This prayer was also written for church, the reading was Mark 6: 30-34, 53 – 56.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognised Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried those who were ill on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed those who were ill in the market-places. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Sometimes we feel tired. Like the apostles we feel overwhelmed by all the people coming and going. There are days, that turn into weeks then months that we do no stop to listen, to hear you say, “come with me by yourselves to a quiet place ad get some rest”. How as individuals and a society we need rest – not zoning out in front of screens rest but true Sabbath rest, that enables us to be present to you and your creation and enables you to be present to us in stillness and in silence. We invite your presence now – to dwell with us and to challenge us and our society that is over worked, over consumed and over committed.
God, sometimes we are afraid that stopping is selfish, that it’s bout looking after ourselves, not others. But we see in Jesus this is not the case, his rhythm of Sabbath, of taking time alone with you enabled him to be gracious when interrupted and compassionate with others. God, we pray we can be more like Jesus. Fill us now with his graciousness, compassion and love. God, forgive us. Forgive for all the times we’ve been too tired and busy to notice someone hurting or the beauty around us and forgotten our first call to care for it. Forgive us all the times that in our weariness we have been quick to speak words of anger and slow to speak words of thanks.
God, we ask your forgiveness and compassion that granted us a day of rest. May we discover the healing power of rest. May we be like the people coming to Jesus 2000 years ago in faith, believing that simply reaching out to you is enough. With this faith we pray for all those in our families and communities who are grieving, who are sick and who are searching for you. We pray for healing for our governments. If only they would stop and really listen to your voice calling out throughout the ages for compassion, mercy and justice for all those who are oppressed in our nation especially for our indigenous brothers and sisters, refugees and women living in the cycle of violence and abuse.
God, may this time we take this morning to be present to you, to give thanks and praise, to ask for forgiveness and offer hope filled prayers for healing, be not just an act of individual piety but our witness against injustice, our cry out for liberty and our hope for a world in which you are fully known and your will is fully done.