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Focussing on the Cross

Prayers on a theme of The Cross

The Cross is at the centre of our faith, and it is no wonder that it has always been at the centre of a Christian's prayer and worship life, as through the centuries writers have grappled with the sheer wonder of such an outpouring of God's love to humankind.

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'" (Mark 8:34)

From the beginning
you knew the final outcome,
watched as the jigsaw pieces
were slotted into place,
saw the significance of every moment.
As your body was anointed with oil
at the table of Simon the Leper,
the picture was becoming clearer
not only in your eyes,
but to an unknown woman
and one of your closest friends.
Judas sensed that this was his moment,
sacrificing trust
that had been so freely given,
on the altar of selfish gain
for his fifteen allotted minutes of fame,
and thirty pieces of silver.
The woman recognised the moment.
She gave generously,
a costly gift, freely offered.
A fragrant sacrifice of perfume and love,
remembered forever in your heart.
And as Judas slipped away unnoticed,
your disciples saw none of this,
failed to see the significance of the moment.
Two sacrifices, one of trust,
and one of love.
But you noticed, Lord,
as you notice each day
our sacrificial offering,
and betrayal



There are people we like,
and those we do not,
but the difficult situations arise
when those we love turn against us
for no logical reason.
We are hurt and angry at such betrayal,
when someone who has shared our lives
should now use that knowledge against us.
It is a broken relationship, Lord,
almost impossible to repair.
That you should share bread and wine
at the same table as Judas,
knowing the secrets of his heart.
That you could share your love,
knowing what was to follow
on the road to Calvary,
defies our human understanding.
And yet, Lord this is the road
you would have us follow,
the road that leads to the cross,
the road that only makes sense ,
when seen through your eyes.
The road of sacrificial love




How often when weary
do we sigh 'The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak.'
How often when in prayer
are thoughts distracted by
sounds or circumstance,
or prayers diverted
by trivial concerns.
Baggage carried with us
rather than left at your feet.
How often do we find ourselves
apologising to you,
for our abbreviated prayer life.
And yet you draw us still
to be in your presence,
as you did the disciples at Gethsemene.
You want us to share in your life,
to play our part.
You told your disciples to watch and pray,
so that they might not fall into temptation.
Do you ask the same of us
and do we also fail you
each time we whisper
'The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak'?
Grant us the strength, Lord,
of body and of spirit,
to offer you the sacrifice
of our lives




When the going gets tough
the tough get going.
It is easy to say 'No'
to take the easy way out.
Easy to play safe,
and live to fight another day.
Like Peter, who loved you
with such a passion, Lord,
filled with such energy,
so impetuous,
ready to speak first,
and ask questions later.
Except when asked
if he was with you, Lord.
Except when his faith
was seriously challenged,
when the road to the cross
became dangerous.
You knew Peter,
knew the calibre of the man
and what would happen
before the cock crowed twice.
But it didn't stop you choosing him,
the rock upon which
your Church would be built.
There is comfort for us, Lord,
in Peter's frailty,
reassurance that your love
and confidence extends
to both strong and frail,
as you look to our potential,
and in your love forget
our momentary weakness.


Faith & Worship

Faith and Worship

©John Birch · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced elsewhere please acknowledge author/website
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