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Celtic prayers & reflections – Jenny Child

10 June, 2012

In this book, Jenny Child offers an insightful collection of prayers, inspired by her visits to the holy isle of Lindisfarne. The miscellany provides prayers and thoughts for various times of the day, as well as reflections for important times of the year.

David Adam
Here are prayers from the heart and the hearth. In the great tradition of Celtic prayers these are very much prayers and reflections from the ordinary daily round and from the home. There are uplifting moments and anxious moments, there are inspirational times and times of sorrow and repentance. Some prayers read like hymns, and could easily be sung, others search the heights and depths of our faith. In all we are allowed to share in the daily experiences that lead Jenny to be aware of her God.

Though I could and would be happy to use many of these prayers within a service, they are essentially prayers to be used in our own personal devotions. They are prayers to inspire us to use our own words and to bring our hopes and our fears openly before our God. Jenny’s prayers are to encourage us to be at home with God and to rejoice that God is at home with us.

I commend these prayers to you as a sincere attempt to express that God is with us and in him we live and move and have our being.

How often in our busy 21st century lifestyle do we feel we want to be somewhere ‘far from the madding crowd’? Each one of us needs a place to which we can retreat to recharge our spiritual batteries, where we can stop and listen and spend time with the One who knows us best – God our Creator.

We may have a quiet refuge in our minds or somewhere real which we can visit. My special place is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne – a tidal island in Northumbria in north-east England.

It is here that both Aidan and Cuthbert, two of the early Celtic saints, lived their lives in service to God and their fellow beings. Here the seals still sing near St Cuthbert’s Island and many species of birds find a safe haven.
It is my hope that you too will find your special place where you can be alone with God and experience the beauty of his Creation.

Jenny Child


Foreword by David Adam

Part One: Our daily pilgrimage
Morning prayers
Prayers during the day
Night prayers
Occasional prayers
Special Intentions:
For patience
For God’s assurance
For protection
When depressed
For inner peace
For forgiveness
For creativity/ openness to God
In sorrow
For perseverance
In praise
In thanksgiving
For God’s guidance
Caring for others
For the Church
For world peace

Part Two

Part Three
Inspired by Lindisfarne

Part Four: Prayers throughout the year
New Year
Lent Easter
All Saints

112 pp. To buy this book online go to www.columba.ie


Morning prayers

A New day
As I wake from sleep, rouse me,
As I wash, cleanse me,
As I dress, gird me with your power,
As I eat, energise me,
As I journey, protect me,
As I relax, calm me,
As I sleep, surround me.

Morning mist
As the morning mist shrouds the river
and is then lifted by the gentle rays of the rising sun,
so may our clouded spirits be raised
by the warmth of your love.

This day and every Day
I arise today
in your strength to uplift me,
in your power to direct me,
in your love to enfold me,
in your wisdom to guide me,
in your way to lead me
this day and every day.

A new day
King of brightness,
you turn darkness into light
and open the shutters on a new day.
You refresh our bodies with sleep
and waken us to face
the challenges of a new dawn.
Help us to live this day to your glory.

Prayers during the day

A retreat
Lord, I want to be an island
cut off by the tide,
or a castle with a moat
and drawbridge lifted high.

Lord, I want to shut myself away
from the stress of daily life,
and spend some time in pastures green,
far from the toil and strife.

But, you call me to be open
to all this day’s demands
and leave whate’er the future holds
entirely in your hands.

Enfolding love
God the Father,
enfold us with your love;
God the Son,
surround us with your presence;
God the Spirit,
revitalise us with your power.
Surround, enfold, revitalise us
each day, each night.

Through the day
As the sun scatters the mist
at the dawning of a new day,
So you calm our fears and anxieties
if we trust you.
You give us strength and courage
to live our daily lives
knowing you are with us
and we do not walk alone.
As the midday sun warms us,
we feel your protecting arms around us
and sense your loving presence.
As the sun sinks in a kaleidoscope of colour
you give us hope and renewal.

From day to day
From the dawning of the day through the morning,
guide us,
from the noontide to the setting of the sun,
lead us,
from the evening till we sleep,
keep us,
through the night till daybreak,
protect us,
and all for your love’s sake.

Lord of the day
Lord of the sunrise,
we give thanks for the birth of each child,
for the freshly opening rose,
for all newborn animals.

Lord of the morning,
we give thanks for energy and enthusiasm,
for the challenges of a new day,
for your Resurrection power.

Lord of the noonday,
we give thanks for the ability to work,
for all we can achieve,
for unrealised potential.

Lord of the sunset,
we give thanks for those who have died
in the faith of Christ,
for all who have inspired us, for our loved ones.

Lord of the night,
we give thanks for rest and refreshment,
for all your love and care,
for the promise of a new day.

Comings and goings
In our coming and going,
guide us,
in our living and our being,
protect us,
in our seeing and our hearing,
enrich us,
in our thinking and our speaking,
inspire us,
in our arriving and our departing,
preserve us.

Be with us
Be with us, Lord,
in our working and our resting,
in our laughing and our crying,
in our eating and our fasting,
in our travelling and our staying.
Abide with us, each day, each night.

Christ above me
Christ above me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ around me,
this day, this night,
each day, each night.

Night prayers

From darkness to light
From the darkness of night,
you wake us,
from the mire of sin,
you save us,
into your image,
you make us.

Night prayer
I will lay down and rest
in your safety,
your angels surrounding me,
your love enfolding me,
your Spirit guarding me,
this night and every night.

Guard and protect us
Lighten our darkness this night, O God
and protect us with your presence;
guard us with your holy angels
and keep us from all that is evil.

God of light
God of light,
you illuminate the night
with the radiance
of your presence.
Be with those who suffer pain
in the silent hours of darkness.
Comfort the dying and those
who watch with them.
Stay the hands of those
who are bent on evil deeds.
Give refreshing rest to those
who toss and turn in sleeplessness,
and give peace to your world.

Stay with us
Stay with us, Lord, for the night falls
and we need your presence to gladden our hearts.
May we know you in your word
and in the breaking of bread and
the sharing of wine,
as did your Emmaus-bound disciples.
Help us to lie down in peace and sleep,
secure in your care.

Circle me
Circle me this night
with your protection, O God.
May Christ the Saviour
surround me with his presence.
May the Holy Spirit
guard me while I sleep.
And may your holy angels
keep watch over me.

Into your hands
Into your hands, I commit myself this night.
May the hours of darkness hold no harm for me.
Keep me as the apple of your eye
and cover me with your protecting wings.

For slumber
you bring down the curtain of night on a weary world.
Help us to commit our unfinished tasks into your hands
and lay our burdens at your feet.
Grant us refreshing sleep
that we may rise in the power of Christ,
to greet another day.

The chalice of grief
Draw near to those, O Man of Sorrows,
who drink from the chalice of grief this night.
You who knelt in agonised prayer
in the garden of Gethsemane,
know the pain of human loss
and the anguish of sorrow.

Occasional prayers

From beginning to end
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
you guide us,
from our birth to our death,
you lead us,
in our grief and in our sorrow,
you comfort us,
in our joy and celebration,
you uplift us,
from the beginning of our lives to their ending,
you encompass us with love.

A touch of glory
Lord, touch our lives with your glory
that we may reach out to others.
Fill our hearts with your love
that all may see the love of Christ.
Inspire us to dare new things for you
that we may encourage those without hope,
Open our lives to your Spirit
that we may reflect your praise.

The seasons of our lives
Creator God, in the springtime of our lives,
you give us the enthusiasm and daring of youth.
In the summer of our lives,
you encourage us to reach our full potential.
In the autumn of our lives,
you walk beside us as we reflect on years gone by
In the winter of our lives,
you enfold us in your love which will never let us go.
When the seasons of our lives are past,
you clothe us with resurrection bodies
which will live forever.

To show people Jesus
By my words may I show people Jesus,
by my thoughts may I show people Jesus,
by my actions may I show people Jesus,
by my life may I show people Jesus.

Reflected glory
Lord, as the sunrise colours the sky,
from palest hue to dazzling gold,
help us to reflect your glory in our lives
that others may be drawn to the light of Christ.

A shepherd’s care
Loving Shepherd, you lead us
and go before us, guiding us.
You carry us on your shoulders
through the rough places of life.
You refresh us and let us rest
in lush green pastures.
You surround us with
the shepherd’s tender care.
You comfort us when
we are hurting.
You hold us and love us,
because you are the Good Shepherd.

Life’s tapestry
From the tangle of our lives,
you can weave the perfect tapestry
of our joys and sorrows,
our successes and failures,
our achievements and unfulfilled dreams.

Lifelong praise
In the rising and the setting of the sun,
may we praise you.
In the waxing and the waning of the moon,
may we praise you.
In the ebbing and the flowing of the tide,
may we praise you,
In the beginning and the ending of our lives,
may we praise you.

As I travel the road of life,
Shepherd-King walk beside me.
As I fall into pot-holes,
Shepherd-King raise me.
As I baulk at the rough places,
Shepherd-King encourage me.
As I wander away from you,
Shepherd-King lead me.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Shepherd-King surround me.

Christ in everything
Christ in my being,
Christ in my sleeping,
Christ in my rising,
Christ in my travelling,
Christ in my living,
Christ in my dying.

God in all
God in my waking,
God in my sleeping,
God in my rising,
God in my resting,
God in my walking,
God in my sitting,
God in my living,
God in my dying.

As I journey
Bless me as I journey on,
Fill my heart, 0 Lord, with song
As I walk the way along,
Save my soul from sin and wrong.

All our life
In our waking, be blessing us,
in our journeying, be keeping us,
in our working, be helping us,
in our sleeping, be watching us,
in our living, be guiding us,
in our dying, be receiving us.

The fragility of life
How fragile life is –
easily snuffed out
like a candle in the wind –
fleeting, its end unknowable.
Help us to value our lives
and use our time wisely –
and to your glory.

Death comes
Death comes silently –
slowly for some
with sudden swiftness for others,
yet unavoidable – certain.
However long or short
our span of life,
the last great enemy,
yet conquered by your Resurrection.
Lord, teach us to number our days
and so apply our hearts to wisdom.

For patience

Give me patience
Give me patience, Lord,
to listen to your voice,
to wait for you to act.
Save me from impatience
and from wanting to run ahead
of your timing for me.

More like Jesus
Lord, help me to have more patience,
less prone to get hurt and vexed,
more willing to be kind and thoughtful,
less ready to be so perplexed.

Less harsh in my judgement of others
to see them as children of God,
less ready to seek to be noticed,
more humble like Jesus, my Lord.


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