Don’t ask God to fix all the needs of the world.  Ask what makes you come alive – ponder that, chew on that, and go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

 Welcome to the gathering of St. Mark’s Church (Sunday worship under one roof) Sunday, September 20th 2020.

Service led by Dugald Wilson        Pianist – Megoe Chen

Coming Together as People of Jesus

Welcome and Notices

E te whānau a Te Karaiti                                           Brothers and sisters in Christ

ngā mihi aroha ki a tātou katoa.                               Warm greetings to you all

Kia ora.                                                                      


Call to Worship

He korōria ki te Atua                                                 Salute to God

He maungorongo ki te whenua                                 Peacefulness to the land

He whakaaro pai ki te tangata                                  Good will to the people

Ka haere tatau ki te karakia                                   Let us to go worship

Singing                   ‘Tama Ngakau Marie


Tama ngakau marie,     [Son of a peaceful heart,]

Tama a t’Atua,     [Son of God,]

Tenei tonu matou,     [here we are,]

Arohaina mai.     [love us.]


Murua ra nga hara:     [Take away our sins,]

Wetekina mai     [Undo]

Enei here kino,     [these evil ties]

Whakararu nei.     [which bind us.]


Takahi ki raro     [Trample under foot]

Tau e kino ai;     [whatever is evil]

Kei pa kaha tonu     [lest the power remain]

Ko nga mahi he.     [of the evil deeds.]


Tenei arahina     [This is the pathway]

A tutuki noa:     [to the end]

Puta I te pouri,     [through the darkness]

Whiwhi hari nui.     [to receive great joy.]


Tama ngakau marie,     [Son of a peaceful heart,]

Tama a t’Atua,     [Son of God,]

Tenei tonu matou,     [here we are,]

Arohaina mai.     [love us.]

Opening Prayer 

Singing                          ‘My Heart is Filled With Thankfulness’


My heart is filled with thankfulness to God

who reigns above;

whose greatness is beyond compare,

who holds the earth in love,

who calls forth all life with delight,

in whom we live and die.

Each name upon God’s heart is sure,

we’re wrapped in love’s strong tie.


My heart is filled with thankfulness to God

who walks beside;

who knows my every move and thought,

whose love is deep and wide,

whose heart is seen in Jesus Christ,

compassion flows with grace.

He came to heal our broken lives,

each person to embrace.


My heart is filled with thankfulness to God

who lives within,

whose presence is my perfect peace,

who gives us Christ’s vision.

I’m gifted by God’s grace and pow’r,

new truth I’m called to see;

my wondrous life is not of nought,

I’m loved and meant to be.

Listening to a Word from God

Readings                      Mark 1: 35-37, Matt 6: 5-13, Matt 26: 36-39 Jesus teaches us about prayer

Reading from the New Revised Standard Version

Mark 1:35-37

35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.”

Matthew 6:5-13

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.
12     And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Matthew 26:36-39

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

This is the Word of the Lord                         Thanks be to God

Time of Learning        The Importance of Stillness and Silence in Our Lives

I am convinced that if we are to live out our calling to be distinctive salt of the earth and people who make a difference as disciples of Jesus prayer is a vital part of our lives.  In our time when people often say why bother with church, God is calling us to practice authentic, life transforming prayer.

Prayer is paying attention to God and we can do this in many different ways.  Our traditional patterns of worship are based around four distinct prayers.  Adoration, Confession and Assurance, Thanksgiving, and   Supplication (petition and intercession).

I notice however that for many Christians it is supplication and petition that seems to be the dominant theme of prayer.  We want God to intervene and change things in our world.  It’s natural to turn to God when we hit a wall.  Our scriptures encourage this.  Supplication mysteriously opens a door for the divine power to move.   Often this is in conjunction with other ways God operates in our world.   For example prayer for healing should go hand in hand with conventional medical knowledge and practice.

But prayer isn’t just for brick walls and foxholes.  Prayer is an activity that brings life, and makes our lives more meaningful, authentic, and significant.   I often chew something over in a reflective process that is sort of like a conversation with Jesus.  I call these prayers my chewing the fat with God prayers.  When I do this I need solitude and silence.  (Mark 1:35-37) I need to go into my inner room as Jesus taught us.  (Matt 6: 5-13) This inner room is deep inside me.  In chewing the fat with God I find the way ahead becomes clearer.  I am reminded of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  (Matt 26:26-39) He knew the authorities were after him and the consequences would be brutal and painful.  Naturally he sought that the pain might be taken away, but as he prayed something changed.  His prayer from deep in his heart became not my will but yours be done.  He connected with God and he found the road he needed to travel.

I believe prayer should change us.  Prayer is transformative.  To enable this prayer needs stillness and silence.  St Teresa of Avila once said ‘God is the friend of silence’ and I believe that to be true.  In my life God has led me to discover the practice of meditation.  Meditation has a very long history in Christian tradition and I am now part of a group that meets weekly to sit in stillness.  Others in the group have expressed they find it freeing to pray through meditation where we no longer send verbal or thought messages off to God, but simply make space for God to transform us in stillness and silence.   Like a jug of dirty water, as it rests the water clears and becomes more ‘authentic’ as water.  Through mediation I have found I have become more peaceful, more anchored in God, and less anxious.  Transformation.

If we are going to be disciples of Jesus making a difference in the world prayer needs to be a vital part of our lives.   We need as Paul says to be transformed often by God so we do not just fit into the world but can live to a different drum beat that is true, life giving, and encourages the authentic person God has called into being to flourish.     (Rom 12:2)

Singing                        ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

forgive our foolish ways:

reclothe us in our rightful mind

in purer lives your service find,

in deeper reverence praise,

in deeper reverence praise.


O Sabbath rest by Galilee!

O calm of hills above,

when Jesus shared on bended knee

the silence of eternity

interpreted by love,

interpreted by love.


Drop your still dews of quietness,

till all our striving cease;

take from our souls the strain and stress,

and let our ordered lives confess

the beauty of your peace,

the beauty of your peace.


Breathe through the heats of our desire

your coolness and your balm;

let sense be dumb, let flesh retire,

speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,

O still small voice of calm,

O still small voice of calm!

 We go to be the People of Jesus

Prayers for the journey


Singing                 ‘These Hills Where the Hawk Flies Lonely’


These hills where the hawk flies lonely,

beaches where the long surf rolls,

mountains where the snows meet heaven,

these are our care.

Pastures where the sheep graze calmly,

orchards where the apples grow,

gardens where the roses cluster,

these are our prayer.


Forests where the tree ferns tower,

rivers running strong and clear,

oceans where the great whales wander,

these are our care.

Race meeting race as equals,

justice for age-old wrong,

worth for every man and woman,

these are our prayer.


Cities where the young roam restless,

lives brought to deep despair,

homeless and powerless people,

these are our care.

Places where the Word is spoken,

hands held in serving love,

faiths of our many cultures,

these are our prayer.


All that the old world gave us,

all that the new world brings,

language, ideas and customs,

these are our care.

Life finding joy and value,

faith seeking truth and light,

God heard and seen in all things,

this be our prayer.

Benediction          with the Threefold Amen

Singing                 ‘Joy Be In Thy Heart’

Joy be in thy heart.

Peace be in thy spirit.

Compassion be thy journey.

Love be in thee.

Joy be in my heart.

Peace be in my spirit.

Compassion be my journey.

Love be in me.

Something to reflect on……Don’t ask God to fix all the needs of the world.  Ask what makes you come alive – ponder that, chew on that, and go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.