Prayer for Child Soldiers

A prayer to end the recruitment and use of children in conflict – and for the healing of those who have been forced into conflict, and those whom they have harmed.

Download a PowerPoint version of the prayer: Prayer for Child Soldiers.

Dear Lord,
We pray for children whose childhood has been interrupted,
For young eyes which have seen far too much,
Young hands trained to hold weapons,
Young feet forced to march,
Young minds seared by commands
No child should encounter.

O Prince of Peace,
Who gathered the children to Yourself
And blessed them,
We pray for children used in conflicts to be set free,
For your healing to restore their bodies and minds
And the bodies and minds of those they have harmed,
For their reconciliation within families and communities
And an end to cycles of grief and trauma.

And we pray, O Lord, who created all things
And whose love is everywhere,
Bring a just and peaceful resolution of the conflicts
That rend our world
And that put children and adults in harm’s way.
Your Kingdom come, O Lord, your will be done.

Hymn – All Creatures of Our God and King

Matches the words of ‘All Creatures’ with photographs from Laudato Si’ powerpoint. Very useful for online services.

Download the powerpoint here: All Creatures of Our God and King final

Hymn – For the Beauty of Earth

Matches the words of the hymn with photographs of earth’s beauty. Helpful for online services.

Download the powerpoint here: For the beauty of the earth final

CCOW Guide to Online Lent Resources (2019)

To help with the keeping of Lent, CCOW has put together a Guide to Online Resources for Lent (Download the updated version for 2019 here). Some of the materials in the guide offer daily reflections, prayers and action points; some are meant for use on a weekly basis.

They’re designed to be part of a traditional Lenten discipline of prayer, meditative reading, giving and fasting. Fasting, of course, is not simply a matter of restraint in eating and drinking – as Isaiah 58 reminds us, the fast that God desires involves refraining from wickedness; freeing those who are oppressed; sharing with those in need; keeping our speech free of evil; and honouring the time set aside for God, the Sabbath.Many of the resources pick up the themes of ending oppression and sharing with those in need … though we also refer to the Godspace list, which has more general resources as well.

The resources are easy to make part of a daily routine or part of a Sabbath time, resting in the presence of God.

Do please let us know what you find helpful … and please recommend any resources or ideas for Lent that we have missed.



Photograph: Stations of the Cross, St James Priory, Bristol

Refugee Prayer Service Materials

In early 2016, when many in the UK were moved by the news of increased numbers of people fleeing to Europe, Reverend Ben Kautzer, at St Nicolas Church, Earley, prepared a Service of Prayer and Holy Communion for Refugees entitled “Into Deep and Turbulent Waters”. It included a eucharistic liturgy, Bible readings, prayers and four prayer stations relating to the refugees’ journey. The evening proved to be a powerful way of engaging the congregation with the topic of refugees and forced migration.

Whilst some things have changed in the refugee situation since then, the issues facing refugees remain. Worldwide there continue to be millions who flee their homes and undertake perilous journeys in search of refuge, including in Europe. It is as important as ever for Christians to heed the call to prayer and action for refugees.

We are sharing these materials with Ben’s permission, to make it easy for you to hold a similar service, or time of reflection, in your church. With the original resources, we are showing how two different events used them in particular contexts. If you do use Ben’s materials, please do give him credit.

Materials prepared by the Reverend Ben Kautzer

The full order of service:  St Nicolas – Refugee Service Liturgy v2 (17.03.16)

Title posters for each of the four prayer stations: Displacement, Escape, Refuge, Peace

Prayer instructions and other materials placed at each prayer station:

Escape – This prayer station was built around a real rubber dinghy, as a striking reminder of the way many refugees have tried to cross the Mediterranean

Escape – Prayer Instructions

Escape – Definitions

Escape – Poem Fragment

Displacement – This prayer station’s focus was an installation of a refugee camp, made of hundreds of folded card tents, some with LED tea lights underneath – see photo and tent templates below

Displacement – Prayer Instructions

Displacement Refugee Installation – Tent 1

Displacement Refugee Installation – Tent 2

Displacement Refugee Installation – Healing

Displacement – Only a Fraction of Refugees Make It to Europe

Displacement – Jeremiah 8.15

Refuge – This prayer station focused on finding refuge in Europe and organisations helping refugees locally

Refuge – Prayer Instructions

Refuge – Searching for a Home Prayer

Reading Refugee Support Group – Fact Sheet

Reading Refugee Support Group – Poster

Peace – This prayer station used a world map to remember refugees’ countries of origin and plasters as symbols of healing

Peace – Prayer Instructions

Peace – A Prayer for Hope (Christian Aid)

Peace – A Prayer Inspired by Psalm 130

Peace – How long oh Lord

Additional materials, which could be included in the service:

Tearfund – The Bravery of the Syrian Church

Bishops’ Letter to David Cameron

Pope Francis message 2015

Examples of how others have adapted these resources

Didcot Baptist

We had an evening prayer service with a focus on refugees at Didcot Baptist Church on 2nd December 2018:

  • At the start of the service the following slides, clarifying definitions and statistics, were shown: Intro slides – DBC refugee focus prayer service 02.12.18.
  • To highlight that refugees are individuals with their own stories and to encourage empathy, a short extract (the first 3 minutes 53 seconds) of the Jesuit Refugee Service video was shown.
  • Each prayer station consisted of a screen/board with a table and a few chairs in front. The prayer instructions and materials for each were slightly adapted, including incorporating words relating to the refugee experience at each stage Words for each prayer station.
  • For the “Escape” station, having neither enough space nor a dinghy, we instead used photos of refugees fleeing by boat and on foot.
  • The “Displacement” model refugee camp was made from just 20 tents, each with a word on, accompanied by photos of the Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan.
  • We added a 5th prayer station “Healing” with a wooden cross and candle – Healing – DBC Prayer Instructions.
  • The “Refuge and Resettlement” prayer station included the names, logos and brief descriptions of Oxford-based organisations supporting refugees and CCOW’s guide What can I do to support refugees – Info for churches – Oxford-updated Feb 2019
  • The “Peace” prayer station highlighted the top five countries of origin of refugees in the world today Top five countries of origin – World Vision and people could add to the map a prayer or the name of a country on their heart, using sticky notes.

CCOW Time for Prayer and Reflection

CCOW offered a morning for prayer and reflection using Ben Kautzer’s four prayer stations and an additional one, ‘Hostility’. A group of about 15 people took part in opening worship, and then made a pilgrimage around the stations. As we reached each prayer station, we listened to stories and readings relating to the station’s theme; after people spent time at each prayer station, there was an opportunity to share reflections and pray. We ended with closing prayers, gathered once again around the ‘Escape’ station. The whole took a little over 2 hours – and was followed by a simple shared lunch. Additional materials prepared by CCOW are below.

Opening Worship

‘Hostility’ Prayer Station – Instructions

Additional Materials for Prayer Stations

Reflections at Prayer Stations

Closing Prayers


Joanna Schüder, CCOW’s Churches Refugee Networking Officer, would be very happy to discuss how you might use these materials in your context. She can share photos and further information about the prayer stations at Didcot Baptist Church and help you access other resources –   07552 948688

CCOW Guide to Advent Resources

Are you looking for a different kind of “Advent Calendar” – one that will help you each day to look forward to Christ’s coming and to pray for the world He loves? For daily reflections? Material to help prepare Sunday services? Find a wealth of suggestions in the CCOW Guide to Advent Resources, newly revised for Advent 2018. Download it here.


Meditation – Time for Creation

An acrostic of prayer and praise combining quotes and pictures. Prepared by Elizabeth Perry – great for use during Season of Creation.

Download it here: Time for Creation powerpoint

Meditation – For the Love of Creation

A visual meditation on God’s love and our love of God’s world, prepared by Elizabeth Perry using words drawn from Scripture and Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si‘.

Download the powerpoint: For the Love of Creation

Holy Week 2018 – Prayer Powerpoint

At the end of Holy Week, we will once again remember the fulfilment of Jesus’ words:

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve
And to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

But in the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, also, the gospels describe a number of significant events, encounters, symbolic actions and teaching.

For each day in Holy Week, a simple reflection, comprised of a single image and a short passage of Scripture, is offered for contemplation. The Biblical texts are all drawn from events the Gospel writers place in Holy Week.

Download the powerpoint: An Offering for Holy Week

Lent Lectionary Notes – 2018

Welcome to CCOW’s new resource for Lent: our Linked Lectionary Notes for Lent 2018, which are based on the principal Sunday readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

For each Sunday in Lent we explore some of the ideas and themes in the set readings (column 3) and then reflect on them, linking them to a contemporary global issue (column 4). The idea is to help people connect the Bible with today’s world – looking at each through the lens of the other.

The resource is aimed at anyone who will be interacting with the passages each week – primarily preachers, but also those leading the intercessions, or even putting together the pew sheet. It’s also offered as a resource for personal reflection and could be used in a small group setting. The notes are not a finished sermon – rather they raise questions and offer thoughts.

These notes are a revival of a resource called Development Matters, which Elizabeth put together for Bath and Wells Diocese for over a decade. (Some of these notes have also featured in the Fairtrade Foundation’s Church Action Guides for Fairtrade Fortnight). Two quotes particularly inspired this endeavour:

‘I simply argue that the cross be raised at the centre of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves, on a town garbage dump…at a crossroad of politics so cosmopolitan that they had to write his title in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. That is where he died, and that is what he died about, and that is where Christ’s people ought to be, and what church people ought to be about.’
George Macleod, founder of the Iona Community.

‘In a Jesus society, you repent, not by feeling bad, but by thinking different’.
Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe in The Blue Mountains of China.