THY KINGDOM COME RESOURCES
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS ON BLOSSOMING MAYTIME
Maytime is the fairest season
with its loud birdsong and the green trees,
when the plough is in the furrow
and the oxen under the yoke,
when the sea is green
and the land many colours.
Over the hill and in the valley,
on the island of the sea,
whatever path you take
you shall not hide from the blessed Christ.
The gift I ask, may it not be denied me,
Is peace between myself and God
May I find my way to the gate of glory
May I not be sad, O Christ, in your court.
Early Middle Welsh
Open my eyes and ears, O Lord my God,
that I may see and hear more clearly
the loveliness that that thou hast put into the world,
and give me the grace I pray thee,
to show, in my turn,
some of thy gifts
in my life, to thy glory.
(A pray of Malcolm Playfoot)
O King of the Tree of Life,
the blossoms on the branches are your people,
the singing birds are your angels,
the whispering breeze is your Spirit.
O King of the Tree of Life,
may the blossoms bring forth the sweetest fruit,
may the birds sing out the highest praise,
may your Spirit cover all with his gentle breath.
The blessing of God and the Lord be yours,
The blessing of the perfect Spirit be yours,
The blessing of the Three be pouring for you
Mildly and generously,
Mildly and generously.
It was the immortal one on the cross
Who made salmon and birds.
It is he who makes the flower of the sloe grow
Through the surface of the blackthorn
and the nut flowers on other trees.
Beside this, what miracle is greater?
15th century Irish, translated by K H Jackson
When I do see the May in bloom, I ain’t afeared to ask the Almighty for eternal life.
An old Wiltshire countryman
My wild field catalogue of flowers
Grows in my rhymes as thick as showers,
Tedious and long as they may be
To some, they never weary me.
John Clare, in ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’
I offer thee
Every flower that ever grew
Every bird that ever flew
every wind that ever blew
(From an ancient Irish prayer, In the Open Gate, by David Adam)
Sing a song of Maytime
Sing a song of spring.
Flowers are in their beauty
Birds are on the wing.
God has given us Maytime
Praise him for his gifts of love
Sing a song of Spring.
Malcolm L Playfoot, A St Francis Prayer Book. 1941, London: SPCK
David Adam, The Open Gate. 1994 and 2006, London: SPCK
Christian Copyright Licence 849167 and Music Reproduction Licence M267952, Lancaster Priory
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is an essential part of Christian living, and when we turn our attention to God we find him already waiting and welcoming us, always. There is no right or wrong way to pray, and we can pray communally and privately, aloud or in silence, with traditional words or spontaneously, or indeed without any words. God knows better than ourselves what we need and wants to guide us to the life he intended for us, in which we can find the fullness of joy and peace. Prayer does not require any particular preparation, but it may be helpful for example to take a couple of deep breaths and sit in a comfortable position in order to still our mind and focus on God’s presence. Prayer is a two-way conversation, and we can aim to listen to the movements of God in our life.
The Spirit helps us in our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
AT LANCASTER PRIORY
The Church of England website has information for beginners as well as other resources through the Prayer and Worship menu, including links to apps and prayers for different life situations: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/learning-pray
An article written by our Bishop Julian and leaflets about different traditions from The Diocese of Blackburn : https://www.blackburn.anglican.org/prayer-resources
Blackburn Diocese posts weekly videos with messages from senior clergy, which are excellent and worth watching, as well as worship services on their YouTube channel.
Pray As You Go short daily podcasts: https://pray-as-you-go.org/ available also as an app. Explore the website menu for retreat series, Lectio Divina, the Examen prayer at the end of the day and reflections for significant times in life.
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement, and here are countless videos dealing with different aspects of prayer: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/videos
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