Jesus said … “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.”

Mark 6:31 TPT

Loving God, we come to a quiet place to sit with You. As we rest with You and reflect on Psalm 23, may you guide our own thoughts and prayers….

The Lord is my shepherd…
Lord, you are our protector, watching over us and caring for us. You know our needs before we even ask ……

He leads me to quiet, restful places …. He restores….
Loving God, you know our need for rest and for quiet time with You.  Your presence equips us for life’s journey and brings, replenishment, peace and healing to our souls.

He guides me along the right paths ….
Gracious God, you lead us in ways that are right. We keep our gaze fixed on You.

He walks alongside me….
Lord, You are an ever present help in every situation. Keep us close to You. We need not fear for You are always with us.

His rod and staff comfort me…
Mighty God, your strength and compassion direct, comfort and sustain us.

You have prepared a banquet for me….
Loving God, You rejoice in us.  You are a God of provision, we praise You and rejoice in You.

You anoint me, my cup overflows….
We are precious to you. Thank you for all your heavenly blessings on us through Jesus.

Your goodness and mercy will follow me….
Lord, your goodness, kindness, love and mercy pursues us all of our days.  You never turn your back on us.

I will dwell with You now and forever….
Gracious God, we are welcomed into your family through Jesus. You love and accept us just as we are.  You are with us, your house is our home, now and forever. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

Previous Reflections

… God said ” I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people.”

2 Cor 6:16 NIV UK

Wrapped in your arms
Encircled with grace
A present of love
A gift of peace

A lifetime of blessing
Our hearts restored
In Jesus our Saviour
Our glorious Lord

Loving God, in the peace and stillness of the night, or in the bustle and activity of the day, we come.  We come with praise and thankfulness for Jesus.

As we come to worship, we come to gaze on and unwrap the precious gift of Jesus to all the world.  We thank You that You love to bless us and long to draw us closer to your heart by your Holy Spirit.

As we come, we come to reflect.  We gather in our hearts and bring before You, our families and friends and the people, places and situations we pray for.  We ask You, gracious God, to bless them out of the abundance of your love.

As we come to receive, we come just as we are.  We thank You for your love and ask for your blessing.  We pray for ourselves and for all; for the assurance and fullness of your love, and your peace and joy in Christ Jesus this Christmas time.  Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

The angel said to them. “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people.” Today your Saviour was born in the town of David. He is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11 NCV

Born in a stable,
In the darkness of night,
The earth was illumined,
With heavenly light.

Jesus came,
There is no doubt,
Shepherds worshipped,
Kings sought him out.

The Saviour of the world!
The Prince of Peace!
Wonderful Counsellor!
Eternal, saving grace.

He gave his life,
A gift for all,
To come, to see,
To respond to his call.

The tomb was empty,
The cross was bare,
The light of the world
Has no place there.

Light of the World,
King of Kings,
Light and love,
To all he brings.

Jesus one day
Will come again,
The Light of the World,
Jesus, Saviour, is his name.

Almighty God, as we prepare to come and see, we reflect and wonder at the mystery and miracle of Jesus, who was both fully God and fully man, coming to save the world he created……

Gracious God, we thank you that Jesus offers forgiveness, hope, true joy, everlasting life and peace of heart to all who accept him. May the message of the angel be heard throughout the world.  May we come to  worship, praise and embrace Jesus with thankfulness and invite him afresh into our hearts and lives this Christmas. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

(The angel of the Lord said to Joseph)  “.. the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
Matt 1:23 NRSV

Gracious God with us,
guide us through this day.
Grant us wisdom in our decisions,
Truth in our words,
Love in our actions,
Strength in our minds,
And peace in our hearts.

Gracious God we thank you that Jesus is always with us by your Spirit.  At this busy time of year, you know and understand all our situations and the pressures we face.  And so, we take a moment to turn to you, to quieten our minds and reflect on your love and presence in our hearts ….

Gracious God, in these difficult times, it can be hard to see peace and joy in our world.  We come to you with open hearts and hands to draw on your love, your joy, your hope and your peace in Jesus, our strength and salvation.  Thank you for your promise that you will give rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.* Help us to share your grace with each other, that all may know the loving-kindness of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

* Jer 31:25 NLT

….the mind of the Spirit is life and peace

Romans 8:6 ESV

Gracious God, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your son Jesus, we thank you that He came to live among us, to bring your love to earth and to restore our relationship with You.

Loving God, as we set our mind on You, may your Holy Spirit inspire us with hope and purpose; may we find rest and peace as we wait and prepare to celebrate the birth of a baby, the Christ child, whose life, death and resurrection gifted us eternal life and true and lasting peace.

Merciful God, we pray in the midst of divisions, difficulties and sadness in this world, that Jesus would gather us to his heart and lead us in ways of truth, kindness and compassion.  May your Spirit of restoration, unity and peace descend on our world this Christmas, for Jesus sake.  Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in You. My prayers go up to You; show me the way I should go.

Ps 143:8 GNT

In the sparkle and the glitter
In the tinsel and the clutter
Jesus is here

In the calm in the panic
In the busy and the quiet
Jesus is here

In the streets and the shops
In the valleys and mountain tops
Jesus is here

In the workplace and in homes
In hospitals and schools
Jesus is here

In the darkness of the night
And in the brightness of the day
Jesus is here

In my heart and in my mind
In my life and at my side
Jesus is here

Jesus, You are always with us, your love is all around us.  At this time of year when stress may build up and life can be challenging in so many different ways, we take a step back, to collect our thoughts and to  ground ourselves in your unfailing love…..

Gracious God, we thank You for your grace in Jesus and the leading of your Holy Spirit.
We come to you with open hearts and hands to receive your wonderful and timeless gifts of love and grace. Open our eyes to the needs of those around us and lead us in ways of love, kindness and compassion that all may know “Jesus is here.” Amen

Ruth Rushworth

Jesus said “I have come into the world as a light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness.”

John 12:46 GNT

Held on our hearts
Hidden away
Thoughts or fears
that hold us back
Or lead us away

Light of the world
Shine in our hearts
Lighten our lives
With the truth of your word

Jesus our Saviour
Our sure and true friend
Sweeten our thoughts
With your love without end

Loving, gracious God, Your light breaks through the darkness in our world and shines on all people and in all places.  We thank you for your transforming and faithful light and love in Jesus, who calls us his friends. *

As we step out today, we remember your words “ do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you..” *   Loving God, may we know the assurance of your presence with us and may we walk in the light of your guiding hand.

Ruth Rushworth

* John 15:15
* Isaiah 42:10 NIV

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You.

Ps 86:5 NIV

Autumn leaves fall,
They tumble to the ground,
Laying a rich carpet,
Of red, gold and brown.

Paths need clearing,
Its slippy underfoot,
The pavement can be treacherous,
Disguising potholes and roots.

It’s an ongoing task,
To keep the walkway clear,
To enable a safe, sure passage,
That all may proceed with good cheer.

Gracious God, in the season of Autumn, it seems that no sooner have we cleared pathways and drives of leaves, than the wind gusts and we have to start afresh and sweep up all over again.

Loving God, in a similar way, our lives can become cluttered and littered with things we have done or said that we know are wrong or we regret; they play on our mind and sit uncomfortably on our heart and steal our peace and joy.

We thank You dear Lord, that we can turn to You every day and tell you about anything we are sorry for, knowing in advance, that in Jesus, we have the promise and assurance of complete and total forgiveness.

Gracious God, we thank You for the wonderful gift of forgiveness.  Help us to be quick to forgive others and ourselves as You forgive us in Jesus.  As we seek and receive forgiveness, may we be filled with the refreshment and peace of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

For God loved the world so much that He gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not die but have eternal life.
John 3:16 GNT
Jesus our King,
Now enthroned on High,
Yet He came down to earth,
He gave his life without a cry,
Not a word of protest left his lips,
Just a plea to his father,
Does it have to be like this? 
Yet his love for the world
Is sure and strong,
He gave his life,
for all that is wrong,
That everyone may be forgiven,
That everyone may belong,
To the kingdom of God,
And Heaven’s joyful throng.
Jesus, our King,
We praise your name,
Transformed by your love,
We are no longer the same,
Renewed, enriched,
forgiven, restored,
Jesus! our Saviour!
our King! and our Lord!
Almighty, gracious God, we reflect on your saving love in this week before Advent, when we will start to prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus, born in a stable in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.

We  thank you that Jesus left the beauty and perfection of heaven and your presence, to come to this earth, to live among us, to bring his saving, healing power, his peace and the kingdom of God to our world. 
We thank you for his wonderful sacrificial act of love. We thank you that one day, Jesus will come again and establish His reign of love, justice and peace.
Gracious God, may the light of your love shine in our lives; may we see fresh ways of sharing your love and our faith in You in this world.  We ask this in the name of Jesus.  Amen
Ruth Rushworth

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’

Ps 91: 1-2 NIV

We rest in your shelter,
We sit at your feet,
Protected by your shadow,
Made complete.

Secure in the presence,
Of your faithful love,
Bound by your peace,
By your sweet grace above.

Our refuge and fortress,
Our shield and strength,
An ever present help,
Our daily defence

In every battle we fight,
in every challenge we face,
you are there alongside us,
God of mercy and grace.

Gracious God, We take time to relax our bodies, quieten our minds and to sit with you, in the shelter of your presence.  We reflect on your words of assurance, protection and love in this psalm….

God of mercy and grace, you meet us in our need in the saving love of Jesus.  Help us to place our trust in You.  We pray for anyone facing difficulties of any kind, that your love would cast out fear. We pray for the assurance and shelter of your presence, the guiding hand and strength of your Spirit and the peace of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen

Based on thoughts around Psalm 91

Ruth Rushworth

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You…. May your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Ps 143: 8 & 11 NIV

Moments of quiet,
Moments of still,
Time to praise God,
To seek his will.

I come to him,
As the day begins,
To seek his help,
In all that it brings.

To receive his energy,
His enabling grace,
To love and to serve him,
Wherever I am placed.

Gracious God, we praise You for this new day, whatever it may hold. Thank You that we can walk through this day with Jesus, guided by your Holy Spirit. We take a moment to lay out day before You and ask You to speak into our hearts…

Thank You that you can work through us in the small and seemingly unimportant details in our day; may we be kind and encouraging to others and sensitive to the leading of your Spirit. We pray for others and ourselves; for your inspiration in any opportunities, your strength through any difficulties, your comfort in any sadness and your peace in any anxieties.

Thank you that however our day progresses, your love for us is steadfast, sure and unchanging. Gracious God, we praise You, in Jesus’ name.

Ruth Rushworth

Jesus said, “come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

Matt 11:28 NLT

“Lord, make me a channel of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving, that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying, that we are born to eternal life.”

Peace Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Gracious God, You have placed us in this world, in this time and place.  May we see and understand the needs of those around us and respond with love and care.  May no-one be afraid or reluctant to ask for help.  We pray for all who are troubled in any way, that they may know your comfort and the blessing of your peace. We bring the prayers of our heart to You, loving God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

(Jesus said) ” I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.”

John 8:12 NIV

A beacon of light shines through the night,
Casts out fear, worry and doubt.

A beacon of light shows the way,
Marks the path, to keep danger at bay.

A beacon of light, a tower of strength,
Supports and sustains from this day hence.

A beacon of light highlights truth,
All that is good, right and beyond reproof.

A beacon of light fanned by the breeze,
Spreads love, forgiveness, joy and peace.

A beacon of light, an eternal flame,
Points to the Saviour of the world,
Jesus, is his name.

Loving God, we praise you for Jesus, the light of your love in our world. Thank you that his light gives wisdom and understanding, strength and peace, love and forgiveness. In the quietness of this moment, we reflect on and thank you for the many blessings of your love……

Loving God, may we keep our sights focused on Jesus.  May your Holy Spirit fan the flame of eternal love in our hearts and draw us close to You.  And may the light of Jesus shine brightly in our lives, that others may be attracted to your saving love and grace. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth