New Book  now Available

        Here is an anthology of over 1100 brief prayers and thought-starters, for each day of the year, with almost 400 original prayers by Bruce Prewer.
        Included is both a subject index and an index of authors-- an ecumenical collection of about 300 different sources.
Prayers for Busy People
        Title:  Brief Prayers for Busy People.
          Author: Bruce D Prewer
        ISBN 978-1-62880-090-6
        Available from Australian Church Resources,
web site
        or by order from your local book shop
        or online on amazon.



John 15:1-8...               (SERMON 1: “ABOUT VINES: A NEW PARABLE”)


1 John 4: 7-21...           (SERMON 2:  “STANDING WHERE JESUS STOOD”)


Acts 8:26-40...


Psalm 22:25-31




The joy of the risen Christ be with you all.

And also with you.


Life is forever open-ended.

No vine or tree is meant to be forever fruitless.

Loss is only for a little while and joy comes in the morning.

Despondency and despair have no permanent ground in this universe.

Faith, hope and love are gifts that last forever.

But the greatest of these gifts is love.


            The love of the Lord Jesus be with you all.

            And also with you.





Christ our Host is present with us.

We are convened by his own Spirit.


Drink gladly from this True Vine,

for you will never drink in vain.

Here the poorest can eat and be satisfied,

and all seekers shall praise the Lord

with joy in our hearts forever!


The good news shall be passed on to each generation,

people as yet unborn will proclaim his salvation.

For the final word belongs with our Lord

the people of all nations shall come under his rule.




Holy are you, God of the risen Christ.

Wonderful are you, God of grace and beauty!

Glorious are you, God of eternal life!


We bring before you, most loving God, that mixture of eagerness and reticence,

truth and distortion, love and indifference, which constitute our human nature.

We bring the totality of our true selves to you, holding nothing back.

We know that you do not despise even the least or worst of earth’s children.


Please bless us according to our individual needs, and lift us up from all distraction into the unbridled pleasure of thanksgiving, love and worship.


Through Christ Jesus our brother, your true Son.





Jesus said:        “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Let us pray.


We thank you, gracious God, for Jesus Christ the true vine, with his roots eternally grounded in you. We rejoice that by grace we have been grafted into him, to be branches on a vine which bears the loveliest of all the fruits of earth. Yet we confess that all is not well with the way we live.


Please forgive us for the occasions when

            we have been the ones to introduce disease into the vine,

            preferring its contamination to the vigour of health.

Forgive us for neglecting to draw deeply on the sap of Life,

            for our tendency to wander instead of growing on the framework your provide,

            for being content, and sometimes even proud of, a few sparse or undersized fruits,

            for the apathy which lets us to go through some seasons without bearing any fruit.


Have mercy on us. Please do not lose patience or sever us completely from the true vine. Rather heal our diseases, discipline and train our wandering tendrils, prune our unfruitful branches and cut away our diseased ones. May we remain in Christ and he in us, through all the changing seasons of life. Let us delight in bearing the fruits of love which are our true purpose and joy. For your Name’s sake.





Jesus said: “If you reside in me, and my words reside in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.”  Friends, we have asked for forgiveness and correction. It has been truly done for us. It is being done for us. And it will be done for us.


Thanks be to God!




It isn’t enough God.

It isn’t enough that we learn of you

and about your dear Son, Jesus.


We need much more.

We want the true vine of Jesus

to live and grow within us,

and to bear good fruit;

that fruit which can be shared

with others.


It isn’t enough, God,

to say these prayers.

Please help us to become

living prayers.


In the name of Jesus.



PSALM 22:25-31


In the presence of your gathered people,

I make my vows to you, holy God.

Here ‘nobodies’ shall eat the bread of life

and they shall be fully satisfied.


Those who seek you shall find praise

which will live in their hearts forever.

Every corner of the world shall remember

and turn to you, most loving God.


Every family from every country

shall come and worship you.

For authority belongs to you alone,

your love will rule all nations.


To you even the most arrogant men

must finally bow down and worship.

All are made of dust and must admit it;

not one of us can keep ourselves alive.


Our far off descendants shall serve you,

they shall speak of you in ages to come,

A people yet unborn shall name you Saviour,

because you have made it so to happen.

                                                                                                            Ó B D Prewer 2002




Grape growing is not for wimps,

it requires tough pruning decisions;

a costly willingness to wound

and amputate limbs of the vine;

in order to stimulate and shape it

towards the better fruit and wine.


God reads a season’s potential,

fights pests, weeds, mildew,

supports productive branches

and severs fruitless fears;

Grace is as free as sun and rain

and as hard and sharp as shears.

                                                                           Ó B D Prewer 2000




Loving Lord, apart from you we can do nothing. With you all things are possible. Graft us into your true vine, inflow us with your resurrection sap until we become aligned with your direction and destiny.


When the fruits have been picked, our leaves fall, and autumn comes with a chill wind, help us to accept whatever pruning back is needful for your glory.

In the name of Christ through whom all things are possible.





John 15 1-6


            Jesus said: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.”


Today is not a sermon but a parable, a story. You will have to take careful notice, and look deeper, as I speak about vines. You need to conduct your personal harvest. There will be no pre-packaged answers or explanations.


So, are you ready to bend your mind and soul to the task of picking your own grapes, and maybe discovering some new wine in your cup?




My parable concerns vines in my garden at home, but it is really about Christ and God.


We, my wife Marie and I, have two grapevines. After some years in our garden they have not earned their keep. Only a few tiny grapes have been produced.  They are not fulfilling their prime purpose. Some would label them a waste of space. Why do we tolerate their existence?


1  Because we chose them, gratefully observed a good friend help plant them (I was incapacitated at that time) and we watch over them and love them. They are our vines.


2  Because they spread their limbs over a small pergola and provide welcome shade on a hot, summer day. So they are not completely useless.




Why don’t they produce good fruit?  There are a few reasons that come to mind.


1. We did not choose the best soil. After our house extensions were completed with the builder’s rubble everywhere, and bricklayer’s sand and lime scattered around, a “bobcat” was used to smooth over the site, pushing the detritus underground and out of sight. Not being physically well that year, I left it like that and allowed the vines to be planted in it. I don’t think our vines like the ground in which they were so injudiciously planted. We have fertilised them, and trained them, pruned them and fussed over them. But nothing can make up for the fact they are in poor ground. It’s hard to bear fruit if your ground is inferior.


2. They do not get enough sunlight. Adjacent to our garden is a municipal reserve. Along our fence are growing eucalypts which increasingly permit only a small amount of sunlight to nurture our garden. Our grapevines are seriously deprived of light. They manage to produce some foliage, and bestow on us shade, but they cannot cope with much more than that. To be fruitful, vines need plenty of light and warmth. Nothing can make up for the fact that our vines, which we cherish and wish could fulfil their destiny, are starved of the sunlight.


3. I am not a skilled vinedresser. I lack understanding and skill. I have no training in the art of pruning and the basic needs of vines. I read the books; then prune them, but no doubt get it somewhat wrong. In the hands of a qualified grower who knows grapevines like his own soul, these vines, in spite of the poor soil and limited sunlight, would do far better than they do in my hands. They need a good vinedresser; some one who really knows vines. Nothing can make up for the fact that I am not that good vinedresser.


4. They have serious competition. Near them and beneath them grows other foliage competing for the nutrients, water and light. Through late autumn, winter and early spring, the ground would look bare without some ground cover. We have provided tough, perennial ground cover. It’s not as if I let many weeds grow. I deal with them---most of the time. It’s others plants that we have cultivated, and sometimes permit to run a bit wild, that compete with the vine. Maybe if I were really serious about getting fruit, I would have to make the decision to put my vine ahead of everything else. Put the vines first. If nothing mattered more than the vines, then fruits might come and grace the branches. Nothing can make up for the fact that the vines are not put absolutely first.


5. They might not receive adequate water. The region of Sunbury, where we live, receives a low annual rainfall. Although I have installed a drip system around the garden, and the vines receive some water along with other plants, for the same period of time each week, I don’t think they receive adequate refreshment. A good vine might need as much as I give the rest of the garden put together. A vine is thirsty for water; it thrives on growth. Maybe, listening to those government voices that keep telling us to conserve water, we have starved our vines of the water of life. Nothing can make up for the fact that our vines are deprived of abundant water.




There you have it. The story of our grape vines. Will we be willing to put up with our fruitless vines forever? I don't know. Our love for them is not unconditional.


It has to be a very special vinedresser for there to be unconditional love. In fact, it has to be a unique person if there is to be unconditional love.


Jesus said: “I am the true vine” [Read verses 1-7]





1 John 4: 7-12


Benjamin Dreghorn, an clergyman of  the church of England in the Victorian era,  (as told by Anne Perry in her brief but insightful murder mystery, A Christmas Visitor)  had declined parish ministry to be an archaeologist in the Holy Land. Like the other members of the family, Benjamin comes home to the family estate for the Christmas vacation. It proves to be a home coming soured by the violent death of the eldest brother, Judah. A wise family friend, Henry Rathbone, has come down from London to be with them in their sorrow. He is the only visitor at that season.


A few days after Benjamin’s arrival home from  Jerusalem, while seated at dinner, his sister-in-law Antonia asked Benjamin about what he would be doing on his return to Jerusalem. Benjamin’s face briefly lost its grief and came alight with enthusiasm. He described the thrill of exploring the streets of the ancient city where Christ spent his last days. He became even more animated as he outlined his new project: trying to the find the garden by the empty tomb where Mary Magdalene had spoken with the risen Christ on that first Easter morning.


            : Can you imagine?” exclaimed Benjamin. “We will stand where she stood when he said             ‘Mary’ and she knew Him.”


Another sister-in-law, Naomi, responded. “Perhaps that is where we are all trying to stand. Only I’m not sure it is a place, I think it is matter of the spirit, it is what we become”


Now that is, I believe, a direct hit. A bull’s eye. Three point basket. Hitting a six out of the park. Serving an ace. A hole in one! Standing where Jesus stood? “Perhaps that is where we are all trying to stand. Only I’m not sure it is a place, I think it is matter of the spirit, it is what we become”


To stand where Jesus stood is not a matter of geography or archaeology. but of a faith and commitment right here and now. For now is where the risen Christ Jesus stands. With us and for us.




The writer of the first Letter of John was standing where Jesus stood. By the time his letter was penned, many years had gone by and John was far away from the Holy Land. Yet when he wrote his succinct letter, he leaves no doubt about the ground on which he stands:

            My dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God

             and each loving person is a child of God and knows God.

            If you are not a loving person, then you do not know God, for God is love.


            This is how the love of God is revealed: It is through the coming of the Son of God

            into this world that through him we may discover what it is to really live.

            If you want to find         the source of such love, do not start with us.\

             It begins with God who first loves us and sent his son to expiate our sins.


            Dear friends, if God so loves us, we must love each other. No one has set eyes on God.

            Yet if we love each other God lives in us and his love become complete in us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 John 4:7-12


What a remarkable and beautiful statement of belief! It could only be written by a person who knew they were standing where Jesus stood. Love was the beginning and the end of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, Son of Mary, Son of God. That is where John stood.





Let us pause and highlight in red a point you should have heard many times. It is about the meaning of the word love.


The love of the Gospel is a unique brand of love. It has little to do with what people label as love in our western culture. It is not the love displayed in a sonnet of Shakespeare, nor that understanding of love which shaped the music either of Richard Wagner or Elvis Presley. [You won’t often find those two mentioned together in the one sentence!]


Nor is love the self-centred thing Sigmund Freud wrote about, and which in his “Civilization and its Discontents” he grossly confused with the Christian meaning of love.


And these days? The Gospel meaning of love has zilch in common with that euphemism wilfully employed these days to describe the mere conjunction of genitals. “Making love?”  O yuk! How banal!  What have we done (or not done) to allow a word like love to be degraded until it becomes interchangeable with “having sex.”


The love of the Gospel is in another league.  It employs that Greek word “agape.” [I know you may have heard this before, but it needs repeating to rescue the word from triviality.] Agape was an almost forgotten, and a colourless, Greek word for love. The Christians took it down from the shelf, dusted it off and used it to describe the totally new thing which had been pioneered by Jesus of Nazareth.


Agape is not a primarily a mood or a feeling. Not predominantly a sentiment or passion. Agape is a pledged way of life. It is involves not gushy impulses but a strong decision of the human will. Repeat: a decision of the human will. Agape is a committment. Commitment is essential to is nature. Therefore it should never be confused with whether we like certain people or not.


God loves us. This does not mean that God has all positive feelings about earthlings, or that he likes what we do to each other. It means that God is committed to our well being with all the Divine “heart and soul and mind and strength.” Love has utter integrity.  God’s agape is noted for its fidelity.


Jesus it the exemplar of such love. The only perfect example. Christ’s death is the apex of the revelation of this unique love.


The late Dr Alan Richardson, a wise student of the Bible depths, wrote: “The meaning of love in the New Testament can be summed up with two words: Christ Jesus.”


To stand where Christ stood is to be committed to the fidelity of love.




Love God, love one another. When it comes to our embracing of agape (or being embraced by agape), it cannot really be divided into two segments: Not one segment of our love for God and a second segment of our love for one another.


We might speak that way for convenience. Indeed Jesus spoke that way in his prime commandments, on which he believed all the other teaching of Moses and the prophets hinged: Love God with all your being, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.


But in truth, each is a facet of the same love. They cannot be split asunder. If we truly love God we will find ourselves loving those around us. If we truly love those around us, without self seeking, then we will be growing in love for God.


One Sunday morning, in a colourful poem-sermon (a few in the congregation were delighted and deeply moved; most people wondered what I was on about!) I tried to express this inseparable relationship between loving God and loving others, with the graphics of a wagon wheel. Pictorially, God is thus the hub of the wheel and each of us live on the spokes that lead in to that Holy Hub. When we try to link hands more tightly with others across the gap between the spokes, we will find ourselves being pulled in closer to God. And the closer we get to the hub of God, the closer will we find our neighbours on the other spokes of life.


Love is one.


In this sense, the agape of Christ Jesus, the gape of God, is indivisible. To employ another simile, love is like the robe of Christ (John 19: 23), woven without any seam.


To stand where Christ stood, is to trust now, without reservation, the life of committed loving. Loving both God and our fellow human beings.




In the brief book,  A Christmas Visitor, with which I commenced this sermon, the guts of the story is the loving integrity of the Dreghorn family. In solving the crime against their brother Judah, they also discover that the estate and mansion they share (and for which their late father had paid good money) is not legally theirs. With much pain yet without hesitation, they take steps to place the property in the hands of its legal owner, and to place themselves in a pecuniary position.


As a family, they knew that to stand where Jesus stood, is not a matter of geography. As Naomi commented to archaeologist Benjamin:

            I’m not sure it is a place, I think it is matter of the spirit, it is what we become”


One more comment about this brief book by Anne Perry. As I first contemplated the title of the book, I thought it a bit weak: A Christmas Visitor?  On the surface this title appeared to just refer to the family friend, Henry Rathbone, the only outsider in the story, who comes to stay with the family in their time of grief and becomes the catalyst in discovering why big brother Judah was murdered.


But on reflection I realised another possibility. Inside the costly, loving fidelity of this family, is the very Spirit of Christ. He is the Christmas visitor. To stand true as the family did, literally meant standing with the living Christ stood in that situation.


As I quoted earlier from Dr Alan Richardson:


            “The meaning of love in the New Testament can be summed up

            with two words: Christ Jesus.”


As St John wrote:


            My dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God and loving person

             is a child of God and knows God.


            Love begins with God who first loves us and sent his son to expiate our sins.


            Dear friends, if God so loves us, we must love each other. No one has set eyes on God.

            Yet if we love each other God lives in us and his love become complete in us.





I believe in God, Source of all things seen and unseen:

            in a universe where the basic reality is Spirit-Mind,

            present in human beings as a reflection of this hidden Spirit,



I believe in Christ Jesus, God’s only true Son:

            in grace which surpasses all our ideas of justice,

            in suffering that redeems the previously unredeemable,

            in life that bursts free from graves and all captivity.


I believe in the Holy Spirit, our immanent Friend:

            in a world where no human being is ever alone,

            in an inner light that opens our eyes to truth,

            in a sap which makes the fruitless become fruitful.


I put my trust in God.

I put my trust in Christ.

I put my trust in Spirit.






What a great world it would be, God our Friend, if we all kept our lives grafted in Christ Jesus, the True Vine, and like good branches produced the bountiful fruits of his Spirit.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we cared for the sick and the handicapped, the diseased and the mentally ill, like Jesus did.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we sought the lost and bewildered people and restored their dignity and hope, as Jesus did.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we opened our hearts to misfits and outcastes, and our arms to the untouchables, as Jesus did.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we practised forgiving our enemies, and doing good to those who spitefully abuse us, like Jesus did.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we let others borrow what we have, and gave gifts without looking for reward, as Jesus did.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we created a new community out of disparate types of people, as Jesus did with his disciples.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


What a great world it would be if we were prepared to carry our own crosses with the courage and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            God we pray for your earthly family,

            That they may know the fullness of your love.


Loving God, bind us close to your lovely Christ, let his Spirit flow within us, healing our defects and enabling us to produce the fruits of love both in and out of season. To the glory of your name.





How will this new week unfold for each of us?


There may be new opportunities; there may be setbacks and dangers.


If we cherish our place in the vine of Christ,

receiving the very sap of his abundant life,

some things might frustrate us but nothing shall defeat us.

            Thanks be to God!


Go cheerfully then, and live boldly.

            The grace of the Saviour,

            the love of the Creator,

            the friendship of the Lover,

            is yours forever!





              BY ORDERING ONLINE

My Best Mate,  (first edition 2013)

ISBN 978-1-937763-78-7: AUSTRALIA:

ISBN :  978-1-937763-79- 4: USA

Australian Prayers

Third edition May 2014

ISBN   978-1-62880-033-3 Australia

Jesus Our Future

Prayers for the Twenty First Century

 Second Edition May 2014

ISBN 978-1-62880-032-6

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Although this book was written with young people in mind, it has proved to be popular with Christians or seekers of all ages. Through the eyes and ears of a youth named Chip, big questions are raised and wrestled with; faith and doubt,  unanswered  prayers, refugees,  death and grief, racism and bullying, are just a few of the varied topics confronted in these pages. Suitable as a gift to the young, and proven to be helpful when it has been used as a study book for adults.

Australian Prayers has been a valuable prayer resource for over thirty years.  These prayers are suitable for both private and public use and continue to be as fresh and relevant today as ever.  Also, the author encourages users to adapt geographical or historical images to suit local, current situations.

This collection of original, contemporary prayers is anchored firmly in the belief that no matter what the immediate future may hold for us, ultimately Jesus is himself both the goal and the shape of our future.  He is the key certainty towards which the Spirit of God is inexorably leading us in this scientific and high-tech era. Although the first pages of this book were created for the turn of the millennium, the resources in this volume reflect the interests, concerns and needs of our post-modern world.