Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Independence day prayer

Thank you God for giving us the spirit of independence and for helping us come out of the yoke of slavery. We are thankful for the lives of those who sacrificed everything they had for the freedom of our country. We are fortunate to wake up and sleep every day in a free world and country. The Bible says "Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." We seek the Holy Spirit Lord so that we will live in freedom and so that whatever anyone does to take away our freedom will end in failure. We pray that the spirit of freedom that is offered to us by God will set every citizen of this country free to live with dignity, being free to make their own choices, eat what they want, pray where they want and speak what and when they want without infringing on the rights and freedom of others. In the name of the one who has set us free, Jesus Christ our freedom. Amen.

Picture courtesy www.abc.net.au

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Updated profile of FJK

Fr. Jerry Kurian is a priest of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and an alumnus of the New Indian School, Kuwait, the Marthoma Residential School, Thiruvalla, S.B. College, Changanachery, UTC, Bangalore and GLTC, Chennai.  He is now the Director of Development and Youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Church.

Jerry Kurian taught at the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary (MSOTS) for a period of five years before joining for his research and then taught in the United Theological College, Bangalore for six years.  He has many years of pastoral experience as well. He is a theological educator, public speaker, blogger, theatre enthusiast, preacher and leadership and life skills trainer.

His research interests include new media, the internet, public speaking, drama, film analysis, communication and mission, alternative media, alternative journalism, traditional media, social networking, blogs, communication and women's liberation and communication and climate change.

Fr. Jerry believes his calling is to teach and pastor towards an inclusive society where everyone will be a part of our spiritual expression and everyone will benefit from the liberative gospel of Jesus Christ. He believes Orthodox Christianity has many things to offer in the diverse ecumenical and religious environment of India. He affirms that proper Communication can lead to a just society.

He worked on the design and implementation of the UTC college web site @ http://utc.edu.in/  He also designed the UTC college blog @ http://www.utcbangalore.blogspot.in/ 

Publications, presentations and other work

Asia Communication Sunday worship order for the WACC Asia Communication Sunday booklet June, 2010
Presentation on ‘God’s providence and the youth in the church’ in Yercadu on July 24, 2010.
Meditations for Gurukul Daily Devotion 2011 submitted in October, 2010.
‘Rights of (Vulnerable) Children and the New Media: Challenges for the church in India’. Paper presented in the seminar on ‘Children and their rights: A Theological exploration’, Chennai on November 15-17, 2010.
‘Examining the claims of the Information Revolution: Social Revolution or Knowledge Capitalism’. Published in KCC magazine, November, 2010.
‘The woman and Jesus. A bible study on Luke 7: 36-50’. Presented for the NCCI workshop on ‘Daring to study scriptures publicly and sensually’ on 5-2-2011, Chennai. This was later published by NCCI.
‘The essence of Lent: Learning and struggling to bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands’. Published in CSI Life magazine, March, 2011.
Co-edited the WACC Asia Communication Sunday booklet June, 2011.
Poem/song on “Vulnerability in the midst of Climate Change”, p.8 in Asia Communication Sunday booklet, Communicating Climate Justice, WACC-AR, June 26, 2011.

Co-edited the Asia Communication Sunday booklet, 2011.
Bible study for the BTESSC-UTC workshop on “Online Training Techniques and Different Possibilities” on August 30, 2011.
“Media Ethics, the main line media and new (social) media: A case for alternative people’s journalism”- paper presented for the UTC alumni meeting in October, 2011.
Meditations for the Gurukul Daily Devotion, 2012, GLTC, Chennai, 2012, “Neighbourly Relations and Christian discipleship”, pp. 289-296.
Article on “Christ the Revolutionary” published in Assisi Magazine, February-March 2012, Vol.58, Issue 2, Assisi Ashram, Bharananganam, Kottayam, Kerala, pp. 20-22.
Presentation on “Bollywood and the Construction of Masculinities” in the WCC-SCMI gender training workshop on March 20, 2012 in UTC, Bangalore.

Article on “Alternative Media and Journalism as a framework for Communicating Peace” published in the Clark Journal Of Theology (Theological Reflections on Peace building), Vol. II. No. 1, January- June, 2012.
Article titled “The Church, Human Sexuality and Challenging the Unchallenged” in the Gurukul Journal of Theological Studies (Human Sexuality: Theological and Biblical Reflections), Vol XXIII, No. 2, June, 2012. This was published in December, 2012.
Presentation on “Forms of spirituality” to 50 ordained pastors from CSI Rayalaseema and Nandyal Dioceses on July 3, 2012 at Vishranthi Nilayam, Bangalore.
Presented a bible study on Genesis 4:3-9 titled “Am I the reason for the divide” (A bible study on the digital divide) for the SCMI Centenary Bible Study workshop on September 6-8, 2012. This was later published by the SCMI and released during its centenary celebrations.
UTC alumni refresher course presentation on “Lord Renew the Church: Begin From Me. Empowered by the Spirit of Renewal: People of God as the True Agents of Change. Internet as a catalyst for building an alternative community for church renewal” in October, 2012.
Class for youth of Mumbai diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church on November 16, 17 and 18, 2012 on “Who and what am I for God”.
Took sessions on “Media and Leadership” and “Cyber ethos and internet de-addiction” for the Fest Zoe 2012 (Ecumenical Youth Leadership Training Camp) with the theme Beyond Globalization, Youth Culture, Mission and Leadership on November 14, 15, 2012. It was conducted by the The CSI Department of Pastoral Concerns and the Department of Ecumenical Relations & Ecological Concerns in the CSI Synod Centre, Royapettah, Chennai.
Presented a paper on “The Internet and Alternative Media for Communicating Peace” for the Faculty Research Seminar in the UTC on November 28, 2012.
Recorded a Jacobite Syrian Orthodox worship liturgy cd in English on November 29, 30, 2012. The CD was released on May 5, 2013.
Did a presentation on “Christian Communication, internet and alternative Communication” and helped in the sessions on “Reporting and Editing” in the workshop on “Communicating Ecological Justice”, held at CSI Synod Guest House, from 3rd to 5th Dec 2012. It was conducted by WACC and the CSI Synod.
Took a session on “Exodus: A journey to Togetherness” for the youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church on January 26, 2013.
“Lord Renew the Church: Begin From Me. Empowered by the Spirit of Renewal: People of God as the True Agents of Change. Internet as a catalyst for building an alternative community for church renewal” done for the UTC alumni refresher course was published in the latest issue of the Masihi Sevak, UTC.
Initiated the discussion for Dr. Joseph George’s faculty research seminar paper on “Changing patterns of Relationships in the Cyberage: Challenges and Directions for Ministry in India” on February 27, 2013.
Attended the NCCI sub committee meetings on March 6, 7, 2013 in Gurukul, Chennai. Apart from the Commission on Communication, was also nominated to the Centenary Celebrations sub committee to prepare a documentary on the NCCI.

Paper presented on “An Ecumenical View on Churches View of the Eucharist. A Critical Discussion” for theologians across India in the Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC), Bangalore on May 15, 2013.
Presentation on “Church: The Sacramental Sign of Hope. The church and internet: Hope in the New Age” for the CSI Central Kerala Youth Pre Assembly in May, 2013.
Presentation on “Media values in India” to a study group from Edinburgh University in June, 2013.
Retreat for teachers of the CSI Institute of Technology, Nagercoil on July 8, 2013.
Presentation on “Women and Migration” for a CSI Synod programme in Vishranthi Nilayam, Bangalore in July, 2013.
Article on “The Internet and Alternate Media as Christian Communication” published in the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) review in July, 2013.
Skit direction and presentation for the National Council of Churches in India- World Council of Churches pre assembly seminar in Bangalore in August, 2013.
Presentation on “Blogs and writing” and “The Spirituality of writing” in the Writers’ workshop for pastors conducted by the United Basel Mission and UTC in Mumbai YMCA on September 16, 2013.
Scripted, directed and edited a documentary on the United Theological College, Bangalore in October, 2013. This was screened in the World Council of Churches Assemby in Busan, South Korea.
Part of the NCCI centenary documentary team working on a documentary for the NCCI.
Presentation on “Living with God in the Contemporary World” for the Tangkhul Christian Fellowship, Bangalore on November 1, 2013.
“Media, Culture and Religion: Alternative Media as a New Religious Expression in India.” Paper presented to the St. Olaf College, U.S. students in the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore on November 5, 2013.
“Christian perspective on media and youth advocacy for social change.” Paper presented to college students from all over India at the Student Christian Movement India Centre in Bangalore on November 15, 2013.
Paper on “Orkut, Facebook, Tumblr: What next?” presented for the National Ecumenical Youth Pre-assembly of the NCCI in Goa via video conference on Nov 18, 2013.
Chapter on “Media Ethics” in December, 2013 for Sunday school students of the Kottayam diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in their book for senior Sunday school students.
Presentation on “Atrocities against Women” in ECC, Bangalore on Feb, 2014.
Article on the Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas titled “Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas: The Equinox on which the Church rode three decades” published in the Malankara World Journal in March, 2014.

Paper presented on “Ecclesiology in the Cyber Age” in the NCCI seminar held in Bangalore on June 26, 2014.
Paper presented on “Informed Prodigy or Juvenile Criminal” in the National workshop on Crimes by Juveniles in India on July 30, 2014.
“Theatre as a pedagogical framework for theological education”. Faculty seminar presented on October 29, 2014.
"Media, Culture and Religion". Presentation in ECC for the St. Olaf Seminary students on November 6, 2014.
Main speaker for the District Youth Conference of the Marthoma Church in Bangalore on May 14-17, 2015.
Paper presented on “Media and Spirituality: A journey of the church into the lives of people”  on June 27, 2015 in the Marthoma Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala.
Paper presented on “Religion in the Market Place: The Changing environment of Women in the Church” in the National Seminar on Role of Women in the Christian Church: An ecumenical perspective, conducted by BTESSC and the MSOT seminary in the MSOTS, Ernakulam, Kerala on July 14, 2015.
Presentation made to St. Olaf students on "Media and Spirituality" on October 26, 2015 at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore.

Main speaker for the Marthoma Church Regional Youth Conference, Delhi on November 10-13, 2015.

Produced and acted in the College play "The Nation of refugees" on December 3, 2015 in UTC.

Paper titled “Religion in the market place: The changing environment of women in the church” published in the Bangalore Theological Forum, Bangalore, Vol. XLVII, No.2, December, 2015.
Produced and acted in the play “The Nation of the Refugees” in an entire new location and format on March 4 and 5, 2016. 
Paper titled “Theatre as a pedagogical expression for theological education” published in the Hekamtho Theological Journal Vol 1, No. 2, MSOT Seminary, Ernakulam, Kerala in March, 2016.
Presented a paper on “The Theatrical expression of the Eucharist” in the National seminar for Theological Students in ECC, Whitefield, Bangalore on May 18, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Role of Media in Environmental Justice" in the National seminar on "Environmental Justice: Issues and Challenges." on July 6, 2016.
Took two sessions for the youth on the theme "Get up: Don't be afraid (Matthew 17:7)" at the International Youth Conference of the Assyrian Church of the East on July 22, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Maoists and Social Media" in the National seminar on "The Red Corridor and Maoism: Issues and Challenges" on August 19, 2016.
Took a session on "Women in the Church" for the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Bangalore diocese women's fellowship one day meeting on August 27, 2016.
Gave two talks on the theme "New Creation in Christ" for the first youth conference of the CSI Malabar diocese on September 12, 13, 2016 and took a session on Internet de-addiction on September 12, 2016.
Preached in the Naga Christian Fellowship Bangalore for their Power House service on September 25, 2016.
Presented a paper on "Transforming discipleship in a changing nation: Social media as a tool for ministering to the youth in church" for the UTC alumni refresher meeting on October 19, 2016.
Took a session on the Jacobite church, its faith and theology to a group from the University of Colombia, U.S. in January, 2017 at the St. Ignatius JSO Church, K.R. Puram, Bangalore.
Presentation on "Women in the Church" in the Jacobite Church Women's Conference held in May, 2017.
Conducting special youth worship in English  once every month from June, 2017 in St. Mary's JSO Cathedral Queen's Road, Bangalore. 

Completed a relic room which has the relic of St. Ignatius Elias III and a building (G+3) of close to 20,000 sq ft which includes a hall, class rooms and two badminton courts in the St. Ignatius JSO Church, K. R. Puram, Bangalore.
Has been writing quite regularly in a personal blog on social, religious and cultural affairs @ www.jerryachensworld.blogspot.in

Pastoral duties
He is the Director of Diocese Development and Youth of the Bangalore diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Church. It involves co-ordinating and giving leadership to the ministerial activities of 8 churches in Bangalore and working to bring new programmes for the youth in church. He has also been taking sessions on “Communication in the family” for the pre-marriage counselling courses held by the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church diocese in Bangalore”. He conducts weddings in English for interested couples.

Phone: +91-9483966951
E mail: jerryachen@gmail.com 

                                                                         The Nation of Refugees

Prayer of suffering

Help us Lord to become you and to sacrifice ourselves at the altar for you. We are so concerned about our status and our future that we have forgotten the gospel and the suffering which accompanies it. In Matthew 16 our Lord Jesus, when Peter said that you are the Messiah, you declared that you would build your church on Peter the rock. But when he took you aside and said that you will never suffer, you declared to him “Get behind me Satan”, for he became a stumbling block for you. May we God, never be a stumbling block before you and prevent the poor from being fed and the needy from getting help. Instead let us declare that you are the living God who takes care of all who come to you. May we never see and experience the gospel as comfortable but as suffering which will bring victory and the foretaste of the kingdom of God. Bless us and strengthen us Lord to carry our cross cheerfully. Amen.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Prayer for true friendship

What a friend we have in Jesus and how wonderful it is to know that. Loving God, you have loved us like a friend through Jesus Christ your son. He told us to do the same and love each other and lay down our life for our friends. Today we thank you for the gift of friendship and for the spirit to make new friends so that we may sacrifice for them. We know that unless we accept others into our circle of friendship, we will never love them completely. They will always remain strangers and we will never help strangers. Help us to build circles of friendship instead of one circle which is limiting and small. You have accepted us Jesus in so much that we are not just your servants but your friends. May we accept each other unconditionally and know that we have been created by God for each other and to be in each others caring arms. In the name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Prayer of assurance

Gracious Lord, we start today knowing that there will be problems at every juncture without you. And yet we are assured in the belief that every time we think of you and fold our hands in thanks and prayer, no mountain will be big to climb.
Many are already planning their weekend and thinking of where to go. But we are blessed knowing that with you God we are relaxed and at peace. May we pray for those who are having parties and fun for the weekend. May they relax knowing that we are praying for them and thinking about them. Help us God to feel blessed knowing that others are covered by our prayers and good thoughts.
May those travelling be protected by your shadow of mercy. May those working find strength to continue. May those in hospitals recuperate and get healthy. May children enjoy their childhood. May the young explore new things and may the elderly savour their memories. May those praying find themselves time and again. We pray to you God without boundaries and divisions. Amen.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Prayer for gender equality

Today Lord we thank you again for deep and resounding mercies that you have knowingly granted us. Help us to realize the importance of equality in our lives and in the world we live. May we learn to respect women and share with them what is genuinely and rightfully theirs. As men, may we pray and do away with masculine tendencies which hurt women. As women, may we pray and stop copying patriarchal power concepts and instead be good human beings to other women who are not comfortably placed as us. May Jesus be our model. He adored his mother for her courage and strength, he loved Martha and Mary for their eagerness to do ministry and he respected the Canaanite woman for her unshakeable faith. Fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit we pray God that we may be good to and do good for the women around us in whichever and whatever way we can. Amen.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Prayer of thanksgiving

This morning dear Lord we thank you for small and big things. Help us we ask and pray to make us identify all that you have done in our lives. You chose to create us, gave us the opportunity to live fully and unconditionally and gave us the earth and all in it so that we could be care takers and responsible people. Every day our list of wants grows like a never ending shopping list but we forget that there is a bigger and longer list which includes all that you have done in our lives. Help us to be thankful Lord for what we have even as we are already looking to the other things that you have graciously opened for our view and use. We pray God that we may be satisfied and feel peaceful about what we have instead of feeling grumpy and irritated about what we don’t have.

We realize this day O lord that if you could create someone so insignificant as us that you will have all that we will ever need in store for us. We do have deadlines to meet but we just cannot go from one deadline to another without stopping and taking time to breathe and be thankful for every step that has been made possible by your merciful care. How much can we thank you God for all that you are to us every single minute of our life? We today turn our gaze to you and thank you with all our heart, mind and soul knowing that you are listening, not expecting to be praised but feeling happy that we are bowing ourselves before you and setting free all that binds us under evil and unnecessary bondage. We thank you God, from deep within, and whatever happens today and in the days to come, that is not going to change. We thank you God for this moment and the numerous moments that have been possible by your sacrifice on the cross for us. We thank you God for loving us first and for setting the tone of how to love in our lives. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Prayer for building relationships in the new age

Gracious God, may we use this day to send an email, sms or message on a social network to a friend or family member to show that we are thinking of them just as God thinks of us and takes care of us. We are losing the gift of managing our time to create and continue our relationships. Instead we are using it to acquire knowledge. The tower of Babel went down despite the best of knowledge whereas simple people communicated the Lord's presence on the day of the Pentecost.

Teach us today dear Lord to make time to send a message inspired by the Holy Spirit. Let it be a message asking the well being of a dear one, a small prayer for spiritual sustenance or a symbol of love. One message or prayer God is all we sometimes need to feel cheerful and hopeful. May we today be that message through our mobile and laptop. Bless and empower us loving God to be your message to others today. Amen.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Prayer on a worship day

Help us today God to find peace and to strengthen our souls. Teach us to gauge what we need to feel happy and satisfied. As we go to worship places and sacred spaces allow us to understand that we are all one and the same. Each and every one of us O Lord has been created by you. We cannot be different and better than the other. Loving God, help us to understand what we are supposed to do by ourselves and how we are supposed to bring a balance to the wonderful plans of growth and peace that you have for us. Today, help us to grow spiritually and feel strong from inside rather than flaunting all that we have achieved in the six days of our worldly life. This day, help us to love each other and forget about our material wealth as they are only pawns towards our need for spiritual growth. Teach us Jesus to let go of anything that prevents us from seeing God in those we come across. If anything comes in between that, let it be offered in the incense box so that, it, along with our ego may be burnt as a sacrifice and offering to you. Bless us and those who we have as your plan and as your wish. May we feel energized knowing that today we are resurrected from the ashes we offer. Like Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Prayer during a holiday

God of rest and peace, we seek your guidance during this weekend. May those who have a day off from work be able to spend time with family and friends. Even as we rest may we be reminded by your presence in us that we have to dream, think and prepare for doing good and being effective for you Christ Jesus in our own different ways. You are ever present in us Jesus and you never take rest and that is evident by the fact that we are safeguarded and guided every single second of our lives.

May those of us who are travelling be cheerful and show acts of help, dignity and mercy to those next to us. May others experience Jesus through our acts of love. May those who go to supermarkets, parks, shopping malls and public spaces act with the prudence of Christ to diffuse difficult situations, help others, respect others and be Christ to others. We may be on vacation from work but Lord Jesus we are never on vacation from experiencing and acting on your behalf. May those who celebrate festivals and holidays be happy with our presence next to them in different public spaces so that Christ lives in the hearts of people.

Today help us be a daughter/son to our parents, a mother/father to our daughter/son/children, a sister/brother to our sibling, a friend to our friend and a blessing to a stranger. May the elderly be considered as our own parents and helped and loved. May we visit those who are sick and share their concerns and anxiety. Bless us O lord to be you during this weekend. Amen.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Prayer for responsible use of technology

Teach us God this day to focus on important things so that we become better performers for your kingdom. Even as we say we are busy to show acts of compassion and mercy on your behalf, we are reading numerous messages on whats app which are cruel, racial and inhuman and we end up forwarding them without a thought or care for others. We have become news junkies reading every bit of information and yet it isn’t benefitting us, our family or society. Help us God to use technology and all that your hands have inspired to make, in ways that will be beneficial to us and those around us.
May we stop reading and distributing news which incite violence, instill hatred and make us negative. Instead, programme us dear Lord to sift through the happenings and find positive stories to read and send. Strengthen us to send inspiring bible verses which bring people together and don’t create walls of separation. Help us to focus God on things that are good so that we wake up inspired and thrilled to engage with the various mediums around us. May we say no to the limiting aspects of technology and instead embrace the liberating world of technology. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Prayer of trust

Help us God this morning to submit ourselves to your care. May we remember how carefree we were during our childhood. We trusted our parents, family and friends because we knew they would bring us no harm. We had no qualms in holding their hands and did not feel embarrassed to hug them and ask them for the moon and the smallest and biggest of things. Yes Lord, we were children and so we believed. We had great wishes and not every one of them was fulfilled. But we were happy and satisfied with our way of living. Transform us God today and in the days to come to feel assured in your presence, knowing that you can give us small and great things if and when you want.

Let every day Father, be spent in complete trust in your love for us. There is nothing more we want as everything else will be trivial and insignificant for us. As we sit praying in our house, office space, car, bus, train, plane, work place or walk on the road or in a park, and as we work in the field or garden,  ease us into your care. Like a child may we submit without shame and a care in the world because you are with us. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:10-13 “We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.  To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly.”  Bless us O Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Prayer of hope

God who gives hope to those at the brink of destruction and desolation, we seek your counsel and advice in our life. May we always trust in you God and live by your plans for us. Whenever we face moments of despair may we be strengthened by the fact that you are always looking over us. Not a moment goes by without your presence in our lives and every step, every decision, every move, and every word is guided by you when we surrender willfully to your care. St. Paul lovingly tells us “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

This morning we pray that we may overflow with hope so much that it will positively affect those around us. Help us Lord to be a blessing to many just as you are a blessing which overflows in us. May our presence with your blessing bring a smile to others, assure others, give them confidence and through that make us Christ bearers. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Prayer for strong commitment

Help us God to say no when no is the right thing to say and even if there is no one along with us to say no. When evil is being committed in different corners of the world and in our own country and locality give us the strength to say no because that is what you would have done dear Lord Jesus. Give us the wisdom Jesus to say no along with you to the oppression of the poor, the hungry and the weak.

Help us God to say yes when that is the need of the hour and even when no one else will raise their hand. When the Lord asks "Who will go for me", show me the way Jesus to say "Here I am". Let me be the first one to say that I will preach the gospel of love to all people in my country. Come and dwell inside me Holy Spirit so that I may speak the language of love in the midst of persecution and suffering. Yes Lord Jesus. Show me the way of gladly suffering for the sake of those who have suffered so much. Amen.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Prayer of satisfaction

Thank you Lord Jesus for a day which has been fruitful through work, interactions, the patience to listen and the boldness to take decisions. As we rest, let it not be with negative feelings that we could not do much, but with positive thoughts that we can imagine and do our best. Dear God, teach us that life is not a competition or a bettering of a previous record, but is an opportunity to do what best we can with your guidance.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to stop fighting with ourselves and instead use the strength that you have gifted us in a meaningful way. As we sleep and rest let it be with a smile of accomplishment and not with a frown of unfulfilled goals and projects. We know loving God that tomorrow will be ours if we let it be. Help us do just that. In Jesus' most confident name we pray. Amen.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Prayer after Sunday worship

Thank you God for another Sunday where we worshipped you, and received energy and strength for our body and soul. We are grateful for having a father or a father figure in our life who helped in significant ways. Thank you for the opportunity to come to your presence every Sunday. We stray and we sin in various ways and yet you ungrudgingly take us back and give us gifts like the father gave the prodigal son who came back to him. God, you have been gracious to us and that itself is a chance for us to become better people. As we sleep for energy to start a week, you Father God have given us the memory to sleep assured that we will wake up to see your smiling face and your pleasant ways . Thank you Father, son and Holy Spirit, one God in love. Amen.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Preparatory prayer for a Sunday

Our God who is worthy of worship, we pray for good thoughts and preparation for a Sunday which will help us pray, sing, hear the gospel, listen to sermons and worship in spirit and truth. May we reconcile with one another before approaching the Holy altar to partake of the body and blood of Christ. May we have communion knowing that communion nudges us ever so lovingly to serve each other and forgive each other and seek forgiveness from one another.

Gracious God, each one of us is undergoing some pain. Someone hasn’t got married, someone doesn’t have a child, someone else is seeking admission to a course, another one is struggling to study well, many are looking for jobs, others are struggling to hold on to theirs, so many don’t have food, others don’t have shelter, so many homes don’t have peace and others don’t have resources, plenty are struggling for medicines and care, others are fighting death, people we know are struggling with loneliness and depression, children are finding it difficult to cope with the pressure to do well, parents are thinking about what next for their child, a community is thinking of building a church, other church members are trying their best to hold on to what they have.

There are so many needs and yet we know for sure that you are a God who can assure us that all our needs will be fulfilled. Help us to be powered and inspired by your presence in us Jesus, and to be workers and helpers in your kingdom so that no one may starve, no one may hurt, no one may feel lonely and no one may be killed. Fill us with deep, sincere and good thoughts this night and early morning. May tomorrow be ours in hope and prayer. In your worshipful name dear God we pray. Amen.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Prayer for family

Loving God, I thank you for the grace of a loving family. My family includes those who are related to me through blood and those who have become family through love. I am thankful for the gift of family that makes me strong, gives me a reason to work, and makes me persevere.

I pray this day that I may be available to my family, increase the radius of my family circle and be accepted into other families through my acts of Christian love and concern. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you have been concerned and caring enough to accept me into the circle and family of love that you are. Teach me to love, to be in and of family and to cure and be cured with the strength of family. Whenever cracks appear in my family, help me to soothe and heal those cracks by the strength that I have received from the family of the Holy Trinity. Amen.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Prayer for a good day

My God and my Lord, help me this morning to open my eyes and see the goodness of your creation. Help me God to open my ears and hear the intricate and yet beautiful creatures you have so wonderfully created. Gracious God, as I travel, may I smile at the person next to me, as I drive, may I give way instead of taking space and creating a jam, when I walk, may I relax and not take aggressive strides, when I shop, may I help an elderly person or a child, when I work, may I be a blessing to someone and when I pray may my prayer be in one accord with your wish and reason.

This day Lord,  may I be happy with all that is happening and not think about what all is going wrong. Help me Father to understand why and what my near and dear ones and people I see for the first time are doing. Jesus, initiate me into the joy of suffering for people I don't know and yet people I am supposed to love. Holy Spirit, fill me with the spirit of understanding and love. Guide me good God. In the name of Jesus I ask. Amen.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Prayer to forgive others

Help me forgive those who have hurt me God. Maybe they had a reason, or it amused them, maybe they wanted me to learn something or they wanted me to hurt and rot. Whatever the reason, help me to breathe in the Holy Spirit and say “I forgive you.” Help me Jesus to forget the hurt, and work towards my own health and soul. Inspire me to be positive and identify the numerous opportunities that present themselves before me. Holy Spirit, come and fill inside me with thoughts that ignore unpleasant and harsh people and their harsher comments and concentrate on those who appreciate my company and help. This evening may all bad thoughts and energy move away and may I and my family and friends be filled with the spirit of joy, happiness and warmth. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Prayer during tensed times

Merciful God, grant me the patience to handle the pressures and tensions in my life. Be with me I pray because your very presence will work wonders for my mind and soul. Help me to understand the needs of my family, organization and community. In every uphill task I see the possibility of success when you are with me God. Whenever I hit a road block your smile and reassurance can make any bad day into a great day. Be with me constantly I pray, because without you Lord, I am nothing. Teach me to love, care, be patient, understanding and positive. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Prayer for guidance

Thank you Father God for creating us in your image and likeness. We understand the responsibility of doing well and fulfilling your purpose of creating us. Help us to be what you wish us to be. Thank you Jesus for showing us by visiting and healing the sick, helping the poor and standing with the weak, what we should do and how we should do it. Help us to read the gospels and understand truly what work we must do to be workers in the kingdom of God. Thank you Holy Spirit for living inside us and making us take correct decisions. We pray that you help us do our best and that we will be able to help others from the blessings that overflow from our cup of life. Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Prayer for those buying land

God, you are the owner of all that we see. You have created us to be care takers of your creation. At this time we submit to you the land which we wish to buy. Show us if it is apt and good for us. Reveal to us how we should buy and when we should make use of it. Holy Spirit, go before us and bless the land, that when we take possession we will be faithful stewards of what you have graciously given us.

Educate us Jesus as to how we should make use of the land. Guide your light to the land and inform us what to do. Help us God to make a commitment of giving this land to you and for your purpose. May we get lots of happiness from this and may wonderful memories rise from this land. We pray that finances may fall in place, commitments are met and ownership is transferred quickly.

Dear Lord, give us clear thoughts and ideas so that this land becomes special for us and our family and friends. May it lead to you blessing us thirty, sixty and hundred fold. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A prayer for the vacation

Help us to rest and rejuvenate well dear Lord. You have created us just perfect and intended to use us for your plan and kingdom. May we and our children use this vacation to unwind, spend time together and re-energize our body and soul. We pray that you in your infinite wisdom, loving God, will help us take time off from office work, studies, tensions and deadlines, and will help us come closer to you, our family and friends.

May this rest lead to a better us and to qualitative improvement in our work and life. May this vacation be seen as an opportunity to reach out to everyone we have left out in our march to excellence. Nudge us to feel you God in togetherness and be assured of your ceaseless presence in our lives. In the name of the risen Christ we pray. Amen.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter blessings

We looked for him on the cross, we searched for him in the tomb, we talked about his goodness to others, we told ourselves he would be raised on the third day. We walked with a man and he appeared as if he didn't know anything that happened. We asked him to have food with us and he ended up serving food for us. Then we realised, he is here, right in our midst. Right here with us. Our hearts are burning with each and every word of his. Christ is risen. Jesus Christ is risen. He is the guest with us on our table today. Easter and Christ greetings to you and your family.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This lent assure others that their faith is great

Matthew 15:21-31
Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

If we are to put ourselves in the place of Jesus and his disciples, St. Matthew 15:21-31 places a woman from another community/caste/religion in front of us this lent. It is not a familiar and a comfortable scene and neither was it for Jesus’ disciples and even for him. The disciples are almost irritated with the presence of the Canaanite woman and that is why they ask Jesus to send her away. They are disturbed by her shouting. Jesus makes a matter of fact statement when he says that “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” But the woman comes closer and kneels and seeks help. Jesus explains the situation to her and says that he cannot help her because it will not be fair to take the food of the children and throw to the dogs. This is when there is an unexpected twist to the proceedings. The woman says that even the dogs eat the crumbs that have fallen from the table. Jesus stops what he is doing and says “Great is your faith. Let it be done to you as you wish.”
This encounter of Jesus and the Canaanite woman speaks volumes to us during lent. We must also appreciate the wisdom of the church leaders to place this reading in churches during lent. The woman’s daughter is tormented by a demon and that is why she has come to Jesus. The problem though here is that the Jews and the Canaanites do not have that good a relationship. One could definitely classify them as enemies with a history of enmity. This is why the disciples become uncomfortable. They want the woman to go away but they cannot beat her or push her away because they cannot behave like others. They are part of the Jesus movement. So they put the burden on to Jesus. Jesus takes it up.
One must realize that our surroundings always affect us to a certain extent. We speak based on our surroundings. Jesus therefore is quite cold when he mentions to the woman and anyone else who would have been there that he has come for certain people only. We should introspect during lent and realize that we too prefer to put our burdens on to Jesus and withdraw from any worthwhile thing that we are supposed to do during lent and even otherwise. In this sense we as the church sometimes withdraw from our responsibilities and leave Jesus to fend for himself forgetting that both the bride and the bride groom form the family/church. It is not that he can’t. But who and what are we then? Jesus though stays just there and has a dialogue with the woman. He says that it is not fair for him to look at the sufferings of others as then his own community would suffer. How could he do this? But this is when the woman shows a way forward. We do not come together as communities or do not help those outside our community because we reach a road block and feel we cannot help even though some part of us wants to! The Canaanite woman offers a solution. She does not want Jesus to stop helping his community but asks for the crumbs, the fringe and blessings on the side path which his community will anyway not use. The woman opens up a vista of ministry for Jesus where his ministry gets expanded to the least and the last of communities other than his.
We as the church should open our eyes to see the Canaanite woman in our midst so that our ministry will have a scope to widen inside and outside the walls of our church. During lent it will help to look around in our church and see who is standing next to us. Are we only seeing familiar and comfortable faces? Then we are reflecting the disciples. But can we see other faces in our midst? Then we will be able to reflect Jesus in our lives. All of us represent the church. We are the church. The keys to the doors of the church are with us. During lent, can we open the doors so that others can also come in. If Jesus told the woman that her faith was great, he is also telling the same thing today. Who are we to keep others away from the grace and mercy of God? Lent should be a time when we stop saying “Sending her away” like the disciples. Instead we must be able to look at others and say “Great is your faith. Let it be done to you as you wish.” Amen.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Preparing for healthy relationships during lent

Being in relationship is an essential non-negotiable aspect of human kind and yet it is something lost on our generation. It is not that people don’t want to be in relationship but many a time they are not prepared for it and don’t know how to go about it. Schools and colleges don’t want to risk a problem and will maintain status quo of having boys and girls separated. Churches are not far behind and more or less fulfill the role of being guardians of morality. Isn’t lent a perfect time to stop thinking of morality and start thinking of good relationships with one another? Hasn’t a skewed understanding of relationships lead to enough damage in society?

Lent should not be seen as status quo or toeing the usual line but as moving away from the usual. Most of the problems we face in society are relationship problems and one among them is the relationship between boys and girls and men and women. We do not allow normal and healthy interaction between boys and girls so that they know how to relate to one another when they sit next to each other in a bus, train, flight, class room or public space. All thoughts of what to say and do are many a time influenced by movies, serials and peer group talks on the other gender. The lent season should be able to give us an opportunity to learn how to relate and behave with people belonging to the other gender.

We have behavioural problems because right from childhood various institutions have prevented us from being normal people. To be normal means to be in relationship with one another. We are brought up based on relationships of power. We are wrongly told that girls should be subservient and boys should express their masculinity by lording over the girls and expressing their power.

St. Matthew 20:17-28 has Jesus talking about his impending suffering. The mother of the sons of Zebedee request Jesus to allow her sons to sit at his right and left. Jesus says that it is not in his hands. The other disciples get angry. This despite their being and travelling with Jesus and listening to his teaching and seeing him live. Their relationship with one another is so fragile that they get into a fight. This is when Jesus explains the basis of relationships. “Those who want to be master must be servant.” For the son of man has come to serve and not to be served.

We have become a society that wants to fix something after it has happened different from the way we want it. We thrive on a media created suspense which fizzles out as soon as the story loses its significance. Because of this we have hash tags and events but do not work on fundamental aspects of life.

Our society is fractured because of socio economic disparity, class and caste divide and religious problems between communities. The lent season is an opportunity to think, understand and come together. Let us use this Lenten season to develop healthy relationships with whoever we come across. Let us do away with the awkwardness of the other and stop sitting only near people we are comfortable with or from whom we benefit. Instead let this season of lent bring about understanding and not demonizing of the other. God has created men and women in God’s image and God saw it as good. Mutual co-existence should be the motto of lent rather than making it an exclusive, individualistic exercise of self-aggrandizement and self development. After all, we are here to serve and not to be served. Amen.