was interviewed and probed about her plea.

Let’s listen to the interview on Cape Talk (06:24-10:46)

“…I can’t live like this anymore …”, she cries. Heart-wrenching.

The circumstances in which Raeefah and many families live in across the world are represented by the barbed wire: structural violence, poverty, unemployment, addiction, fear.

But in the midst of that chaos and suffering, we heard about signs of life, represented by the flicker of light of the candle:

  • Looking out for each other, communicating when it’s safe to return home.
  • A mother of 7 children entrusted by Child Welfare Society who feeds children every morning.


Let us pray:

O Lord, as the cries of Raeefah Benjamin and other mothers in desperation pierce our ears and touch our hearts,

We remember your word through the Psalmist (Psalm 34) that:

  • Your ears are open to their cries for help
  • You hear your people when we call for help
  • You rescue us from all our troubles
  • You are close to the broken-hearted
  • You rescue those whose spirits are crushed.


Thank you, Lord, for being close to us in our brokenness, For your promise to rescue us from our crushed spirits

Thank you for the courage of those who serve in areas where the weapons of war threaten them and the communities daily.

We give thanks for the life of Charl Kinnear of Bishop Lavis, gunned down in his driveway for his work to break the power of gang leaders. Comfort his loved ones in their grief and struggle for justice.

O Lord, we know that the roots of gangsterism are complex, but we also know that every gang member is created in your image, and like us, need to be reminded that they were born in love, by love and for love

That they belong to your family, called to love on another as you love us.

That power comes from you and shows itself in healing and reconciliation, not through the barrel of a gun.

Lord, help us as your children and as community to live those values that reflect your love, joy and peace. May Your Kingdom come.

We pray the prayer for Africa and the world:


Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 13 August 2023 by Nicole Terblanche.

“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.” Psalms 85:10-13 NRSV

It’s not always comfortable, God,
but it is certainly good,
that you go straight for the heart.

You do not allow us to skate over the surface of life,
filling our days with dry legality,
and pretend righteousness;
No, you come at us from the inside,
challenging our thoughts and attitudes,
our motives and perceptions;
and shaping them into the fuel for change
that gives us hearts like yours,
and lives that are lived from the inside out.

None of this is normal.
None of this is new, even as so much is and feels unprecedented.
All of this has been building for a long time.
Repairing/restoring/healing is long, slow labour.
Some losses can never be made right.

Here we are.
May we: breathe. create. harbour. share nourishment. savour the joy that finds us. cultivate beauty where and how we can. disrupt the shit that’s killing us, collectively and unequally. tend life with fierce and tender care.

We praise you, O God,
for your uncomfortable grace,
your transforming Spirit,
and for the gift of lives
lived with integrity and compassion
from the inside out.

It feels like madness to stand before the giant
with nothing but faith and a few small stones.
It seems insane to believe that anything but brute force
can match the challenge of the powerful.

But, in the stillness a different voice whispers,
speaking of crosses and empty tombs,
of justice and God’s concern for the weak;
In the stillness fear and insecurity can be heard
in the bellowing of the bullies;
And in the stillness the temptation in each of us
to cling to our power at all costs
becomes clear and transparent.

And so we find ourselves once again in prayer, Jesus,
that the gentle persuasion of your cross
may change how we do power in our world;
that the strong and wealthy may find life
in sharing and empowering;
and that we each, in our own small way, may remember
that our storms are most often stilled
when we allow your authority to lead us,
and your justice to teach us how to live.

Please click here to download the Prayers for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 13 August 2023 by Gilbert Lawrence.

The lit candle a flickering flame surrounded by the barbed wire that symbolises the pain hurt suffering and fear in the world.

Last Wednesday was Women’s Day. In the Western Cape we did not celebrate Women’s Day because of the taxi transport issue that resulted in a strike with violence, death and destruction over days. We are grateful for the current respite.

People are angry , saddened, tempted to vent, to blame to support, to fear, and even to act lawlessly … our response to conflict is so predictable … And the media especially social media did its thing.

There was an article in Groundup News on Thursday, by Sadiso Phaliso on women marching in Philippi. In the face of days of staying at home, unable to travel to work with limited income and food supplies and price increases and with on-going violence and looting (the community library was vandalised and looted) these courageous women, decided to march.

They did not march on the political or taxi powers. No it went deeper in its purpose. They marched on, and in, their own community. Their own friends, neighbours and the broader Philippi community . They called for an end to the violence, looting, and the destruction of property and they called out those who broke the law.

One of these women was quoted as saying, “As women we felt so powerless. In such cases, women and children are told to stay at home while men go out to solve the problems, but now we decided to stand up and tell the community to stop.”

The women reclaimed their streets seeking to be family rather than foe, challenging mothers, yes mothers not to hide culprit children but give them up, not to allow stolen goods into their homes, and to end destruction of property.

Those women exhibited the true spirit of women in crisis situations.

In a focused way they cared about the core of their community, showing a spirit of community building. But done in love and care and challenge each other. I believe they reflected what is right and true and of God in such situations. Truly Good news.

For the courageous women of Philippi, the march was like the flickering of this candle, a small but a “cannot be ignored” protest in the so called bigger picture of our country.

It sends a message of hope that defies the darkness of a fear that paralysises.


Let us pray:
Lord of hope we celebrate with all of creation, a new day. We rejoice O Lord in Christ.

As we reflect on the past week we know you weep with us at the frailty of humankind in living in community. We too morn the many lost opportunities to live together as the human family.

Forgive us, Lord, our ways and means of resolving conflict are not your ways.

We are easily persuaded, incited, convinced, obliged, to follow certain courses of action and become agents of fear despair and even hatred. Discernment and joy struggle to be seen or heard. We want to be a people sharing hope and your love.

We give thanks for signs and symptoms of flickering flame that shines through the self-encompassing barbed wire that we use to define our lived experiences of fear and injustice.

Such a flickering flame has been the example of the women of Philippi. the flickering flame is vulnerable, is at risk yet in its flickers brightly in darkness denying the progress of fear.

For all the courageous women, and all who have been courageous we give thanks O Lord.

Lord in your mercy we prayer for those Philippi feet that marched, the mouths that spoke truth, the arms that sought to embrace, and the hearts so vulnerably opened.

Lord may women continue to show the way , not to tire, to be courageous and to share the love of Christ each day. May there be many more flickering flames of courage in our communities.

The journey has not yet ended, O Lord. May we all rediscover the love of Christ in our feet, our arms, our voices, our hearts, and above all, we may actually rediscover ourselves as we build community. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 6 August 2023 by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Today the focus of the peace and justice candle will be on the domestic workers in South Africa of whom most are women racialised as black. Domestic work in South Africa (and all over the world) has its roots in slavery and for many women the conditions of their employment are brutal with the majority living with precarious financial stability, with no pension, no unemployment benefits, no access to private medical aid or adequate annual leave. Worldwide, according to HRW – Despite DW essential roles in private homes, they are among the most exploited and abused workers in the world. Children and migrant domestic workers are often the most vulnerable.

Let us pray.

Dear God help us to be confronted by the stark reality that for most domestic workers who are mothers, the absence from their own children and their own home is because of their presence raising other children and cleaning other homes. This absence has brutal consequences for these women and their own families, often shifting patterns of who can care for their children for generations. Let us pray for radical compassion from those who employ domestic workers, that they are moved to pay much more than the minimum wage, that they take care of the transport costs of their employees and are understanding if the domestic worker needs to take time off work not only to care for their own sick children but also sometimes to watch their own children in a school play or at a sports match. These acts of basic humanity (and parenting as usual for some) are often never enjoyed by domestic workers and their children therefore suffer the consequences of their parents and mostly their mother’s inhumane yet widely accepted conditions of employment. Lord forgive us.

We pray that we can start paying more attention to the reasons why more than 30 years post democracy and because of apartheid spatial geography domestic workers have to travel long distances to get to work, at great expense and in unsafe modes of transport and then additionally have to walk to the various homes they work at in the early morning and then repeat this unsafe and long journey every evening after a full day of work.

The footsteps of domestic workers can be heard early in the morning and late in the evening, in suburbs that people are climbing into cars in order to go to their places of work – the disparities are so stark, yet they are normalised for all of us. God forgive us. Let us pray for each step taken by a domestic worker, for it is a daily march often needing tremendous courage as each step is a step closer to being dehumanised, erased, or ignored. Each step becomes a silenced act of protest.

Each step reinforces absence as it leaves the ground and presence when it reaches the ground again – we can and must do better about the absence of security, the absence of care, the absence of comfort, the absence of the process of dehumanising someone in order for them to work in conditions that are closer to conditions of slavery than the basic conditions of employment. God forgive us.

Omnipresent Lord,  we thank you for the few employers who treat the domestic workers who are in their homes fairly and not as property, who are able to make a difference in these domestic workers lives because of their commitment to nation building and for those employers who are paying their domestic workers much more than the minimum wage – BUT this should not be lauded as generosity or benevolence but rather very simply – the right and just way to live…a Jesus way?

Dear Lord, help us to wake up to the injustices we are a part of again and again every single day in our own homes and in this home, we call South Africa. God, forgive us.

Let us pray the prayer for Africa and all the world:

God Bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our Leaders and
Give us peace



*On the 9th August 1956, more than 20,000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings . The march was led by Lillian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph and Sophia Williams. This Wednesday, 9 August 2023 is National Women’s Day.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 30 July 2023 by Terence Parker.

Creator God, as we quieten ourselves to step more deliberately into your presence, we acknowledge you as a God of love, mercy and grace, but also a God of deep mystery:

A God who steered this magnificent creation into being yet at the same time, cares about little birds and little children dying, and the number of hairs on our heads.

It is you who designed the magnificence of a sunset, the intricacies of a single flower, the power of the ocean and also the many, many creatures that live in and around it.

Yet somehow, in all this, you have the capacity to care about each one of us, scattered across continents and oceans.

Somehow you have the capacity to hear our pain and reach into our hearts and let us know you are there.

You forgive and extend grace, at times beyond our understanding.

Amazingly, you are there; whenever we turn to you, you are there.

O Lord, we confess that though you have given us a world of beauty, we have spoilt it

A world with enough food to feed everyone, and so many go hungry.

A world of riches, and we are unwilling to share.

A world to care for, and we think only of ourselves.

Forgive us, gracious God, for those times your heart is saddened by our selfishness,

For those times we have no thought for others, no cares but ours,

Enable us to see Planet Earth anew as a gift from you,

To be shared and nurtured, and all who live upon it to be loved and cared for

Lord, you are full of compassion.

You are gracious, slow to anger, and generous in mercy; with you there is always forgiveness!

Those of us who are mourning, we open our hearts to you to know your comforting presence.

those of us who are struggling, we turn to you for strength, guidance and assurance.

those of us rejoicing, we acknowledge your work in our lives in gratitude.

Gracious God, in your amazing mercy, reach out to us in ways that only you know how – how wonderful it is to know your acceptance, to know your love, despite everything.

How extraordinary it is to know and engage with a God whose nature is to forgive, to reconcile and to make new.

We say to you now; we are present, forgiven and loved and our hearts are open to you.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for challenging us with tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which make a difference in the lives of people, many of whom we will never meet or know.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may we give thanks to you in all things.

In the name of Jesus Christ,


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 23 July 2023 by Ian Proudfoot.

The world is a very angry place at the moment and South Africa is right up there with it. We are an angry country, so much of it rooted in the wide range of injustices experienced constantly by its citizens. And it’s not surprising because a sense of justice is built into our design, making us keenly aware of any sense of unfairness coupled with a desire to have this addressed.

At a very public level so many in this country are following the extraordinary strategies of people like Adv Mkwebane and Mr Zuma to avoid facing justice. Millions of people have suffered injustice generated by their individual decisions and actions alone, and with this comes an anger and desperation to see justice done. How many lives have been lost because of crooked cops facilitating transfer of firearms to criminals. Will justice be seen to be done for the devastation this has wreaked in so many individual families. Coming closer to home, how many people suffer ongoing injustice at the hands of an unreasonable boss, a partner, a parent? What about unfair discrimination due to race, gender, age, gender orientation, culture, religion, and more? We can be destroyed by the hurt and rage generated by injustice as so many are. We could however follow the example of Jesus by turning, as the psalmist said, to a God who is a rock of refuge to who we can come, again and again. Please join me as we do this.

We come to you this morning, oh God of beautiful righteousness and justice. You are the one who, incarnated to live like us, modelled perfectly a godly approach to injustice, to both others and to ourselves.

For others, you confronted injustice at every turn, challenging it for what it truly was, whether seen or unseen. In small interpersonal encounters you challenged attitudes and beliefs of those who considered themselves pillars of righteousness; in those about to stone the woman caught in adultery, in those about to throw out the woman who washed and dried your feet with her tears and hair. You challenged the religious leaders of the day, speaking about the gross injustices perpetuated by their misrepresentation of you to the communities they were supposed to serve. In a righteous rage, you overturned the tables of religious and economic abuse in the temple and, at huge risk to yourself, you even challenged the oppressive government leaders of the day.

Yet, whilst you fought fiercely for others, when it came to injustice towards yourself, your response was remarkable. As you suffered rejection and misrepresentation as part of your everyday life, you never fought for yourself but rather repeatedly entrusted yourself to the only one who could truly save you. When they hurled their insults at you, you didn’t retaliate; when you suffered, you made no threats. Knowing full well where your challenge to religious and governmental injustice would lead, you pressed on, regardless. In the ultimate challenges of your last few days, you agonised in Gethsemane to a point of acceptance, bracing yourself to face your torturers for an indescribable assault on your body, mind and spirit. And, in your final unfathomable response to personal injustice, you asked for forgiveness for the people who were not only excruciatingly painfully nailing you to a piece of wood but also committing possibly the greatest injustice of all time.

So, holy and truly awesome God, we lie face down at your feet, acknowledging your greatness in what you did in facing injustice during your time of incarnation. You are truly an example like no other and we fully acknowledge that being like you in this way is far beyond our human abilities. We fail in so many ways. In confronting injustice towards others, we so easily shy away from it often just because it may make people not like us or perhaps cause an uncomfortable vibe. And yet, when encountering injustice towards ourselves, we are the first to jump up and down with indignation and rage, demanding justice and fairness in everyone’s dealings with us.

So, we bring to you our leaders all around us, from top leaders in government, industry and civil society right through to leaders of just one or two people. We pray especially for all those of us who still have eyes to see the injustice around us and where we have influence to address it. We ask for courage beyond our ability to do what we know needs to be done. We ask too for strengthening of ourselves to behave as you did in response to what may be thrown at us. At a level closer to home, we bring to you partners, work colleagues, parents, siblings and even children. Shine a light on the injustices we commit that we might see them for what they are and change our ways. Show us too how we could respond more like you as we experience injustice directed at us and, please God, don’t just show us how we could be more like you but lead us to the sources of empowering to do so.

In this country, in this world, more than ever, we need people, moulded and shaped by you, in the fight against, so we pray together.

God bless Africa and all the world,
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of Sunday 16 July 2023 by Jacqui Couper.


There is a spectrum and range of pointing that has become part of our normal living. I was taught as a child to not point; it was rude but also that three fingers were pointing back at me. The spectrum of pointing ranges from highlighting mistakes of others, blaming others for their behaviour to the violence of pointing guns at others. Our use of language violent images with deadlines for a submission and targets for projects and being triggered by something.

The number of people who die from a gun pointed at them each day is staggering and heart breaking. The murder rate statistics are beyond comprehension.

From mid-May to end of June 2023 (six weeks) police in partnership with business against crime and other crime fighting stakeholders collectively contributed to the recovery of more than 900 unlicensed firearms and 10 000 rounds of ammunition

There were 370 people arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Sadly, a police sergeant from Bushbuckridge was charged with murder after using his service firearm to gun down the mother of his child at her workplace. This un-named mother was working at a petrol station and died close to midnight. The news report made no mention of their child. Too many children are suffering from the trauma of guns and violence.

On Tuesday 7th July SAPS destroyed and hopefully smelted 30000 illegal firearms, giving some hope in the midst of suffering. Let us pray.

All Embracing God who comes to us clothed in vulnerability and nakedness and a deep desire for our freedom from the suffering around us.

All Loving God, who sits at our tables, giving of Yourself, listening to our stories, and waits for our attention.

Oh, wonderful Creator who designed each and every molecule, small insect, animal and all of humankind, with such care and intention. Oh, how you long for all to live together as one.

It is hard to admit to ourselves how we have failed You.

We want to point to others for the reason of our behaviour, not too dissimilar to the blame of the snake in the garden of Eden, saying Not me, it was that one.

We try to hide ourselves from You, ashamed of our boldness to devour the things that do not belong to us.
Forgive us for pointing out the splinter in the eyes of others and yet carry the forest in our own.
We need Your grace to melt down our own hurt,
We ask for Your grace to melt the hurt we cause to others.
We need Your grace to melt down the hurt and trauma that is so part of our communities and daily living.
We ask You to teach us Your ways of love, patience kindness, and gentleness.
Show us Your ways of hope and life that this becomes part of our daily lives.
Be gracious to us and show us the ways of new life. Amen


lease click here to download the Opening Prayers [moved by Psalm 145 and Romans 7] of Sunday 9 July 2023 by Alan Storey.

Psalm: The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and Lord’s compassion is over all that the Lord has made.

Romans: I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. … I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil… Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Psalm: The Lord is faithful and gracious in all the Lord’s deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.
The Lord is just in all the Lord’s ways, and kind in all the Lord’s doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Merciful One we gather here today because we know the psalmist’s words of your steadfast love to be true and we know that the contradictions within our human condition that Paul writes of are also true. We gather to acknowledge both. We gather to celebrate your compassion and confess our contradictions. But more than that we gather with a longing for your compassion to touch and transform, and to calm the waring contradictions within us – that cause so much hurt and brokenness in the world.

We gather to be changed. To be changed. For our thoughts, words and deeds to be congruent to your calling on our lives. So that our living may reflect your image. Your image carved within our innermost being. Hear our confession:

We think we have to be strong and powerful to make a difference in the world – but you tell us that it is the gentle who will inherit the earth.

We think we must be right in all things to be righteous – but you tell us we must be loving in all things to be holy.

We think we must be tough to get the best out of people – but you tell us we must be merciful.

We think and plan and worry about tomorrow all the while you invite us to ponder the lilies of the field.

We scramble for more and more never believing we have quite enough – while you encourage us to give and share trusting there is always enough for the generous at heart.

We are quick to speak – you ask us to be quick to listen.

We judge others – you ask us to deal with the log in our own eye instead of focusing on the splinter in another’s eye.

We desire to do to others what they have done to us, yet you instruct us to do to others as we would desire them to do to us.

We want a god who destroys our enemies – yet you come tell us to love our enemies as you so love them.

We want a divine power that will help us to win – and you teach that the last will be first and whoever humbles themselves will be truly great.

Give us an unshakable knowing that your compassion covers all you have made – including each one of us. By your compassion help us to have compassion for ourselves and each other. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Peter Storey of Sunday 9 July 2023 by Peter Storey.

As Alan lights the candle of Peace and Hope and Justice, I wonder if you’ve been struck, as I have, by how small the flame is, and how each week this light of Christ seems to struggle in the midst of the cruel barbs coiling round it?

We are passing through dark days – and not just because of Eskom. The promise of newness just two decades ago has been suffocated by the coils of greed and violence. In one of our last conversations Desmond Tutu who played such a preeminent role in bringing light and freedom to our land, lamented today’s corruption and brutality: “We know our Bibles and our doctrine of the Fall,” he said, “so we shouldn’t be surprised, but we are allowed to be very, very sad.” He carried that sadness to the grave.

Therefore, It is good to recall that that there are moments when God’s truth, peace and justice do break into our broken world like an irresistible tide. I’ve seen such moments in my lifetime and so have many of you. Think about some of them:

  • In the 1950s and 60s the Black Church and Martin Luther King Jr. led the descendants of enslaved Africans in America onto the streets, braving the billy-clubs, the dogs, the firehoses and the prison cell – all in steadfast non-violence – to claim what was rightfully theirs: their citizenship and their dignity. Years of such courage finally prevailed.
  • In 1986, led by Catholic Cardinal Sin, people of all denominations peacefully packed the streets of Manila, blocking Ferdinand Marcos’ tanks and waving at the Air Force jets sent by to bomb them. The pilots turned away, people power won the day and the dictator was toppled.
  • In 1989, in Leipzig, every Monday evening, prayer meetings in the Nikolei church ended with candle-light processions, protesting the repressive Communist regime. The processions grew to many thousands chanting “We are the People!” and swelling the tide which ultimately pushed down the wall dividing our planet
  • And who among us can forget Cape Town in September of that same year, when decades of protest and resistance against oppression climaxed in the great march of the 30,000 led by Desmond Tutu and others, followed by the 25,000 in Johannesburg and marches right around the land? That day, people of all faiths and no faith showed that the power equation in apartheid South Africa had changed forever.

When we look back at these great “God-moments” and wonder why things are so tough now but it may be more helpful to remember that each of those moments had its birth in darkness, as a tiny candlelight:

  • The courageous marches for black civil rights in America began in the Highlander Folk School, where Rosa Parks and Martin King and John Lewis and so many other leaders were trained in non-violent direct action. A tiny candle glowing in the hills of Tennessee.
  • Meeting with some of those Filipino Christians just three months after they toppled Marcos, I asked them their secret, they said, “For ten years we met in small prayer groups for ten years, learning from Jesus to deal with the violence within ourselves and how to overcome our fear.”
  • In 1981 I also met some of the East Germans who marched so bravely against their regime eight years later. The World Council of Churches had brought young Christians from the West to Dresden to meet Christian youth in East Germany. They struggled and prayed until they found each other and made a promise never to make war on each other, but to work for world peace. There is a line from that first encounter to the thousands of small candles in Leipzig.
  • And yes, the great marches that helped turn the tide in this land would never have happened without decades of struggle by so many simple, courageous people, small acts of great bravery – and many, many funerals – each a tiny flame. This Candle of Peace, Hope and Justice was there too: first lit in the very dark 1970s on a church altar in Johannesburg, it soon spread to many churches across the land and the Prayer for Africa, written by a priest who was thrown out of South Africa for first exposing our darkness to the wider world*soon became linked with it.

We need it still.

God Bless Africa and all the World,
Guard our Children,
Guide our Rulers,
And give us Peace. AMEN

*Father Trevor Huddleston’s Naught for Your Comfort and Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country both burst on the world in the 1950s with what was really going on in South Africa.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 2 July 2023
by Alan Storey.

Candle of Peace Hope and Justice Prayer – Drug Addiction

1] This past week I witnessed repeatedly the struggle – the tormenting struggle of addiction. Sick and spaced out sat at the piano … beautiful melody … before falling asleep over the keys.

2] Another – I am using again Pastor. I want to be free. I am in this group and don’t know how to get out. They my friends. Nowhere else to go. I can’t manage my using.

3] Nyaope – a tsunami overwhelming our land. A cocktail of low-grade heroin, marijuana, cleaning detergents, rat poison and chlorine. Is cheap and highly addictive. Providing a short high…only a few hours. Self-medicating the despair and disillusionment and rage and hopelessness and feeling forgotten and frustrated. Especially young people. Narrowing life to focus on the next fix. Can cause one to go for days without eating – which weakens the immune system. Lying and stealing…violence and crime.

Addicts’ Dilemma

I am desperate to stop. I am desperate for another hit.
I want to be free – so let me stop. I want to be free – so give me another hit.

Let us pray: 
Liberating we pray for those who are held captive in addiction.

You are the One who hears the cries of the entrapped and enslaved.
You are the One who says these are my people – I alone am their God.
You are the One who has power over what has power over us – declaring: Let my people go.
You are the One who split open oceans of impossibility, enabling entire nations to walk free.
You are the One who draws near when the land of our bondage looks more enticing.
You are the One who provides manna when we crave again the food of captivity.
You are the One who teaches us how to live again in life giving ways.
You are the One who brings us into a spacious place …
Truly you are a liberating God.

Freedom enabling God, Hear the groans – the silent pleading – the screaming rage of those in the grip of addiction. Hear the melody played from this piano as a prayer to you – a testimony to the beauty within all that longs to be free. Hear all these as prayer.

We pray that you will soften and heal the hardened hearts of all those who deal in drugs.

To those who are using again – who want to be free – who feel powerless yet also find it so difficult to admit powerlessness. Be their strength. Be their strength. For is not your strength made perfect in weakness. Be their strength. Break the spell. Shatter the chains. Did you not say that your grace is sufficient – sufficient to set people free. All people free. In your grace, speak their name. Call them by name. Give to them a blessed assurance of your love. Remove their guilt and shame and despair as fast as the East is from the West. When all ways to freedom are closed – make a way. Draw near O God with a firm embrace when the withdrawal symptoms threaten to rip apart their insides. Provide wholesome nourishment, when they crave to return to the diet of bondage. Help them to keep site of their own beauty and the possibility for change alive, through the beauty of a sunrise, stars at night, a bird song. Through friend, family, stranger, therapist, social worker – use whoever you can …

We pray too for waiting parents – parents who scarcely ever sleep – who are forever scanning the horizon praying for their child to come on home. Parents who wait and wait and wait. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 25 June 2023
by Terence Parker.

“A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”. This quotation is attributed to Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin who was highlighting the military’s tendency to give more importance to a single casualty if it was an American than to the million civilians who perished in WW2 if they were non-Americans.

This sentiment echoes though society daily as we read/ hear about casualties, this week when comparing the deaths of billionaires in a submersible vessel and refugee boats carrying hundreds of desperate people fleeing conflict, or deaths in the ongoing conflict zones of Ukraine, Sudan, the Cape Flats.

It exposes how privilege has hardened our hearts. Psychologists say that when we are confronted by multiple casualties, we turn our emotional volume down in fear of being overwhelmed.

But as children of God, this goes against our understanding that we are all created in the image of God. Throughout the ages the church has taught that “all human life is sacred; everyone has a right to life which should be protected and valued at every stage of life”.

In our reflection today, we think of the things that cause us to dehumanise people who are different to us – race, gender identity, citizenship, class – the barbed wire.

We use the light of the candle to rediscover our belovedness in Christ, to draw courage to reach out beyond our comfort zone and bring life and light to people on the outside.

Let us pray:

O Lord, we confess that we are afraid of being overwhelmed by daily reports of death, and our hearts have hardened.

But you have promised to give us a new heart, that you will put a new spirit in us. You will take out our stony, stubborn hearts and give us a tender, responsive heart (Ezekiel 36:26)

O Lord, as we are faced with daily news about

  • Refugees losing their lives trying to flee conflict.
  • Artisanal miners losing their lives fighting for scraps left by mining companies.
  • Fatalities of gang warfare in the nearby neighbourhoods
  • People losing their dignity by politicians “cleansing our communities” of foreigners.


We ask you for courage to

  • Speak out against injustice and dehumanising policies and practices.
  • Stand up for those without a voice and the strength to fight dehumanising systems.
  • Use every opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer.


Knowing that you call us to be your hands and feet as our act of worship.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

We pray the prayer for Africa and the world:


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 18 June 2023
by Gilbert Lawrence.

Good morning, Creator God. A new day has dawned, and we rejoice in awesome wonder as we are part of it. We celebrate your love and grace so freely given and worship you in spirit and truth.
Hear our prayer, O God

We are so thankful for healing, for relief from pain, fear and hopelessness, for care and comfort, for words of encouragement and helping hands often from strangers. We are thankful for our ability to provide, to sustain and to grow in faith.
Hear our prayer, O Lord

 We reflect on all of creation, and our daily lives.

The horrors of violence and brutality across our communities and the world grieves your heart, parent God. We commend in prayer those in great need at this time, trusting in you, o God of compassion.

It grieves us too, and it often causes us to fear being overwhelmed by despair. Let us truly examine our own, one-life, fueled by prejudices, biases, busy-ness and quick judgements, often supported by those “like us”. That kind of life conveniently allows us to evade our calling and diminishes our ability to live and share a full life in Christ, with Christ and for Christ. 
Hear our prayer, O Christ

 Forgive our slowness to learn from your teachings and presence in the world and from so many who truly follow you. Forgive our lack of discomfort at our inaction in the stewardship of this exploited planet.

Free us to fill our cups to overflowing with your Holy Spirit, deliberately, each day. Help us to have a sane estimate of ourselves. To be deeply aware that we all have some resources to share. We can be your unconditional gift to others in fellowship and friendship.
Hear our prayer, O Spirit

 We believe in your promises, the signs of hope and new life, even in our time, and we will go onward in the power of the Spirit, now and evermore.

Lord, I hear your voice,
Lord,I hear your voice.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 11 June 2023
by Alan Storey.

God of great majesty and mystery, with humility we offer you our praise.

Your glory is too great for words.
Your light is too bright to be capture.
Your mercy is too generous to measure.
Your truth is too sharp to absorb.

And yet God we gather this morning attempting to do all these things: We gather to speak of your glory – hold onto your light – dive into the depths of your mercy and be liberated by your truth. In other words, Lord – we gather to do the impossible, but we gather nevertheless because we trust that that which is impossible for us is possible for you. By your spirit, please reveal yourself to us today – humbling us by your glory, guiding us by your light, forgiving us in your mercy and refining us with your truth. For these are our deepest needs, Lord.

Lord too seldom are our lives lost in wonder, love and praise. Too often we get sucked into a lifeless routine – void of any sense of the Sacred. Our lives shrink – orbiting little more than our self-interests and perhaps our immediate family. We forget that as your children, our family extends to include all of humanity – a glorious wonder of diversity. We forget that as part of your creation we are intricately connected with all of life – a glorious wondrous web of life. Move us “from seeing to beholding” life’s glorious wonder.

Lord, we need your light although we are afraid of what it will reveal. We long to be truly known but at the same time we fear the exposer it involves. We fear we will be seen to be someone other than we pretend to be or believe ourselves to be. We confess that darkness is strangely comforting – even addictive. The psalmist tells us that the darkness is as light to you. So come and enlighten our darkness we pray. Give us healing insight into our shadowy selves and by your light guide us into a deeper acceptance of who we are.

Lord, we desire your mercy but even as we desire it we are bent on limiting it. We can’t seem to get our heads around the fact that your mercy is free for all. There are days when we feel that we ourselves have exhausted your mercy – believing we need to somehow fix ourselves first before you will smile on us again. And there are even more days when we think others have outrun your mercy, especially when they have certainly outrun ours. Love us Lord into truly trusting that you love us. And move us to be merciful to others as you are merciful to us.

Lord, we need your truth because we are bound by so many falsehoods. Falsehoods Lord that we do not even know to be false. We are brought up shaped by family values that are sometimes more determined by prejudice than justice – but how do we know it to be so when the most significant people in our lives tell us that it is the right way. We have been brought up in a culture that values some things and not others. Again, these are often at odds with what you value, yet again not easy to recognise because they have been clothed in religious garments. We are brought up in a particular socio-economic system that is very difficult to challenge after we have become dependent on it, and especially after it is working well for us. We are complicit in our own entrapment. Have mercy on us Lord – for we can honestly say that we do not know what we are doing. Untangle us from the falsehoods that bind us and with your truth set us free.

Open our hearts to your majesty and mystery today we pray. Give us a glimpse of your glory, a slither of your light, an emersion in your mercy and a pruning by your truth. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 28 May 2023 by
Ian Proudfoot.

We come to you today, oh great God of diversity and inclusion. It was you who steered the creation into existence with its magnificent variety, seen in the sheer beauty of earth’s architecture, the vastness of the animal kingdom, the brilliance of our planet’s flora. And, even more remarkably, how it all blends into the symphony of life that we live in. And then there is each one of us, knitted together in individual wombs, perfectly designed for its place in it all.  

However, as we all know, in our brokenness, we have messed things up at every level, disrupting the perfect patterns and design you originally intended. As humankind, failing to respect that the cornerstone of creation’s function is its diversity and its need for inclusion of all in it, we have interfered where it has met our instant needs, failing to recognise the multiple dominoes that fall as a result. These chain reactions are all around us, not only in the increasingly rapid damage being done to the physical planet but also in the multifaceted destructive ways in which we relate to one another as humankind.

It was into this brokenness that you stepped 2000 years ago with a solution, arguably even more relevant now than it was way back then. You inaugurated a new way of being for creation, first in your own body and then, in your new body, us, the church, exactly as we hear sung each week, “Christ has no body now but ours”. Brilliant in its design, as with the physical creation, the cornerstone of its function is the diversity of its parts and their need to all play their roles. We know so well the places where your word speaks of the critical interdependence of each part of the body if it is going to function as intended.  

We sit here today, beautiful in our difference, each one with a place and a role yet, we confess that we so often fail to acknowledge this, let alone live it. We drift constantly into worldly ways of thinking and acting, giving honour to some people and disregarding others. We regularly fail to see the value in the hidden parts or those that we consider less presentable, while you have a different plan, giving greater honour to those who lack it, specifically so that there would be no division. We have allowed ourselves to be infected with a range of “isms”, apportioning value to things that hold no value to you at all. Forgive us, gracious God, and we ask again and again, please open our eyes to see the beauty in diversity and inclusion that is as clear as day to you.

As we turn to you again for grace and recalibration into your ways, what better time to do this than today when we celebrate the day that the same Spirit that you embodied on this earth, burst onto humankind, to speak into its diversity with tongues of fire to empower us and tongues of diverse communication to include us all. Not only did you speak so we could hear but you enabled us so we could do. We recommit ourselves to an openness to see the diversity in your design and to live out the full inclusivity that you intended.

We close, speaking not to my parent in heaven but to the one who welcomes us all.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 21 May 2023
by Alan Storey.

God ascended on high,

  • For your universal love that permeates every particle of the cosmos, we praise you.
  • For the steadfast faithfulness of your courtship with planet earth, we celebrate.
  • For the intricacy with which you have knit each of us together, we marvel.
  • For your merciful patience that out matches our stubbornness, we are relieved.
  • For the sharpness of your truth that pierces all that is fake and false, we shudder.
  • For your justice that is oftentimes wounded yet shall not be overcome, we rejoice.


We gather in this space to draw on your love, O God.
We gather in this space to be operated on by the scalpel of your truth.
We gather in this space to be washed by your mercy and enthused by your justice.

We gather to be reminded of who you are for we confess that we not only forget who you are but we have a tendency to create you in our own image. Shaped by our prejudicial fears and self-interested desires. Remind us today that you are no-one’s private mascot to be stroked to secure success. Remind us today that you are the great lover of the world – the whole world. That there is a wideness in your love and depth to your justice that we cannot measure or plumb…but which Jesus embodied and revealed.

Revealed in his words and his ways. Open us to his word today and teach us his ways.

We gather to admit that when we forget who you are … we forget who we are called to be.

When we forget you are loving … we forget we are loved…and when we forget we are loved … we struggle to love. Instead, we strive for affirmation through endless performance – this exhausts, more than it satisfies. We wear ourselves out on a never-ending hamster wheel of comparison and competition. Christ have mercy.

When we forget you are the creator of all creation, we forget to care for the soil from which you molded us, the air you breathed into us, the water that flows through us. Instead, we thoughtlessly destroy what you have given to sustain us…and then when we suffer the consequences we cry out: “Why have you forsaken us? Christ have mercy.

When we forget you are merciful…we forget we are forgiven… and we pretend to be innocent – we pretend to be who we are not (again this is exhausting) … Instead of forgiving as we have been forgiven, we project our own wrongdoing onto others becoming experts in blame and condemnation. Specializing as individuals in the confession of other people’s sins. And as a society we search for scapegoats to hold liable – making the already vulnerable more vulnerable. Victimizing the victims. Christ have mercy.

When we forget you are just – we forget that you do not have favourites and we begin to believe that you love us more than others – that we are somehow closer to your heart – special and chosen and therefore deserve more blessings – and soon we design society accordingly – feeling justified and righteous – blind to our discriminating policies – believing we have done your will on earth as it is in heaven. Christ have mercy.

When we forget your truth….we forget that it is the truth that sets us free … so we turn to other things – most often money, believing that if we had just a little more then we will be free. But more proves never enough. And soon we are possessed by what we possess – our hearts entrapped by our treasure. Christ have mercy.

Living God by your Spirit restore our memories today. Restore our minds today. Give us the mind of Christ to recall who you are. Call us back to our true selves. That we may partner you – like Jesus did – in your healing and liberating work in the world.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of Sunday 21 May 2023 by Gilbert Lawrence.

We light this candle surrounded by barbed wire, each Sunday. The wire signifies the pain and suffering in the world because of injustice, by powers, principalities, and our own deliberate actions. The light of the candle symbolizes Christ in the world declaring that: the darkness will never overcome the light.

Today we reflect on the ongoing impact of the load-shedding programme of Eskom, since 2008. The cost to the economy has been horrendous.

But the disruption to human life can be considered unforgivable. 

In the health sector there is a terminology: excess deaths. a particular disease is identified. A period of future time is identified and based on trends in previous times; a death rate is predicted. After the period has elapsed, analysis may show more deaths than predicted, i.e., the excess deaths. Often used for excess deaths in the elderly post winter. Also, in pandemics like Covid-19.

I want to suggest that we have a similar excess of human suffering as a direct result of the fraud, mismanagement, and political interference at Eskom over many years. The pain and suffering, the despair and sense of hopelessness has hit all communities, but the poor and vulnerable more so. No electricity means certain medicines can’t be refrigerated at home, some modes of electrical equipment can’t be used, at home, food perishes, the cold chain is compromised commercially, criminality increases with safety fears especially with the use of public transport during unlit periods morning and evenings. School children miss out on learning hours and continuity of learning is disrupted. The Report on primary school reading with meaning has just been published. The results are so bad. The psychological and mental health impact must be seriously considered as well.

Yes, many of these consequences have already become problematic during the covid-19 epidemic. Now, add more, much more. And sadly, a lot of the Eskom crisis impact, can be considered as preventable.

Books, articles, and the media proclaim a litany of accusations, and evidence of what is called institutionalised corruption. And days are spent by committees, discussing red herrings, and avoiding culpability. Little action has been taken so far. 

The injustice of the real causes of the ESKOM crisis is a disgrace. There is, I believe an excess of pain, misery, hopelessness, fatigue, and anger that can be attributed to it. And the poor and vulnerable suffer most. 

Let us pray. 

Lord, we are thankful for your grace and mercy. for the love and compassion of Jesus in allowing us to understand the humanity of all people. The sanctity of the whole earth.

We are thankful for your love and peace, and the hope that is a constant presence in our lives and living, yet so often ignored, forgotten, and missed.

Lord, today we pray for the injustice of the impact of the Eskom crisis on our lives. 

Lord, we pray for politicians, especially those who succumb to promoting self-interest and party-interest above all else. Jesus forgive those individuals who, it seems, risk turning our parliament, councils and legislatures into what you, O Christ, would call out as “dens of thieves “through the abuse and misuse  of the State Procurement Systems.

Lord, we are thankful for agencies, whistle blowers and activists who at personal risk have gnawed at the issues, bringing evidence to light. 

Gracious parent God we pray for our Methodist church during next week’s synod period and the opportunity for Christ-centered leadership.

We pray for our bishops and ministers and laity as they meet in the lived reality of load-shedding. May there be courageous discussion, and resolution making.

We pray for a renewed faithfulness in understanding the Gospel here and now in our figurative and literal darkness. May there be encouragement for all with a fervent hope of what can be done, and what should be done, in your Holy name. 

Lord may we today seek to be light bringers as you are.


We share in the Prayer for Africa

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 14 May 2023
by Alan Storey.

Gracious God, our Mother.

In you, all of life was conceived.
In you all of life is nurtured.
In you we live and move and have our being. Us in you. You in us.

Receive our humble offering of praise and gratitude today.

for your goodness and mercy that are the riverbanks that contain the flow of all our days.

for your delicate holding of our sometimes tender, sometimes wounded and sometimes hardened hearts.

for your greatness that humbly takes the form of a servant and appearing in the disguise of a stranger.

for your faithfulness that refuses to let us go even when we betray and deny the suffering ones you incarnate.

for hearing our cry before we even speak. For knowing our needs – our true needs before we ask or even know what they are.

for your forgiveness that is new every morning.

for your mercy that resurrects us to newness of life.

We humbly bow in praise and gratitude … We humbly bow acknowledging your life-giving presence around us and within us …. and as we bow in gratitude for your grace, we experience something within our depths – shifting … realigning:

Sometimes this feels like we have just turned towards home –

that we are on route to a place where we know we are known,

where we trust we are accepted

and where we believe beyond doubt that we will be welcomed with joy.

Give us this knowing today.
Give us this trusting today.
Give us the believing today.

Mother God today we especially praise you for knitting us together in our mother’s womb. And as you awaken us to this amazing truth about our own lives, shake us awake with the truth that you have knit every person together in their mother’s womb. By your Spirit of Truth affirm now within us that all people everywhere are intricately and wonderfully made. Made, in love, by love and for love … by you. That absolutely nothing is able to negate this truth. Nothing we can do, say, or think. Nothing.

Forgive us for failing to trust this to be so. Forgive us for failing to see that this is the deepest truth about ourselves and everyone else. Forgive us not only for denying this but for living at odds with it. For falsely believing that some people are natural born haters or natural born killers, or natural born liars. To be feared and avoided. For falsely believing that some people are naturally born lazy or greedy or cruel or better or worse than others. Forgive us for replacing your truth with our lies. Lies determined by our fear and prejudice.

We call you creator of all but fail to value everyone you have created. We call you mother of all – but fail to recognise everyone as our family. So our confession today is an ancient one: We say we love you – you who we can’t see – yet we refuse to love our sisters and brothers who we can see. Have mercy on us.

By your Spirit blow through us with your truth. Your liberating and healing truth. Come set us free. Come and heal us. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 14 May 2023 by Heather Hill.

Mother’s Day. For many of us, this conjures up warm images of flowers, breakfast in bed, chocolates and nice smellies, another pair of fluffy slippers, and various other ways we’ve been given to “spoil your mom” from the ever helpful world of consumerism. Big lunches are planned, where sadly, many of us play at happy families, with someone making sure they get the contrived perfect pic to put on social media, to keep up the pretence that all is well and that we’re keeping up with the Joneses.

This probably all sounds quite cynical, and perhaps that is borne out of the fact that Mother’s Day was never big in my home growing up, and that my two children have done very well to continue that tradition! I do know that for many, Mother’s Day is a special, genuinely happy day on which we show our moms how much we love and appreciate them, and we rejoice in that. However, I suspect for many more, it is a sad, poignant, emotional day, devoid of celebration, for a multitude of reasons So this Candle of Peace, Hope and Justice is lit for those today – join me as we remember them.

Mother God. You know the joy of bringing new life. You birthed this magnificent world we call home. You knit us together, and gave us breath, and just as a mother says when she sees her new born for the first time, you declared it all very good. Just perfect. But the world did not remain perfect – it fell into the clutches of greed, injustice and inequality; of self-centredness and violence. Today especially, we remember those mothers suffering because of this brokenness.

We pray for the mother who mourns the loss of a child. For whatever reason. Be the healing balm that soothes their painful grief.

We pray for the woman who never became a mother, despite desperately wanting to be one. Their loss is different, but just as real.

We pray for the single mother. The widowed single mother. The mother raising her children on her own because a partner walked out on them, or refuses to take financial responsibility – and in this country, too often gets away with that.

The single mother who isn’t sure who the father of her child is.

We pray for the mother working two jobs to provide for her children, and so struggles to find the time to just be with her children. We pray for the mother who has resorted to selling her body on the street in order for her children to survive.

The mother who has to listen to the cries of her hungry children. Who gives up her meagre supper night after night so that little tummies don’t go to bed empty. The mother who has had to bury her children who have succumbed to malnutrition, while elsewhere in the world, rubbish bins are filled with excess food people call waste.

We pray for the mother who didn’t choose to become a mother, but is one as a result of violence against her.

We pray for the mother who suffers physical abuse; those who keep offering the other cheek, doing anything to protect their children from becoming victims of the same physical damage.

The mother who endures emotional, verbal and mental abuse.

The girl who gave up her education to become a mom to her younger siblings when their mother passed away.

We pray for the mother who has been rejected by her children. Who is lonely. Who has nobody to gently wipe away her tears

We pray for the mothers of war – the mother in Ukraine, Russia, Sudan, Palestine, Israel, Syria…the list is endless. The mother who has to watch her child march off into battle. Who wonders anxiously if they will ever return.

We pray for the mother who has lost a child at the hands of a gun. We pray for the mother of the murdered. And the mother of the murderer.

We pray for the mother who can never begin to imagine breakfast in bed or the fluffy pair of slippers, but whose only wish is that her child is fed, has healthy air to breathe, clean water to drink, will get to and from school safely, will have some sort of a future.

Great God of comfort and compassion, we hold onto the promise that you will never forget these, your children. You share in their pain. You weep with them. Your heart aches to embrace them, and you gather them under your wing, so that they know they belong. May you help us to love them as you do, so our loving may bring them to hope and shalom. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice
of Sunday 23 April 2023
by Jacqui Couper.


For how long do we have to live through such violence?
As if it was our daily bread  
The kind of bread filled with ash and brokenness. 

For how long must we see others
as if they are not worth their very own breathe. 
And therefore can be harmed

For how long can we keep the stories of this world at arm’s length
as if it does not affect us
but it does every cell of our being

For how long can we see the tears of others and do nothing
And not knowing what to do 

For how long can we walk  through the turmoil of pain desolation?

Stuck, frozen distant, dysfunctional and dys-connected

Our fragile health conditions calling us
Back to ourselves

Saying sorry for mess and hurt doesn’t seem to take the despair away or make it better. 
But saying sorry does help us to pause 
To take a deep breath and know that You are with us 
And not only with us but you see our tears 
You ask us “Are you crying? “
Yes, Lover of our voices we are crying 

You hear our sobs and ask us “Are you crying?”
Yes great Listener,  we are crying 

You come closer to us and ask us “Are you crying?”
Yes the One who comes to us, “we are crying” 

We ask You, “Are you crying Lord?”
Yes I am crying

You wipe our tears ever so gently,
 You, our Rock come to us
Your strength upholds us

Gracious are you, just and true
Heart of all hearts, You are
Merciful and forgiving
You preserve the simple; when we are humbled

You lift us up
Return our souls to Your rest
For you Loving Friend bestow grace upon grace
A balm for our souls


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Good Friday, of 7 April 2023 by Peter Storey.

Jesus, our loving friend, this is not an easy day, it is the day of wood and nails.

It is a strange and bitter irony that the instruments used to bring this day’s agony upon you are those that you loved most. Wood and nails were once the tools of your trade, the sound of hammer blows were part of your life. Now they will ensure your death.

Some would have us believe that you came to this death without choice, pre-ordained and pre-programmed, sacrificed to satisfy an angry God’s need for retribution, but we have learned differently:

We dare to believe that in those long six hours of your agony, it was the very heart of God being laid bare for all the world for all to see; that on the place of the skull, outside a Middle Eastern town, God was there, present in you, suffering in you, forgiving in you, and loving with you to the end.

Because of you we discover that our parent God is a sufferer too – a crucified God.

And this week we have learned again that what happened in that place and at that time, is limited by neither time nor space: that your Cross placards not only God’s love for us but what we do to our God everywhere and always; that wherever we or our institutions inflict hurt upon, or are blind to the suffering of, any child, any woman, any man, any image of God – it happens again; another cross is planted and God suffers again.

Therefore Jesus, humble servant, and lover of our souls, we can only dare to come to this day as penitents, sharply aware of the nails we have held and the hammers we have wielded, and how often we have thought our hands to be clean only because we let our institutions do our crucifying for us.

We need your mercy, Jesus. You are still the Carpenter; by the wood and nails of your Cross, please make us new people.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Good Friday 7 April 2023 
by Joan Proudfoot.

I don’t know about you but I have felt a tension building up in me over the last two weeks as we have been remembering Jesus’ determined journey towards Jerusalem for Passover.  We know how it ends and maybe because of or in spite of that there is an unavoidable tension within.  In experiencing this, I realise that it is a familiar tension…one I have felt often when reading the damning accounts of corruption investigative journalists are exposing and listen to the often serious consequences that whistle blowers face when shining a light on it all.  They too, seem to walk daily towards their own Jerusalem.

Let us pray

Jesus you knew more than any other what speaking truth to power entailed. Your days of solitude and temptations in the wilderness had been preparing you.  You knew speaking and living the liberating truth of justice, mercy and kindness would awaken the fury of those in power.  You also understood that this same truth would awaken hope for those who sat on the edges of society watching the rich get richer and the powerful more powerful.  Your excruciating wrestling in the garden on the night before you died held the choice of saving yourself or surrendering to what would be life-giving for all. And it seemed that that wrestling led you to a decision made deep within that set your face like a flint towards the inevitable and that carried you with an extraordinary dignity to the end.

 And so we pray for journalists and whistle-blowers in South Africa and throughout the world.  We pray, not knowing, not fully grasping, all that speaking the truth must mean for them.  We see that they too, carry a dignity that comes from deciding something deep within…something that will be for the good of all… something that comes at massive, massive cost to both them and their families; loss of jobs, isolation, defamation, misrepresentation, hate-mail, night terrors and tragically, for a growing number, even death. And the law seems to fail them with series of lengthy postponements, leaving them cash-strapped and dangerously vulnerable to reprisals.  Some have to flee homes, countries, families to start again … so much loss. 

We can’t know how to pray…but what we can do is honour them before you…you who know and understand.  We can honour them for their wrestling.  We can honour them for those decisions made deep within to stand by truth no matter what. We can honour them by remembering them and committing to speak truth to all lies and corruption both within and outside of ourselves.

Please will you stand as we take a minute of silence to honour these very courageous champions of truth.  We will then close with the prayer for Africa.

God bless Africa and all the world, Guard our children, Guide our leaders, And give us peace.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 2 April 2023
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

The focus of the Peace and Justice Prayer today will be on children.

At this time of the year all across South Africa, applications for Grade 1 and Grade 8 and all the grades in between are being typed into documents to be submitted and sent to provincial government departments. There is enormous anxiety about this whole process including waiting to be accepted into schools and just this week the Western Cape Education department notified parents that the online system had crashed. As a manual system for school applications is no longer being used, this further disadvantages communities who do not easily have access to technology, computers and data or printers which are required.

Once children are placed in schools it is still problematic and complex. In South Africa our legacies of colonialism, apartheid spatial geography, corruption, financial mismanagement in government departments and unequal access to resources means our South African education system is in crisis.

 Our education system is underfunded, lacks a focus on child and adult wellbeing, allows exclusion of every kind including excluding neuro-divergent children who could be attending mainstream schools. There is much to be deeply concerned about and for many children they have very little choice about the kind of schooling they will receive, where they will go to school and even what they will learn about.

We as adults often want what is best for our own child or children but this inevitably means this is not best for all children. We acknowledge with gratitude that there are very good schools and very good teachers and principals with support staff in schools changing children’s families and communities’ lives but this is not everywhere and it is not for the benefit of everyone.

Let us pray. 

Dear God move us to speak up about harmful practices that affect children negatively and cause them pain.

There are many words we use to describe children and their behaviour which are harmful and cruel, yet we remain unchanged in our vocabulary even though we have been able to learn new words for different things like WhatsApp or cryptocurrency.

Help us to be more creative in the way we recognize the unique contribution children make to all our lives.

Challenge us to love children fully so that they can experience joy in abundance while they are very young and then continue to experience this throughout their lives.

Help us to be more humble so that we use the power we have simply because we are adults, to transform all spaces and places so that they will be life giving for all children.

God forgive us for not caring enough or at all about all the children in the world not just the ones in our lives.

Children continue to suffer because of our inaction and inattention as adults.  Mary Oliver powerfully reminds us that “attention is the beginning of devotion”, Lord help us move from inattention, to attention to devotion. A devotion that puts in place transformative practices which reject our centuries old ways of disregarding children and their needs.

We need to recognize that children matter.

 Let us pray for the wisdom required
to speak kinder and gentler words to and with children
and then to act with justice and reverence in our interactions with all children
and then live with a radical devotion to changing ourselves so that we can see that children matter
for they do, children matter…

Now let us pray the prayer for Africa

God bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 26 March 2023
by Jacqui Couper.

My prayer is around the theme welcome. The origin of the word welcome is wilcuma: a kindly greeting, to greet gladly, one whose coming suits another’s desire and pleasure. Wil is to desire, pleasure, choice Cuma is guest, related to cuman to come.

Loving God, You wait for us with wide open arms to come
Come, an invitation to come. A welcome.
You welcome us, all of us and every part of us.
To come, like a spring well calling us to come into the flow.
To be welcomed as a guest.
Such love is beyond our grasp, hard to receive,
Such a Love,
Such a Welcome.

Forgive us for turning our backs on Your welcome.
Forgive us for walking away from your embrace
Forgive us for turning our eyes away from your loving gaze
Forgive us for thinking that we can be and live without You or a part of You

We ask for Your grace as
We bring our disillusionment to You and You welcome our disappointments
We cry out in despair in our daily experiences and You welcome our woes
We bring our unworthiness and You welcome and affirm us that we are enough
We bring our fears for the future and You welcome our doubts
We show You our wounds, our hurts of words and actions, what we have done to others and others done to us and You welcome the pain and touch those sore parts and give them comfort
We come to You in the dark, not seeing the light and You shine a welcoming lighthouse for us, as a beacon of hope in the dark
We come to You with our bits and pieces, joy, pride, confusion, joy and You welcome all the parts and all of us. The whole lot is welcomed.

We ask for your abundant grace to know how much You long to welcome all of us in Your loving embrace
Such grace is beyond imagination and may it seep into our souls that
You are God, Emmanuel, I am with you,
A welcoming, embracing Love
An always and ever present Welcome

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 19 March 2023
by Joan Proudfoot.

All-seeing, ever-seeing God

You, O God, whose seeing holds a considering, a going beyond the surface, an encountering of the truth…

You, whose seeing, is never a glance, never a looking that skims lightly over the details and moves on.

It is Your way of seeing that invites our attention this morning.

We are somewhat scared of your seeing…assuming that it holds the worst…an aloof judgement, an exposing of the wrongs that lie deep within us, and your gaze makes us want to hide, not only from you, but from ourselves as well.  We are so used to depending on our skills to mask, to pretend and to conceal that we deceive ourselves into thinking we can do that with you.  And so it is that we distance ourselves from you, separate from your seeing, separate from you.

But that is not how you see, is it God?  Jesus showed us how you see.  Your seeing leads to an engaging, an engaging that is filled with love, filled with kindness, filled with liberating truth.  It is a seeing that helps us to see the world around us through a new lens, a new possibility, a new mercy.  Your seeing never holds judgement, never distances nor rejects…but instead, invites us and our world to grow, to deepen and to begin again.

And if we allow it to, your seeing can help us see…help us see what you see, help us to turn a looking into a seeing…seeing beyond ourselves, seeing into the truth that is all around us, seeing what is desperately trying to get our attention: the hunger, the joblessness, the victims, the injustices…seeing the person in our reach… acknowledging their presence.  If we truly see with your eyes it will cause us to consider, to confront, to imagine until a new understanding arises.  It will cause us to take time and to make time to see the humanity in the other and maybe, hopefully, to call forth the humanity within ourselves.

And so, our deeply seeing God, we take time to consider our seeing in the light of your seeing.  We take time…


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 19 March 2023
by Terence Parker.

The Psalmist says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil …” But we are a nation in fear amidst evil and death.

Many of us fear the consequences of: • Going to work tomorrow in the light of a planned “national shutdown”, especially if we travel by taxi • Opening our businesses to make up for the losses due to load shedding • Going to college/ university occupied by angry students • Exposing corruption among people in power.

We light this candle this morning to seek hope and strength in the promise that God’s “rod & staff”, in whatever form they exist, will indeed comfort us.

Let us pray, and end with the Prayer for Africa. • Lord, we know that you are never far from us in our fears • Fear of being harmed by people who fear their irrelevance and powerlessness • Fear of assassination for exposing corruption • Fear of a mother sending her child to a school with a pit for a toilet • Fear of seeking medical care in a hospital that is dirty, unhygienic and unsafe.

We hold onto the promise that “perfect love casts out fear”. Help us to be bearers of perfect love that casts out fear Inspired by you as you resisted the temptation of compromise with evil As you faced threats of death with the knowledge and assurance of your belovedness Show us how we can be light in the valley of darkness and shadow of death. With a love that • never gives up, • never loses faith, • is always hopeful and • endures through every circumstance. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord & Saviour.

We pray the Prayer for Africa and the World: God bless Africa & the world Guard our children Guide our leaders And give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of Sunday 19 February 2023 by Ian Proudfoot.

There is much going on in the country at the moment that the barbed wire symbolises, so much pain and suffering and for so many different reasons. The candle of peace, hope and justice, the light that speaks of God’s ways, is needed all the more to shine into many of these dark places. Of these many areas to pray into, I have chosen to ask you to join me in prayer about food, and especially for those who don’t have enough of it. It is the harvest festival today, a day in which we, along with many churches around the world show solidarity with those without food by giving of our surplus.

When we stop for a moment to think of the hungry people around us, many different images strike us. For some, it may living the reality right now of not being sure where the next meal is coming from; for others it’s in the classroom in poor communities or friends and family in dire circumstances and for others it may be people ringing the doorbell or standing at traffic lights. All of it adds up to the single truth that there are millions of our fellow South Africans who live with the daily reality of hunger. And, tragically, it’s about to get even worse.

A week or two ago a press release by the federation of agricultural associations in South Africa stated that load-shedding is bringing farming in South Africa to its knees. It described the situation as “crippling” and a “catastrophe”, warning that without urgent action, South Africans can expect significant impact on the nation’s ability to provide grains, livestock, poultry, fruit, vegetables, sugar, edible oils and other foods, which are central to the country’s ability to feed its people.

As we turn to God in prayer, please take a moment to listen to these well-known words:

“Christ has no body now but yours
no hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which He sees
yours are the feet with which He walks
yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world”

Loving parent, powerful God, pursuer of justice and embodiment of compassion, we bring to you this morning a need so vast that we have little idea of where to start. Please show us where and how. Perhaps we could start with a request that we make to you here, every week at the end of every service, “May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from starvation.” We confess that sometimes we are numbed by so much poverty around us, blunted in our feelings and consequently, unmoved to further action that could alleviate even a bit of pain in a few small places. Please help us see more clearly with your eyes and feel with your heart that we may act more deliberately as your feet and hands.

We bring the farmers in this country to you, as they battle not only changing climate with either floods or drought but also the impact on their work of the power crisis that is enveloping us. We ask for unprecedented unity amongst them as a group in their strategizing and their negotiations, so that they remain able to feed our country. We ask for courage to press on, and for ingenuity to find ways to do so.

We bring to you leaders in the variety of feeding schemes working to keep hunger at bay in so many communities. Keep them strong as they battle donor fatigue and the multiple competing priorities chipping away at their ability to provide. We ask you please to open more and more hearts and minds and draw people into this essential service towards their fellow humans.  

We bring to you bring food providers – retailers, restaurants, food outlets in whatever form; for those who are already giving of their surplus and outdated food, we say thank you and ask that you would help them not to grow weary in doing good. For those who are not yet doing so, we ask for a stirring in their hearts to join others who can show them the way.  Again, we confess to you that we have at times grown weary and turned away from giving from our surplus to feed the hungry.

Coming closer to home, we reflect for a moment on another prayer that we offer to you every week, “Give us this day our daily bread”. Could this perhaps also mean “give us daily just the bread we need”. Or perhaps, “If we have more than we need daily, let’s help make this someone else’s daily bread”.  Shine a light for us, even now, on our unneeded excesses that can be turned into gifts for those around us. Bless us God, with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world with our little contribution of loaves and fishes.

We want to think like you, we want to be more like you. Please show us how.

We end, as we do, with our weekly all-encompassing petition to you:

God bless Africa and all the world,
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 12 February 2023 by Alan Storey.

Loving Creator – in the beginning you said let there be light, and the darkness gave way.

Such is the power of your word – your word that is forever full of grace and truth creating ever expanding spaces of light that break into the darkness. Grace and truth that not only break into the darkness but break open the darkness – enlightening the darkness. Naming the darkness for all to see and calling it out and calling it to account. Exposing the darkness to itself and inviting the darkness to welcome the light. The darkness in the world and the darkness in our lives. Yes, oh Divine Light you show mercy to the darkness – such is the greatness of your grace.

And since you spoke that originating word of light we praise you for your consistency through the ages. Partnering people to be bearers of light in the world. Those who are often the most unlikely of people, according to the wisdom of this world to be chosen for anything, you choose to be the light: little people – anonymous people – marginalised people – stigmatised people – compromised people – non-religious people, but all of them having been touched by a particle of your light and because of that they courageously and creatively announce your grace and truth to a stubborn world and stiff-necked people living in darkness but calling it light.

You and your spirit-inspired poets gracefully never give up believing that we can change and not just us but the systems of darkness we have created and so you and your spirit-inspired prophets go on truthfully speaking your light creating word waiting and hoping for the deadened consciences of us your people to be resurrected to new life … of our deadened conscience of the state of our nation to be resurrected to new life … of our crumbling-into-rubble-world from quake or bomb to be resurrected to new life.

Thank you for Jesus – in who we witness your grace and truth fully embodied. Embodied light. His very life causing cracks in the darkness … allowing your light to get in. And so today we pray for:

Your light to get into the heart of the outcast who believes we are less worthy than others.

Your light to get into the mind of the oppressor who believes that we are more worthy than others.

Your light to get into the doubt of the sick who believes that we are being punished by you.

Your light to get into the guilt of the sinner who believes our future will always be held to ransom by our past.

Your light to get into the vulnerability of the child who is not listened too and seldom acknowledged.

Your light to get into the practice of the religious who believe our rituals win us your favour.

Your light to get into the tiredness of the suicidal who believe death will be a release from the burden of being alive.

Your light to get into the resentment of the unforgiving who believe revenge will bring us healing.

Your light to get into the failing strength of the elderly who believe we have become a burden to others.

Jesus you call us the light of the world – but the truth is we feel that we live in darkness for much of our days – if not darkness within ourselves then at least the darkness within our world…for we continue choosing death even when life is before us…without knowing what we do.

We gathered here today to say we need you. We need you every hour. We need your light-giving word. We need your help to choose life and become a life-giving people.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 29 January 2023 
by Terence Parker.

As I was preparing to lead this prayer, contemplating the enormity of the Covenant which I repeat every year, I stumbled across a post on social media from a mother of 3 who has been struck down by a debilitating illness which her physician thinks was misdiagnosed.

An illness that caused her to be bed-bound and having to learn to walk again.

“Because I don’t have an official diagnosis”, she says, “there’s no way of knowing what meds or supplements I need to take.

Or if I should be receiving extra treatment.
Or what my chances of a full recovery are.
Or whether my pain will ever go away.
So here I sit in the “unknown”.
No answers
No expectations
No idea where this will go.
No closure.
No peace.”

To quote the Dalai Lama: “Peace starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.”

The barbed wire represents every obstacle to peace within: Uncertainty about health, finances, relationships, employment.

The light of the candle reminds us that in the midst of the darkness, despair, uncertainty, there is hope, resurrection hope that liberates.

Let us pray and conclude with the Prayer for Africa and the world.

Creator God, Parent of us all,
We are humbled when we hear the suffering of our neighbour.
We know that we cannot authentically covenant with you without finding our peace within.
We bring before you everything that challenges and torments us.


We thank you that, throughout history, you have offered us a glimmer of hope even in our darkest hour.
You offer light and hope through the power and work of your Holy Spirit in our midst and in our lives:
– Giving sight to the blind
– Healing lepers and paralytics
– Healing a woman bleeding for 12 years

We thank you for those who journey with us and those with whom you have called us to journey to be the light in the darkness. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

We pray the Prayer for Africa and the world:


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 22 January 2023
by Joan Proudfoot.


Very powerful, very gentle God,

When we want action from You we appeal to Your power. When we want mercy from You we appeal to Your gentleness.

Somehow we have come to see power and gentleness as so different that they cannot co-exist in our minds…

But not so with You.

You sent Yourself to us to show that there is another way…a way that weds the two to form something greater, something more staggeringly beautiful than either power or gentleness can hold on its own. Your coming to earth, the earth You created, as a vulnerable babe in the context of a Roman occupation, gave pause for thought as it redefined the very notion of power. Your miracles held power and gentleness in perfect harmony as You approached people with such reverence and care. And when You were sitting with the ability to destroy the world with one word, You said, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Your power, expressed in your fervent criticism of hypocrisy, oppression, vanity and injustice had at its source a heart full of love that knew it could be so, so different.

It is with great sadness that we consider what we have done with the power we hold. We weep in particular as we see how physical power has been so horrifically distorted in the widespread physical and sexual abuse of women. The more powerful we consider ourselves to be, the more we seem to distance ourselves and care less about those around us. We are quick to see this in our government leaders, in our police force and in our municipal offices. However, we are slower to see how we, too, allow our power to rid us of all gentleness as we get behind our steering wheels demanding that everyone serve our needs to get where we want to go without undue interference.  All around us and within us…

We see it…
We see it…
We see it…

It is so deeply entrenched.

Yet, there are times when our eyes and hearts are opened, when grace, Your grace, shows us that different way.  We marvel at how our hearts melt and we become capable of a powerful gentleness we know we could not conjure up.  We long to live from this place… this grace-filled place…this place that could change the world.

May our longing become our being. May our resolve never settle for less.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 18 December 2022
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

Once a week I meet up with a group of students from war ravaged Ukraine and their teacher, via zoom. It has become increasingly more difficult to meet, even to meet the same group of students as power cuts because of targeted attacks on infrastructure by the Russian forces across the country which affects any kind of connectivity. Every week I am reminded of the face and cost of war, it meets me on the screen of my students via zoom some who have lost parents to the war, who have lost their schools, who can no longer attend school in person. But who continue to want to meet to talk, smile, be curious together, philosophise together, think together and choose to be in a community of philosophical enquiry. I am moved by their strength.

When I think about South Africa I have come to realise we are also at war which can be seen as a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism. We do not have a foreign country attacking, us rather we are under siege right here from within from our own government, so we do not recognise it as war. We are in a different war here in South Africa, a war about who and what can be loved in South Africa. I do not think war is the absence of love, rather it is the presence of a love for something that hurts those who can be hurt. In South Africa’s case corruption, capitalism, neoliberalism has made it acceptable that 40% of people in South Africa live in extreme poverty. This accounts for about 18 million people and the majority of these people are racialised as black. There are also those for whom simply living is made even more difficult by the relentless power cuts currently being enforced – because of corruption and an inability to care for those who need it the most. Load shedding affects us all, but not all in the same way. Our sick need hospitals free from load shedding. There are children for whom it is a matter of life and death if their neighbourhoods are plunged into darkness. There are people who still do not have any electricity ever. There are thousands of people for whom electricity reduction by Eskom is a way of life as they cannot afford to pay for electricity, and this deeply affects their standard of living and life. How is it that we live in a country with such disregard for the needs of those who do not have the means to survive?

And yet, our ruling party, the ANC, hosting its national elective conference this weekend has an exemption from load shedding and as I wrote this prayer last night the president declared that the army would be deployed to strategic Eskom plants. This is a strange time for we are at war.

I ask that we draw on the words of Arundhati Roy who wrote a scathing and passionate indictment of the Indian government’s disregard for the individual in 1999 when she wrote her book The Cost of Living and ask that we offer her wisdom as a prayer, to draw strength from… (the quote from Arundhati Roy is in bold)

Dear Lord hear this prayer: help us to love and to be loved. To never forget our own insignificance, for this is what makes us powerful. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around us. In South Africa this is everywhere all the time. Dear God help us to continue to seek joy in the saddest places and to pursue beauty to its lair. May we never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. Help us to respect strength, never power and above all to watch and notice and pay attention. To try to understand. May we never look away and never, never to forget. Hear this prayer, help make it our prayer. And now let us pray the prayer for Africa:

God bless Africa and all the world Guard our Children
Guide our Leaders and
Give us Peace

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 11 December 2022
by Ian Proudfoot.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

Yesterday, 10 December, was the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed at the end of a sequence of two catastrophic world wars. It is a declaration stating that the inherent dignity and the equal rights of all members of the human family are the foundation of freedom. We could look more widely around the world at rising nationalism and populism, not to mention a planet that is rapidly being destroyed, but I think we have enough to focus on in our own country. When Mark Heywood, one of those at the forefront of activism in South Africa for decades, starts to worry about whether he should give up, I find do myself tempted to join him. “How do you shame a shameless government?” he says. “How do you litigate against a state that claims to have no money to realise core socioeconomic rights? How do you enforce judgments against government departments which have shown themselves incapable of carrying out court orders?”

Yet, after processing his despair, he emerges at the end saying, “At the end of the day I can’t abandon hope, because if I did, what would I do with the remains of my life?” He quotes from the book, The Purpose of Power, written by the activist, Alicia Garza; “Hope is not the absence of despair – it is the ability to come back to our purpose, again and again…. My work is to transform grief and despair and rage into the love that we need to push us forward. I am not, and we are not, defined by what we lack – we are defined by how we come together when we fall apart.”

Please pray with me as we come to our God who has never given up and never will.

Loving and all-powerful God, if ever there was anyone who demonstrated the transformation of grief, despair and rage into love, it was you. Your entire life, and perhaps your death even more, demonstrated this in ways often beyond our understanding. Your final command to us was to love each other in the ways you lived out love.  You have asked us never to tire in doing good because, at the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up (Gal 6:9). You have encouraged us to take every opportunity to work for the benefit of all, to walk with integrity, to mirror your love to all we meet and to live as a beneficial presence in the world (Ps 101).

Loving parent, we confess to you that we have at times allowed ourselves to tire and to sink into despair and hopelessness in our attitudes and our speech when we have opportunity rather to season our words with hope and edification to those around us. You place a high value on unity and peace-making within your human family and we confess too that our attitudes have not always been aligned with yours (Eph. 4:1-4). We have at times sunk into cynicism, criticism and divisiveness, where we could have chosen opportunities to build each other up, to foster unity and to promote peace.

However, the beauty of you, this wonderful God we serve, is that no sooner have we acknowledged this truth about ourselves, than you are ready and willing to forgive and no sooner have we chosen to turn away from these attitudes and actions, than you are there to support us in new ways, your ways. With our hands in yours, we choose life this day; to draw encouragement from you, who endured such opposition from people as bad as those around us today, so that we will not get tired and lose heart. We choose to remember also the multitudes who have gone before us, demonstrating perseverance, hope and faithfulness (Heb. 12:1-3). Please stay close to us, loving God, and lead us in your ways of hope and love.

And, in light of this we pray together, God bless Africa and all the world, Guard our children, Guide our leaders, And give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 4 December 2022 
by Alan Storey.

A prayer during the week of a resigning / not resigning president

Living God – we pray to you today knowing that you can relate to our concerns, for you too were repeatedly disappointed in the leaders you chose. 

We remember, you preferred a flat structure of governance – but the people, envious of their neighbours who seemed to achieve more with a king – demanded that you give them a king.  You knew that it was unwise that people place all their faith in a single human being and you knew how dangerous it would be for that single human being to be given so much power, so you said “No”. 

Instead you invited people to use their imaginations to share power collectively by listening to every voice, especially the crying voice for justice as well as the still soft voice of mercy.  But this seemed too slow and difficult, not to mention inefficient and unproductive – so the people insisted: “Give us a king like other nations!”  When you saw how stubbornly adamant they were, you graciously decided to at least make the best of a bad decision by helping them to choose a king. 

You did not look at the person’s looks. You did not take their age into consideration nor their position of popularity on some phony organisational list.  Instead you looked at their heart.  A heart after your own heart.  A heart yearning for justice and mercy.  And yet each and every king that earned your vote ended up a disappointment.  During their term in office they were corrupted.  Power went to their head.  Wealth went to their wallet. Unchecked desire went to their groin.  Soon they became part of the problem that they were anointed to address:

Instead of bringing peace they were embroiled in constant conflict….defending themselves rather than the people.

Instead of listening to the cries of the needy they held audience with the well-to-do who paid ridiculous amounts for a seat at their banquet table.

Instead of upholding the courts of justice, they made a mockery of the law.

Instead of housing the un-housed they extended their own mansions.

Instead of taking special care of the vulnerable they pandered to the strong. 

Instead of good news for the poor they laughed with the rich.

Instead of safeguarding the truth their spokespersons spun yarns that were chopped up into sound bites for what we call: The News.

Instead of clothing the naked they collected designer suits and shiny shoes.

Instead of maintaining life-giving services they spent the maintenance budget on handbags and hotels.

And even as we acknowledge our anger and disappointment in our leaders and the imperfect systems that bring them into positions of power, protect us from being cynical about leadership per se.  Lead us away from the temptation to disengage. Remind us that leaders and leadership matters.  Forgive our foolishness for making saviours out of some leaders and devils out of others.  Save us from placing all leaders on a simplistic scale of moral equivalence.  That some leaders lean more towards what is just than others – and even a degree of difference in this regard is worth struggling for.  Give our leaders your sense of justice we pray and give us the energy to hold them accountable to it. 

And now even as we pray for just and merciful leaders to heal our broken and beloved land, we recognise that we are in varying positions of leadership ourselves. In positions of influence and power within our work, our community, our church, our family…  May we not shirk our responsibility by denying the power we do have. Help us to place whatever power we have in the service of others.  To build others up.  To set others free.  To affirm and encourage and heal.  And above all to transform the systems that belittle, discourage and harm – for the sake of justice and mercy.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 27 November 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

HOPE. The advent candle we light today is the candle of hope. We also light our peace, HOPE and justice candle. Daily Maverick’s Gathering on Thursday had HOPE as its theme and it was so inspiring to hear the dedication to finding solutions by some of the true leaders of this country. When we think back on all the candle prayers and happenings of this year I wonder what levels of hope we carry within us? Does the word still form part of our everyday vocabulary? Questions like these got me picking up Rebecca Solnit’s book “Hope in the Dark” again to get some perspective. She quotes Vaclav Havel, a Czechoslovakian playwright, poet and activist in the late 70s and 80s who was jailed for his activism. A remarkable man who became the first democratically elected president of the Czech Republic after the fall of communism. He had this to say about hope whilst still in prison: ”the kind of hope I often think about (especially in situations that are particularly hopeless, such as prison) I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t: it is a dimension of the soul: it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation…It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart… Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, (an ability to work for something because it is good) not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”

Please pray with me…

Jesus, what can be said to add to that? You so exemplify the bringing of that kind of hope to our lives, to our country, to our world. You brought an invitation to join you to work for something that is good. You offered those around you the slow unfolding truth that you had come to turn things around. Not as was expected through the destruction of the ruling party but through an approach that offered a new standard of living based on love, justice and mercy…a way that challenged and exposed the ruling party. A way that would not settle just to see the corrupt held accountable but to see them changed by these new ways of being.

We baulk at this, Jesus, this kind of restorative hope. It requires so much more from us, and we confess that we have ceased to be people of hope and have become rather, people of despair…people of despair because in many ways it is easier. It is easier to grumble and pull apart than to engage our imaginations and seek creative solutions. It is easier to leave the work to the activists than to engage creatively in our own work-spaces and neighbourhoods and further. There was never any respite for you in this and there needs to be no respite for us. Solnit reminds us that life, by its very nature, will always require people of hope. May we see beyond what is to what could be. We seem to have lost our way. Please forgive us. But don’t only forgive us…hold us accountable.

We pray that we might take our lead from hope-livers in situations where from the outside it would appear there is no hope. May we pay close attention to the stories that emerge from spaces we would fear to enter; to learn what living hopefully looks like…because, in all honesty, many of us have not lived hopelessly enough to allow life-giving hopefulness to be born. We have so much to learn.

And so may this advent time, this time of you coming to bring hope…true hope… startle and astound us into being more deeply the hope-livers you had in mind. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 20 November 2022 by Terence Parker.

Creator God, from the moment your spirit hovered over the waters of this earth, we were part of a vision held lovingly within your heart. From the moment you spoke and separated darkness from light, you created space where we might one day walk. From the moment your joy spilled out into green and living things, your beauty was revealed for us to taste and see. Creator God, for this world, beauty and majesty, passion and artistry, a green and pleasant place, we praise your mighty name.

Even though you have given us a world of beauty,

We have spoilt it through our desire to satisfy our earthly needs and desires,

Even though you have given us abundant riches and produce to feed us,

So many go hungry,

We are so unwilling to share,

You have given us a world to care for, and we think only of ourselves,

Forgive us, Gracious God, for each time that your heart is saddened by our selfishness,

For those times that we have no thought for others but ourselves,

No cares but ours,

Enable us to see this world as a gift from you,

To be shared, protected and nurtured

To love and care for those who live upon it as your children, created in your image,

We ask this so that your name may be glorified through the beauty of this world

And the service of our lives

Lord, you are full of compassion

You are gracious, slow to anger, and generous in mercy; with you there is always forgiveness!

Those of us who are mourning, we open our hearts to you to know your comforting presence;

those of us who are struggling, we turn to you for strength and guidance;

those of us rejoicing, we acknowledge your work in our lives in gratitude

Gracious God, in your amazing mercy, reach out to us in ways that only you know how

How wonderful it is to know your acceptance, to know your love, despite everything

How extraordinary it is to know and engage with a God whose nature is to forgive, to reconcile and to make new

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend.

Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see.

We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair.

Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another.

May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love.

Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world.

Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names
of God.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 20 November 2022 by Alan Storey.

A Prayer For The Activists

Blessed are the activists

Blessed are those who are not asleep to the pained reality of the world

Blessed are those who grieve for the way things are

Blessed are those who are convicted that things are not as they are meant to be

Blessed are those who know that things are not as you O God intended them to be

Blessed are those who have not swallowed the lie that the way things are is the way things will always remain.

Blessed are those who know that things can change

Blessed are those who know that things can change because they know that they can change and because they know that even they can change they know all can change

Blessed are those who have the courage to change

Blessed are those whose life’s ambition is justice and mercy for all rather than comfort and ease for themselves. 

Blessed are those who act to relieve the suffering wounded of this world

Blessed are those who act to transform the systems of this world that wound and cause suffering.

Blessed are those who orientate their little living towards your just and gentle intension for this world – by what we read and what we listen to – by how we speak and who we speak with – by how we share our time – by how we spend our money – by how we earn our money – by how we save our money – by who we recognise as friend or enemy – by what we pray for …

Blessed are those who know that you O God have always used the faithful acts of little living to transform and heal your world. 

Blessed are those that know that their little living is not little in your kin-dom.

Not little at all.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer  of Sunday 13 November 2022 by Gilbert Lawrence.

Good Day Lord.

It is good because you O God made it so. We praise you Lord for your steadfast love. We give thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus, your son. We thank you God that you are with us.

In the stillness of the night, in the brightness of the day, in the wildness of the storm, in the colourfulness of the garden, in the painfulness of bereavement, in the violence of conflict, in the joy of new birth, in the awareness of the deaf, in all of life, O God of all creation, your presence embraces us.

Lord of life, touch our hearts to awaken our minds. To be awake to what is not of you and what breaks your heart. To awaken us to see the magnificence of your provision in all of creation. To awaken us to what stewardship of this part of the cosmos really means.

May we be sensitive to our many faces and facades. What we display in expression, word and action. May your spirit of grace enrich our feelings. May sincerity abound, with a slowness to anger, a fondness for truth, a love for others, for Christ created OTHERS.

Loving God create in us a spirit of meditation on your word. May it inspire and convict us.

Your word, Lord, should be a light along our often uncomfortable way. Often plagued by strife and pain, and disappointment. O Lord, forgive us when we rebel and take our lives in our own hands ignoring your freely given life force and Holy spirit, to care, encourage, comfort and sustain us. Always. Always. Always.

For each new day we pray for newness of hope ,faith and a sense of justice. For my neighbour, my family, my community, and the whole world, cradled in your loving hands.


Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

I don’t know about you but I am on the edge of despair, almost at the point of accepting that we are powerless to do anything as South Africa seems to be sliding relentlessly towards being a failed state and all that goes with it. We are all so aware of all the contributing factors that the media is constantly screaming at us, so I have no intention of repeating it all now. This candle behind me represents justice, peace and the hope that we can always turn to in the darkness and I hope you will join me today in finding some of it and bringing it to God.

I have been inspired by two people in the last week who are standing up and offering hope at this time.

The well-known Jay Naidoo, the founding general secretary of Cosatu and a former minister in Nelson Mandela’s government is currently actively using his influence to try and steer the country towards a new way of being. He reminds us of the time in the late 80s and early 90s when church and business combined their efforts to mediate as honest brokers in a system that was rapidly disintegrating into “warlordism”, a failed state and a quagmire of despair. Does How this description sound familiar right now.

He reminds us of the rising of the National Peace Accord, an intentional and purposeful servant leadership, which, as he put it, “choreographed a massive mobilisation of society and united our country and underpinned the values of integrity, ethics, sacrifice, innovation and volunteerism. He goes on to say that “we need a new vision – in our country and in the world. The way we make decisions cannot be based on fear, patronage and coercion, nor held together by political, economic and military power. We will rise united as a nation but we need an authentic intergenerational dialogue and intelligent collaboration.”

Songezo Zibi, former editor of Business Day, spoke recently at a conference, suggesting that South Africa needs a new leadership vision, no longer trying to sustain one that is fruitlessly trying to be resuscitated in an intensive care unit. He makes several key recommendations, the detail of which is important reading but the relevance here is that here is another one of many people with influence at a national level, actively looking to lead us as a country towards solutions.

Interestingly, one of the scriptures for this week is from Habakkuk who, addressing his country at his time, says, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralysed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

God then speaks and Habakkuk replied, a bit like Job, saying, “GOD, I’ve heard what our ancestors say about you, and I’m stopped in my tracks, down on my knees. Do among us what you did among them. Work among us as you worked among them. And as you bring judgment, as you surely must, remember mercy.”

Please join me, with Habakkuk, as we pray into a very similar situation.

Please start with me, God, with your mercy. Show me where I carry in me the influence of greed, patronage, fear, and coercion? I confess to you my own greed; the times I take or buy more than I need; the times when I deny others what I could have shared. I see too the seeds of my own forms of patronage, when I act out of debt to others instead of being motivated by what is right. I lay down before you also the times I act under the influence of fear and coercion – fear of what others may think, fear of uncomfortable consequences for me.

And as we do this for ourselves, we ask for your courage to be instilled in the many people in this country who are already addressing this, in a variety of ways. We have so often, from this very platform, acknowledged the journalists and the whistle-blowers – courageous in the obvious areas but also in ways that we will possibly never fully understand. We acknowledge them again and ask for your strengthening and encouragement.

We bring before you too, the wide array of people, both in government and in the private sectors, both formal and informal, and at varying levels of influence, who are standing up, at personal cost, and challenging the status quo; the people who are shining lights in the many corners of darkness, helping us to see what would otherwise remain hidden. We ask too for courage, strength, clarity of vision and purpose and for a spirit of collaboration with others.

And finally, we bring to you all those leaders, like Zibi and Naidoo, across the generations, with local, regional and national influence, who are busy gathering to steer this country in a new direction. Give them courage, wisdom and strength as they navigate a new way. Lead them in the way of peace and righteousness, that once again, this country can triumph over what is trying so hard to destroy it.

And as we ask this, we sum it all up in our overarching prayer for a world that so desperately needs your ways to triumph once again.

God bless Africa and all the world, guard our children, guide our leaders, and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 9 October 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

Hello God

You are here.
We are here.

You who scattered stars millions of years ago to light night skies today.
You are here.

You who have woven the hidden interconnections upon which the natural world relies.
You are here.

You who set your face like a flint to eradicate injustice, exclusion, violence from this world.
You are here.

You who are at home with those in grief, pain, poverty and loneliness. 
You are here.

You who know the creative force of silence. 
You are here.

You who know the power of wise restraint giving time for things to deepen, to ripen.
You are here.

You who love with a love that has no conditions, no judgements, no withholdings. 
You are here.

You who are the centre. 
You are here.

We who come with questions that wander restlessly through our beings: about you, about life, about ourselves. 
We are here.

We who have robbed ourselves through our materialism and indifference to the poor. 
We are here.

We who have slowly destroyed a planet that was given as gift for all. 
We are here.

We who build walls and create borders. 
We are here.

We who are enamoured by your ways and so poor at implementing them.
We are here.

We who tend to rush ahead not waiting for grace to show the way.
We are here.

We who struggle to know that we are loved, sought after, welcomed by you. 
We are here.

We who are made in your image.
We are here.

And so we humbly pray … will you meet with us here? 

Will you?  Please?

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of Sunday 9 October 2022 by Terence Parker.

According to the DIRCO website, today is observed as World Hospice & Palliative Care Day. A day to honour all those involved in:

  • Palliative Care – treatment of people suffering pain, disease, life-threatening conditions
  • Hospice Care – care for those facing death.


Many of us have or are caring for people in need – parents, spouses, children.
The barbed wire represents the difficult circumstances under which care is given:

  • Cost of carers not covered by Medical Aid
  • No financial means to employ trained carers
  • Home-based care in areas where carers have to dodge the bullets of gang warfare to reach the people that they are caring for
  • Active war zones (Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia) where medical facilities are the target of bombs and ammunition.


The light of the candle represents the love, compassion, strength and resolve of carers working under all circumstances.

Let us pray, and end with the Prayer for Africa and the World:

O Loving & Merciful God, we sometimes forget that you are present with us in every situation of suffering.

You suffered the pain of betrayal, temptation, humiliation, flogging, and being nailed to a cross, but you defeated suffering.

We thank you that in every situation of suffering, Your Spirit of love and compassion overcomes

We thank you for the unconditional love of carers in this community caring for loved ones

Organisations who practice home-based care to those who can’t afford it.

Organisations and carers who provide care under circumstances of war, gang warfare, corrupt governments and poverty.

We thank you for their strength, commitment and resolve to keep going, even when they are fatigued and feel empty.

Inspire us, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the example of self-less carers, to make a difference wherever we can,

To care for carers, offer assistance and become better carers ourselves,

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord,

We pray the prayer for Africa: God bless Africa & all the world, guard our children, guide our leaders and give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of Sunday 2 October 2022 by Alan Storey.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

O God why have you forsaken us?

Do you not see the sea of suffering?  Are you blind?

Why is there so much pain and destruction in your world?

Do you not hear the cries?  Are you deaf … even to our prayers?

We cry out to you and there is no answer!

We look for you, but you are nowhere to be found!

It is midday and the sun has stopped shining. 

Things are not as they are meant to be!

Things are not as you said they will be! 

Have you stopped loving?  Have you stopped being God?


God of Steadfast Love there are many – who nod affirmingly at these words of lament.  Who say: “Alleluia finally a true word has been spoken about you.” And even if seldom spoken from lips, there are many who carry these feelings in their hearts…including our hearts at times. 

Wherever and whoever these people are today – be they here among us or scattered world over – we ask that your life-giving-spirit hover gently over them / over us – as in the beginning with the promise of new life … the promise of new life … even out of nothing.

Some have been brought to lament through sudden grief.  The death of a child.  The death of a friend.  The death of loving partner. And in that death, life itself has lost its life.  Life has died and with it all trust in any creator of life.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Some have been brought to lament by witnessing the dehumanising horrors of war – others through the violence of poverty – and still others through the terror of abuse … abuse not from an enemy, but abuse from a meant-to-be-loving partner.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Some have been brought to lament by bodies riddled with sickness.  Illness that imprisons one to bed or to chair.  Illness that storks their person with constant throbbing and attacks with debilitating pain.  Conditions that confine.  That stigmatise and separate.  That exclude and isolate.   Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.  

Some have been brought to lament through years of intimate disregard.  The long lack of attention and appreciation and respect from those closest.  Never hearing the words, I love you. Or you are special and wonderful and beautiful.  And how can they believe if they have never heard?  And how can they hear if they have never been told?   Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Some have been brought to lament through a history of systemic neglect.  The unfairness of life written into laws that determine the lay of the land to be stacked against one for no other reason than a history of prejudice determining it to be so.  That whichever direction one walks in – there is a headwind of discrimination to face and mountain of judgement to climb.  Leaving one permanently exhausted.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer.

God of steadfast loving, Jesus called you Father – tend to these your children who experience you as an absent parent.   

Jesus said the children must be free to come to him – remove the stumbling blocks to knowing we are loved.

Jesus said that with you everything is possible – be present with those for whom nothing seems possible.

Jesus said no one can snatch my sheep out of my hand – but people get snatched every day…in their terror give them calm and courage.

You said behold I am creating all things knew – heal the despairing and depressed who don’t believe anything meaningful will ever change.

We pray this prayer for all those who can’t pray this prayer.  Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayers of Sunday 11 September 2022 by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Dear Lord, as we gather in this place, with you already present – you accept us as we are and that is an immeasurable gift. You expect the broken, the unable, the hurting, the lost, those who are grieving, who mourn and those deeply troubled. You know we sit side by side as victims and perpetrators, survivors, and bystanders. You know our deepest needs.

Thank you, Lord for the many opportunities to be renewed by your spirit. For the ways you make it possible through people and organisations, to be loved back to wholeness.

You have created us to be curious enough to find our way when we do not think we can return because your love is always enveloped in grace.

You invite us to question how we are living, whom we are hurting, and whose lives are shaped in painful or life-giving ways by our words and actions.

Thank you for holding our hurting, for not expecting perfection in the way we expect it of ourselves and others, but rather you make it possible for us to know that there is always more goodness to come and more justice to come. You stir within us a yearning for the world to be more gentle, kinder, and more caring.

Dear God, we are in adoration of the way you have created us in your image, we are all miracles. We need to be reminded to come to you, forgetting you are already always in us, as there is no here and there, there is no this place and that place, there is no outside and inside…for you are.

Our Father/Mother …

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 28 August 2022 by Terence Parker.

Lord God, we gather today to adore you.
You are the ground of all that is.
You hold us in being, and without you we could not be.
Before we were born, before time began, before the universe came into being, you were.
When time is finished, when the universe is no more, you will still be.
Nothing can take your power from you.
And in your presence we can only be silent before the mystery of your being, for no words of ours can do justice to your grandeur.

Forgive us for living as if it matters little that Jesus was raised from the dead.
We continue to live in doubt and discouragement, desperately trying to make our lives secure, without much hope for the future.
We continue to practice empty religion – meaningless piety and legalistic moralism, divorced from the life-giving power of your Spirit.

Yet you have spoken to us.
Out of universal silence your living word has sprung.
You have spoken, and given form and beauty to the world.
You have spoken, and given purpose to human life.
You have spoken, and declared the forgiveness of our sin.
You have spoken, and freed us from the fear of death.
Lord Jesus Christ, divine Word, speak to us now.
Show us the beauty of life; unite us to the eternal purpose; remove our guilt; conquer the fear of death in our hearts.
Speak and let us hear.

Thank you that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us now.
Thank you for displaying your strength and love, and enabling us to love you and give ourselves for others.
Thank you for the promise that we, too, will be raised and that we will one day see you face to face.

In the name of Christ,

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 28 August 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

I have had the word “hospitality” ringing in my ears for some time.  The constant threat of Operation Dudula, Dr Ramathuba’s rant at a Zimbabwean patient, the general hostility towards people living on the street and our own experience as a church of having the refugees in the sanctuary have urged me to explore the word more in the candle prayer today.  I am indebted to Christine Pohl’s research on this topic as it has informed much of this prayer.

Jesus, in your time on earth, hospitality was not a new concept.  Yet, as is your way, you took it deeper and broader to demonstrate a different understanding that true hospitality is a state of one’s heart and thinking.  For you, hospitality will always include those who are marginalised, those often viewed with hostility.  In your times of giving and times of receiving you emphasised that each encounter held an interchange of roles…a giving and a being given to. And you showed us so beautifully that a deep respect for the other’s dignity was the primary task of hospitality, the “I see you” that makes all the difference.

In such contrast, we become aware of how often we get it so wrong.  Our lives have grown progressively insular over the years.  We name the needs of our family and friends as reasons why we cannot welcome those we know you would bring with you should we dare to invite you.  We have made an industry of hospitality and leave various NGOs to look after the needs of others for us. We define those we encounter outside our homes, by their needs and exert a power in the exchange that is not only inhumane, but is so very far from what you had in mind. We talk about “the homeless”, “the refugees”, creating a comfortable distance from the individuals whose stories would break us if we ever heard them. We refuse to see, and learn from, the incredible courage that lies behind each person living on the streets, each person seeking refuge.

 For these, our ways, please forgive us.

Where we have given of true hospitality and been burnt by the brokenness of this world, we ask for a restoration of hope and trust that your ways of justice, love and mercy remain the only paths to peace.

Help us to become a community that refuses to reinforce the messages so frequently expressed in social media and in reports of government’s scapegoating; messages that must resound for these unseen individuals that they are worthless that no one cares.  Help us to remember the times of our own strangeness in situations and allow that to begin to inform our responses.  And most of all help us to see that no amount of wrongdoing or neediness should prevent us from seeing the dignity that lies within each individual we encounter.

And especially for us here at CMM where we listen to these candle prayers each week, and are exposed to the pain in this world, let us not delude ourselves into thinking that by knowing we are acting…


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 21 August 2022 by
Ian Proudfoot.

Loving, living God

This morning we come again before our extraordinary God; not one who is a consuming fire, inflamed with anger and bent on vengeance, but one of incomprehensible love who constantly reaches out to us, draws near, encourages, fixes and strengthens.   

As we come near to you during this time today, to be with you and your family, we don’t therefore come with fear of anger and punishment but rather, with a hard-to-believe security in a God whose nature is always to have mercy. As we reflect on this week, we readily acknowledge that we haven’t always got it right; our ways have not always been like your ways – our thoughts not always lovingly laced with grace and mercy, our words not always supportive, encouraging and nurturing and our actions not always fuelled with loving intent.

Therefore, as we enter into this place of Sabbath rest, knowing that you welcome a contrite heart, we lay these thoughts, words and deeds before you. We ask you as the psalmist did thousands of years ago, to please to incline your ear to us, to forgive us and to deliver us. In our recurring cycles of walking, running, stumbling and falling, we deliberately choose to run to you again and hide in you, knowing that we will never be shamed, that you are a rock of security and acceptance to which we can repeatedly come. As your spirit brooded over the waters in the very beginning, as this same spirit has supported, loved and transformed millions over the centuries, so we ask that you would do the same this morning as you move amongst us.  

I invite us all for a few moments to be silent, to yield the shadows of our week to this amazing God and to find the loving acceptance so readily offered.

What a joy it is now, to rest in the rock of your loving acceptance and forgiveness, to know that whatever battles rage around us, whatever challenges face us, whatever issues try to overwhelm us, you are always there, always open, always ready to receive us. We turn to you now together to speak to the most brilliant parent ever, in the words you taught us,

Our Father and Mother in heaven

Hallowed be your name … 

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 14 August 2022
by Gilbert Lawrence.

Our prayer focus today is on the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the injustice that is manifest when the SAPS are less than they should be. In letting us down, they are in fact causing pain, suffering and hardship. Do citizens have faith in the police. This is a troubling question, asked so often as the constant stimulus of heinous crimes highlight the failure of the SAPS. Their real successes are in fact, often blotted out.

It was reported recently, that that some Limpopo police officers were apparently ignorant of a law, in place since 2010, that gives investigators access to the Dept of Home Affairs fingerprint Data Base, for them to identify and catch criminals. That database is the most comprehensive in South Africa. It was brought to their attention by a local activist.

 Vision of SAPS: To create a safe and secure environment for all people in SA.

Mission Statement of SAPS: To prevent and combat anything that may threaten the safety and security of any community; investigate all crimes that threaten the safety and security of any community; ensure offenders are brought to justice; and participate in efforts to address the root causes of crime.

 All citizens of south Africa and citizens from elsewhere, who live, work, and visit here should be able to believe that the SAPS should be well trained, be trustworthy, behave ethically and be reliable, as they strive under difficult circumstances to achieve their mission.

Another statistic for us. The SAPS comprises of 182,000 personnel in all categories including administration. (2021). This is a ratio of 1:413 of the population. We know, however, that many communities, especially those without basic services also have no proper policing. The Security industry has 564,000 employees. (2021). A ratio of 1:106 of the population. This distribution of private security services is also heavily skewed based on economics.

Let us pray

Divine creator of all things good and beautiful, we celebrate your love for each and everyone of us. Lord, we live in a complex world and a complex South Africa. We pray today for greater safety for all communities.

We know the ravages of violence, its causes and it consequences so well. For too many it is a daily fear and horror. We have overcome much as a nation but at too great a cost in preventable suffering, violence, and loss of life, due a high crime rate. Our Children, our elderly, and our women, are subjected to constant fear of violence especially in communities with little or no basic services and devoid of real policing.

O lord who touched and listened and wept, forgive our ways of arguing, judging, and settling disputes which often causing violence.

Some policemen are part of the criminal activity and others have been killed or work in fear for their own lives. We are concerned, O God, with increased militarization of the private security sector with more guns, in society.

Yet God, there are signs at times that give us hope. When we experience proper policing, when we can salute brave policemen, courageous civic members, safety and security activists, relevant NGOs, and ordinary people. We are also thankful for people who provide shelters, places of hope and care for serial victims of abuse and crime.

Lord the need for trust is so great. We pray for better resourcing in all aspects of police work and the supportive technology needed and needed timeously. We pray for the accountability structures like IPID to be more present in all communities. We pray for real political leadership.

All embracing God, embrace us with your spirit of truth, as we live in hope. As we do all that we can, and more. As we expose ourselves to be in the solution. To co-create a “safe and secure environment for all”.

May the spirit of the risen lord be with us all.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 29 May 2022
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Opening Prayer for National Child Protection Week 29 May – 4 June 2022

Today our focus of the peace justice and hope candle will be National Child Protection Week. This week I ask that we pray for noise, for responses, for action to counter the harm and violence our children endure daily. In South Africa children are killed and abused and suffer violence daily. In Hanover Park, Factreton, Nyanga, Kensington, Khayelitsha and Bishop Lavis children regularly have to hide in their classrooms because of gang violence right outside their schools. Sometimes children die on their way to school. In the news headlines this week we learnt about 19 children who were shot and killed in their classrooms in the city of Uvalde, Texas. In Ukraine, children are having to attend school online where possible (if their schools have not been bombed and destroyed) due to the occupation of their country by Russian forces because of the war being waged by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many Ukrainians have also had to flee to Poland. We also think of the children in Russia whose parents are fighting and dying in Ukraine.

This was a prayer I have written many times and so I did not write this prayer today, but rather join me in praying for protection for children along with others in the Methodist Church as we pray a prayer shared by Steve Lottering of the child protection desk of the Methodist Church.

Before we pray let me make some noise, for one child, for all the children.

Oh Lord Hear Our Prayer*
Oh Lord Hear Our Prayer
Come and Listen to us
Oh Lord Hear Our Prayer
Oh Lord Hear Our Prayer
Come and Listen to us
     *Taize hymn

Let us pray a prayer for children:

Loving God, we thank you for the care and affection of Jesus, who placed children in the very centre of his community.
We pray for children, created in your own image and likeness, dwelling places of your Spirit, each one called to experience the freedom of your daughters and sons.

We pray for all children – those in our family homes, those in our community of faith, those in the wider community, those in our global village, those with plenty and those who struggle to survive.

We yearn for the day when all children may know safety and freedom and protection from violence and abuse, when they may bask in constant love, safe from any harm, where they may flourish and be all they can be.

God of all goodness, we hope in you. Inspire us to surround others with gentleness and love and empower us to build a world that no longer knows abuse and violence. Grant us courage to speak out and act when children need protection, care and shelter.

We pray in Jesus’ name.

Now we will pray the prayer for Africa:

God bless Africa and all the world
guard our children
guide our leaders
and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 29 May 2022 by Alan Storey.

God of the cosmos. 
Creator of the galaxies. 
Lover of the earth.
Breath of humanity.
Companion of creation – we praise you.

Alpha and Omega – first and last – all of creation fits within the bracket of your beginning and end.  All of life is held in the embrace of your outstretched love.  We gather here now to not only declare this is so, but through your spirit to experience this as so. 

As we open our hearts to your heart, we ask that you realign our living with your will.  That your concerns become our concerns. That your way of seeing become our way of seeing – so that we may weep when you weep and rejoice when you rejoice. Make us one with you – as Jesus spoke of being one with you.  Nourish us with the fruit from the tree of life.

Yes we gather to be nourished by your love – your love that loves us into loving – loving our neighbours, loving our enemies and loving ourselves.

We gather to be nourished with your forgiveness – your forgiveness that releases us from the prison of our sin and guilt – especially from those areas of our lives we repeatedly fail in.

We gather to be nourished with your compassion – your compassion that moves us to feel the suffering of others as our own – because in truth we are all one.

We gather to be nourished with your righteousness – your righteousness that sharpens our senses to what is just and true and what is not.

We gather to be nourished with your joy – your joy that bubbles up in the midst of the desert places of disillusionment in our lives and despair in the world.

We gather to be nourished with your hope – your hope that promises new life – that the way things are needn’t be the way things remain – that we can change – that no one is beyond changing – that we can bring change – that the world around us can change.

We gather today to be nourished by you – for without your nourishment – without your love, forgiveness, compassion, righteousness, joy and hope we wither away.  We add to the hurts of the world when we live out of our own hurt.  We add to the arrogance of the world when we do what we do out of our own need to be seen to be making a difference – or our own craving to be relevant rather than trusting and rooting our living in your unending love, we call your grace.

So finally O God, nourish us with the humility of Jesus today – who though he shared your form
O God – chose to empty himself taking on the form of a servant faithful in every thought word and deed to your will.  Humble us enough to surrender: to surrender our need to be in control; to surrender our need to be right; to surrender how we judgingly compare ourselves to others; to surrender our need to be seen to be better than the people around us – be it more clever; more funny; more progressive; more kind; more generous; more spiritual…more….

Today, in this very moment give us that blessed assurance of knowing we are yours – this is our prayer.  Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 22 May 2022
by Ian Proudfoot.

All-powerful yet deeply loving God, as we sit here in this beautiful sanctuary or in the comfortable sanctuary of our homes, we remind ourselves that we are in the presence of both the real living God and a group of people whom this God really loves with a very full heart.

We have ahead of us about an hour in which we have opportunity to engage actively with carefully crafted words, creative song, millennia-old scripture and to reflect more deeply on what these words may mean for us today.

From the very beginning, you have known that we, with our tendency to get caught up in the many cares of the world, need a cycle of living that draws us regularly back to rest and renewal in you and your ways. We, therefore, along with countless other members of our family, especially across Africa and Europe at this time, respond to this divine design by focusing wholeheartedly on you and your ways, deliberately choosing to rest for a while from the activities of the week that have occupied our minds and actions.

As we look at you now and allow you to look at us, we, like Peter, acknowledge that we have fallen short of your ideal in many ways in this week and would perhaps even prefer you to focus your loving attention elsewhere. However, as we feel your penetrating, yet deeply loving gaze that knows our deepest thoughts, let alone the numbers of hairs on our heads, we know that there is no better place to go than to stay here, much loved and held by one from whom absolutely nothing can separate us.

We ease off our shoulders the weight of our failings and our anxieties, knowing that, not only do you love a contrite heart but that you are the one to whom the weary and heavy-laden can come to find rest for their souls. We ask you to receive who we are, as we are right now, knowing that such a request gives you joy to respond to. We ask you, Holy Spirit, to be the empowering of our turning, of our receiving, of our cleansing and of our rest

And as we do this, we know that you are true to your word and your nature, in giving to us forgiveness, acceptance and rest. We receive these wonderful gifts with huge thanks as we recalibrate our week and ready our hearts to engage more fully with you.

As we do, we join together to declare aloud that all-encompassing expression of trust of and devotion to you ….

Our Father and Mother in heaven

Hallowed be your name ……

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 22 May 2022
by Nicole Terblanche.

Recently, in announcing a summer sabbatical for her team, Brené Brown referenced a quote from British actress, director, and screenwriter Michaela Coel that says, “Do not be afraid to disappear, from it, from us, for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence.”

We have been very lucky in some ways during the pandemic break to have moments like this. Where we could disappear. Where we could evade the pressure. (We were able to make time time to care for people and make time to speak up for justice and we had space to explore what God is saying).

But the world is opening up again and life is “back to normal”. I say that hesitantly, because nothing like the way we live should be considered normal. I don’t know about you, but I am finding my own capacity for busyness and for people is much less than it used to be. My compassion is fading, but the need in this city is not. Between load shedding and constant illegal matters going down, informal settlements under pressure, government under pressure, corporates under pressure, education under pressure, we are in a dark place.

As a result, We are too tired to care for the things that matter. people are exhausted beyond.
I’m feeling it myself in my daily life. And I want to pray on behalf of them and us. It’s not that that we who are tired cannot continue to run – in fact, the writer of Isaiah speaks of strength rising as we wait on God. In a cold, dark world, we need to remain a city on a hill. We need to remain the light in the darkness that says “I beg to differ”. We do this by getting quiet again and letting God speak in the silence. After I have prayed, let’s be silent for a bit before we break out into the God bless Africa prayer. Let us pray:

‘It is enough, Lord’.
We are tired, Lord.
Weary beyond thinking about it.
Weary, over praying through it.
So weary: worn of words,
no glimpse of glory,
so weary, we have had enough.
We’ve no idea the road ahead,
we’ve not been this route before.
No way is coming clear,
just… wilderness,
enough to lose ourselves.
And the only path we easily find,
is the one of least resistance.
Yet there’s energy to run, and keep running,
to avoid and evade,
to distract, and deny,
to turn and to tilt… away.
Can we be found, even so?
When we get there – when it’s ‘enough’,
and there’s nowhere to go but there,
and nothing to have, but what we receive:
shelter us from the searing sun,
shield us from the scratching wind,
save us from the time of trial.
Feed us this day, the bread for tomorrow
crumbs to sustain us,
morsels of grace,
a few winks of sleep,
drops of refreshment,
just enough.
Even so.

And now we pray together the prayer for Africa.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 15 May 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

Ever-giving God.

Ever-giving God we are in awe of what you lavish upon us.

We take a moment to reflect on Your giving…

We consider setting suns and rising moons, mountain rock pools and pounding seas and we marvel how this planet, this universe holds Your beauty and mystery and gives us glimpses into Your unplumbed depths. You never stop handing us Your exquisite, intricate nature in varied and remarkable forms for our delight so why is it that we love it and destroy it in the same breath.

You provide us with all we need to live and grow…foods that fill recipe books with endless mouth-watering possibilities. Yet we receive and hoard, forgetting that true nourishment comes from breaking loaves and fishes into enough for all.

You offer us peace that passes understanding, a place of depth that would secure us through all that life brings our way. We long for this gift yet we want it on our terms and we want it now…forgetting that it is based on trust and trust is built on many steps.

You place before us the gift of wisdom, offering us a way to enrich how we live and how we give in our time on this earth. Yet we are loathe to unwrap this gift reverently and carefully, relying more often on our own egotistic opinions that lack depth and wreak havoc in an already crumbling world.

You lavish us with grace brimming with forgiveness, mercy and kindness, an undeserving gift we struggle to receive as we hold tightly to our grudges, our judgements and ill will.

Yet…even still, You gift us with Your presence; a presence that not only promises never to leave, but that also constantly invites us to plumb the depths of all You are and all You offer in these amazing gifts. Forgive us for interpreting Your giving only in terms of that which will stroke our egos and benefit us materially. Help us to see that Your more extravagant gifts lie in those that bring life, life to all.

We are humbled by Your giving, O God. When You give, You give of Your very nature, You give Yourself. Help us to truly receive You in Your gifts so that we may be transformed in our own giving…a deep giving back to You and all that is Yours.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 15 May 2022
by Terence Parker.

On Wednesday 11 May, a Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was killed in a camp in the West Bank called Jenin as she was covering a raid of the camp by the Israeli Defence Force.

She was wearing a helmet and a bullet-proof vest clearly marked “PRESS”, yet she was shot in a narrow gap beneath the helmet by a trained gunman.

Fellow journalists were injured during the attack, and their account confirm that it was military fire that killed her, not Palestinian gunman as claimed by the PM of Israel and the IDF spokespersons.

The tragedy didn’t end with her death – when her body was being transported from the hospital mortuary to the church for burial in a casket draped with the Palestinian flag, the pallbearers and those accompanying the coffin were attacked by the military who insisted that the flag be removed.

Even in death, her voice rang fear into the hearts of the Israeli authorities.

As we mourn the death of a truth-teller, we pray for courage of everyone who dares to speak truth to power.

Let us pray, as we reflect on all that authorities are afraid to expose, symbolized by the barbed wire, and asking God for protection of those on the frontline of exposing the horrors of war, oppression and corruption, symbolized by the light of the candle.

Creator God, father and mother of us all,

We weep with you as we observe the suffering of people in all places of conflict: Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, Ethiopia, South Sudan.

We remember your suffering on a cross at the hands of the powers, and know that you are present in the midst of the suffering, But you overcame death to bring us the hope of new life through your resurrection.

We give thanks for those who use their voice, skills and talents to speak up against injustice, even when it can cost them their lives.

We give thanks for the courage and witness of Shireen Abu Akleh, Pavel Sheremet, James Foley and the many journalists who paid the ultimate price and who inspired, and continue to inspire, others to expose injustice and become the voice of the voiceless.

Lord, give us the courage to speak up when we see injustice, to use our voice to break the cycle of violence in all its forms.

Remembering that you have gone before us, to show us the cost of discipleship and realizing your kingdom on earth as in heaven.

We pray this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

We pray the prayer for Africa: God Bless Africa and all the world guard our children, guide our leaders and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of
Good Friday 15 April 2022
by Terence Parker.


Creator God, we glimpse your beauty

In setting sun, mountain top, eagle’s wing

We sense your power in thunder crash, lightning flash, ocean’s roar and raging floods

Creator God, we praise you.

Precious Jesus, we see your love stretched out upon a cruel cross,

We stand in awe at your sacrifice, pure love poured out for humanity.

Precious Jesus, we praise you.

Holy Spirit, we see your power in lives transformed, hearts on fire.

We listen for your still, small voice, comforting, guiding, calling.

Holy Spirit, we praise you.



In the day of our trouble we will call to you, O Lord,

for you will answer us.

When we have done what is wrong and displeasing in your sight, O Lord, extend your love to correct us.

When we ignore those in need

and pretend that all is right with the world, O Lord, help us to face the truth.

When we turn a blind eye to those who are overwhelmed by poverty, devastation and humiliation, and face injustices daily,

O Lord, teach us your way.

Empower us to extend your love;

and give us an undivided heart,

that we may be your hands and feet.

We praise you, O Lord our God,

with all our heart;

and we glorify your name forever.



O God of shalom, we have built up walls to protect ourselves from our enemies,

but those walls also shut us off from receiving your love.

Break down those walls.

Help us to see that the way to your heart is through the reconciliation of our own hearts with those we call our enemies.

Bless them and us, that we may come to grow in love for each other and for you, through Jesus Christ.



Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend.

Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see.

We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair.

Give us the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another.

May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love.

Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world.

Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Good Friday 15 April 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

I have asked that we delay lighting the candle because I want to invite us all to take some time to consider the starkness of the candle without its flame of hope.  I wonder what rises up within us?  Is it indignation that this is not the right thing to do…to remove hope from the prayer candle?  Or does it take us to the edge of the utter despair that so many people in the world are living in?  Can we stop in our tracks, and, as Arundhati Roy implores us, not look away? Can we take some time to listen to what we see on the faces… 

*of mothers and grandmothers as they watch children, babies, starve in a world of plenty? 

*of raped women, raped children staring out of empty eyes into a world of violent disregard for their humanity?

*of homeless people facing another day of rejection, grime and slog?

*of those devastated by war…all they had bombed away heartlessly?

*of those forced to fight in wars that will haunt their dreams for years to come?

* of those watching horrified as floods tear apart their homes?

Can we look into their faces?

Let us pray

Jesus, we often come to this day, this remembering you on the cross, in the light of your resurrection. But this morning we are taking time to hear you identifying with the many that are today feeling the deep pain of the barbed wire that surrounds our peace and justice candle.  In your desperate cry “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” you make space for feelings of loneliness, despair, hopelessness and anger that ravage the world at this time. 

We do not come to this space as innocent bystanders, but rather as those who are complicit in our doing and complacent in our not doing.  We come to this space sickened by our own lack of humanity…a humanity that you invited us into over and over in your lived-out ways and in your teachings.  We, too, have forsaken, not only you on the cross, but so many others as well.  Forgive us, O God, for we have known what we are doing.

And so, Jesus, we find ourselves wondering what is it that invites us to light the candle?  Is it because our tradition holds us to doing that? Is it our desire to hurry on and get back to the comfort of the flame? Or is it our hope and, to go even deeper, our trust, that who you are, your very nature, provides the only hope of bringing peace and justice to this world? As we look into the faces around us that daily mirror the barbed wire, can we dare to put that trust into action and die to that which brings death in so many horrible and horrific ways?  And can we light the candle to commit, even in our very brokenness, to a dying that is full of living…living a trust in you and your loving that will keep the flame alive in us this morning and in the days to come? And maybe, just maybe, it will allow us to carry those faces within us so we, in following you, might somehow become a beneficial presence to them and those who live the pain in this world.  Can we follow you in praying with deep trust, that it is “into your hands”, your nature and your ways, that we “commit our spirits” no matter what? Can we light this candle to proclaim to the corrupt powers and denialist principalities that its flame holds the deeper truth?

We pray so. (Light candle)

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 10 April 2022
by Gilbert Lawrence.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

In Diepkloof, Gauteng, violence, fueled by xenophobia, resulted in the killing of 5 people. On Wednesday, a Zimbabwean National, Mbhodazwe Nyati, after returning from work, was chased by a mob knocking on doors and demanding identification. He was caught and killed. Why do we behave like this?

The plight of Foreign Nationals in South Africa is perilous. Thousands live in administrative limbo.

Permanent Residency Permit applications and processing were stopped at the start of lockdown with serious status implications for Foreign Nationals. In January, after 22 months, the applications reopened. The backlog has now increased to between 30,000 and 50,000, going back 10 years. An application will likely take 3 years to be completely processed. 

Thousands of skilled foreign nationals applied for citizenship utilizing a list of critical skills. That list has now been revised by Government and many are hoping they will still be considered.

Foreign students, upon successful graduation, could fast track PRP through certain waivers. 

Government has withdrawn these waivers.

The Citizenship Act makes provision for stateless children born in South Africa to obtain citizenship. The DHA has, however, not created the regulations for that to happen. 

The Home Affairs Cape Town Refugee office was closed in 2012, forcing asylum seekers to seek help in Durban, Musina or Pretoria. Even if they were living in Cape Town, they are required to regularly present themselves at a Centre. The new office will open in September this year, after 10 years and much legal activism.

During the unfolding Xenophobia in Diepkloof, certain groups called for the police to deliberately demand identification from anyone thought to be a Foreign National. This was supported by the ministers of Police and Home affairs. The President, in response, is quoted as saying “behavior that takes the country back to the way things were done during apartheid cannot be accepted”.

Let us pray
Lord we prayer for all Foreign Nationals in our country. We pray for tolerance, compassion and justice in the long waiting queues, in the offices of Government Departments and in the interactions with officials who wield so much power over the lives of those who seek help. 

We prayer for the fear driven voicelessness of the Foreign Nationals which is so deafening. O lord we give thanks for the organizations, journalists, lawyers, and other activists who keep the flame of hope alight.  We pray for our government departments and cabinet, reminding all those conciliatory words, even from our President, are in fact hollow sounding. 

We pray that the Government is willing, to provide a cohesive strategy of intent, based on the protection of human rights, that can help to address the plight of the God created foreigner in our midst, who are our people, our sisters, our brothers.

We pray for our local communities our politicians to avoid targeting foreign nationals for political gain and as scapegoats in sorting out local and national economic and social problems. 

Lord we especially prayer for the families of those who have lost their live.   Lord, we give thanks for Christ in the world, in all places, in all faces. Knowing no boundaries, no nationality, no label. 

We prayer that we, as a church community will not only seek Justice, compassion and love for foreign nationals, but may our Christlike being help us to be justice, be compassion and be love. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 3 April 2022 
by Alan Storey.

A Prayer for the Two Mass Murders in Khayelitsha

In March, two mass murders took place over two weekends in Khayelitsha. First, in Monwabisi Park informal settlement in Endlovini where 5 people between the ages 25-35 were shot dead. Then in the Enkanini informal settlement where
6 people between the ages 22-27 were shot dead. The two communities are only 4 km apart from each other. The majority of the homes in the area are constructed out of corrugated iron, easily penetrated by a bullet, effectively leaving people nowhere to hide. Two attacks. Eleven dead. Please imagine if this took place in Sea Point, Claremont or Durbanville. What would be the response?

One would think that the areas that have the highest instances of violent crime would be tended to by the highest proportion of SAPS – but it’s just the opposite. This is known and documented in The Commission of Inquiry into Policing in Khayelitsha that took place almost 10 years ago. The recommendations of which are still yet to be implemented…

Let us pray.

Compassionate God – hear our prayers.
The 126th psalmist says that you are the restorer of fortunes and that you return laughter and joy to those who weep and grieve.
So today we direct our prayers to you.
We ask not for restoration of fortunes because those for whom we pray have never had fortunes to begin with.
Our prayers are more conservative.
We will even forego the promise of laughter if only what causes the weeping would stop.
We ask not for fortune.
Our prayers are more humble.
All we ask is that people can go to bed at night and not have to worry about bullets penetrating the corrugated iron sheets of their homes.
All we ask is that mothers can hang out the washing on the line without being shot.
All we ask is that children playing outside their homes are not paralyzed from a bullet-shattered-spine.
All we ask is that men learn to settle their differences without guns and without drunken fists and without angry slaps to the face.
You see Lord we are not asking for a lot.
We are certainly not asking for fortunes, not even laughter and joy.
We ask simply for every act of violence that robs people of their precious and sacred lives to stop.
We pray this for all whom violence is their daily bread and tears their only drink.
We pray this for the violently traumatised people of Monwabisi and Enkanini informal settlements in Khayelitsha, who live only 25 km from here, but whose experience of life are many nightmarish worlds away.
Lord have mercy.

Compassionate God we ask you not for much.
We ask you not for all the answers of society’s ills.
All we ask is that you come and shatter our complacency today.
All we ask is that you remove our indifference.
All we ask is that you dilute our fears.
All we ask is that you give us courage.
To act.
Even now.

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
 we were like those who dream. 
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
 and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
 ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ 
The Lord has done great things for us,
 and we rejoiced. 

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
 like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
May those who sow in tears
 reap with shouts of joy. 
Those who go out weeping,
 bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
 carrying their sheaves.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 27 March 2022 by Peter Storey.

On your journey to Jerusalem, Jesus, you have invited us to walk with you, and as it was for your first disciples, it is turning out not to be a comfortable journey.

You have invited us to traverse the landscape our world and see with new eyes not only the terrible consequences of human hubris and the dangerous delusions of the powerful, but to recognised similar delusions and life-destroying ways in ourselves and in our relationships.

We have lauded you Jesus, for marching alone and unarmed to confront the corruption and immorality of a great city, yet we consistently shrink from confronting the many little corruptions and compromises we live with – often quite comfortably – each day.

We have grieved in these days for those suffering the terror and destruction of war and homelessness – and you have invited us to recognise with shame that we can’t even pray justly – that even the way we allocate our compassion can be tainted with bias and discrimination.

You have invited us to feel through our feet as we walk upon her, the suffering of our mother, the earth. We know what is required for her to breathe freely once more and to be healed: that all we need to do is to stop doing certain things, that’s all! Yet we look to others to do the stopping and continue to be part of her hurt.

We have wondered, Jesus, at the pain you carry in your great heart of love, yet even as we walk with you toward Jerusalem, we continue to make crosses to crucify you. Try as we might to separate ourselves from the people and powers and prejudices that put you on the cross, we are implicated.

And because of this, today we come desperately needing to hold onto something else you have told us over and over again: something we neither deserve nor find easy to believe…

…that Abba, your parent, is a Prodigal God, who loves us in spite of ourselves, lavishly and extravagantly, even wastefully and unwisely…

…that we, who so often prefer our far countries over our parental home, will never not be loved…

…and that this God who is over all, and in all, and through all, never ceases to miss us, scans the horizon for us, and before we can find the words for our longing to return, throws divine dignity to the wind and runs to meet us…

…that God is our welcome and our home

Thanks be to God. AMEN

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 27 March 2022
by Sophie Joans.

I don’t watch or read the news and much as I should. The algorithms of social media push a Gen Z member like me pop culture and make-up tutorials. As such, when I came to write the prayer of Peace, Hope and Justice, I found myself scouring eNCA YouTube videos to try and get ‘up to date’ with what the global issues are today. To find out where an us and them mentality makes room for hate to grow and flourish.

Operation Dudula which fosters those xenophobic sentiments that can so quickly turn to violence. Russia’s war on Ukraine that has 10 million people displaced, and thousands dead or injured. The articles and interviews were endless.

Then I remembered the storm a few nights ago. It’s the first I can remember this year thus far. It made me think of an issue that never makes the news.

The first night the thousands of South Africans that live outside will be scurrying for shelter, will be trying to stop the leaks in the homes made of black bags and recycled political posters, with the faces of our politicians telling us to VOTE. The thousands of South Africans who have built communities of shelters, shacks and tents in Sea Point, in Plumstead, outside my flat, and with tragic irony, around the Cape Town castle. 

I can’t speak for what’s going on in the world, but I can speak for what I see in front of me.

The problem is so huge, I don’t think we know where to start. We point fingers about whose responsibility it is. In the meantime, we push it to the backs of our minds, because we have to keep living and we can’t fix the problem alone. 

But our hopelessness turns to indifference, and our indifference turns to turning a blind eye. The problem grows, and we choose to ignore it. We don’t see our family members in need, we see others who were unlucky our made mistakes and wound up living outside.

Dear God,
Shake off our indifference. Unlock our voices to speak about the problem. Let our cold hearts ache for our fellow South Africans, living the horror of being outside, every day, without access to security of food, water, or warmth. 

Stir us into discussion, stir us into action, stir our empathy – in us and our leaders.

Remind us again, as many times as we need, that we are all your family.

Give us peace, both at home and around the world.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 20 March 2022 by Nicole Terblanche.

Though the mountains fall and the hills give way, your love for us oh Lord will always stay the same.
Here we are again, God
With all that makes us who we are,
all that fills our lives;
Carrying into this place of joy and freedom
the burdens we just can’t seem to lay down,
The weight of all the scores we long to have settled,
the justice we want to demand
for the wrongs we have suffered

Yet we also know what would happen if you were to deal with us justly;
with our greeds and violences, our betrayals and lusts.
If justice was served in our lives we could not stand.
So forgive us our wrongs, God,
forgive us as we do not deserve;
forgive us against the demands of justice;
And forgive our obsession that justice be done
to those who have wronged us.
Lord God, No one is a stranger to you. And no one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness, watch over refugees and victims of war, those separated from their loved ones, Young people who are lost. And those who have left home or who have run away from home. Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be. And help us always to show your kindness to strangers and to all in need.

We echo the prayer of the pope in saying:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we implore You! Hold fast the hand of Cain! Illumine our consciences; may our will not be done; abandon us not to our own actions!

Stop us, O Lord, stop us! And when you have held back the hand of Cain, care also for him. He is our brother. O Lord, put a halt to the violence! Stop us, O Lord! Amen.

May our worship today lead us to the place
where our hunger for grace and mercy may be filled,
and where we may be freed from the tyranny of vengeance.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 20 March 2022
by Ian Proudfoot.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

I would like to focus this morning on our responses to all the death that constantly surrounds us and, in it, to bring ourselves to God in prayer.

In the last few weeks, we have perhaps become more accustomed than usual to reading or hearing about death. The war in Ukraine has become a key focus in our news as we have been hearing regular reports of people being killed. Though we don’t hear as much about it, it continues in Yemen, in Syria, Central African Republic, eastern DRC, in Myanmar and in many other places not on our reporting radars. And then there are the indirect causes of death due to war such as the failure of health services with resultant poor drug supply and inadequate access for patients. Closer to home we have become accustomed to hearing about political killings, gang murders and many other deaths so much more common in our poorer communities. Within the last fortnight we have seen the report of the tragic murder of another activist, Ayanda Ngila, from Abahlali baseMjondolo, now bringing the total in that organisation to twenty in recent years, allegedly fuelled by greed and corrupt leadership.

If we stop for a moment to reflect on this, we have to see the harsh reality that every death is a family tragedy; someone loved in a family, in a community, has been taken away, forever. Many of us have felt this very acutely in the last two years of the pandemic with countless heart-rending experiences of loss of much-loved family members. Most of us have probably attended funerals or memorial services, remembering so much good in that unique person’s life and all that he or she has meant to friends, family and work colleagues. Are all the deaths we hear about any different?

Please pray with me

Ever-loving God, who became one of us and touched and felt life in every way that we do, we come to you this morning, as the psalmist said, to a rock of habitation to which we can continually come, needing guidance in how to live, in how to face and manage all of life as it unfolds around us. We know that, with your huge heart for all of humanity, you confronted and engaged with death in so many of its forms – the death of the soul, the death of relationship, the death of true religion, the death of humanity and indeed physical death. We remember one story, surely of many others during your life, in which you too engaged with the heartfelt loss of a family member as you cried with Lazarus’ family.

We ask you therefore this morning that, as we try to be like you, we would remain deeply conscious of the deep reality of every death we read or hear about and ask that our hearts would not become immunised. We want to keep in our hearts and mind that no one deserves to die, whoever he or she may be and however we may try to justify it. Please keep us sensitive to the deep reality of every loss and what it really means, every time.

As we look in horror at the inhumanity of those involved in these acts of murder, we confess too where we too are not without fault. We are reminded by James that each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his or her own desire, and this in turn gives birth to sin, and that, when fully grown, brings forth death. More directly to the point he later says that when we desire and do not have, we commit murder. How true this is, not only in war but also at the root of so many of the large news items out there. We acknowledge too that these same seeds of death, desire and covetousness, are ready and waiting in us for fertile ground in which to grow. In all this we are so grateful that you are forever merciful and ever present to transform us into your likeness as we yield to you. Transform us, oh God, into people with a heart like yours.

In closing, we open our hearts for a moment to all those suffering the profound finality of the loss of one close to them – in our own families, our communities, our country, our continent and the world over as we pray, God bless Africa and all the world, guard our children, guide our leaders, and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 13 March 2022 by Alan Storey.

All vulnerable God we celebrate your tender love for this world.
This world at war.
This world divided.
This world groaning under the weight of our deadly choices.
This world that is so in need of tender loving.

You faithfully go on holding the world in your hands – your hands that know what it is like to have life drained from them – your hands that we nailed to a cross – your vulnerable hands that tenderly touch this world that suffers at our hands. We praise you for your tender love for this world.

All vulnerable God even as a victim at our hands you continue to gently embrace us as your own. You continue to reach out to us, touching us gently, for you know what it is like to be touched forcefully – to have skin spilt open by spear and nails. You touch us gently because you do to others as you desire others to do to you. You touch us gently because you know that gentleness alone will inherit new life. We praise you for your gentle embrace of us as your beloved.

We praise you for your tender love and gentle embrace that heals us even as it leaves you vulnerable. We marvel at your courage to be so vulnerable. And as Love, you are never not vulnerable. In vulnerability you do not wait to be loved before you love. In vulnerability, you do not ration your love out to a few. In vulnerability, you love first and you love fully.

To love is to risk and we marvel at how you repeatedly risk, vulnerable God. Life threatening risk. Cross-shaped risk. You go on risking. You go on loving. We cannot explain this love of yours for your ways are not our ways. Your love carries its own logic. All we can say is that you love us because you love us …without debate but not without dying.

We are sorry that throughout our history we have wasted so much time in debate – debating your loving – who you love and who you don’t love. Even as we believe that we are set free by your grace alone – we still carry lists stating what people must think, say or do to receive that grace. Forgive us for we have thought that it is our responsibility to ringfence your love. Ration your love according to belief and behaviour. We arrogantly attach terms and conditions to your love. We add tiny print that makes your free gift of freedom no longer free. Perhaps we do this Vulnerable God because we ourselves doubt your free gift of freedom – believing we must earn our way into your heart instead of accepting our acceptance as your great gift of grace to the world.

Remind us again today that we live and move and have our being in your heart of love – together with everyone else and all of your suffering creation. Remove our fear as far as the East is from the West so that we may love as you love. Remove our fear that we may cease to live in denial of the world’s suffering that we have caused. Remove our fear that we will not be trapped in the despair of being overwhelmed by the suffering state of the world, so that we can respond tenderly, gently, courageously in love regardless of how vulnerable we become.

Come shatter our complacency and instil within us the belief that even now we can act for what makes for life to flourish. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 6 March 2022
by Peter Storey.

“I can’t accept that after all the wars we have had in the world, we are still
solving our problems by killing each other.” Ekatarina Averchenko

For around three decades, the United Nations faithfully supported South Africa’s struggle for liberation, voting again and again to denounce the violent sin of apartheid in our land. We owe them so much.

On Ash Wednesday that same United Nations invited us to denounce a brutal attack by a world power on its smaller neighbour, Ukraine. “A massive majority of the 193 UN member nations voted to demand Russian withdrawal. Five voted against it, and 35 sat on the fence. South Africa was one of them.

Ash Wednesday always marks the beginning of the Christian season of penitence, when we spend 40 days acknowledging the sins that we are aware of, but more importantly, praying for insight into those we are either blindly unaware of or stubbornly unwilling to confess.

Ash Wednesday was a day of shame for the South African nation, but not the only shame we need to confess…

Let us pray:

God of the nations, we are ashamed that those who claim to lead us are willing to watch the suffering of a whole people at the hands of a more powerful neighbour, and for the sake of political expediency, to deny the truth, cravenly keeping silence and pretending not to see. Help us, in spite of them, not to do so.

We pray today for the people of Ukraine, especially the helpless and defenceless among them, as they suffer this onslaught. We pray for the people of Russia, so cynically misled, and for the leaders of these two nations, thanking you for the inspiration of the first and praying that you will frustrate the ambitions of the second. We pray for an end to the violence of this war, for sense to prevail, and for peaceful coexistence to be achieved before it is too late for us all.

We confess that we too, are often selective in our outrage and in who receives our compassion: we are ashamed that the names of other peoples and places, some of whom have suffered war so much longer and more horribly, do not appeal so strongly to our consciences: Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Myanmar, Iraq, Ethiopia, Mozambique … and others. Help us see more clearly our hidden prejudices and biases and remind us that all these wars are in fact one war, fought between siblings in the one family of one Divine parent.

Mindful that no war brings true peace, and of the fears of the world community that this latest conflict could become a world-wide conflagration, we pray that their turning to economic tools rather than joining the violence will bear fruit, and that out of this tragedy may yet come a new and better way.

In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 27 February 2022
by Terence Parker.

On Thursday morning, around 05h00 Eastern European Time, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, its neighbour to the southwest, marking a dramatic escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014.

The invasion was preceded by a Russian military build-up that started in early 2021, during which Russian president Vladimir Putin criticized NATO’s post-1997 enlargement as a threat to his country’s security and demanded that Ukraine be legally prohibited from joining the military alliance, NATO;

On Monday 21 February 2022, Russia officially recognised the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self-proclaimed states in eastern Ukraine, and sent troops to the territories.

The following day, Tuesday, the Russian Federation Council unanimously authorised Putin to use military force outside Russia’s borders.

Around 05:00 on Thursday, Putin announced a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine; minutes later, missiles began to hit locations across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, as images via the media confirm

Two hours later, Russian ground forces entered the country.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded by enacting martial law, severing diplomatic ties with Russia, and ordering general mobilisation.

The invasion received widespread international condemnation, including new sanctions imposed on Russia, while anti-war protests in Russia were met with mass arrests.

The following poem by Mahmoud Darwish reminds us of the true casualties of war:

“The war will end,
The leaders will shake hands,
The old woman will keep waiting for her martyred son,
That woman will wait for her beloved husband,
And those children will wait for their hero father.
I don’t know who sold our homeland,
But I saw who paid the price.”

Let us pray:

O Lord, we know that you weep when you see the suffering caused by war,

When people in power abuse that power, with no regard to the consequences of that abuse of power,

We bring before you the leaders directly and indirectly involved in the war between Russia and Ukraine, Israel & Palestine, every site of conflict across the globe and in our communities

We bring before you those drawn into the conflict due to their association and loyalties,

We pray for wisdom that guides decisions that will turn swords into ploughshares,

O Lord, we know that even the produce of the harvest is under threat due to this war,

That suffering from the effects of a global pandemic, climate change, corruption and economic decay are deepened by another conflict that affects everything, including food supply,

We pray for strength and courage as we seek your guidance as a community and as individuals to respond to the suffering around us as you call us to do,

In the power of your Holy Spirit, inspire us to speak truth to power, to act justly, show constant love and walk humbly with you.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord,

We pray the prayer for Africa:


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 20 February 2022
by Jacqui Couper.

Loving God who gives generously to all of life.

You are our Hope and give freely the seeds of flowers and trees reminding us of abundant growth and diversity.

We give thanks to the Artist who reminds us of eggs as symbols of hope in vessels

Loving God, who accompanies us in all seasons of life.

You have given us many gifts including the gift of swimming in the seas with the constantly crashing waves on the shores and over our bodies, the gift of knowing you are always with us.

We give thanks to the Artist who reminds us of the gift of water for cleansing and healing.

Loving God who experienced all of life on earth in joys and sorrows and suffering.

You know our ways and are with us in all life experiences. Even in this long overwhelming pandemic.

We give thanks to the Artist who sees the truth of how we are coping in this new experience, as lost souls and fearful faces.

For this is who we have become living through this pandemic.

We feel our fears unfold before us: unemployment, loss of income, changes in our work routines and the loss of many lives.

We respond from our fear and disturbances to take what is not ours, become stuck in our ways and allow anxiety to gnaw our already frail beings.

We have been made aware through the pandemic of the many things we have taken for granted, including

Our ideas and ways about freedom. We can go anywhere.

Living out selfish ways. We can do whatever we want to.

Treating others as we choose. We are more important than others.

We prefer to forget that we are vulnerable and our lives are just but a thin thread.

We acknowledged the Artist’s insight and admit that we are ‘lost souls’.

We ask for grace Loving God to remind us each moment that You are with us in all of our experiences.

We ask for grace Loving God that You would calm our fears and hold them in Your tender embrace.

We ask for grace Loving God for ways to see hope and that your hope is within each of us.

May we trust Love and seek goodness and live harmoniously upon the earth in peace and with assurance.

May we delight in Love and enjoy the many gifts.

May we know that Hope lives within each of us, the hope to which we have been called by Love.

May we know this hope through Love that we can each make a small difference to this suffering world.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 13 February 2022
by Yvette Andrews.

In today’s peace candle I want us to reflect on parents. I am a single mother of 3: 34, 17, 13 years old.

A wise person once said being a parent is like having a piece of your soul wondering around outside your body.

Parenting is tough maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Let us pray:  

Dear Lord Jesus

Today I want to bring before you parents knowing that you are our perfect parent but God my heart aches for:    

Parents who raise other people children and never get given the credit they deserve.
Parents who are faced with parenting their parents. 
Parents who should have been siblings but stepped into a gap to raise their brothers and sisters on their becoming orphans.
Children who have had children and are doing their best for their baby regardless of the circumstances.
Help them to know you love them and provide the comfort they seek.   
Parents whose arms are empty as their child lives in heaven. Parents who grieve and need to find a new normal. Lord comfort them. 
Parents who make difficult choices like leaving a violent relationship for the sake of their child.
Parents who show up for their children even when they themselves are sick.  
Parents who long for the gift of seeing their children grow up.
Parents whose children have disappeared.
Parents whose hearts are broken by the choices their children make and love them anyway.
Parents who fear for their children’s safety because of how society could perceive them, and we think particularly of children in the LGBTQ community.    
Parents who go to bed hungry so that their children can have the only food available.
Parents who get up every day and show up for their children even when they’d rather hide. Strengthen them Oh Lord. 
Parents who parent without ever knowing what it feels like to be loved unconditionally
Parents who fight their own demons of addiction to stay alive for the sake of their children. OH Lord in times of struggle may they turn to you for comfort.   
Parents who raise their children well despite the horrendous circumstances in the communities within which they live.
Parents who love their children even when they behave in a way which the parent struggles to understand.

Help us Lord to know you are our perfect example of a loving parent and when we feel the task of parenting is just too hard let us take a step back and find strength in how you love us.

God Bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 13 February 2022 by Gilbert Lawrence.

A new dawn, a new day blessed be your name O Lord. Your magnanimity shines through the ages, and is with us this day. All of creation proclaims your wonder O God. Hallelujah. We rejoice in the amazing certainty of the created environment. Forgive us lord as so much of creation groans in dismay at our systemic abusive exploitation of your created bounty.

Lord we pray for the enablers in our lives, those who feed us, with so much stuff, on social media, on the telephone or in conversation. Those whom we allow to influence us.

We try to avoid with deliberate vigour the enablers who share gossip, their victimhood or conspiracy stories, who generate meaningless fears and share much of what is sensational and deadly.

Encourage us lord to be present to the enablers who share that which gives life. Enablers who share love and peace, willing to console and encourage, feeding us the better news, proclaiming your good news. We say with Paul, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

 We are grateful today Lord, as our hearts beat with life empowering determination. So, too, let us entrench a rhythm of peace and love in our personalities that will percolate with an exuberance for us and the world, in your name.

Lord, we do pray sincerely for needs elsewhere like the Ukraine crisis or the make-shift homeless family shelter down the street. Yet o God we live our lives as if you are confined to our needs, our location, our rituals, our sense of right and wrong, our ways, our people. Our family.

We sing of you having “the whole wide world in your hands”, yet we act as if we have not internalized that enormous promise.

O God, your place and space is everywhere, and in all people. We want to recognise the power of your space in our hearts, to understand your great empowering nature.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 6 February 2022
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

The South African Department of Basic Education has estimated that 46 000 children did not return to school in 2021, but The National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) has shown, under conservative assumptions that approximately 650 000-700 000 children aged 7-17 have not been attending school since May 2021.

Let us pray.

Dear God, these statistics have the possibility of numbing us into continued inaction as we ponder the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, many of the reasons for non-return to school have been exacerbated by the pandemic, not only created by it. We pray for the children who have not been able to return to school because of food insecurity, poverty, inequality, parents losing jobs because of the pandemic, parents dying because of Covid-19 and the subsequent increase in child-headed households. Drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and loss of identity documents and complex paperwork all contribute to why it becomes impossible for a child to remain at school.

Dear God, let us be moved by the words of Rahiema Essop of the zero drop out campaign who reminds us that children don’t just wake up one morning and decide not to go to school, rather this decision comes after years and years of struggling and enduring desperate circumstances which means that these children are forced to leave school.

I pray that we will be confronted by the role we play in 700 000 children being called drop outs. Let us pray for a change to this benign terminology which lays the blame on those who have ‘dropped out’, instead of being more honest that they have been excluded and forced out. Our South African education system works like a sieve with child-sized holes (which we have a role in creating as inequality is perpetuated, corruption and mismanagement of funds meant for food security programmes and various other factors). This sieve with the child size holes means children drop right through. Dear God in our despair you provide guidance when we choose to acknowledge that you knitted each and every one of us in our mother’s wombs – dear God you know the hairs on each of the heads of the 700 000 children and teenagers who no longer have a safe school to attend daily. We weep with you, for your children. I pray that your example will light a fire in each one of us to help make that sieve into a carefully and tightly knitted web, where each child can he held and included into the education system, protected and cared for through the actions of all of us who yearn to ‘do justice’ – and that when we call children ‘drop outs’ we are reminded they have been forced out and that should change the way we pray, the way we speak, the way we love…all your children, especially those who are enduring tremendous pain and suffering.

Let us pray: God bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders and give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 30 January 2022
by Joan Proudfoot.

Many years ago I was present in a discussion where a group of activists talked about being in what was then KTC, while government bulldozers were demolishing peoples’ shacks. Someone, who had not been present at the site, asked whether the activists had helped people rebuild their shacks after the bulldozers left. The answer given was that the group was there to analyse the situation, not to help the shack dwellers who were now homeless. Should they have objectively analysed what was going on with a view to addressing the higher-level systemic problem or should they have got their hands dirty and helped the individuals in their distress?

I have heard of this “either/or” situation reiterated time and again over the years. Either we approach the systemic challenges in South Africa by getting involved at a more political level or we invest our energy in improving the realities of a few individuals.  I found myself thinking about this in the past week as I read many different articles describing what was happening both systemically and at the grassroots’ level of individuals.

Please join me in bringing this to prayer…

Jesus, as we read of what is currently going on in our government and listen to the desperate cries of journalists for us to see the danger this country is in, and especially what this will mean for the poor, the immigrants, and the youth, we feel desperate, inadequate and powerless. The reality of this is all around us daily as we encounter the individuals begging at traffic lights, others knocking at our doors and so many more struggling to stem the poverty fast encroaching in their own lives. Here too we feel desperate, inadequate and helpless.

And so, Jesus, as is our practice, we come to You for guidance and understanding. You addressed both of these… changing the “either/or” to a “both/and”.

You were very clear in Yourself that the ways of God had to be the rudder that guided the ship, and whenever You encountered anything to the contrary, You exposed it and advocated for a return to the way of Love, the way that would bring life to all. And in our following of You we are challenged not to abdicate from grappling with what that means for South Africa and the world today. We need to be held by that rudder as we engage in the bigger picture allowing it to inform us particularly in seeing the systemic injustices of our day.

And then there were the encounters with individuals where You demonstrated to those following You at the time, and to us, what that rudder looked like in practice…that the experience of the individual does matter, is something to be noted as well as engaged with. What was it that You wanted us to learn from this? Was it to caution us never to get lost in a theology that meant nothing to the individual? Was it to realise that, without those encounters, our hearts take longer to change, longer to grasp the depths of Your loving? Or maybe it was grasping that we need those encounters probably more than the vulnerable individuals need them…perhaps for our own salvation? Our hearts can so easily become hardened and it is the individual stories that we find harder to ignore because suddenly they become more personal, leaving us wondering what we would do if we were in a similar position.

And so from this brief encounter in prayer with You, we know that disengagement is not an option, both at the level of systemic injustice and at the individual’s experience of that injustice. As we encounter the individuals within our broader family may we advocate for their good in our city, our nation, our world ….and in so doing, deepen Your joy…and ours.

May this become our truth…

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 23 January 2022
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Going to School

This past week the matric results have been released. There is reason to celebrate the hard work and overcoming of very difficult circumstances required to pass Grade 12 in South Africa especially as we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic and so we commend our Grade 12 matriculants of 2021. Today as we light the candle of peace, hope and justice, I would like to draw your attention to some statistics which put our matriculation results into perspective: In the Western Cape in 2009 there were 81 847 learners in Grade 2, in 2018 there were only 61 066 Grade 11 learners and in 2019 there were only 41502 learners who passed matric. SO what happened to all these children and young people along the way, where are the 40345 who started school and did not finish or pass matric? There are even worse statistics for every single province in South Africa.

Let us pray:

Dear God, we pray that the value of getting a good education and potential it has to have an incredible impact on every child’s life, their family, and community is recognized.  We pray for all the learners who have to make the difficult decision to leave school because the level of poverty they live with makes it impossible to continue to attend school, either because they need to find jobs to support their families, or if they can no longer afford the textbooks, stationery, uniforms or transport required to even get to school. We pray for changes in policies and the necessary action that will ensure that 2022 is the last year learners need to attend schools with pit latrines. We pray for the end to the vandalism and lack of will from government and corporate alike, to ensure that our national rail transport system gets back up and running so that the thousands of learners who rely on getting to school by train can do so again. We pray for an end to the taxi wars that are not only conducted between taxis, but also because of the government, which make it so unsafe for learners to get to school. We think of all the learners who have lost their lives to gun violence or continue to be traumatized because of our unacceptable levels of violence and the way this disrupts schooling and learning every single day. The barbed wire represents all these many facets that continue to make simply ‘going to school’ in many, many areas of our country a near impossible task to achieve.

The light of the candle however is a reminder that darkness can be overcome. The light is the resilience of the learners who are able to continue to learning and manage to attend school despite these war like circumstances that affect them. The light represents the teachers who care deeply, come in to school on Saturday’s, stay after school, and do all in their power to ensure learning and teaching is able to take place. The light represents the many government departments who are doing what they are required to do, sending out social workers, training teachers, making a difference where it is needed. We also thank you God for civil society, for the organisations and individuals who tirelessly campaign to make schools safer, who organize lunches, school uniforms, textbooks, sanitary products, transport and so many other ways which show that care is an action, that love must be practised, that education is a priority and that we must value the lives of every learner to ensure that they are able to simply ‘go to school’ from Grade R and then stay there until Grade 12.  

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 23 January 2022
by Ian Proudfoot.

I don’t know about you but I am finding the progressive slide into anarchy, especially in certain segments of our population, quite depressing and, at times, frightening. The judiciary is being attacked both verbally and physically and the seat of government too is decaying and being assaulted. Added to this is the increasingly vocal alignment of a group of people posing as the insightful and true leaders of the people.  Jesus announced that he came to bring good news to the poor, to help people to see and to bring freedom to the captive and the oppressed. Many, many of the 1994 dreams, that so many believe were God-facilitated, are lying in tatters. Yet, as with Elijah in his time of deep despair when he believed he was the only one left who was walking in integrity with God, he was shown that there were a few hundred others who had not succumbed to the slide into godlessness that was sweeping across his nation. If you follow too much media, you can often feel like Elijah, but unlike Israel at the time, there are millions in the country who still hold onto integrity, who still have hope and who have every intention of playing their part. Please join me as we pray into this.

Ever-loving and super-powerful God, you have over the centuries, watched, I am sure, with both deep joy and immense sorrow the rise and fall of nations. Millennia ago, you gave us a ten-point blueprint of your ways that, when followed, leads to the freedom and new vision that you came again in Jesus to re-instate. Your ways are truly wonderful, better than fine gold and sweeter than honey, as the psalmist sang, and how we long for them to be more manifest on earth, especially here, in and around us at this time. I want, with my family here today, to bring to you three specific deviations from your blueprint that so many have departed from; covetousness, stealing and lying. Some are already very far down this road but I want to pray today for a massive hand-break on those who are at the beginning of being lured down the wrong fork in the road.  

You warned us of the danger of yearning for what we see others have that we are now convinced we need. We have before us the clear example in the Zondo commission of what happens when this initial seed is given room to grow; the deeply offensive end result of the pursuit by some of what others had that it suddenly seemed possible to acquire as well. Yet, we confess that we too are not exempt from this same human tendency. Under constant bombardment in the media, communal shopping spaces and even in our social interaction, we too are pushed to covet. We may resist at times but at others, we succumb and take or buy more than we need. Loving, forgiving parent, we ask for your forgiveness as well as your assistance in pulling up the handbrake right now before this potential slide gains momentum. We pray too right now for those we know, both socially and in leadership who also need to be stopped in their tracks.

And when coveting is allowed free reign, it spawns a seed of adjustment of our priorities before it grows to the next level; stealing, another clear deviation clearly stated in your blueprint. Many words have become commonplace in the media to describe the new normal amongst some corporate and political leaders – ‘grotesque’, ‘obscene’, ‘industrial-level’, “eye-watering’ and many more. In the end, consequences will be reaped but, for now, we ask you to shine a light on where we too may have allowed the first seeds of this too take root. Show us God where covetousness has shifted our priorities and caused us to steal from your best intentions in the stewardship of our resources.

Finally, when in trouble, the easiest way out of it in the short term is to reframe the truth, better known in the language of your blueprint as lying. And yet again, we have seen on public display, what happens when covetousness and theft are allowed to run amok; lying at levels that could well use all the adjectives already mentioned. Not only has this been to the highest courts in the land but also to the nation at large, with zero interest in the consequences for those being lied to and the far-reaching consequences. We have seen the rise and fall of one industrial-level liar, Bell Pottinger, the seeds of whose lies have still taken deep root in our nation. Oh God, we pray for many more such collapses and thank you again pray for ongoing strengthening for the body of courageous truth-tellers, the journalists and whistleblowers, who keep shining light into some very dark places.  And yet again, we bring this closer to home, to ourselves. Please give us courage too, not only to identify our own falsehoods but also to stand for truth, even if it may cost us. In the face of threat, we know that we sometimes slightly reframe the truth and then call it a white lie, while at others we stay silent in the face of others’ lies and in so doing join them. Oh loving and forgiving God, we look up to you with huge respect and ask you not only to strengthen those already caught in webs of lies to turn again towards the truth, but also to strengthen us to do the same.

In all this, we acknowledge your brilliance in how you designed us and how you have provided the perfect guide for us to flow in that design. Thank you for both mercy and power, that truly provide a way for us to realign our lives towards your best intentions for us all. Loving God, we have much to call out to you about at this time in our land. Please hear our prayers and supplications, summed up in the all-encompassing lines of the prayer for Africa

God bless Africa and all the world,

Guard our children, Guide our leaders,

And give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 16 January 2022 by Siphiwe Ndlovu.

Oh Lord, it is only through your grace that we enter this place. It is only through your everlasting grace that we even come close to you and each other in this your place. We enter these courts, we sing, we praise, we pray we listen to your word, once again, as we have done Sunday after Sunday. It is through your gift of grace that we receive again the invitation to come to you – we who are weary, burdened and heavy laden.

For this gift, Lord we feel moved to thank you, for if it were according to our human endeavours, Lord we would fall short. If you counted our transgressions to enable us to qualify, Lord we would all fall short. For see how we have failed to work towards your kingdom to which you have invited us. We have instead, created our own little fiefdoms, we have usurped your place in our hearts and we have failed to recognise you in others, and instead have undermined them, and demeaned them, have diminished them have paid no respect to them at all. We have failed to recognise your kingdom of humility and instead have relentlessly sought to be honoured and respected in the cars that we drive, the food that we eat, the language we use, the people we associate with. We have heard you call us to the kingdom of peace, and we have instead endorsed the kingdom of domination by denying justice to others, we have in your name denied others the right to love one another, we have failed to love others. We hear you speak of the kingdom of truth and we continue to live our lives in untruth, we continue to live our relationships in untruth, we continue to tell untruth to others. Oh Lord, we have subscribed to the kingdoms of this world which have called us to greed, to selfishness, to unforgiveness, to all that trips us on a daily basis. So thank you for your grace and mercy which are renewed every morning.

When we consider how we have fallen short, Lord we are moved to thank you for your mercy and your grace. We are moved to sing and to praise you for your creative power. You who have created the heavens long before time, you who laid the foundations of the earth and secured them, you who have hung the stars upon the heavens, and threw seeds upon the earth and waters them to fruition, you who suspends the birds upon the expanse of the sky. You who has taught the weaver bird to weave its intricate nest, and weaved each and every one of us intricately in our mothers’ wombs. You are our God; you are our king. How great are your works!


Please click here to download the Christmas Day Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Peter Storey.

Every Christmas…

if we see beyond the sentimental
and try to engage the heart of it all,
we must wrestle with the contradictions and paradox
of a fallen and redeemed world:

A faraway colonial ruler forcing vast numbers of people to
trek into the freezing winter just so that he can know
how many bow the knee to him.

A poor couple desperate to find a safe place for giving birth to one
who they have been promised will bring down rulers like that.

Angels chanting peace-songs over an oppressed and occupied land
that is still oppressed and occupied today.

A ruthless tyrant jealous for his crown and willing to murder children to hold on to it,
and a vulnerable, freshly-born baby – the focus of his fear
and the hope of the world.


Such are the contradictions, the paradox.

And the heart of our faith is about the invitation to choose where we place ourselves within them.

Every Sunday…
in this sacred space we come to this dead wax candle
imprisoned in cruel barbed coils,
reminding us of our world still held in ransom to poverty, injustice, suffering and war.

Then we light the dead wick and bring it to life,
its flickering flame a thing of fragile beauty,
yet strangely empowering, expelling some of that darkness
before our eyes.

And in the warmth and light of that flame we quietly declare
peace and hope and justice to be alive
always struggling in every generation to be set free in the world.

And the heart of our faith is about choosing where we place ourselves:
Deciding between the cruel barbs and the healing light,
between scarring our world with wire barricades
or building brick by brick the peace of the angel-songs.

Between the thunder of marching feet and the cry of a child.

God bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace. AMEN.


Please click here to download the Fourth Sunday – 2021 12 19 – in Advent’s Opening Prayer
by Alan Storey.

Merciful God – we pause to praise you.
To state for the record that your goodness and mercy is without end and your justice and gentleness is without comparison.

Merciful God – we pause to confess.
To state for the record that our goodness and mercy is life-threateningly scarce and our justice and gentleness barely tips the scale.

Merciful God, the words of scripture declare that we are born in your image but our own words and deeds make it difficult to prove this is so. Our ways are not your ways although with great confidence, we are in the habit of attaching your name to the things we do and say.

You speak and there is light, but our speech hugs the shadows.
You trust that freedom flowers from the truth while we think it is a product of ever increasing power.
You hammer swords into ploughshares knowing that permanent security is achieved when everyone has a full stomach but we convert ploughshares and into weapons to be able to keep the hungry in their place.
You rejoice at seeing how many different nationalities can fit around a table together while we seek out places to live and work and socialise and worship with people who look and speak just like us.
You come to serve and we do all we can to be served.
You approach us with basin and towel and we come to you with wood and nails.
Your daily practice is forgiveness, ours is vengeance.
You walk in love, we tread in fear.

Our ways are not your ways. We are not you, though we like to think we have long replaced you. There is a world of difference between us. And yet you have carved us on your hand with a love that will not let us go. An unmeasurable distance separates us. And yet at this time we are reminded again that your name is Emanuel – God with us – and that nothing can separate us from your love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As we confess who we are may you never forget who you are Merciful God. For our difference from you threatens to drown us in despair, yet your difference from us restores our life with hope.

Merciful God, in the midst of our pause to praise and confess, we pray with the psalmist (1) of old that you restore us. Let your face to shine on us that we may be healed and released. Give us life as we call on your name. Give us life as we call on your name. Amen.

(1) Psalm 80

Please click here to download the Fourth Sunday – 2021 12 19 – in Advent’s
Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice
by Siphiwe Ndlovu.

Lord Jesus we wait for you this Advent season. We wait for you to come and show us a new way. We wait, and in our waiting, we are hurried by the frenetic pace of this season. Help us to be still, so we can hear. Slow us down so we can see.

Lord we bring to you this morning those who wait by the side of the street for a job, perhaps just for the day so they can feed their families. Lord, they wait in hope, and for the most part they just wait. We pray for a world in which people will have the means to do life. We pray for a world in which students who have finished their studies will not have to wait in vain for jobs that set them up for life.

Lord we pray for those who have come from other countries to eke out a living in our country. Lord Jesus you know how it is to be a foreign national for you were born in a foreign country. We pray for those who have come from neighbouring countries as they wait in long queues to apply for permits and papers. We pray for a country and officials that treat them with kindness.

Lord we pray for many who hear the music that pronounces joy to the world as a discordant and jarring tune. Some of them hear this from their rooms in isolation as they wait for the virus to clear from their bodies before they can experience the joy of interaction with others. Some are unable to hear the songs as they are in hospital, waiting for news of when their situation will change for the better.

Lord Jesus you know the pain of loss personally and you know how it is to shed tears of grief. So we pray for those who mourn their loved ones. For some the pain is fresh and it all feels like a dream. As some of us stock up on food and clothes and drinks, they have to make difficult decisions about coffins and how long it will take for the post mortem results. They wait not so much for life, but to perform burial ceremonies. They are unable to hear songs of joy.

For some the ceremonies have been performed, and now they have an emptiness and a numbness. The season that is supposed to be joyous is too painful for words. They are unable to imagine gatherings without the one who has left them – in some families death has visited a couple of times and snatched more than one person! These days that would be filled with laughter and joy are saturated with pain and tears. They too wait Lord Jesus, for a day of relief from the heaviness of their grief.

In a world where many are struggling, Lord we think of ourselves, gripped tightly in the clasp of consumerism, fuelled especially in your name at this time. The extravagance of this season is an insult to those who are decidedly poor. The over-consumption by many of us spits in the face of those who are underfed. Lord send the power of your spirit among us and heal us of our sickness. Silence in us the voices of greed and competition and enhance the voice that speaks of generosity and cooperation.

Lord, even though some of us struggle to hear the good news of your coming, we know that you do come. Help us to quiet down and wait. In a world where instant gratification is the goal help us to learn to wait for what is really meaningful and life-giving. In a world where our eyes are fixed on phone screens and our ears plugged by earphones, help us to hear the good news of your coming, and help us to be the good news of food to those who hunger, companionship to those who are lonely and comfort to those who weep.

Please help us to be still – so we do not miss your invitation to us to birth a world that is kinder, gentler, compassionate – a world where the power of love triumphs over the love for power.


Please click here to download the First Sunday in Advent’s Opening Prayer 
(2021 11 28) by Peter Storey.

God of tender care and unfailing love, on this New Year’s Day in the story of Jesus,
we come to you in great need:

In a world held ransom to contending and malignant forces,
riven by countless divisions and defiled in so many places by the clash of war,
or disgraced by the cries of the hungry,
where kindness and decency are too often trampled by shamelessness and greed,
where truth drowns in torrents of manufactured lies,
where not even a death-dealing plague that takes five million of our fellow human beings,
nor the threat of the death of our planet itself,
seem enough to remind us that we are one family in all the earth …

in such a world we grasp desperately for hope,
and like the Psalmist of old we wait all day long for the coming of your goodness,
pleading to be reminded of who you are,
so that we can remember who we are
and whose world this is.

And today, you answer our pleading strangely and wondrously by giving us Advent,
Reminding us of the calendar we really live by
and whose timetable it is that really governs our lives.

You remind us how it all began:

When your angel spoke into the lives of ordinary people like us,

and said


That is what you said,
and that is what your angels – your messengers – still tell us to do
at this time.


WE pray now that you will quieten the noises in our heads and the storms in our hearts so that,
in a world that claims to have elbowed you out,
we may be given that spirit of true attentiveness, of anticipation, of expectation,

of waiting,

that opens us to the coming of Emmanuel – God-with-us.

And as we wait, your story will begin again inside us:
It will enter us as quietly as you entered this rebel world,
As God-bearer, love bearer, truth bearer, bearer of meaning, and of surprise, and of life itself,

And we will know it as ‘good news of great joy.’
Emmanuel, God-With-Us.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Please click here to download the First Sunday – 28 November 2021 – in Advent’s
Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Joan Proudfoot.

Jesus, on this first Sunday of Advent we take time to reflect on Your coming…a coming of God to earth to rid the world of false representations of the One who has loved from the beginning of time. We heard last week that what you came to do, Jesus, was to bear witness to the truth…to state in so many different ways that God’s love for each one was the truth upon which this world was built and that that love translates into justice, peace and hope. In Your coming, Jesus, you showed us time and time again that Your world was in contrast to the dominant culture in which we find ourselves. We light this Candle of Peace and Justice every Sunday to remind ourselves that Your coming always brings hope in the midst of cruel systemic injustice, violence and despair. Sunday after Sunday, in this church, we have been invited to think deeply about how You lived in Your time on earth…to consider our posture towards those who are marginalised, to think carefully about socio-economic justice and to consider all as our family. And so we approach this time of Advent with wonder and joy at Your coming, Your “justice, peace and hope” coming.

But something is seriously wrong, Jesus, something jars. How is it that we have ended up celebrating Your coming in ways that can only be abhorrent to You? The celebration has become about eating vast amounts of food, ploughing lots of money into shops that profit the rich, teaching children that Your coming is about them stocking up on their toys. We find ourselves describing this season as the “silly season” where everything is frantic and filled with the stress of going into debt to fulfil expectations that seem to grow more demanding each year. How is any of this about You?

As we ask these questions, we realise how easily we have become complicit in the ways of this world…ways that You never aligned Yourself to, that You exposed as being in opposition to God’s world. We look at our behaviour, our values, our choices and we realise that following you requires us to turn around and swim upstream in the opposite direction, a direction that makes us confront our people-pleasing, our fear of rocking the family traditions and expectations and our fear of missing out.

Will You forgive us, Jesus? Will You forgive us our betrayal of You, our undermining of the justice, peace and hope You brought? May we re-imagine Christmas and how we celebrate Your coming. May we truly follow You when everything is urging us to conform. May we choose, because we can, to live out Your advent with a deep, residing joy.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of The Reign of Christ Sunday
21 November 2021
by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Dear God, thank you for the world. For the air we breathe, the sun which provides heat, solar energy and light, and for the water to drink and sustain our current destructive way of living. Thank you for the plants that grow in ways we cannot explain. For the wonder of tomatoes that grow when we have not planted them for gooseberries which seed themselves, grow wildly and then provide juicy, nourishing fruits. Thank you for air plants of which there are more than 550 varieties, which are so complex that we can’t possibly understand them. For how they use their roots to attach themselves to tree branches and how some produce the most exquisite flowers. These are miracles provided for us every single day. Thank you.

As humans, we seem incapable of caring for the earth, forgive us for this violence we partake in daily. We are all engaged in and participate in polluting the earth. It is not always someone else or even someone else’s problem. But we live like it is and with the pandemic we are even more reluctant to pick up – what is other people’s waste. We have to be more careful with the world and yet we are not despite so many warning signs – like the warning signs in a car, that it needs more oil, or water or air in the tyres – we respond to these warning signs but soon there will literally not be any more oil, any more water or any more air not just for cars, but for everything and everyone else too.

Lord remind us there is no world out there, we are not inside this church building as if the world only begins to exist once we step outside. The wooden pews we sit on and pray with were shaped from trees. The stained glass windows which are impossible to ignore, are made of sand and the colours dance with the light provided by the sun. The words we sing or speak here can only form through breathing air. These words can pollute or protect the world for there is no there and then here. We are always already of the world.

Thank you, Lord for love and care, for forgiveness and grace, for beauty and wonder and for the ways they can sustain us. Help us to recognise that every shade of green on even the tiniest leaf is for all of us, to share and rejoice with and be comforted by. Help us to think about how to include, how to love others more deeply, show care in real ways and be in touch with the earth in ways that demand a different way of living from us. The world is made for love, we need to see that love, recognise that love and love it deeply in return.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
The Reign of Christ Sunday 21 November 2021 by Alan Storey.

Over the past few weeks we have noted that Jesus – life giver and anti-death-activist laid bare the systems of death in the world.

By the time Home Affairs reopens its Cape Town refugee office it will have taken ten years…

Let us pray,

Just and merciful God – who does not discriminate, have mercy on us who do.

Just and merciful God – who has no favourites, have mercy on us who do.

Just and merciful God – who keeps not record of our nationality, have mercy on us who do.

Just and merciful God – who claim all human beings as beloved children, as family, have mercy on us who do not.

Just and merciful God – who appreciates the priceless wonder of every person, have mercy on us who do not.

Just and merciful God – who knows that we are more alike than different, have mercy on us who do not.

Just and merciful God have mercy on us, for not only do we not believe we are more alike than different, we obsess over the tiniest, and most insignificant and random differences – like the colour of a person’s skin or place of birth. And not only do we obsess, we develop entire systems based on these tiny, insignificant and random differences. And these systems are anything but tiny, insignificant and random. They are all pervasive in size – filling every space like air – air that we breathe in without being fully conscious that we are doing so, and making us dependent on the very system that is dividing and diminishing us.

Just and merciful God – when these systems are threatened we develop other systems to defend these systems. Now explicit systems of death are set up to defend these systems of implicit death. To help us swallow the horror of this we make it holy, by falsely believing that these systems of discrimination and favouritism were designed by you and not us and therefore our faith demands we defend them.

Just and merciful God have mercy on us. We have mentioned one such system today, around refugee policy and administrative xenophobia but you know there are countless others. Conscientise us about these. Convict us of where we are complicit. Give us courage to act for change. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
All Saints’ Sunday 7 November 2021 by Siphiwe Ndlovu.

Gracious and loving God, you are our Comforter. You comfort us because you know what it is like to feel the pain of loss. You infuse our days, lived under the spectre of mortality, and the inescapable struggles, loneliness and pain with your ever abiding presence.

So today we bring before you those who grapple with the agonising throes of grief – and that means all of us. Grief has become a universal experience and none of us have been spared from it. Hear now our anguished cries, oh Lord.

Lord so many of us have lost our loved ones to the Covid19 pandemic. This scourge has added to the many causes of death for so many of us. Some have died from diseases and many more have had violence inflicted on them and died.

 We bring to you the children who have lost their parents, and now have who to forego the simple innocence of childhood and fend for themselves in this harsh and mean world.

We pray for spouses and partners who now suffer from debilitating loneliness because a trusted partner has been snatched by death. Be close to them during those moments of unbearable aloneness.

We pray for everyone who is left holding on to memories of their loved one who has died. Compassionate God visit them, and tenderly speak your peace to them. Come to each of us as we are, where we are seating, next to our pool of tears. For some of us the wound is still fresh and bleeding and throbs with painful emotions. For some of us the pain has become somewhat bearable – but more often than not we are overwhelmed by waves of tears that come as we listen to a sermon, a prayer, attend a funeral and every time we hear of, or see death. Come close to us when an event touches the lingering pain and causes us to relive our moment of anguish. 

Death steals so much from us dear Lord. But the pandemic has caused more than the loss of life – so we pray for those whose means of doing life has been decimated. We pray for owners and investors of businesses and industries that have had to shut down – those who have suffered devastating losses. And Lord we commit to you those who’ve lost their jobs and means to support their families – those whose predictable rhythm of every day has been replaced by the uncertainty of tomorrow.

And Lord we pray for those who have suffered the loss of freedom – the children and parents of Afghanistan and other oppressive regimes and homes around the world.

On this, All Saints Day, Lord, even as we remember those who are no longer with us, we pray for all lives. Give us the grace while to treasure the gift of life and to truly appreciate all living beings. Help us, Living God, to not waste our lives on frivolities and transient things. In the face of our fragility, gift is with a boldness that dares to live fully. Give us courage to be agents of LIFE in all places and spaces we have the privilege to live in. Remind us dear Lord, that in you we live, and move and have our being – that in life and in death, nothing can ever separate us from you love. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 31 October 2021 by Sophie Joans.

Dear God,

I don’t know where to start. As summer keeps rolling in the days get sunnier and yet I find myself searching for your light. Your light which is love. Which is compassion. Which is patience.

How many times do we have to forget and be reminded of what your grace truly is before it sinks in?

How many times must our shells harden, before we are softened again with your love?

How many times does the tide of capitalist hyper productive culture sweep us out, so we battle and swim against the tide, feeling like we’re drowning, so that any of the other billions of swimmers who dare cloth onto our foot, or ask if they can hang onto our body or climb onto our life raft, make us feel threatened?

Forgive us for the times we feel so overwhelmed and rushed that we trick ourselves into believing that to empathise will cost us something.

When we are frustrated, dismiss the beggar with a curt “No, sorry.”

When we snap – at our colleagues, at strangers, at the people we love.

Dear God. 

Remind us that we have nothing to fear. That if we let the tide take us you will carry us to another to the shore. That the journey is so much more enjoyable if we just lie back and float.

Sharing First Lesson, a poem by Philip Booth:

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man’s float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.

As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 24 October 2021 by Alan Storey.

A Prayer for Mercy…

Merciful God – we gather with praise and thanksgiving on our lips.

Praise and thanksgiving for your mercy.

For your mercy known to us through…
            your forgiving love and your deep acceptance
            your attentive care and your tireless commitment to justice
            your inspiring teaching and your generous provision
            your patient listening and your truthful speaking.

We gather with praise and thanksgiving on our lips for your mercy.

Your mercy that gives us life when meaninglessness threatens to suffocate us and your mercy that nourishes us when emptiness leaves us hungry and hollow.

Your mercy that resurrects us from the tombs of our despair.

Your mercy that untangles us from our life-robbing addictions.

Your mercy that humbles us when we are dangerously overweight with arrogance.

Your mercy that makes us gratefully dependent on those we once despised and rejected.

Your mercy that calls us your children when we do not believe that we are even worthy to be called your servants.

Your mercy that invites us to start over again when we cannot imagine that anyone would give us another chance.

Your mercy that heals our wounds that are beyond the reach of our understanding.

Your mercy that opens our eyes to the true identity of our beauty and belovedness.

Your mercy that calls us into partnership with you, believing that even we can make a healing difference in this world – such is your merciful faith in us.

Merciful God, even as your mercy moves our lips to praise, we need you to know that we gather today with a longing within our hearts. Our hearts throb. Our hearts ache for an experience of your mercy – a lived experience of your mercy – a heart-warming experience of your mercy – an experience of your unextinguishable love for us. This alone will set us ablaze with a love for you and our neighbour…for ourselves and our enemies.

We confess that instead of being joyful conduits of your mercy in the world, we can be grumpy gatekeepers instead. We do the same as some did to Bartimaeus of old. We silence, rather than encourage the cries of those in need. We do this…

Each time we refuse to incarnate your gift of forgiveness by withholding our own.

Each time we lock people up in the fiery pit of our own resentment, the hell of our own bitterness, while you long for them to walk free in the fields of your forgiveness.

Each time we refuse to speak to them when you long for our words to re-affirm your words of absolution: “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.” We do so proudly yet mistakenly, in the name of moral purity.

Forgive us for how we undermine your grace when we think it must be earned – when we think that your mercy is measured by merit – when we think that good behaviour secures your goodness. We do this in ignorance and through weakness, but we also confess that we do this through our own deliberate fault … each time we support systems that squeeze the life out of the vulnerable or when we fail to resist legislation that prevents those on the margins from accessing the means of life. We often do this in the name of safety and security…that is nothing more than the idolatrous worship of our fear.

Lord have mercy on us for failing to be a merciful people. A merciful church. A merciful nation.

So, with Bartimaeus of old – we ourselves cry out – Lord have mercy on us. Please hear our cry over the noise of our own self-critical spirits that would silence us and tell us to know our place. By your spirit embolden us to trust that our place – our true place – is resting in your goodness and mercy all the days of our life. Give us a taste today of your goodness that we may take up refuge in your mercy.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 24 October 2021 by Terence Parker.

We are 1 week away from municipal elections in SA and given our history of shattered dreams and failures to deliver the promises of liberation, we are tempted to approach elections with cynicism based on disillusionment.

But we are painfully aware that many people, some in this community or very near and dear to us, made many sacrifices so that some of us can vote.

In the midst of the noise from political parties, candidates and social media, may we discern God’s whisper as we prepare to cast our vote.


O Lord, we know that you weep when you see:

  • Unemployed men sitting on the roadside hoping that someone requiring cheap, dirty, dangerous labour will offer them a job, even if only for 1 day
  • Women standing on the roadside offering their bodies to feed their families
  • Sewage running down the streets, poisoning everyone it contacts because water treatment plants aren’t working
  • Pedestrians killed by a vehicle avoiding potholes
  • Piles of solid waste in communities because waste collection services have broken down
  • Households without water and electricity because pumps are broken, cables stolen and maintenance services are too afraid to enter the area.

O Lord, you have given us the privilege to make decisions about the present and the future.

You have guided us through struggles against oppression, and we know that you are with us in our struggle against corruption and abuse of power.

Lord, forgive us in our complicity in systems that oppress others, especially the most vulnerable.

Inspire us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to make a difference wherever we are.

Help us to look beyond the disappointments of past elections that have failed to deliver the promises of a better life for all.

May we be inspired to become ACTIVE CITIZENS through this election, to partner with those making a real difference in peoples’ lives.

Guide us in the huge responsibility of using our vote to elect councillors committed to serving selflessly.

Like Mary, we pray that You will bring down the mighty from their thrones as you have done before, in our land and across the world.

In honour of all who have made sacrifices, even with their lives, so that we may vote, we pray that You will indeed lift up the lowly through this election.

That those without a voice may find a voice through those elected to office.

So that the most vulnerable and powerless may share in the rich resources of this beautiful land.

We pray for leaders who embrace SERVANT LEADERSHIP, who

  • Listen with empathy
  • Govern with honesty and integrity
  • Steward resources responsibly, and
  • Prioritise the poor and not themselves.

May Your Kingdom Come On Earth As In Heaven.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 17 October 2021
by Dr Gilbert Lawrence.

Bless the Lord o my soul

We praise you this day, dear God, as we should, each moment of each day.

How wonderfully you clothe your created earth. How amazing it is to experience your creation upon creation? The wind and rain the sun and moon the mountains and valleys and oceans. And all of nature in radiant beauty.

How wonderfully you have clothed us, O God?

Your Godliness covers our nakedness. We are adorned with your love and fitted out with your justice. We wear your compassion on our breasts, your grace and purpose drape our shoulders. Our shoes fit to the shape of your mercy.

Yet, O God we fail to see. We dress for fashion, for convenience. To show, to hide, and we don’t present you to the world, but our dislocated selves.

Forgive us God

You created all that is, and all that will be. Solid foundations provide a bedrock for our faith and spiritual journeying. The order of the seasons provides certainty and opportunity to plant and harvest and feed and love and procreate and be.

Yet o God we falter at every storm or crisis often questioning our foundations.

We prefer war and threats for our security. We challenge nature itself. We disturb the climate in our pursuit of control. We lust for power, dominion, and glory.

We practice love selfishly, we share goodness grudgingly, we donate miserly, yet ostentatiously from our overflowing barns.

Forgive us Lord

You sent the Christ child to be creation, with us. To be in harmony with us. Your sharing of yourself was revelation and joy.

But we still shout crucify him preferring our own revelation and joy.

O creator God the earth is full of your risen glory. You continue to send your Spirit. You continue to send your Spirit.

We gather today differently from the past yet the same as last week. That sameness is contrived by a pandemic, and we adapt out of need. The heavy toll of death and pain lingers heavily in the air. Loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbours and family, gone too soon, too sudden, too un-memorialized, too young.  Lord heal our hearts.

Lord of hosts we worship you today in your and our created universes.

We meet in grace and peace and love. We praise, we share silence. We reflect, we give thanks, we mourn, we confess, we remember. We experience your spirit.

Lord may your glory endure forever. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 17 October 2021 by Carolin Gomulia.

Good day

Today I want to pray about privilege. I recently hosted a seminar and one of the speakers, who herself has experienced severe discrimination due to her appearance said “But I do also feel privileged to be able to take up the fight against unfair practises at work as a single, childless person – a fight that many of her colleagues are scared to enter into being afraid of loosing their jobs and income for their whole family.”She said further “even when we feel discriminated against we might still hold privileges that others don’t have.”  

I believe if we all become aware of our privileges we will be able to live lives that tune into the challenges, disadvantages and discriminations that others experience and by doing so create a more peaceful world.

Let’s pray

Dear Lord

Today we want to pray for awareness about our privileges. How much time do we spent complaining about things yet forgetting how many people are suffering? How often do we live out our privileges without acknowledging that many don’t have what we have. Lord help us to be conscious that privilege comes in many forms and shapes linked to gender, skin colour, how our bodies look and function, our income, where we live and which language we speak. The work we do, to have a job, the transport we take to work – all of these can bear a privilege.

We ask you for forgiveness God where we discriminate consciously and unconsciously, when we hurt others, when we use language that causes pain – when we dehumanise by not accepting others as fellow human beings. Let is be aware that also in this time of Covid, there is a lot of open and hidden privilege in how we live, work and able to access resources.

Dear Lord it is at times painful to acknowledge our privileges some of which just come to us when we are born in a particular place or with a certain gender or skin colour. Help us to act in humble ways, compassionate and not defensive or guilt-ridden when we understand our privileges.

I want to close with a prayer I found of someone praying about privilege:

Holy God, Lord of heaven and earth, just as Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, so too, we rejoice that you have revealed yourself to us through your gracious will.

Blessed are the eyes that see what God has revealed. But sometimes what we see with our eyes, we do not perceive with our hearts.

Jesus, we desire to not just see, but understand; to not just to hear, but listen.

Lord, you hear the cry of the oppressed and the needy. We are thankful when these cries are our own. But though our own sufferings are real – and we need your help – the truth is that we are a privileged people. We confess that we often choose not see what is before us and our role in it.

In our own life, we have probably not done anything to oppress others. In fact, we have given to the needy and fed the hungry. And it is true that we have worked hard for what we have and where we are.

But it is also true that we have received benefits from our privilege that are not merited. And that others bear the cost of our privilege, too often with their own lives. And for this, we confess.

Blessed are the eyes that see what God has revealed.

Reveal to us that which we do not want to see. Reveal to us the systems of oppression. Reveal to us how we unwittingly perpetuate them.

We come before you with these heavy and difficult things because we know that they are the things that break your heart. As we pray together using the words we learned from Jesus, let us also learn the mercy, justice, and humility that Jesus taught us.

Prayer for Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 10 October 2021
by Joan Proudfoot.

Life-giving God

We take a moment to gaze at You, at this aspect of You, and to become aware of what response this description raises in us. Wonder? Delight? Scepticism? Despair? We don’t try to fix ourselves but merely allow the truth of where we find ourselves to be present, as we contemplate You.

Life-giving God

Breather of life, it is You who first breathed life into us, making it possible for us to enter into the fullness of being. You have demonstrated to us that You not only start life in us but You continue to offer and give Your life-giving breath. It was not a once-off, task-done event but rather an ongoing, never-ending, freely-given gift.

When Your life-giving is fully received it begets life-giving. We see it in Jesus and we see it in true Jesus followers like Arch Desmond Tutu…this receiving and giving, receiving and giving, receiving and giving. And when we stop to listen very carefully, we can hear the whole of creation breathing in this way. Our own breath picks up this rhythm of filling, giving, filling, giving, filling, giving…

Your giving of life holds much depth and needs time to unearth its vitality. Often we withdraw too early, gathering what life we can without waiting for it to deepen and mature. We miss the invitation to learn to breathe in a different way…to practise a way that sustains and fills. We are easily tempted to turn away impatiently looking elsewhere for more immediate satisfaction. In that turning we do You a huge injustice as we conclude that Your breath alone cannot fill us, cannot satisfy us. We keep looking…never finding…never filling…never giving.

So we ask You to forgive us our hurry, our addiction to quick fixes, our not giving time to sync our breathing to Yours, of thinking we know better.

Please will You meet us, O Giver of Life, where we are at in our wonder, delight, scepticism and despair. Breathe in us Your life so that we may bow to Your ways, to trust that they do indeed bring life, leading us to become people, who in turn, bring life in our shallow-breathing, suffocating world.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 10 October 2021 by Rev. Pof. Peter Storey.

2021 10 10 Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

This week we have joined with thousands all over the world in celebrating Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 90th Birthday. Wherever the Arch appears, the word ‘Ubuntu’ is not far behind – this beautiful word, we are told, is a gift from Africa to the world – reminding us that ‘we are persons only through other persons,’ – that when we live for ourselves only, our humanity dies within us.

Anyone who followed the months and months of revelations at the Zondo Commission on State Capture will wonder what has become of this Ubuntu – watching those hearings has been like wading through a cesspool of greed and grabbing and barefaced lying and obscene self-enrichment. The liars and thieves who appeared before Judge Zondo, want us to believe that Ubuntu and all it stands for is dead …

That thinking of others is dead;

That it is every person for himself or herself;  

That, instead of being stewards of the commonwealth, public office, corporate leadership and government jobs are simply an invitation to eat and grow fat;

That if as a result, common people go hungry or without houses or medical services or clean water, and children starve and die … it’s too bad. It’s my time to eat and grow fat.

We watched the Judge wait in vain for one word – just one word – of shame, or contrition, or even just a little embarrassment. There was none. The most troubling thing about the killers of Ubuntu is that they have no shame.

So, let us be ashamed for them, and not only them, for ourselves:

Let us pray …

Let us confess that our land has become infected with corruption, which is another word for the smell of death. From a corrupt ex-president all the way down to the clerk expecting a banknote in our licence application …

Let us confess also that there could be no corruption without those willing to corrupt, to go along, to pay the bribe, to get home quicker.

Let us pray for a rising tide of revulsion at what we South Africans have become, for a rediscovery of shame, a renewal of conscience and a resurrected spirit of Ubuntu, so that we may all once more become truly human, and our beautiful land may be cleansed.

God bless Africa and all the world, Guard her children,
Guide her leaders and give her peace. AMEN.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 3 October 2021 by Alan Storey.

A prayer for the … Burnt out … Tired and weary … Depleted … Drowning … Sinking … Exhausted – mentally and physically … Stressed out … Pressured … Clouded over … Living in a fog … Sucked dry.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:28-29

We hear the words of Isaiah. We do know that you do not grow tired or weary and we have heard that you give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak Lord – for this reason we turn to you now in prayer. But today we pray for those who do not have the strength even to pray. They are too tired or simply weary of words. Experiencing their emptiness outweighs their meaning. Make yourself known in their silence, a silence forced rather than freely chosen. A silence from shutting down that can feel coldly isolating. Sit with them in their stillness, a stillness forced rather than freely chosen – forced by having no energy to move … forced by exhaustion.

Again with Isaiah we have read that strength and movement, flying, running and walking flows out of hoping in you Lord: “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31. Today we pray for those who do not hope in you Lord – not because they don’t believe, but because it’s beyond what their effort allows. May we know that your hope in us is not dependent on our hope or lack thereof in you. At least give us this hope, or this knowing, we pray.

We read from the pen of Paul: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. But anxiety is seldom something we can switch off Lord – it defies our command and this in itself deepens our anxiety. Our anxiety is more like an untamed beast pacing up and down in a cage – its endless energy to pace up and down adds to our exhaustion, making us want to sleep all the time – or reversely keeping us awake eternally to spare us of the beastly dreams we fear will visit us. How are we to guard our hearts from that which seems to reside within them? By your spirit gift us with calm…a calm that trusts that you are not afraid of the wild beast within us. You are in the cage whispering to the pacing beast … may we discover you to be the Anxiety Whisperer soon.

May we hear your whispering: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’. We know Paul went on to say: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” Many of us are not there Lord. We are not in the place to boast of our weaknesses – bring us quickly to that day we pray…yet until then may our weakness be our teacher. May our suffering heal us. May our clouded, distracted and fog like mind slow us down. May all our inadequacies humble us. May our difficulties to relate to others deepen our compassion for others who suffer the same. May our inability to do and to accomplish and to achieve, draw us into a place of accepting our being is worthy without doing, trusting that our being lives and moves in your grace – your sufficient grace.

Jesus you said: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Gift us with rest today Jesus so that with the psalmist may we come to declare…

“In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

Until then be our strength.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 19 September 2021
by Nicole Terblanche.

Gracious, loving God

God who breathes on us at night as we sleep to remind us that you are there. God who brings the changing of the seasons both in nature and in our lives to teach us how to adapt and grow.

God who consistently reminds us of your eternal presence… we are so deeply grateful for the love you lavish upon us daily, hourly, minute by minute as we need it.

And yet, When we feel your love we feel ashamed because we are tired, Lord. Our tiredness has caused us to be cynical and ungrateful. We cease to see the blessings in our lives because everything feels so heavy.

We are weary.
Weary beyond thinking about it.
Weary, over praying through it.
So weary: worn of words,
no glimpse of glory,
so weary, we have had enough.
We’ve no idea the road ahead,
we’ve not been this route before.
No way is coming clear,
just… wilderness,
enough to lose ourselves.
And the only path we easily find,
is the one of least resistance.
Yet there’s energy to run, and keep running, to avoid and evade,
to distract, and deny,
to turn and to tilt… away.
Can we be found, even so?

And yet, you assure us even in this. That your love is deeper than the deepest of holes we could put ourselves in.

That no matter where we go, you are there, whether we acknowledge you or not. Your faithfulness endures through our denial. You are enough.

We are so sorry, beautiful God. Sorry seems such a pathetic word. We are beyond that. Forgive us. Wash us, renew us. Remind us.

Create in us a pure heart as we come to sanctuary this morning. For better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere. We come to drink from your fountain. As we humbly pray together the prayer that you taught us to pray: [The Lord’s Prayer]

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 12 September 2021
by Terence Parker.

Gracious and Merciful God, we thank you for your assurance of unconditional love, because,

  • No matter where we have been or failed to be,
  • No matter what we have said or failed to say,
  • No matter what we have done or failed to do,
  • No matter whom we have loved or whom we have failed to love,

You welcome and embrace us with open arms, calling us by name,
You celebrate our homecoming with the finest meal and finest clothing
We thank you for reminding us that everything that we have comes from and belongs to you
That you hold all of creation in your loving arms, even when we damage it through our lifestyles
We thank you for gifts of creativity,
For speaking to us through drawings of children,
Paintings and works of art by everyone who has the courage to express themselves on a canvass, paper, neighbourhood wall
The sculptor who can see something beautiful in a block of stone
The potter who fashions something beautiful from a ball of clay
The poet who uses words to express their deepest fears, hopes, emotions
The musician who uses notes, words and rhythm to speak to and through people
The scientist who uses knowledge to produce vaccines that protect us
The cartoonist and stand-up comedian who creatively confronts us with the truth that we would rather conceal
Oh Lord, we gather as a privileged and incomplete community,
Aware that many people cannot participate in our gathering today because they don’t have access to technology
Help us to share the richness of this experience with those who cannot join us today

And commit to

  • Doing all the good we can,
  • By all the means we can,
  • In all the ways we can,
  • In all the places we can,
  • At all the times we can,
  • To all the people we can,
  • As long as ever we can.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 12 September 2021 by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

It is 9:00 o’clock on September 11th, 2001. I leave my classroom in my downtown Atlanta inner city school because the Spanish teacher has arrived for my third graders Spanish lesson. As I walk past the secretary’s office she calls out to me and says it looks like a Cessna has just crashed into the World Trade Center she’s listening to a little portable radio that she keeps on her desk. We are both surprised and listen to the news reports. I leave her and walk to the Science Teachers classroom a couple of steps away as I know she has a television in her classroom. When I get there I join her watching the live footage on the news. Shocked,
I make my way back to my third grade class as their Spanish lesson finishes at 9.25am. I am still their teacher.

 The next day when all the children know about what has happened and we are having a debriefing in class one of the children says, I saw some people jumping out of the buildings yesterday – I hope they are okay? When I chatted to my third grade colleague the first thing she said to me was, now my brother has to go to war. These are just two of the comments that have stayed with me over these 20 years.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord

The barbed wire represents so much loss and pain about an incident that happened on 9/11/2001 which changed so much of what and how we live in the world. The wire represents hatred and war – a war which has taken more than 20 years of fighting in Afghanistan. We pray for so many lives lost in the USA on 9/11 and the thousands of family and friends affected. But we also pray for the thousands in Afghanistan and the surrounding region who have endured war, pain, anguish for more than 20years. Soldiers not only from the USA but the UK, Germany and other countries arrive in planes and leave as cargo. Flying over the many graves of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan, many of the graves containing the bodies of children killed in this senseless war.

The barbed wire is a reminder of the children, the many children who were directly affected by the events of 9/11. What it meant for children to grow up in a country like the USA knowing that by the time they turned 18 they could be heading off to carry on fighting a war. We pray for the erroneous decisions about who was to blame for the 9/11 attacks and how that has affected who we continue to treat as those who we think are different. How we define who a terrorist is based on the colour of their skin, the religion they practice, their beliefs, their passport or visa or simply because of the land of their birth. We pray for the way flags and borders, the words patriot and citizen applied to some and not others can draw blood and enact the pain represented by the barbed wire.

But… the light of the candle shines through this darkness, this darkness of destruction and exclusion that has raged for 20 years and many, many before that. The light of the flame is about the love of Christ which helps us not judge people based on the colour of their skin and perpetuate the stereotypes and conventions which permeate every aspect of our lives. Christ’s love is an example that justice can overcome, prevail and that there are many more who always choose peace over war, who work every day in small and big ways with compassion and kindness and use these ways to love and live together. We thank you Lord for giving us the tools to relight the flame through our actions by choosing justice, seeking truth, choosing to listen, doing the work of inclusion and transformation and contesting the binary that there can only be war or peace. It is time to start thinking and working towards all that exists in the liminal space(s) between war and peace. Amen.

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 22 August 2021 by
Joan Proudfoot.

Never-changing, ever-loving God.

In this ever-changing world we find we seek out Your consistency. We seek the rich and solid truth that who You are has always been and will be forever. You provide us with a place to go out from and a place to return to while never having to leave. Not only does Your consistency offer a strong foundation but it holds us steady to the truth of who You are. It holds us steady to the Nature of Love.

We fear, even as we search for words to describe such Love, that we will minimise it in some way. Such are our limitations in describing it. Your statements of love go way beyond anything we have ever known in that Your declaration is never followed by the word “because.” You do not love because something or someone is good, or beautiful, or loveable, or has done something to please You. Neither do You not love because someone is full of all manner of evil. You never explain or justify your Love. You Love…full-stop. You…just… Love. You cannot…not…Love.

And in contrast we realise how very conditional our loving is. Our statements of love or not loving are peppered with the word “because” in our search to give reason for loving someone or not. We love because someone gives us pleasure. We love because someone thinks like us. We love because someone or something is pleasing to us, revealing that in so many ways our loving is self-serving. It is about our own pleasure. It is about our loving being a reflection of us.

We find ourselves wondering what we would have to relinquish if we removed the “because” that follows our declarations of love. It seems we would have to let go all judgement where no one is more worthy of our loving than someone else. We would have to remove the blinkers that cause us to see some and not others. We would have to drop all justifications for choosing some over others. We would have to acknowledge that our loving is no reflection of You…or Your ways. We would have to start all over and be “born” again…

And so we come to sit at Your feet…asking You to help us to become believers…not so much to believe in the details we can rattle off in our creed – but to be believers in Love, in Your way of Love. To believe in it in the same way we believe in our need to breathe. To believe in it to the extent that the world around us begins to be transformed into the Kin-dom, Your Kin-dom of Love here on earth…where kindness and mercy, too, have no “because”…


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice of
Sunday 22 August 2021 by Rev. Dr. Peter Storey.

At the lighting of the Candle of Peace, Hope, and Justice


God, we wonder sometimes how the flame of this candle burns at all, and why the cruel barbed wire so often seems victorious. In the midst of a land dealing with dreadful loss and as part of a church family with so many touched by bereavement, we need your mercy.

But even as our own need cries out, you invite us to bear on our hearts also the needs of others…

So, we pray this day for the people of Afghanistan, treated for centuries as pawns in the chess-games of powerful nations, and held ransom to the cruel ebb and flow of endless war.

We pray for all of them: those locked into a harsh and patriarchal culture, and others – a whole generation – who for a brief two decades have breathed the different air of liberty and are now being abandoned to their fate.

In this time of betrayal and loss, as those who claimed to be the guardians of their freedom abandon them behind barriers of barbed wire, we pray for all who made choices for which they may now pay with their lives, and we lay before your compassion especially those Afghan women and children now in terror of having all their gains ripped from them and their humanity once more trampled by primitive forms of subjugation in the name of religion and patriarchy.

Have mercy on them O God; protect them we pray, answer the cries of your Afghan children.

And even as we pray for that place of seeming hopelessness today, forgive us that the ugly oppression we ask you to deliver them from – especially the domination of women and children by cruel men – lives amongst us here in our own cultures of domination and the cruelties practiced by many of our own religion. Open those primitive places in our faith also to transformation.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

The prayer for Africa …

God bless Africa and all the world
Guard our children
Guide our Leaders
And give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer of Sunday 15 August 2021 by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

Dear God, thank you for our beautiful earth, for the mountains which are alive, and for the earth, which when we step on it we are reminded is millions of years old. Thank you for the sun which warms, heals, grows, nurtures and restores to wholeness. We thank you for the plants like succulents and their symmetry, which inspire mathematical equations and quantum physics. Thank you for water which sustains all life and for your patience in the ways you remind us again and again that water is sacred.

Let us now confess our sins and transgressions. We confess our inability to see and understand beyond our conceptions of the universe – and for only measuring what matters here on earth according to a limiting human scale. We miss the macro (infinitely big) and macro (infinitesimally small) while we only care about what may matter to some humans. We confess our inability to be kind to each other, forgetting that there are no ‘others’ as we are all family and kin. We choose not to live in peace as if we do not have a role to play in ‘their’ war.

But we thank you God for your endless gifts…that what was once blossom, can become fruit, that what is fruit can sustain and bring life, that what brings life can bring comfort and that what brings comfort brings renewed energy.

Dear God, we are tired, anxious, worried and depressed. The relentless levels of pain and sadness we are continuing to experience in the third wave of the global 19 pandemic are overwhelming. We ask you to help us not be numb to the pain, suffering, grief and loss all around us. May we through your strength continue to be supportive and kind to families experiencing grief and loss at this time. We ask that through your spirit of radical love and kindness we can show love to the many children who have lost one or both of their parents, grandparents, primary caregivers or other family members to Covid. We ask for the compassion and necessary action required for the 3.5million South Africans who have applied for the Covid Relief Grant since the 1st August 2021. Let us not turn away from this pain.


Dear God, help us to be generous, gentle and curious about how we can live differently in and through your grace, so that we can ask questions that could show us what is really possible when love is a radical action and justice is Christ-like not just “to come” but rather justice that is unfolding in its becoming.

Finally, Lord, please help us to remember that we are made for joy and laughter, that our smiles can hold the warmth of the sun and that our tears are sacred too.


 Rose-Anne Reynolds  |  CMM 2021 08 15

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice on Sunday 15 August 2021 by Carolin Gomulia.

Good morning
Today I want to pray for the access to quality information and Independent Media. Failing business models accelerated by COVID have led to something labelled the media extinction event.

Let us pray

Dear Lord
Today we want to thank you for the many journalists around the globe who risk their lives every day to ensure that we have access to accurate news. We are deeply grateful for the investigative journalists who bring stories to light that we would otherwise not know about and that result in more justice. We thank you for the independent media outlets that provide alternative and truthful news .

Dear God we are thankful but also fearful as many independent media outlets are under threat globally. We pray today that we find a way to counter the destruction and depletion. Oh Lord what will it mean for us if we have even less reporting by independent media outlets?

Lord we know how fast fake news are spreading and how misinformation is used to advance political and destructive agendas, to instigate violence, spread hatred and stop people from getting vaccinated. It often feels like an invisible spiderweb that we can’t escape from.

Even for trained eyes it is often not easy to distinguish the truth from lies.

Help us oh Lord, we need discernment to know what is right or wrong. We need your guidance and your wisdom. We need to stand up against a system that is silently and slowly eroding our access to information and news. Give us strength and the foolishness to believe that by living in love, by love and through love we can make a difference in this world. Amen.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice from Sunday 8 August 2021 by Dr Gilbert Lawrence.

Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

The symbols we use are the barbed wire reminding us of pain despair, fear and injustice and the light of the candle insistently proclaiming the presence of Christ.

Today our Peace Hope and Justice prayer will be a reflection on Phoenix Kwazulu- Natal.

A number of persons were killed in KZN during the violence around the 12th July 2021.  Shockingly the true number and causes are yet to be confirmed.

In the Phoenix area some persons were killed by vigilante actions. They were mostly people designated as African.

I wish to share a disturbing a quote about those horrifying deaths.

“We are very far off from recognizing the
 inalienable right of a black body to
exist as autonomous and sacred,
and not to be reduced to a racial
demographic that is considered
dangerous and killable in a time of threat”

I am sure this comment triggers a response in each of us. Differently for each perhaps, but consistent with how we respond daily to the triggering stimuli in our lives. It is how we are. How we learned to respond.

Our own accumulated information from hearsay, social media, friends and what we see. We instantly blend it all into our armory of history, experience, prejudice, fairness, hope, fear, mercy and much more.

Initially we may respond with a reflex action, a gesture, an utterance or even emojis. Depending on the trigger our response may even be a total response of mind, body and emotion.

Perhaps, our triggered response to the quote may change when we add more information. The quote is from an article in the Mail and Guardian by professor Sarojini Nadar, based in Cape Town. She grew up in Phoenix and has family there.

The quote talks of freedom, othering because of race, poverty, perceptions of threat, denial of living life to the full, labelling, power to end a life summarily and violently. 

It presents us clearly with the question: How do we live each day, with paradox, uncertainty and complexity?

Let us pray.

Lord we pray for the greater Phoenix area, her people, her pain, her women, and her future.

And we prayer too, today parent God for all women who continue to suffer because of their gender.

O compassionate God, your love addresses all our fears as we realize again and again that we need to believe in saying yes to all your creation, as family.

O merciful God, when we feel threatened, our anxiety, our negative thoughts, our history, our gossip, our prejudice, our hate, our resentment, our disdain, our discomfort, our lack of faith and our inadequate reserves of grace, spur us on to mount the horse of fear and go off in an apocalyptic gallop.

We pray, our all-embracing Lord, for a quickening of our hearts and minds to avoid our reflexed right or wrong responses, but rather, a wrestling with the right and wrong in all we do, and are, and have in our being.

Forgive us loving God. O how adept we are to use our body language, our gestures, facial expressions our tone of voice, our sense of righteousness to convince and persuade and even con others. Forgive us Lord when we are reluctant to confront in truth.

O God, can we recognize the complexity of human encounters. The foolishness of trying to be certain, all the time. Of asserting our right to always know what is right and what is wrong in any situation.

O patient teacher, teach us to understand what is required of us. Can we reflect on Jesus as the way, and our way?

Lord, let us allow ourselves to love you, with all our heart and mind and spirit. Yes, O God with all our being. And to love all, not paternalistically, as “other,” but as we love ourselves.

Teach us lord, to love ourselves not just with intellect but deeply with heart and spirit too.

So, to love all with not just a triggered response but with a Christ mind, Godly spirit and an unconditionally loving heart.

Ever present Lord, we prayer for a quietening of our constant analyses. Let us rather rest prayerfully in your presence to be empowered as activist disciples of peace, hope and justice.

O parent God, strengthen us to do justice, no matter the cost, to love mercy, that it oozes from our beings, and journey humbly with you.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer from Sunday 25 July 2021 by
Nicole Terblanche.

God of Justice, saviour to all.

Like bread that feeds us, wine that quenches our thirst, like fire that warms us, a blanket that wraps around us, your voice, your whispers are nourishment to our souls. And it doesn’t matter what place we are in, God – you always show up. Whether it’s on the mountain when we stop to look long enough and watch a bird snapping up a spider, or in nature’s beautiful circle of life at any time, we thank you. You’re always there.

Our hearts are heavy, God. We don’t really know how to respond appropriately to what is going on in the world. We scoff at those who abuse power and yet we do the very same. We don’t do this intentionally, but our pride and selfishness gets in the way and we point fingers and we judge, but in our own anger we forget to look in the mirror. YET, so generously, you shine the warm winter sun on us when we complain that it’s cold. How hard we make things, oh God, how heavy the yoke we place on ourselves through our insecurity and pride, through our fear and unbelief, through our denial. The world becomes so threatening when we base our joy on our own ability to create it.

Without you we would be lost in a cold and dark world without joy and without life. Without hope.

We give you our deepest gratitude for being the one consistent presence in our lives. Without you we are nothing. Apart from you we can do nothing.

At times like this, when the triumph of death seems inevitable, and the suffering around us makes us want to turn away, we commit to resurrection. We commit to compassionate giving. We commit to becoming agents of your resurrected power wherever we find ourselves.

We Echo those words of the modern prophets who said:

How long will we sing? / How long will we pray?
How long will we write and send?
How long will we bring? / How long will we stay?
How long will we make amends?
How long will we talk / How long will we prod?
How long must we fret and hoard?
How long will we walk to tear down this facade?
How long? How long, O Lord?!
How can we stand by / And fail to be aghast?
How long ’til we do what’s right?
How could we stand by / And choose a lesser fast?
How long ’til we see the light?
On the green, green grass they gathered long ago.
To hear what the Master said.
What they had they shared – some fishes and some loaves.
And they served until all were fed.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice from
Sunday 25 July 2021 by Ian Proudfoot.

A few days ago the South African police revised the total number of deaths related to the unrest in Gauteng and KZN to 337 and in the Western Cape taxi violence, 82 murders have been reported. On the ground the reality can be seen in the story of a factory worker, who, unable to get to work because of the violence, is bracing herself for a drop in salary this month from R5,300 to about R3,800, on which she has to support two children, two siblings and her mother. A construction worker, unable to get to work since Saturday last week put it in the simple raw reality of these words, “I normally use a taxi to travel to work, but … I don’t want to die.”

South African playwright and academic, Nadia Davids, lamented the recent surge of violence, saying, “Violence is South Africa’s twelfth national language. A language built up carefully, systematically, over hundreds of years in every possible space – personal, political, public, individual and collective. It’s a language we need to stop being so fluent in.”

Heather Robertson, the editor of Daily Maverick’s weekly newspaper, wrote recently, “No political party, no economist, no billionaire, no clever member of the commentariat has come up with any plan that has narrowed the gap that lies at the heart of everything that is wrong about us.”

Can we, as the church, do anything to make even the smallest of dents in this massive multidimensional challenge? The start is, as always, to come to the rock of habitation to which I can continually come” as the psalmist said, the one who walked this same road as we did, yet in total love and connectedness with his and our God.

Please pray with me, and I would encourage you to really join me; if anything of what I pray resonates with you, please join yourself to it in a collective cry to God.

Jesus, as we turn to you, we recognise that you too grew up in a society with similar, perhaps even worse cycles of violence, economically, socially, spiritually and physically by the sheer brutality of the Roman empire in its methods of maintaining its so-called pax Romana, Roman peace. Please guide us with your lived and learnt wisdom as we pray.

You challenged the social order, teaching us to love each other, including our enemies; you challenged the religious order, naming it for what is was, a system placing impossible burdens on people’s backs. You challenged the economic order, showing us how to provide for the poor, leaving behind a portion of what we owned.

You told us that we are family and to love our enemies but we confess that we so easily turn our family members into the other, and in so doing sow the first seeds of violence. You warned us to keep our hearts clean so that what emerges in our behaviour is rich and nurturing yet we harbour, and even nurture at times, thoughts of othering, of condemnation, revenge and even violence. You told us to not even call someone a fool because of the violent power of our words, yet all too often we fail to reign in our tongues.

You said blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God, the children resembling their parent, the God of peace. We are reminded of the role of the peacemakers in the build-up to the transition to democracy in the early 90s, the many people who put up their hands to broker non-violence. They too were the miracle-makers and we ask you God, please raise them up again. Raise up each of us too, in however small a role it may be.

Loving God, we have much to call out to you about at this time in our land. Please hear our prayers and supplications, summed up in the all-encompassing lines of the prayer for Africa

God bless Africa and all the world,
Guard our children,
Guide our leaders,
And give us peace. Amen

Please click here to download the Opening Prayer from Sunday 18 July 2021 by Sophie Joans.

O God,

It has been a very long week in our country. A week of chaos that saw destruction and tragic, unnecessary loss of life. It has shown us two things, that we have known for a long time, but are now been undeniably brought to light.

Firstly, that there are millions of South Africans who are completely desperate. We know COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem, with people losing their jobs or families losing their breadwinners. While there are many memes going around of looters trying to fit flat screen TVs into their cars, we also know a lot of essentials were looted: mielie meal, nappies, clothes. 

Secondly, we are all in desperate need for leadership. This week has seen political parties and factions use this as an opportunity to try gain control, or point fingers. The blame game continues – and not without reason. All the parties are guilty. Then there is horrific violence and racial profiling unfolding in Phoenix. Social media is on fire with accusations and algorithms separate us even more and drive the wedge between an ‘us’ and a ‘them’ ever deeper. 

It has been a week of chaos.

“All the most powerful emotions come from chaos – fear, anger, love – especially love. Love is chaos itself.” – Kirsten Miller.

The community clean-up initiatives have shown that there is a Godly and innate human instinct to choose love. Upon seeing the aftermath of destruction, something can stir in any one of us a desire to rebuild. I’ve seen pictures of wealthy people and poor people side-by-side, brooms in hand, making their way down looted streets. For many, this may have been the first in a long to meet someone from a different economic class on equal fields.

O God, awaken in us the desire to choose love. Every sect of our society is desperate for someone to blame. We are so fragile right now. We don’t know where to turn. We want someone to echo our feelings loud enough above the rest, so we can follow them. And as we have seen in history, tyrants can emerge from such chaos.

May your love be our leader in these times. May we feel so inspired by it, that we let in touch the people who can reach. The family members on Facebook who fuel and us/them mentality. The people we encounter who ask for support. 

May your love lead us, and guide our leaders.


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope & Justice from Sunday 18 July 2021 by Athol McLaggan.


Loving God, we gather humbly together this morning in prayer.

We ask to be reminded of the most important commandment given to us – to love God with all your heart.

We ask to be reminded that the second most important commandment is to love and treat your neighbour as you would want to be loved and treated yourself. 

More than ever on this Sunday morning, may we love our neighbours and remember that there is no ‘them’,  but only us.

We pray together this morning as an us and as South Africans.

We acknowledge the violence and destruction that has erupted this last week and that it includes and affects each one of us. 

We pray for the wisdom to accept that truth and accept that we need help and to face the truth of what our country is actually all about.

We acknowledge our collective trauma. 

We pray that in order to be helped, we need to look within.

We need to look to our past and accept that our actions are a result of a collective history. A history that each one of us has participated in, directly or indirectly and have been and are a part of.

We accept that no matter how long that journey has been and how destructive its actions and consequences are, that the chance to change and heal is always given to us.

We thank you loving God for that chance.

I am reminded of the lesson that fynbos gives me.  

That new life always does emerge from the fires.

We ask to be reminded that the journey of healing and rebuilding is never easy and is the most difficult job of all.

May our journey of healing be guided by love, our love of God and our love of each other.

May we remember the power that listening and forgiveness represent.

May we remember the importance of justice.

We know that during the journey of rebuilding and healing it will be the poor who suffer the most  and that it is the women, the children, the elderly and the vulnerable who need our protection the most.

May we dare to give love a chance, to be guided by love and to keep our hearts open, our minds broad and our feet on the ground during these difficult times.

We give thanks for the ground on which stand. We give thanks for the beautiful country in we live and for all that binds us together as a nation. Amen. 

Please join me as we say together

The Prayer for Africa:
God bless Africa.
Guard her children.
Guide her leaders.
Give her peace.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer from Sunday 11 July 2021 by Alan Storey.

We gather to sing of your steadfast love O Lord. 

And to proclaim the good news of your faithfulness to all generations. 

Your love and faithfulness do not weather through the seasons. And throughout the ages, they show no trace of erosion.

Miraculously, your love and faithfulness do not fluctuate, regardless of whether they are received or rejected.

Your love just is, and your faithfulness simply stands.

Stands like a rock marking all of history and every moment of our life.

A rock to shelter us when we feel vulnerable and fragile.

A rock to lean on when unsteadied by failing health, emotional turmoil, or social upheaval.

A rock to cling to when the mirky waters of guilt and shame threaten to drown us

A rock from which to regain our bearings when we are lost in anxiety and grief.

So, with the psalmists of old we declare: You are the rock of our salvation. 

We know that when we build our house on your steadfast love and faithfulness – we are gifted with a blessed assurance. A blessed assurance that our lives matter. That we are enough. That life is a gift to be fully lived in love and truth, and in justice and mercy. And when we live this way, we get to witness in each other a small yet beautiful sign of your life-giving presence in the world. Of divine incarnation dressed in flesh.  Even our flesh.

And yet…

We confess that even though we know the way of love and truth, and justice and mercy bless us and world with abundant life we are nevertheless drawn to other ways. Other ways that are promised to be quicker and easier. But in hindsight we come to see that these are foolish ways that don’t deliver, and which ultimately turn out to be slower and harder ways, on ourselves and all of creation. 

In our forgetfulness that there are no short cuts to love and justice, we confess that even this week we have foolishly built our living on sand:

On the shifting sands of what others think of us
On the fearful sands of greed
On the dehumanising sands of prejudice
On the thoughtless sands of indifference
On the bitter sands of jealousy
On the manipulating sands of self-interest
On the dead sands of revenge

In your steadfast love and with your faithfulness pull us onto solid ground we pray. Fix our feet in your mercy that we may be set free to step into your forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves and each other. 

By your Spirit give us the strength to surrender to your steadfast love. To being loved by you the Source of love.  Give us the strength to surrender to your Love. 


Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice from Sunday 11 July 2021 by Jacqui Couper.

Prayers Psalm 24

The earth is yours, Giver of Life, in all its fullness and glory

  • You have set its foundations on the seas and rivers.
  • You have built the mountains and land,
  • The fields filled with chickens, cows, and sheep, fruits from the soil
  • The people who dwell within it

And you smiled and said it was good, actually very good.

The earth and everything in it, in all its fullness and glory, is yours, belongs to you, Giver of Life

Your Earth sighs quietly and waits, Giver of Life

You give before we have even asked and in this pause we ask for your forgiveness as

  • We have forgotten that this earth is yours
  • We have closed our ears to the cries of your hungry children whose bodies are stunted
  • We have looked away from your daughters undermined and separated
  • We have turned our backs on your sons carrying cardboard signs asking for help
  • We have taken for granted your mothers who tirelessly care for the young
  • We have misused the strength of your fathers
  • We have blocked our eyes to your forests that are losing their breath and gasping
  • We have taken so much for granted, forgive us

We struggle to partake in your abundant blessings, feeling unworthy

We find it hard to receive so many resources, shared with us through love, generosity, and grace

We thank you for sharing your earth with us for each new day that is gifted to us

We thank for you for trusting us with your earth

We ask for your grace to see that our living is so dependent on You,

your earth, and all who live within it. 

We ask for grace to show our gratitude for our time on your earth.

We ask for grace to see each and all belonging to you and this earth.

And by grace, shared with all our people, our earth, ours.

We ask for grace to receive Your Compassion, heart of our Heart, life of our Life, Giver of Life.

Please click here to download the Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice from Sunday 4 July 2021 by Siphiwe Ndlovu.

Candle Prayers

Lord Jesus we come to you this morning, bearing our heavy loads of cares, because we know that you care. You care about each of us, you care about the least of us.

These past few days it has felt like the world, our country have been thrust into a whirlwind. The storms have buffeted against our lives and have left us gasping for air, afraid that we might drown. We have looked around in debilitating anxiety, some of us have even sniffed the palpable possibility of death. Sadly, some have died. The world is enveloped in an avalanche of storms that swirl and threaten to swallow us. Some of us have echoed the cry of your disciples caught in a storm “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing”.

Calm-storming Jesus, awake and bid the waves of the Covid19 pandemic be still. The numbers of the infected rise frighteningly every hour, with them the ever looming spectre of death. So many continue to lose their jobs as the measures to mitigate the risk of infection and death exact a slow death on the already stuttering economy.

Breath-giving Lord look upon those who struggle to breathe in their homes and those who line up for an oxygen cylinder or a bed in our overcrowded hospitals.

Comforting Lord visit those who are gripped in the agonising throes of grief as the body count increases every hour. This made all the more difficult by the feeling of being alone as the wider family and community cannot come closer to share the heavy burden of grief. In their loneliness and their pain may they feel your tangible, storm calming presence Lord, God.

We bring to you the poor whose houses have been blown away in storms in Cape Town and other parts of the country. Images of waterlogged and submerged shacks have been truly traumatising. Oh Lord, to have that as the reality of any person’s life must be truly dehumanising. How are we comfortable in the face of such discomfort Lord?

Lord God we have watched as the winds of change have blown in eSwatini this past week. The choked voice of the voiceless continues to find expression in the streets. The violence exerted through many years of oppression manifest in the violence that sweeps through the streets like a whirlwind, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction. Calm-restoring Lord we pray for calm and peace in that land.

Lord we have watched with bated breath the gathering storms in Nkandla, coalescing around the person of the former president Zuma. Thank you for the easing of tensions today as the ConCourt agrees to hear the appeal. We pray Lord God that the fallout from the problems around Mr. Zuma shall not plunge our country into a storm of violence especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Oh Love that will never let us go; oh Love that casts out our fears – come into us. Come into us and help us to remain hopefully loving in the face of debilitating fears.

Finally we pray breath-giving Lord to breathe your spirit into us. Let your Holy Spirit awaken us back to life so that we will be a life giving force in the face of death, let your Holy Spirit inspire us to love even the least of these. Breathe on us and embolden us to confront the death-dealing forces with your truth, and to work for that day when everyone shall have adequate shelter against the vagaries of the weather, nourishing food to eat and adequate medical care.

So breath into us Lord Jesus so we shall we the bulwark against the storms of life especially for the poor and the marginalised.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer from Sunday 27 June 2021 as shared by Dr Gilbert Lawrence.

Dear Lord and parent of all.

We greet this new day, differently- gathered, in worship.

We celebrate the mysteries of life in all its forms shapes and sizes. We give thanks for the beauty of life and joy.

We are grateful for the rains that fill our dams. We celebrate the new vegetation on the slopes of our fire ravaged city mountains.

We praise and give thanks, God.

Dear Lord, the changing weather reminds us of the seasons of creation, of life cycles. This is so often denied by our modern 24/7 lifestyles.

Our rest is not, our calmness is not, our reflection is not. Not what you want for and of us. Forgive us, O God.

O Lord in the fear and uncertainty of the Covid -19 pandemic, we desire stronger faith in you, greater hope of a safer tomorrow, and a promise of a deeper spirit-accompanied living.

We struggle with existing in separation, with the fear of illness in isolation and maybe a lonely death. We fear for our loved ones as we mourn loved ones. We struggle with our helplessness. We are frustrated that the inequality in our country exacerbates those fears in the most vulnerable.

Yet, life in all its fulness, foolishness and falseness, abides with, and within the pandemic. We have no moratorium on wars, displacements, abuse, corrupt acts, institutional and interpersonal violence and murder, silly gossip, wild rumours and even family feuds. All continue.

Lord, forgive our selfish thoughts, actions, and neglect. Help us to see beyond our fear and pain.

Help everyone to believe that the literal call, worldwide, for all to “bare” arms for vaccination is an amazing opportunity for everyone to protect life.

We seek, O God, to find your life-giving presence, to spend time and energy on the things that really matter for all. We give thanks for your all-encompassing spirit, always alongside us, present, alert, … always.

O Lord we know that as we seek your ear, touch your garment, offer our prayers, rest in your love, cherish your promises, and embrace all of nature, we can find a peace and a love that, through grace, makes apparent your footsteps in the sand, for us to follow. To re-faith us to generous action. Today, tomorrow, and beyond.

All forgiving gracious God, hear our prayer.

Please click here to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Joan Proudfoot shared on 27 June 2021.

2021 06 27: Prayer for Peace, Hope & Justice

  • Doctors and nurses overwhelmed as third wave hits Gauteng.
  • Children’s lives threatened by unsafe pit toilets.
  • Truth tellers suspended.
  • 78 year old women raped and robbed in their homes.
  • People starve and die.
  • Rife unemployment.
  • Corruption clogging every pore.
  • The planet’s pleading for care.


Jesus the barbed wire of pain, violence and suffering is becoming tighter and tighter. We are aware of a growing fear rising within us. Yes, a fear of being overwhelmed, but a greater fear of what happens when we become overwhelmed. That we will develop a numbness to the pain, the violence and the suffering and will listen less carefully, look more vaguely and stop questioning as much…and slowly, but very surely, we will become indifferent to it all as we sink even deeper into the systemic pit latrine around us…where we shall surely die.

And so, Jesus, we turn to learn from you realising that when you lived in the flesh things were very similar. We are curious about what you did with the realities that sought to overwhelm you to a place of indifference. We watch as you took time to withdraw and pray and we follow you there, curious, hopeful. We wonder, as we gaze upon you praying, what could be happening that seemed to bring you back into the fray resolute, compassionate, energised and peaceful? Was it comfort you received? Or reassurance? Or did you touch something that was even more real than what you were experiencing in the world? Did you touch God’s will that spoke of a way of being in those experiences and realities that convinced you over and over that these ways of being would win, would triumph over evil, would overcome all that overwhelms? Were you touched by a way of loving, of sharing, of grace that reminded you of all it was meant to be? Did you become more convinced that this was the only path that would bring healing to a very broken world?…. We watch as you return from your prayer, your face reflecting the joy of your certainty that touching this greater truth did, indeed, make all the difference…that this deeper-than-happiness joy and heart-wrenching pain can exist together in Your heart… diminishing neither.

We withdraw, sobered but enthralled by what we have witnessed, knowing that in order to survive we must pick up the responsibility of keeping ourselves in touch with the truth of your will, of seeking to pray in such a way that reminds us of its great truth, its great joy, “that soothes and transforms” and for which we can “dare to give our lives” … so that all may live.



Please click here to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Rose-Anne Reynolds shared on 6 June 2021.

Only 11 days had passed

From 10 May until 21 May 2021, of the 241 people killed who were mainly Palestinian, 69 children were killed in Gaza and 2 in Southern Israel. They were all under the age of 18. Their names and ages are known.

While we were sleeping, while we were watching news reports that are increasingly more difficult to get out of Gaza, with increasing violent intimidation of journalists, while some were protesting, children made more and more vulnerable by adults who are engaged in deadly acts of warfare are killed.

Every child’s life matters but the billion dollars from the USA, that was just approved this week, for the sole purpose of reinforcing the iron dome that protects Israel from the rockets from Hamas mean the children of Gaza are made a billion dollars more vulnerable. The children of Gaza are already growing up in an area with deep insecurity around their safety and well-being. Under a constant threat of war. An average 15 year old living in Gaza would have lived and or died through 4 Israeli offences already.

So – the children die, and we watch the news. The children die and we read newspaper reports. The children die and we update our social media statuses to reflect our awareness…and only 11 days have passed.

Let us pray:
Just 2 weeks ago 69 children in Gaza and 2 in Israel have died. It is too soon to move on. Today we light the candle of peace, hope and justice for these 71 precious children. We pray for the 71 empty desks at their schools or places of learning – desks that will never be filled by these children again, a constant reminder to their classmates, so schools become the holders of memories instead. There will be 71 fewer exams to mark, 71 projects fewer to complete, 71 fewer birthday parties to plan for, fewer drawings to finish, soccer matches to play in. 71 fewer opportunities for a lifetime of laughter or even joy. We pray for the 500 schools in Gaza that are damaged and the 3 schools in Israel. We pray for the countless numbers of children who are having their education (and lives) disrupted so adults can go to war. Wars that are idolised, sentimentalised and memorialised. I pray for comfort for the families who have lost children, grandchildren, cousins and siblings.

Dear God,

I pray that it will be possible for the children of Gaza and Israel to know peace in this lifetime.
That the cruelty they live with will stop.
That war will be given another name for these three letters are not enough.
That one child’s death could cause a ceasefire.
That saving one child’s life would be enough.

Please click here to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Lee Anne de la Hunt shared on 23 May 2021.

Prayer for peace, justice and hope

For many years I had a job that made me face on almost a daily basis, the realities of life for poor people in Cape Town. If I was not supervising law clinics on the Cape Flats or in the townships, I was in the magistrates’ court.  Now, for the most part, I live and work in a protected bubble.  It is very safe for me to drive or Uber from our quiet flat in Vredehoek to my secure parking in a secure building in Keerom Street with 24-hour security.  Even were I to walk to work, I can safely do so with my laptop bag over my shoulder and the worst that happens to me is a homeless person with mental health problems wanting to engage in conversation.

Now, like many middle class Capetonians, I rely on the media and the woman who cleans my home each week to give me just an idea of the challenges of living in a township in my own City.  Earlier this year she was telling me that she was looking for an old television, so that “people” would not steal it. She described how strangers would walk into your home and take something valuable, like a flat screen TV. There is no point in reporting the crime, and it is likely that the person in your community who spotted the new TV would tip-off the people who brazenly walked into your home.

That was shocking in itself. Then, two months ago Nomandile’s younger brother was shot and killed after work one day as he went to buy food for his family. Today, two weeks ago her twenty-two year old daughter was raped by men with balaclavas when she walked home from visiting a friend. Distraught, she asked me why God was punishing her.

Alan asked me to mention the killings in Khayelitsha in our prayers for peace and justice today. My understanding from the media is that last weekend’s killings related to revenge killings between protection gangs.

What came of the Commission of Inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha? Protection, or extortion rackets develop when the state – at any level of government – does not protect its citizens. In Khayelitsha (and other townships) it is not just a question of being killed in the cross-fire of a revenge killing spree. What was extortion from small businesses, such as Somali spaza shops, developed into protection money being demanded from residents – poor people living in fear.

Protection racketeering as a means of extracting money, whether in the townships or in Long Street, feeds on fear which the protection gangs must themselves feed in order to close and perpetuate the vicious cycle.


We pray for all people in this city who live in a permanent state of fear and anxiety.

Comfort those who mourn the loss of a loved one who was the victim of violent crime.

Comfort those who mourn the loss of freedom and innocence, and the loss of what little security they had.

Comfort those whose faith is a loving God has been tested and even destroyed through their suffering.

Strengthen the powerless and convict the powerful.

Bless us with extreme discomfort so that we may do the things which we thought cannot be done, to work towards a just society where police are deployed fairly across the city, and where no one is forced to seek protection.


Please click here to download the Opening Prayer (2021 05 16) by Rev. Dr. Peter Storey.

Jesu, lover of our souls – and our minds and our bodies,
We fly to you today.

We meet,
both gathered and widespread,
together and dispersed,
some of us ‘socially distanced’ in this sanctuary,
some with loved ones in our homes,
and others of us perhaps sitting without anyone beside us,
and yet others tuned in from distant places.

Wherever we are, Jesu, lover of us all,
we find ourselves bound together
in an act as old as two thousand years
and as fresh as this morning’s dew.

This thing called ‘worship’ is a beautiful mystery, Lord,
wherein, by our words and actions,
by the posture of our hearts,
the opening of our minds
and the words on our lips,
we declare the ‘worthship’ of our God.

And …

Jesu, lover of us all,
in the mystery called grace
we find that in this act you meet us
and your good Spirit speaks deep within ourselves
telling us again that we are your beloved,
held in an embrace that will never let us go.

And …

the warmth of that embrace is such
that broken places inside us begin to heal,
wholeness begins to happen,
peace comes to the heart of who we are.

And more than that …
wondrously, your Spirit lifts us out of ourselves,
and we can change to be more like you,
lifted out of our self-obsession into seeing others with new eyes – your eyes,
out of our ego-love into love of others,
love of stranger
and even love of enemy.

And then, Jesu lover of us all…
When that happens,
We have worshipped,
We have begun to love the Lord our God
with all our hearts,
and all our minds,
and all our souls
and all our strength.

Let that happen for us this morning Lord,
whoever we are and wherever we are,
Help us to worship.
In your name we pray.


Now, as one family we pray …

Our Father/Mother in heaven
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kin-dom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive those who are in our debt.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For yours in the kin-dom,
The power and the glory,
For ever and ever.

Prayers on 2021 05 09

Please click here  to download Sunday’s prayer by Alan Storey.

Holy One, with the psalmist of old we gather to sing you a new song …
With all of creation we gather to make a joyful noise.

With the clouds that pattern the sky:

  • that provide a playground for the birds
  • that provide sporadic-shady-relief for labourers
  • that join the heavens and earth with life-giving rain…we praise you.


With the trees that pattern the land:

  • that provide a playground for the millions of insects and trillions of microscopic life forms that our lives unknowingly depend on
  • that provide shade to sit for a morning cup of tea
  • that draws water from the life-giving soil, overcoming gravity, into leaf and light of day … we praise you.


With the people that pattern our lives:

  • that provide homes not only for our bodies, but for our hearts
  • that provide shade from burning judgement and rejection
  • that draw our love out of our depths by their loving – keeping our hearts from turning to   stone … we praise you.


We sing your praises for as the psalmist says, you have done marvellous things Oh Lord. You, secure victory after victory. And the victory you secure is the constant memory of your steadfast love and faithfulness. This really is your greatest victory as it was for Jesus – remaining true in steadfast love and faithfulness no matter the circumstances … including crucifying circumstances. We confess that we forget this. We forget your steadfast love and faithfulness, and your call to only concern ourselves with the victory of love and justice.

We confess that we are often obsessed about other victories that are no victory at all. The childish type of victory that depend on the defeat of some – the exclusion of some – the impoverishment of some – the estrangement of some – the belittlement of some… and even the death of some. The victories that alienate and hurt, that over time fester into fresh conflict … demanding another battle and probably another victory that is no victory at all because it too excludes, impoverishes, estranges, etc. etc. and so on and so on.

Forgive us for wasting your time with our prayers that seek to enlist you on to our side … as if you took sides in our childish ways. Forgive us for failing to remember that you do not have favourites. Forgive our logic that says for there to be a winner there must be a loser. Forgive our culture that prizes competition over co-operation. That says first place is the only place and that no one ever remembers who comes second. Remind us that in the end the last will be first and the first will be last. Remind us that you favour justice, mercy and humility … and care little for our categories of nationality, religion and culture, around which we have shed so much blood.

You rejoice when we find common ground with our neighbours and celebrate when we humbly discover that we are no different from our enemy. By your Spirit open us to the wonder of all people. By your Spirit free us from all our beliefs that keep us separate from others. By your Spirit prod us past our prejudice to discover and rejoice in the full diversity of our human family. Help us to climb over the hurdles of our own arrogance to engage with others on the level ground of dignity and respect. By your Spirit enlist us in your ever-expanding embrace of the world. That we may put flesh on your love for all – all meaning all. Amen.

Please click here to download the 2021 05 09 Mother’s Day Prayer by Yvette Andrews.

Please click on this link to download the 2021 05 02 Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Carolin Gomulia.

In the last 10 days we saw how India with its more than 1.3 billion people is completely overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and it might soon be another country. It is yet another sign that we have learned little and that the ‘new normal’ could better be described as an old normal with even more depth and horror’  – the old normal of inequality, greed and power.

Let us pray.

Lord we pray for India for the 1000s of people suffering of COVID, the many grieving families and the health care workers who are completely overwhelmed. We pray Lord that there will soon be relief and dropping numbers. We pray for all countries and people who are not on our radar suffering the effects of this pandemic. Please help the people affected by COVID-19 all across the globe to not lose hope. 

Oh Lord, when will we learn that we are all dependent on one  another? When will we understand that only when we all look out for each other across borders and continents that we can fully live in love, by love and for love. You have enabled the genius in us to develop vaccines – even more than one, yet we are not willing to share and distribute those – as it is the case with so many other things.  

Dear Lord please help us to understand that COVID-19 did not cause a new normal but yet another event that shows the deeply divided, unjust and unequal world we live in. It is a wake-up call that our established systems are not sustainable and that it is on all of us to not accept but act.

Lord give us hope, give us wisdom and a clear mind – not to despair in this overwhelmingly challenging times but to continue believing that we can make a difference. Amen

Prayers on 18 April 2021 by Alan Storey

Please click on this link to download the Opening Prayers.

Prayer of Praise, Confession and Thanksgiving

Gracious Deliverer receive our gratitude and praise today.
You gift us with freedom
And you encourage us to use it to choose life, from the life and death choices, ever before us,
Too often we choose death
Making you sad more than angry
You wait for us with a forgiving heart, longing for us to return to knowing that we are loved by you and therefore loveable.
You hear us when we call out to you from the place where death has led us – caught in our own nets
You see us while we are still far off
You run to us with welcoming embrace
You clothe us with love that covers the full multitude of our sin
You claim us family – as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever – calling us beloved
You prepare a room for us filled with your generous mercy where we can rest and recover from our failures, betrayals and denial of your love.
Refusing to be determined by our past, you call us again – trusting that this time we can be faithful
You remind us that you need us – that our lives matter – that how our little lives count – count even in the large scheme of things
You gift us with responsibility – and with it you affirm our dignity and worth
And you do all this over and over again – more than 70×7, you repeatedly deliver us from evil – from our evil
For this we sing your praises. For this our hearts overflow with great gratitude…in the knowledge that when our own hearts condemn us – you are greater than our heart.

And for this reason, we return today, confident to be met by your mercy…to be met by your forgiving love – your forgiving love that sets us free – your forgiving love that resurrects us to new life and changed living in thought, word and deed.

May your mercy touch and release our patterns of thinking that keep us captive to a diminished sense of self and of others. When we are tempted to think of ourselves and others as less than beautifully beloved, as less than wondrously made and of priceless worth. Touch our eyes with your mercy again and again until we see ourselves and others clearly. Touch and heal the thought within us that makes us believe we are less than or more than everyone else. That we are worse than or better than. Go deeper and remove our compulsion to compare and compete with others rather than encourage and celebrate.

May your mercy touch our vocabulary – that our words may be true. Neither censored by fear, nor embellished by exaggeration. Words that are spoken in such a way that allow room for the words of others. Welcoming words. Affirming words. Words that create a spaciousness. Words that decentre us and centre others. Words that invite participation. Words that build and bridge rather than words that silence, divide and exclude, leaving others on the periphery. Words that bring light to the darkness and resurrection where death is entrenched.

May your mercy saturate our deeds – that we will act gently and justly in all things. Release our deeds from thoughtless hurry – where we are in such a rush that we miss all possibility of honoured connection with those around us. May our deeds be of service to your dream of justice and shalom in the world. May they favour those that society is bias against. May our deeds turn up-side-down the unjust hierarchies that determine a person’s life by their place of birth, colour of skin….

By your mercy, resurrect us today we pray. Open us by your spirit to be receptive to your inner workings where we can’t reach but so desperately need healing. Give us the assurance through your Spirit that in you we are a new creation. That from now on our lives can begin over. That even though we are old, we can be born again. That our lives and relationships and society and world can be resurrected to new life. Give us this assurance we pray. And more than this assurance – free us from fear to give our lives as a living sacrifice in your service – of life and love. Amen.

Candle Prayers on 18 April 2021 by Alan Storey

Please click on this link to download the Candle Prayers.

Let us pray…

Every present God we pray today for those who are in hospital – separated from their families and friends as a result of covid. Separated from the people who know them and love them dearly. The separation is for everyone’s health and safety – yet it brings with it, its own set of suffering side effects … of aloneness that exacerbates the sense of vulnerability and anxiety that then deepens the trauma they are already experiencing.

When they need it most – they find themselves separated from those closest to them – from family and friends who would otherwise journey with them offering comforting words or a silent presence that is beyond all words. And more than that – they would communicate their love with touch. Hugging and holding. Caressing and clasping. The healing that comes through touch. Touch that reminds us we are not alone. Touch that affirms our humanity.

We know you know how important touch is. Surely this was one of the reasons you came to us in the flesh. To touch not only our spirit but our body. In the gospels we read so often about Jesus touching people – and the healing that flowed from his touch. Today we give you thanks for those on the frontlines of this pandemic. Those who work tirelessly in the health system, not just in SA but around the world. Who try to fulfil the role of family and friends over and above their role of medical practitioner. For the imaginative ways they offer comfort – we give you thanks. And for the myriads of ways people everywhere make your hand felt and your touch known – through creative and compassionate acts of caring.

May the truth that we cannot be separated from you and your love be known to all at this time, especially those who are experiencing the trauma of isolation. May the truth that you have the whole world in your hands be their comfort…and not only for those in hospital but may the truth of your un-separating presence and loving hold be known to all who are struggling, suffering, grieving in and from isolation today.

For the teenager being bullied at school … For Lufuno Mavhunga of Limpopo – 15 years old driven to take her own life because hope and love had been teased and assaulted out of her, leaving her in a “pond of pain”.

For the continued killing of unarmed black men by the police – this time a South African in Hawaii: Lindani Myeni.

Lufuno and Lindani – are individuals yet their lives and deaths point to something broad and deep within our society and world. They reveal the profound brokenness we carry within us – that we may relate to other is such brutal ways. How we have internalised this brutality even as it is perpetuated through the systems of designed discrimination in the world. Lord have mercy. We are in need of your healing and merciful hand to touch us all. Amen.

Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle Prayer by Dr Ian Proudfoot.

2021 04 11 Dr Ian Proudfoot: Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice.

Candle Prayer For Peace And Justice

There are a few wonderful lines in Psalm 101 where the psalmist speaks out profound words expressing the way Jesus love us to live;

“May I walk with integrity wherever I go
May I see you in all creation,
May I be a mirror of your love to all that I meet
May I reflect the freedom of your truth
and live as a beneficial presence in the world”

All over South Africa there are many, many good people, the vast majority of whom are seen by only the few that are the recipients of their goodness. Very occasionally something that starts small, inspired by these simple desires expressed by the psalmist, grows into something that makes really big waves and hits the international headlines. One such example is the fruits of something started back in 2005 by Sbu Zikondo of the shack-dweller’s movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, that now boasts a membership of over 80 000 members. It has just been awarded a prestigious prize by the Swedish government for its doggedly determined work in the face of ongoing persecution from many angles and at times even the murder of some of its members.

And then there are the hundreds of thousands of other people who just get on with it, mirroring God’s love to all they meet, walking with integrity wherever they go. They reflect the freedom of God’s truth and act as a doing-good presence in the world. Someone or maybe a few started the community action networks at the start of the COVID pandemic, the vast majority of them getting no recognition. People provide shelter for the homeless, individuals in companies, big and small, start initiatives to address structural racism, sexism, unfair labour practices. People start food gardens just to provide free food to anyone who wants it, people take in lodgers, others start initiatives to address the needs of early childhood development … and it goes on and on throughout the country. Every now and again a little story is highlighted on social media or in the press but the vast majority just carries on unnoticed, reflecting God’s love to the world.

Please join me today to pray for everyone, including each other here, involved in small beginnings, whether it continues small and ends small, grows or even becomes another ahahlali baseMjondo.

All-loving God, when you created us you declared that what you had done was good. And every time your children do good, you rejoice and again and again you say to yourself, this is good. You are the God of permanent encouragement and we ask you today to cause all those living out this goodness to hear your pleasure and to be given more courage to continue what they are doing.

In this current climate in this country of so much negativity, cause us to stop for a moment and reflect, not on our failings, but on what we are doing that mirrors your love, that lights a candle of hope and light in a country that so needs it right now. Prayer is a conversation with God, so let’s take a moment to reflect on this and allow ourselves to see it for ourselves and to know God’s pleasure.

Deeply loving God, we open ourselves to you to allow ourselves to be encouraged, to allow ourselves to know your parenting love and pleasure.

In this time in this country most of what we hear about in the media is profound deficiencies in integrity, lies bringing bondage instead of your truth setting people free and so often all we know is the loads of ‘doing bad’ that is happening. Let us instead come to God with gratitude for the many, many people who are continuing to walk in a different spirit. Let’s pause again for a moment to allow to come to mind the people we know who are just doing the stuff, reflecting God’s care and love to the world around them.

Loving God, we ask for your encouragement to find its way to all these wonderful people in a way that they would truly know it and feel it. Inspire us too, to make the effort to reach out, to say thank you, to encourage, whether it be in words, gifts, an email or a WhatsApp. Help us to incarnate the encouragement that you would love to extend to them.

And finally, whilst we in no way diminish everything we have reflected on so far, we also bring to mind and to you the big movers and shakers, those who have become big enough to challenge the principalities and powers. We ask that you would keep them strong, keep their light shining, hold their integrity steady and keep them in your truth.

And through all of us, we pray that the prayer for Africa would find expression:

God bless Africa and all the world,

Guard our children, Guide our leaders,

And give us peace. Amen


Easter 2021

Please click on the link below if you wish to download Easter Sunday’s Opening Prayer by Rev. Dr. Peter Storey.

2021 04 04 Easter Sunday: Opening Prayer: Rev. Dr. Peter Storey

Easter Prayer

Dear God, as we greet you joyously on this great day,

Thank you for not allowing us to come to it without pain.

This has not been an easy Lent. You have taken us on a journey of uncovering.

We have read of the Passion of your Beloved, only to find that we in turn have been read by you.  

Confronted by his emancipating truth, we have felt the clinging bonds of our self-deceptions.

Exploring the layers of anguish endured by your Beloved has exposed the layers of our complacency and complicity in the causes of that pain.

We have been overwhelmed by the sheer magnanimity of your liberating, compassionate, suffering love, only to become more sharply reminded of how we collude every day with the powers that fear it and crucify it.

It has been a hard Lent.


But today is the First Day of the Week!

Today we know!

We know that because of Friday, your pain-filled love for your world has nailed you to us forever.

We know that because of Jesus and because of Friday you drain the strength of deadly violence by suffering its anguish, enduring its agony, taking it into you breaking heart – and still loving, still forgiving, still holding us to yourself.

And we know that because of Jesus and because of Friday and because of today, evil is only the second-strongest force in the universe. We know that you can breathe life into that which has been dead. You can roll away the stones that hold us prisoner to the ways of death. You can make Resurrection happen.

Do it among us and for us and in us we pray.

May the life of Jesus be let loose in us today.

In the name of the crucified and risen Christ


Our Father/Mother in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kin-dom come, your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive those who are in our debt.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kin-dom,
The power and the glory,
Forever and ever, Amen

Please click on the link below if you wish to download Easter Sunday’s Candle Prayer by Mr Siphiwe Ndlovu.

2021 04 04 Easter Sunday: Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice: Mr Siphiwe Ndlovu

Candle Prayers on Resurrection Day

Loving God, we gather this morning, different faces in different places, united by our desire to know you, to follow you faithfully and love you completely. We awake to the news of your resurrection, a clear pronouncement to the powers of evil and darkness that death shall not have the last word, that light shall triumph over dark, that love shall eclipse fear and that good shall overcome evil.

Yet sometimes it is hard to believe oh God. Sometimes we struggle to fathom how good will overcome evil. Sometimes the powers of death go beyond what our minds can grasp – so this morning we pray for this world. We pray for the violence to cease. We pray for justice to roll down like a river that never runs dry – in this world – there will be enough for all to eat, women can walk freely and be safe in their homes and no violence will be visited on any of your people. We pray for the sickness to be healed and the grief to end.

But Lord God, we also struggle with our own participation in the evil in this world, our complicity with the powers of evil, our direct and inadvertent collaboration with the powers of death. Some of us hold on to and protect our privilege gifted to us by how systems of this world work. We are content to let the systems do the sinning for us, while we reap the benefits. We kill, no we crucify, no we execute our fellow human beings. We are content, or don’t rage against systems that take necessities from the poor to give luxuries to the rich. We benefit from systems that inflict violence upon the vulnerable – and oh Lord, sometimes we ourselves inflict violence by our silence – silence in the world where kids go to bed hungry and their parents watch helplessly, silence in the face of naked greed – our carelessness and our callousness leaves many trapped in tombs of poverty and ultimate death.

So this morning we pray that the new dawn of your resurrection shall extend across our dark world. We pray that love, light and life shall be the way of the world.

And then we pray for everyone who believes – help our unbelief! While we were yet sinners, trapped in death-dealing ways you died for us. May your resurrection mean something to us and for us today. Resurrect us from the death of feeling, our numbness, let your resurrecting love touch us in our places of failure, open our eyes to your creation, open our eyes to the beauty, yes, even the beauty of our enemies, let your death and resurrection be a moment that gives us reason to pause, to reflect and to remember, remember that – we are created in love by love for love. Roll the stone away from the tombs of our fear and fill our hearts with love – love that dares to confront and contradict the powers of violence and death and injustice.

Oh Lord Jesus, we pray that your death and resurrection will change this world – but please Lord, begin with US. Amen.


Please click on the link below if you wish to download the opening prayer on Good Friday by Dr Gilbert Lawrence.

2021 04 02 Dr Gilbert Lawrence: Can we wait and watch with Jesus?

Can we wait and watch with Jesus?

Lord we praise the beauty of your creation. The fish in the seas, the birds in the sky celebrate your majesty. We praise you for creating all creatures, and us in your likeness. Thank you, God, for each new day, each dawn, that greets us with a hallelujah. Everyone breathes your life-giving breath, graciously given.

Lord, you came to the garden to prayer, breathing in the smell of olive trees mixed with a whiff of anxiousness and weariness. Your disciples were sleepy.

Forgive us lord when we too are tired and not in the moment. We are all so busy, even when we are not.

We spontaneously avert, sleep, work, eat or just do something. We avoid the possibility of deep, Christ imbued human engagement with our hearts and souls. Fear, nervousness, callousness, even panic, subtly, through learned responses, energise us negatively … into being, not present.

O Lord, time and again, opportunities to give hope and life, slip from our fingers; fall by the wayside.

How foolish we are. Forgive our carelessness each day. We sleep on when around us many souls are in agony of spirit, in need of care, hurting, helpless, lost, abused, belittled, ignored, labelled, betrayed, othered.

When we are awakened, literally or figuratively, we are contrite, we may even weep. But the time has passed, the moment dissolved in the mists. Imparting of love, hope, justice, grace, was not to be.

We did not watch; we did not wait. We were not present. We were not engaging with life. We were not bringing life.

Lord may we learn to journey in the presence of your presence. Unclog our hearts to be love and hope where we are and in in the world. Unblock our minds and free us from prejudice and hate, from ignoble rituals and practices. Untether our tongues to speak loudly in love and truth to the powerful and the poor. Clear our ears to hear the cries for help, unceasingly. Open our eyes to see the pain and suffering in vivid colour. Let us experience the true feeling of flesh on flesh in wiping the brow of the ill and dying.

Help us lord to be thankful for our moments and days; many, or not; so that we may share your living and loving presence, even to a cross. But, O great joy, even beyond!

Our hope Lord is in watching and waiting for your hope in us and for us, and yes lord, through us.

With the psalmist we pray

I wait for the lord.
My soul, waits, and in his word, I hope.
My soul waits for the lord, more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.


Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle for Peace, Hope and Justice by Dr Gilbert Lawrence.

2021 02 28 Dr Gilbert Lawrence ~ Poverty

We light our Peace, Hope and Justice Candle today with a focus on poverty.

MOTHER THERESA: “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her, it is because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed”

That “you” can be the individual or a “collective you”.

This past week the Government, a “collective you”, presented the Budget speech.

One of the elements of the national budget is the budget for Social Grants.

Just over 18 million South Africans; vulnerable to poverty, or in need of state support, receive social grants, relief assistance, or social relief paid by the government. That’s 1 in 3 of us South Africans.

For the first time since 1994, the total social grants budget has been cut, by 2%. So, the actual increase is less than inflation.

Old age, Disability and Care dependency grants have increased by 1.6% or R10,00 to R1 890.

Child support grants have increased by 3,4% or R10,00 to R460.

Poverty as defined by Statistics South Africa:

A person or community lacking financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living. Essentials include housing, food, water, sanitation, work.

The South African Poverty line is R1 227 per person, per month.

Poverty and need have been compounded by the covid 19 pandemic restrictions, morbidity and mortality; economic reversals; job losses and right now; school leavers of 2020, seeking work.

People in need, continue to knock on doors, stop you in the street, forage refuse bins, stand at roadsides offering their services, beg at traffic lights, occupy unimaginable spaces to sleep, to live.

It is predicted that the no. of qualifying beneficiaries will increase by 300 000 persons this year.

Not all in need qualify; many homeless don’t, foreign nationals don’t.

There are over 3 000 verses in the Bible that talk to poverty and justice. Let us heed; the word, the prompting of the spirit, and our eyes and ears.

Let us pray:

Lord at this Lenten season, we thank you for your creation. We are so wonderfully made, in your image O God. You have created us as stewards of all creation and all the beauty and abundance of your presence is all around.

We have ability to love, care and be Christ in the world to all and all of creation.

Forgive us lord when we don’t share or care enough when we see injustice, hopelessness and despair around us, when we are not living in ways that others may discover more about you. We cry injustice more in protest than of conviction and we often continue our own incomplete lives, avoiding the pain that persistence and passion brings.

We pray Lord, for the poor in our land, made in your image.

We pray that the officials in state institution who administer the provision of grants and relief will find ways to obliterate the horrific indignities their compatriots experience in the process of receiving their grants each month.

We pray for innovation, boldness and definitive action in comprehensive policy making by Government, in addressing systemic inequity in our land.

We pray O God that the isolation regulations of Covid-19 have not further entrenched the relational divisions and physical segregation in our land, especially in our living areas, churches, and schools because of race, economics and fear.

We give thanks o God for Activists and organisations who see what we see, yet do more than we care to, to bring real help and hope. We salute the campaigns seeking sustainable systemic justice for the poor … the oppressed, for all.

Lord we pray for a deeper analysis of our conditioned understanding of wealth, poverty and inequality.

Finally. Lord, we pray for, and give thanks for, the hosts of mini Mother Theresa’s in communities who serve and feed and bring comfort, sharing from their little that others may live. Seeking to answer the pray of the poor, said and wished for, from Luke11:3.

Lord give us this day the food we need.

We say the prayer for Africa.

God bless Africa and the world
Guard our children
Guide our leaders
And give us peace


Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Opening Prayer on Transfiguration Sunday by Rev. Dr. Peter Storey.

2021 02 14 Rev Dr Peter Storey Prayer ~ Feast of the Transfiguration

Feast Of The Transfiguration

Infinitely loving and patient God, we gather on this Transfiguration Sunday as always, grateful to meet with you and each other, hungry for the nourishment that comes only when hearts are lifted in worship and souls are opened to your Word of life.

We come seeking to be made different.

Today you remind us again who you are and who you want us to be, by drawing lines and connections we could not imagine without you …

You marry mountain-top visions to crowds jostling and sweating in valleys far below;

You reveal the lines between your beloved son, transfigured by your presence and among the great ones of old – and a lost and tortured soul, tossed about by seizures and convulsions;

You link our glimpses of glory in times of intense worship, with those other moments when we fail to cast out the destructive, demonic spirits that strike us dumb when we should speak, and scream within us when we should be still;

Between your Son’s promise that we will see the kin-dom come in power, and his frustrated cry that we are ‘an unbelieving and perverse generation;’

Between his frightening question, ‘how long shall I be with you?’ and his promise to be with us always.

It is because you continue to draw these lines across the chasms of contrast between you and us, Lord, that we have hope – not in ourselves, but because in the Christ you have come among us, you are among us and in spite of  – or maybe because of – our frailties and failures, you have chosen to dwell, not in the rarified  air of some mountain fastness, but with us … here in this valley we call the world.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being ‘God with us’ – for marrying yourself to us for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health …

In this time of deep vulnerability, when all our vaunted skills, our best laid plans, our sometimes cocky autonomy, our most precious relationships, our ambitions, our hopes – when all these things are laid low by an invisible intruder that we can neither touch nor see – humble us we pray, so we may revisit other invisible things that are much stronger, the things that matter most:

Caring and compassion, truthfulness and love, faithfulness and kindness, and yes, the shocking discovery that life is a much more fragile, delicate and fleeting thing than we thought, therefore to be lived with infinite care each day we are given.

That is why we are here today, why we come to you.

Lord, we believe. Please, please, help our unbelief.

Lord we have faith. Please, please help us where our faith falls short.

In your strong name we pray.


Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Levi Daniels.

2020 12 25 Candle Prayer ~ Levi Daniels

Creator G-d,

Thank you for infusing your Self into all you’ve created. Thank you for putting on flesh to come and live among your Creation. Being G-d, you could have arrived any way you wanted to: in thunderclouds, on a meteorite, or even cruising down from heaven in a Lamborghini spacecraft. 

But you didn’t. You chose to go through the dangerous, bloody process of birth, and to be born to so-called nobodies, amongst animals, in a stable!

Lord, were you born today, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, your mother may have lived in a crowded household where social distancing is impossible. If your grandmother were to get critically ill with COVID-19, she may have been one of those able to recover with the help of a ventilator, but whom instead passed away, because hospitals were at capacity and she wasn’t on medical aid.

May this possibility stir in us the deep desire to broaden our perspective of who is family and who is our neighbour. 

Mother G-d, please remind us, daily, that we are all made of the same dust and breathe. Remind us that we are connected to all Creation.

Mother G-d, please strengthen our frontline workers. Be with those performing medical duties and those sanitising surfaces. Divine Breath, would you breathe new life into the battle-weary, especially now as more contagious strains of COVID-19 are spreading in the UK and here in South Africa. 

Father G-d, we are facing powerlessness more often now than ever. Please help us to settle into your Flow instead of fighting it.

We confess that at times we’ve grown weary of wearing masks and social distancing. We’ve left room for the transmission of this virus.

Mother G-d, help us to do what we know must be done to stay safe from COVID-19 this Christmas.

Gracious G-d, have mercy on us. Strengthen us whom are battling to stay afloat. Comfort us who mourn.

Divine All, thank you for being Incarnate as Life in all its forms.

Thank you for showing up in the breath of wind which move the seas, the same breath that fills our lungs.

On this day Lord, we remember your human incarnation and the full life you lived as an example to us. Help us to stay tethered to your ways of humility, peace and justice, especially when we feel unworthy or weary.

And now Divine Breath, as we celebrate your human incarnation, would you help us to lean into joy with an ease which surpasses understanding? Help us unwind so we can celebrate today with gusto. Open us up to delight and allow us to invite light into our homes. Amen. 

Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Opening Prayer by Sophie Joans.

2020 12 20 Sophie Joans ~ Opening Prayer

Almighty God, Heavenly Power of Love,

Thank you for today. For carrying us through one helluva year in which we’ve seen the best and worst of humanity that comes out when we face crises, and in which the best and worst has been brought out in ourselves.

In times of pain and fear, we thank you for your human angels, people just like us, who know that their cups shall overflow, and so let their love flow and bring light where they go.

Forgive us, and let us forgive ourselves, for all the times we felt that our rivers of love had run dry, for all the times fear has made us close the door, for all the times pain has made us harden our hearts, for all the times we’ve felt too over-stretched and stressed that we’ve curtly said: There’s no room in my Inn.

And in those times, let the water start to trickle. Show us that our cup is full and running over.

Remind us of the human angels we’ve encountered in our lives – the ones on Earth still, and ones who live in our hearts and in Heaven, people who we had the privilege of knowing and loving, or strangers who were generous in a fleeting moment, who we may never meet again.

Remind us that we are so much stronger than we think we are. And, God, please send strength to all those who are currently battling COVID-19 and help them get through it.

Remind us that choosing love doesn’t cost anything. That, most of the time, no one is trying to hurt us, but that humans just make a lot of mistakes.

Remind us that we too can be human angels. And that even human angels can have bad days and forget you, that’s what makes us human.

Just keep shepherding us back to your redemptive love. Amen.

Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Carolin Gomulia.

2020 03 15 Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

The Covid-19 virus has been top of mind for most of us in the past few days. So let’s pray together about it.

 Dear God

The world finds itself facing a pandemic. It is a virus that was most likely caused by us humans not respecting your creation. Let us learn from this pandemic and acknowledge the interdependence of all living beings and nature.  Let it be a lesson for the future how we live, work and interact.

Lord give us hope to not despair in this time of uncertainty. Every morning when we wake up, it seems as if the world is a different place. Help us to remember that times of uncertainty are also times when opportunity and wonder emerges. Systems that we thought are static and unchangeable have crumbled or shifted within a few days.

God we acknowledge that this virus has evoked waves of fear and panic in us. Fear is the opposite of love. Fear makes us act, think and behave in unloving and harmful ways. We become xenophobic, exclusionary, ignorant and self-centred. Help us to fight the disease of fear within us and ensure that love remains our main purpose in the world. This virus can only be overcome through solidarity and love, not war and hate.

We need your guidance and support to remain level-headed in the next months. Lord help us to listen to reason and wisdom. Help us to do what is right, to follow instructions from health authorities without trying to be cleverer or opinionated. Let us participate in safety and security measures, let us lead by example in practising what we have been asked to. Yet, let us not forget to show mercy to the sick and affected.

We pray for the people who have lost loved ones to this virus. At this point their dead family members are often only statistics accompanied by explanations that this virus is not as deadly as others before. Families who have lost loved ones still need our compassion in their time of grief.

Lord have mercy on us. Let our trust in you not be broken. Protect us and guide us to do the right thing and most importantly to continue living our lives in love, by love and for love.


Let’s now pray the prayer for Africa.

Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Rose-Anne Reynolds.

2020 02 09 Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice 

For Enock:

It has only been three weeks since the school year started in South Africa. But it has been 3 long painful weeks since Enock Mpianzi, a South African child born of Congolese parents died, drowned at his Grade 8 orientation camp. His body was only recovered the day after he drowned, because the children who watched him get swept away were by the ignored by the adults they told.  

Today we light the candle of Peace, Justice and Hope for Enock.

Enock Mpianzi, you will be remembered. When we hear your name, we will listen. It will not be like when your name Enock, was said over and over again at that camp and ignored. Now that it is too late we will listen. 

Now we have to pay our respects, when we should have paid attention, and cared and shown love.

Let us pray:

Dear God, help our government leaders to focus on the real socio-political problems in our country and not only on identifying a perfect scapegoat for the public and media, so that we may not go to sleep again while the children of our country continue to get into difficulty, to struggle and eventually drown in the depths of neglect, abuse, poverty, violence, marginalisation and fear!

Lord help us to choose to respect children when they are alive and not to only pay our respects to them when they are dead. Lord, the respect being afforded to Enock in death would and could have been assurance that he could still be alive. He died in a brutal way and we should not let words like negligence, culpability, indemnity be associated with his death.

Loving God, let us examine our choices and how we as adults contribute to creating a situation where it is possible for a child (in 2020) to tell an adult that a child they met, greeted, spoke to, is now missing and for them to be ignored. When will we realise that it is race… poverty… a culture of exclusion and then assimilation that can allow a child, a child, to simply disappear under the water.

Lord, give us the courage to question why only adults will be deemed suitable to investigate Enock’s death, to serve on commissions of inquiry and to draw up the new guidelines and hopefully legislation to prevent this from happening to another child. Children will be excluded from these meetings, from these decisions and from these enquiries. 

Dear God let us take inspiration from the children who tried to save Enock’s life in the first place, who by speaking up now will be saving him in death. But the way we choose to live is not to honour or acknowledge that children could most easily tell us how his death could have been prevented…we just have to ask them, we should ask them, they will know, they can tell us… if we listen when they tell us.

Lord help us to see that we don’t have to wait until children grow up and leave school to know what is wrong, deadly or damaging in a school and its culture and historical biases, in order to change it. We can ask children now and listen and hear what they have to say and work to change what actually causes death and support and encourage what brings and sustains life and love!

I end with a quote from Henri Nouwen who says: “It belongs to the centre of the Christian message that children are not properties to own and rule over but gifts to cherish and care for. Our children are our most important guests, who enter into our home, ask for careful attention, stay for a while and then leave to follow their own way. Children are strangers whom we have to get to know.”

Enock Mpianzi, you will be remembered. When we hear your name, we will remember to listen.

Let us pray the prayer for Africa:
God Bless Africa and all the world
Guard her children
Guide her leaders and
Give us peace

Please click on the link below if you wish to download the Candle Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice by Joan Proudfoot.

2020 01 19 Prayer for Peace, Hope and Justice

At this time of year we stop to consider the meaning of covenant. I looked up possible synonyms for the word and nothing seemed adequate or equal in matching its deep truth. The word stands alone and as such requires us to pay heed to it. We do so now in the context of the peace and justice candle…

Let us pray…

Jesus, we come to you with a deep gratitude in our hearts this morning for your covenant, not only to us as individuals, but to the imagining, to the on-going creating, to the ever grace-filled invitation to join you in bringing about a world where peace and justice characterize its existence. In covenanting, we recognise that, from your side, you have made a promise that you have locked deep inside you and then thrown away the key. It declares loudly the nature of your being – a being that is committed to ensuring that every person, every part of creation, holds equal value. We acknowledge that, until we align ourselves to this deep truth, we have not fully understood you.

We confess that we are scared of the word “covenant”. It seems to demand too much from us and, as a result, on our side, we hold back from entering into covenant with you, holding onto the key in our wavering commitment to working towards justice and peace in this world. We are often scared to even begin because we fear we may fail. But we get it wrong when we think that success is about achieving it. We know only too well from the recent happenings in our sanctuary that we are not capable of making it happen in the way we would like. So what does it mean? Covenant seems to demand something deeper, something that is equal to tectonic plates deep in the earth’s core, shifting and clicking into new places. Covenant is like that. It puts us in a new place whereby we come to believe, so deeply, that our very breath depends on it, that justice and peace are essential to our very existence, to the existence of our children and their children and we dare not let go of that truth. We owe it, in the very least, to the children we send to school for an education that claims to equip them for life but seems to produce a people that perpetuate injustice and violence.

So we ask you to forgive our unbelief, our not daring to imagine, our not believing enough to hope that there is another way of being. Please will you envision us to live creatively, always to be looking for ways to live out the truth that your ways are indeed higher than ours. Forgive our arrogance in thinking we know better. Please give us an understanding of covenanting that causes us to work together, for we

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