Tod & Ana Gobledale - Australia
Since our arrival in 2003, we have been active with the local chapter of the Order of St. Luke, an ecumenical ministry of prayer and healing. We regular share in the preaching and healing prayer ministry. The power of the Spirit through the laying on of hands is a central part of each service. The services move around the nearby communities, from one church to another, extending an open invitation to all. Here is a prayer Tod wrote and shared in worship.
A Prayer for The Order of St. Luke, by Tod
Gracious God, loving parent, you watch over us like a mother with her children. You have created a world for us with a richness, a beauty that beggars description. As another spring blossoms around us we are awed, again by the splendour of the renewal of life. The trees leaf out, the cups of the daffodils reach up to the sky in supplication, the wisteria is heavy with blossoms and heavenly with a heady aroma. Make our hearts to bloom like the spring, with all the richness of the newness of life which you have created for us. Lord in your mercy...Hear our prayer.
Holy Spirit, you blow like the wind, where you come from and where you are going, we know not and yet we know that you are always with us, as near to us as our hands and the very air we breath. We pause this afternoon to sense your presence, to remember your mighty power, and your meek gentleness. You are slow to anger and quick to forgive. We are grateful, thankful, for your mercy for we are not perfect people. We have failed to do things we should have done, and we have done things which we should not have done. Forgive us our sins and help us to forgive others. Let us not harbour grudges for with grudges in port there is no shelter from the storm of resentments which tear at our souls. Lord in your mercy...Hear our prayer.
O Prince of peace, we pray for peace this afternoon. We pray for peace in our world. Not just the peace of no warfare, but also the peace, the shalom, the salaam, that is peace with justice for all people. We pray for a world where children get the food and health care they need. We pray for a world where resources are shared equitably with all. We pray for a world where our swords are beaten into plowshares, a place where war is studied no more. Lord in your mercy...Hear our prayer.
We pray for our country. May our land be one that is free and fair. A place where everyone is given a fair go. May this be a country where we remember all who have gone before us. May we respect its indigenous people, flora and fauna. May we be good stewards of this sunburnt land which we call home. Lord in your mercy...Hear our prayer.
We pray for our communities. May we be good neighbours. May we open our hearts to those around us in need of a helping hand, an encouraging word, a pat on the back. Lord in the silence of this moment we lift to you the prayers of peace weighing upon our individual hearts. Lord in your mercy....Hear our prayer.
This afternoon we close with these words of challenge to all of us in the words of St. Francis:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred let us sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, union; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen!
Tod and Ana
The Gobledales serve the Common Global Ministries Board at Churches of Christ Theological College (Seminary) in Australia. They are accompanied by their 16-year old son, Mandla, who attends Rowville Secondary College, the local high school. Their 19-year old daughter, Thandiwe, continues her university studies at Pomona College, in Claremont, California.