A selection from Handel's Messiah
and a Pause for Prayer based upon it

   

Comfort ye my people, saith your God.  
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, 
and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished,  
that her iniquity is pardoned. 
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,  
Prepare ye the way of the LORD, 
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  
Every valley shall be exalted,  
and every mountain and hill shall be made low:  
and the crooked shall be made straight,  
and the rough places plain. 

Comfort my soul, Lord:
   comfort my heart, my mind,
      my soul and my imagination...

Comfort me in my dreams, 
   comfort me when I worried and afraid,
      comfort me in my memories and in my hopes...  

Speak comfortably, Lord, speak gently 
   to my family, my friends and neighbors,
      to my colleagues at work and classmates at school,
          speak comfortably to all your daughters and sons...

Speak comfortably to the young and the old,
   to the lonely and brokenhearted, 
      to those who have no one to care for them...

Speak a word of comfort 
   to those who are confused and confounded,
to those who struggle to accept  
   the challenges and problems that burden them...

Speak a word of comfort, Lord, 
   to those who find it hard to hope, 
      those who flirt with despair 
to those who need a sign from you and those around them
   to kindle the fire of hope within their hearts...

Speak a word of comfort to those who need work
   and who live in fear of not finding it
and speak comfortably, Lord,
   to those who are overworked and tired...

Speak a word of comfort to the lonely
   to free their hearts to open 
      to the company of those around them...

Speak a word of comfort to the sick, Lord,
   to those in chronic pain in mind and limb:
be the divine Physician of their souls
      to encourage and heal them with your Spirit...

Speak a word of comfort to the dying, Lord,
   and refresh their trust and hope in you
      and in the life you promise, life for ever...

Speak a word of comfort to the grieving, Lord,
   to those whose losses darken sunny days,
      whose hearts are mourning in the midst of others' joy...

Speak a word of comfort to those who've been abandoned
   by the world, the government, by family and neighbors 
      - and by me, Lord...

Speak comfortably to those who feel abandoned by the Church:
   speak a word inviting them to come home to faith,
      to prayer and peace...

Let your word of comfort heal, console, challenge and strengthen
   the ones left out and cast aside:
let them find a welcome by our side and in our hearts...
  
Speak comfortably to your people, Lord:
   may your voice and words
      make low the mountains of anxiety and fear,
         make straight the paths of those who've lost their way,
            and make smooth the rough and tumble places 
               where we stumble and we fall... 

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, 
   speak comfortably in my soul, my heart and mind...
   
Speak a word of comfort in my prayer, Lord, 
   and help me hear it and trust it
      and take it to heart:
and help me speak comfortably, Lord,
   to all I know and all I meet...


Amen. 
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