Prayer for young people

Dear God, guide and protect us from
the anxieties and distractions
that are ever present in the world today.
Be with us as we experience life’s challenges.
Show us Your Presence when
we encounter both sickness and healing,
loneliness and friendship,
failure and success,
sorrow and joy.

Gracious God, give us the courage and strength
to make decisions guided by Your Light
as we journey through life.

Through the power of the life-giving Spirit
may we come to know your love.


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Prayer for those who are homeless

Oh God of mercy and compassion,
give us grace to live life with an open heart;
to notice people as we walk around town.
Awake us to the wonder of life
hidden in those without home
who live on the streets
and often feel so alone.

Help us Jesus to be more like You,
who spoke with those in need
and asked them “what can I do for you?”
Give us the eyes to see
that in the poor You hide
“What you do to the least of these
you do it to Me”, You said.

When we see people seeking
a coin of love, a coin in which their
humanity is affirmed
may we not withhold small coins
of encounter that will plant hope,
give food for a hungry heart.

May the power of Your love
heal our society so that everyone can
live with dignity, not deprived of essentials for life.
Yet in the hour that for those living on the street
is particularly dark, we pray for Your guidance and light.

© Iva Beranek

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A Healing Tree

St. James’s Church, Castledermot, is situated on the site of monastery founded around the year 800 by the father of St. Diarmuid and is an active church in West Glendalough Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, Church of Ireland.

Dean Philip Knowles, Priest in Charge encouraged the parishioners of the group of parishes of Narraghmore, Timolin, Castledermot and Kinneagh to hold a Christmas Tree Festival in St. James’s Church. Parishioners were encouraged to seek support from local organisations to erect and decorate Christmas Trees for the festival. The festival was officially opened by Martin Heydon TD. The church was transformed into an oasis of relaxed calm and colour and thirty trees were placed in windows, pews, corners and the sanctuary. 

As part of the commitment of the parish to the Church’s Ministry of Healing, the Healer Prayer Group of the parish agreed to participate in the festival by erecting a “Tree for Healing”. A simple four foot high fresh Christmas tree was provided and situated in front of the church altar which housed the most beautiful Christmas Crib. The figures of the crib were colourful pottery and made by a parishioner who attends a class which added to the whole scene of peace and expectation. Everyone who attended the festival was invited to write their prayer request for healing on a colourful slip of paper, which was pegged to the tree. This space was peaceful, prayerful and most colourful and was especially pleasing to the children. Parents encouraged their children to write a prayer to God for a family member who was ill—children responded very positively, in fact most people participated and helped to decorate the tree with their prayer request.

Whereas the main objective of the event was to provide funds for the rebuilding of the wall around the church, it must be acknowledged that the Healing Tree provided an opportunity for prayer and spiritual reflection, for a deepening relationship with God, forgiveness and grace and thanks for healing. Two thirds of the prayer requests were for healing. Other requests were for the homeless, for God’s creation, world peace, mental health difficulties, those suffering from dementia, those providing suicide initiatives.

On Sunday 28th January all the requests for prayer were placed on the altar for the service of Holy Communion and the prayers were prayed together. The experience excelled all expectations for me both spiritually and prayerfully and for all who participated and attended the event. Parishioners provided refreshments in the parish hall and Christmas handcrafts were for sale. The organisers were greatly appreciative of the peoples’ generosity.

Avril Gillat.
Avril Gillat is CMH:I Board member