An Intercessory Prayer for Passion Week

The picture above is the St. John’s Cross in front of Iona Abbey (Isle of Iona, Scotland)

The prayer is taken from Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadershipwhich she adapted from the Iona Abbey Worship Book.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those who suffer pain and ill health… (silence to allow the names and faces of those you know to come to mind, and then pray)
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those who suffer in mind and spirit…
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence the suffering people of our world, and the places where people are experiencing hurt and division—including places of heart
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those experiencing grief and loss…
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those who need wisdom for their next steps…
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those people and situations that seem broken beyond repair…
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Loving God, I hold in your healing presence those whose needs are not known to me but who are known by you, and those for whom I have been asked to pray…
And I name in my heart all those who are close to me…
…may they know the deep peace of Christ.

Glory to God, from whom all love flows,
Glory to Jesus, who showed his love through suffering,
And glory to the Holy Spirit,
Who brings light to the darkest places. Amen.

The Voice of Jesus

Gordon Smith’s The Voice of Jesus has been an influential book in my spiritual formation. I am taking two small groups through a leadership development journey, and the first theme is “Personal Spiritual Formation.” Spiritual leadership first begins with learning to hear the voice of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. There were a couple of quotes from Smith’s book that resonated deeply with us:

“The genius of the Christian life is the resolve, willingness and capacity to respond personally and intentionally to the prompting of the Spirit” (p. 16)

“For us as individuals, the danger is that we might never develop an inner life. It is easy to live by duty, the expectations of others, the routines of our work and the inertia of culture and religious tradition. Surely what we long for, though, is an authentic interior life in which we know to the core of our beings that the Spirit of God is present to us and speaking life to us – a life that is personally and dynamically our own. With a well-developed interior life, we live our lives in response to the Spirit. We chose to live that which we are called to live – our life, not someone else’s life” (p. 17).

“Nothing is so foundational to the Christian life as the affective awareness of our spiritual adoption and the inner confidence that we are loved by God” (p. 44).

“Joy is authentic only if it leads to integrity of life and character; otherwise it is false and vacuous. Meanwhile, moral reform without joy is legalism or moralism, not the authentic transformation of character that arises from an encounter with the gospel” (p. 45)

“Christian discernment is the spiritual discipline by which we listen to God by attending with heart and mind to the presence of the Spirit in our lives” (p. 55).

You can download The Voice of Jesus study guide here:

The Voice of Jesus Study Guide (Full Version)

The Voice of Jesus Study Guide (Shorter version)