A prayer for all churches in need ..
The wolves have come upon Your flock O Lord.
They have come down in horrid, ravening spite.
The wolves have come with howls that chill the blood.
They come with burning eyes in bitter night.
These wolves, these children of the Pharisees,
Bearers of blight, and instruments of death
(Which they call life). Their heat that chills our bones
Is borne towards us by their every breath.
The shepherdly who strutted in the sun
And stroked their staves, and organised the sheep,
Have all gone fleeing to a safer place
Fled helter-skelter, tumbled in a heap.
The sheep who know, they crouch with frightened eyes,
And softly moan, immobilised with fear.
The other sheep rest on, contentedly,
Or vie for grass, and see no danger here.
Arise O Lord, Great Shepherd of the sheep,
Riven and ravened, stricken and restored
Giver of Life, who gave Your life for us,
You are our only help, our mighty Lord.
Unless You keep us, Lord, we are not kept.
Unless You hold us, into dust we fall.
And would you see us perish into night,
Your very own, for whom You gave Your all?
Rather, O Christ, our hope and sure defence,
You will uphold us in the midst of strife
You will, yourself, deliver from the wolves
And, fast in You, we find, not fear, but life.