Prayer for the Day
‘Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you
For all the benefits you won for us,
For all the pains and insults you bore for us.
Most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
May we know you more clearly and
Love you more dearly, day by day.
Copies of other prayers you may find helpful are available in the church porch.'
Palm Sunday Crosses
Palm Crosses are available for everyone in the Church Porch – please safely help yourselves, and please let one of the Church Wardens know if the basket is empty.
Across the Downs
a PDF version is now available online.
From the Church Wardens
St Stephen's Sparsholt with Lainston
The Church Wardens are:
Alastair Barron 01962 776844 and
John Wesley 01962 776476
“We are conscious that the prayer board at the church may not be accessible to everyone now.
However, our Rector, Jax Machin and your Church Wardens, would be happy to include a particular person or prayer from you in our prayers, if you would like us to.”
Please contact us on one of the numbers above
Update on 24th March 2020
'Given the increase in risk currently and the Government's announcements yesterday but still very sadly, we have been directed to close the church for all use.
Our church has always been open 24/365 to welcome anyone who wants to pray or have a quiet few minutes of refection so it is extremely disappointing to have to close it.
It is, though, clearly the right decision. Whilst closing the church is truly a sadness, our prayers and relationship with God do not depend on bricks and mortar. I encourage you to find a few moments to pray wherever you are able - so important at this time.
Previous Prayers for the day
7th April 2020
As we walk the way of the cross
May our pilgrimage draw us closer to you
The way, the truth and the life.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6th April 2020
‘Almighty God, whose son went not up to joy but first He suffered pain and
Entered not into glory before He was crucified;
Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross
May find it none other than the way of life and of peace
Surrounded by His love and grace.
We ask this in the name Jesus Christ, His son and our Lord.
5th April 2020
‘Blessed are you, Lord of all creation,
You have created us out of your love and for your love.
Help us to welcome you with songs of ‘Hosanna’,
Knowing that you are our strength and shield.
At the beginning of this Holy week and in these challenging times,
Help us to welcome Christ into our lives
As our Lord and Saviour.
4th April 2020
‘Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love and
Let my heart become one with yours.
You created me to live in freedom and
Mostly I take this gift for granted.
Inspire me to live in the freedom you intended,
with a heart untroubled and with complete trust in you.
Lord, you are present in all things
And when I take time to simply sit and be with you
Help my mind rest and feel your peace.
3rd April 2020
‘A prayer from St Columba, an Irish abbot and missionary in the 6th century
Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today - tonight - and for ever.
2nd April 2020
Who in your earthly life
Bore our grief and carried our sorrows,
Stand with us, we pray,
In our fear, distress and uncertainty.
Draw near to all who are suffering:
Strengthen those who care for them;
And guide those involved in research.
Lead us all, through the depths of the cross,
To the height and joy of resurrection.
1st April 2020
‘Lord of our uncertain and frightened world, help us keep a sense of perspective.
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who can work from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and earning their rent.
May we who struggle with isolation at home remember those who have no home.
May we who are losing our savings in the tumult of the economic markets remember those who have no savings at all.
And during this time when we may not be able to physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.
31st March 2020
‘Lord of our world, I woke to the music of bird song,
Today Hampshire’s beautiful countryside will surround us,
The animals, the trees, the bushes and the flowers.
Thank you for our natural world and we pray today for all our efforts
To sustain it, to manage its beauty and maintain its part in our lives.
30th March 2020
‘Those who walk during the day do not stumble because they see the light of this world.
But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.
John 11 : 9-10
Eternal God, we pray that Your light enters and brings life to our world,
Shining into the dark corners of our troubles and concerns,
Showing us the joys and opportunities that emerge from them.
Thank you for the time to reach out to long neglected family and friends
For the time to reflect on life’s priorities and balances and in that
We pray that Your light shines through us to light the lives of others.
29th March 2020
A Prayer from St Augustine for Today, the 5th Sunday of Lent –
Look upon us, O Lord,
Let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of Your brightness.
Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of Your wisdom.
All our desire is known to You, therefore perfect what You have begun,
and what Your Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek Your face,
turn Your face to us and show us Your glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
28th March 2020
‘From St Theresa of Avila
Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world
Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good
Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Help us to be that body, those eyes, hands and feet.
27th March 2020
This morning’s prayer includes 2 verses from John O’Donohue’s poem ‘A Morning Offering’ from his book of blessings, Benedictus.
Almighty Father, in these anxious times, fearful, uncertain
Thank you for the rest of the night, re-energising us, refocusing us,
Leading us to a new day.
I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no-one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate
Lord of life, as we arise this morning, we pray you illuminate our day,
fill our hearts with knowledge of the love of Christ and so a instil in us a positive outlook,
shining in us and through us as we tackle the day.
26th March 2020‘Lord of All, we pray for all those who are providing services and support to us through the virus crisis - For all those in the NHS caring for us, themselves often at risk, for those who provide our food, for those providing transport, For those who provide our medicines, for the men and women in the police, for our Armed Forces now supporting the NHS and other providers, For those who provide the news and keep us informed, for our government and politicians as they seek to lead us safely out of the crisis, For those who volunteer, dedicating their skills and time to the service of others. We pray that You keep them safe and well, give them Your strength and the knowledge of Your love in their giving.’
25th March 2020
‘Almighty Father, it is sometimes difficult to see Your purpose in times of trouble,
Help us find Your hope and strength as we deal with the virus to the best of our ability in the circumstances of our own lives.
As we live with the measures imposed on all of us, help us to know You are with us
and Help us to find a way to help others less able or fortunate than ourselves even in some small way.
24th March 2020
Here is a simple prayer you might care to use :
Almighty Father, bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones,
Healing to those who are sick,
Strength to those who are caring for them
And wisdom to those who are organising the response.
In it all, help us, Your people, to trust in You
and be carriers of hope & reassurance,
healing and peace in every situation.
We ask this In Jesus’ name.