“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love”.
Gracious God, at the end of Global Wave of Light week, across our world, we remember and honour the families and friends of all those who have experienced the loss of babies and infants. And so we pray especially today for those who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature delivery, still-birth or the loss of an infant. So too, we pray for those living with the sadness of infertility. Lord God, we pray that Your love will be felt in the hearts and the homes of all those who may be experiencing any kind of loss. May they feel the assurance of Your presence supporting and sustaining them. We pray and give thanks for all midwives and healthcare professionals, and for organisations who are seeking to raise awareness of this important concern. As buildings will radiate pink and blue lights in our towns and cities this evening, may we as communities extend hands of understanding and empathy to all those in need of support and healing. God of power, may Your Holy Spirit send Your love and compassion into our communities this day. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
Gracious God, as World Sight Day is marked, we pray today for all those whose sight is impaired. We acknowledge that Vision impairment can affect people of all ages, across all nations, effecting all aspects of life; from interaction in the community, to education, to employment, to the daily functioning of our lives. And so we pray for healthcare, for opportunities and for inclusiveness in our societies for all who live with sight loss. We give thanks for charities, support agencies and medical professionals who seek to support the needs of others. Lord God, be with all those today who live with the challenges of vision impairment. May all people be aware of Your presence with us and may the light of Your Holy Spirit shine Your love into our lives bringing strength, comfort and assurance. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
As we marked World Mental Health Day yesterday, and we begin Prison’s Week, I offer you two prayers to reflect on at the start of this week. Blessings for today, Sue
A prayer for Mental Health
Dear Lord and Father of those who have never crossed the lines,
who are held in by fears, and who are bound by walls they cannot see.
Dear Lord and Mother of those who are living on the very edge, those who find themselves drifting without boundaries.
Dear Lord who is brother to all of us that need and long for peace of mind, peace of heart and the certainty that we are loved no matter what.
Dear Lord who is sister to all who walk with the emptiness that comes with insecurity and low self esteem,
Send your Holy Spirit, and make us whole.
For we pray to you almighty God who is as fragile as we are
and who made us in your own image; who understands and sees into our hearts even when we turn away.
Unfurl us like the petals of a rose and unhide that which we have hidden. Heal our minds, heal our souls, and carry us into the Kingdom made new in your love.
(Written by Rev Michaela Youngson www.methodist.org)
The Prisons Week Prayer
Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day.
Exodus 33:14 ESV
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Gracious God, as we reach the middle of the week, we take a moment to pause, reflect and turn to You. There will be those of us who have had cause to celebrate and be joyful this week. There will be others who have faced challenges and sadnesses, for whom the week is proving difficult, but wherever we are, whatever emotions we are feeling, and whatever the days ahead hold for us, we know that You are with us, and that You will continue to guide and strengthen us through the remainder of the week. And so we give You thanks and we come to You with the assurance of Your presence and Your love. Amen
A reflection by Margaret Langdon
‘I may be cast down, but I’m not cast off
I may be extended, but I’ve not reached the limit
I may be feeling driven, but I haven’t reached the edge
I may be suffering a beating, but I’m not yet knocked out
Because God is always there to pick me up, pull me back, sort me out
And place me on a way that is going onward and upward
His hand is in mine, his arm is round my shoulders,
He is my strength and my redeemer.
“You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
God of Creation, as World Animal Day is marked today, we give thanks for the amazing, diverse and beautiful animal Kingdom You have created for us. For animals that live in the sky, the land or the sea, we give thanks. For animals that provide us with love and companionship, we give thanks. For animals that work and serve us, we give thanks. For animals that speak of Your creative imagination in their agility, their strength, their speed and their ingenuity, we give thanks. For every species, colour, size and characteristic, we give thanks. On this day Lord, we stop and reflect upon the wonder of Your animal Kingdom because it gives us the opportunity to reflect upon Your creative power. But so too, we know that not all animals are treated with respect and compassion. And so, we pray for the welfare of all animals and give thanks for the work of organisations that seek to protect those animals that are vulnerable in our societies, across the world. Creator God, for Your gift of love in nature, we give thanks. Amen.
John 3:16 New International Version
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’.
Gracious God, as World Heart Day is marked today, we give thanks for the love that You pour into our hearts each and every day, as displayed in the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. May we be witnesses to that love in the world, and share it with others, so that all people may feel it’s transforming power in their lives. Amen
We engage with a reflection by Margaret Landon
There are not many things that cannot be measured
But God’s love is one of them.
Most things have a recordable beginning and an end
Except God’s love.
Everything is subject to change
But not God’s love.
Science can examine, quantify, predict, record, test
But the proof of God’s love is faith.
God’s love exists, has always existed and will always exist
It never changes, never ends, was there before the world was created.
God’s love will be there when the world ends
And the amazing thing is that it is freely available to everyone.
(image:pixabay on stock vault.net)
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart’.
Gracious God, as we come to You in prayer at the start of a new week, may we be reminded of the living presence of Your Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that life is not always easy, that some days our resilience and energy levels are low, and that the daily concerns for ourselves and others, can leave us feeling weary and even vulnerable. And so we pray, Lord God, that You will breathe new life into our hearts and minds this day, and in the days to come. Help us to feel Your power within us, giving us strength, encouragement and assurance so that we are equipped to deal with any challenges we may be facing this week. In a moment of stillness, or amidst the clamour and busyness, we turn to You and feel the power and the presence of Your love touching our souls and we give thanks. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
2 Corinthians 1:2-4 ESV
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God’.
Gracious God, as the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning will be celebrated today, we give thanks for the work of Macmillan Cancer Support. We are grateful for every aspect and every member of this organisation, who seek to support and care for cancer sufferers and their families. We ask that You bless every part of their work.
So too Lord, we lift before You all those dealing with the trauma of cancer at this time. We know that this is an illness that brings with it pain, anxiety and uncertainty and so we ask for the power of Your healing and Your compassion in every situation. Give assurance and courage to all those who in need today, Lord, and may Your presence be felt in our homes, our hospitals, and our hospices.
We give thanks for the expertise and energy of all those searching for cures and new treatments, and look to the day when cancer will be eradicated.
Finally Lord God, we acknowledge that the pandemic has had a tremendous adverse effect upon the situations of many, as diagnosis and treatment may have been delayed. So too, charities, such as Macmillan, have been unable to carry out fundraising events to sustain their outreach. And so, as we move forward, help us as communities to reach out and support all those affected by cancer. In the power of Your love and healing we pray, Amen.
John 14:27 New International Version
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’.
Gracious God, as we acknowledge the International Day of Peace which was marked by the United Nations yesterday, we pray for all those in the midst of violence and conflict. Lord, we know that we live in a world where many suffer through the impact of war and conflict in different settings and situations. Too often, what we see and hear makes us feel sad and powerless to help, but we acknowledge that it makes You sad too, and that You are a God who feels the suffering of Your people. And so we come to You in prayer. We pray that Nations and World Leaders may unite to bring about peace across our world. We pray that in the midst of conflict and destruction, Your light will shine into the darkness. We pray for those whose voices are silenced, for whom hope has disappeared. And finally Lord God, we pray that you will help us and guide us to strive for justice, so that the voices of all people are heard. God of peace, may we unite as communities to bring Your justice, love, hope and peace into our world this day, and in the days to come. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace we pray, Amen.
At the start of a new week, here is a short prayer and then we have a reflection based on Jeremiah 29, verse 11 written by Margaret Langdon
Gracious God, as we begin a new week we turn to You for guidance and assurance. Whatever challenges we may face in the week ahead, whatever highs or lows, we trust that You are with us and so we thank you for Your great love for us. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Is The Future Only Tomorrow?
I’ve looked before at the Master Planner
Who knows just what I need
He has plans to prosper me
Which quite often I don’t heed
You see, the trouble really is
That I don’t trust enough
He knows the plan and I do not
That’s what is really tough
He speaks of plans to give me hope
But I need a more concrete goal
This hope is all planned out by him
But I can’t see the whole
When I go off just on my own
The future is in my hand
I don’t have the long term vision
So I miss the best he planned
The biggest question I still find
Is how will I know his plan,
Trust his vision, hear his voice ,
Rely on God not Man?
Maybe his future is not long term
Maybe it’s just one day
He has made a plan, trust in Him,
Step out with him, and say…
Whatever you have planned for me
I know you want me to thrive
You won’t harm me, you’ll give me hope
And that’s how I should live my life
So don’t worry too much about hearing his voice
And whether his plans you’ll know
Just trust in Him, use your gifts,
And confidently greet tomorrow
Margaret Langdon June2020
‘The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.
Gracious God, as the sun has shone this week on farmers harvesting the last of the wheat fields, and Churches and Schools begin to prepare to celebrate Harvest Festival services, we give thanks for the gifts of Your creation. We give thanks especially for all those who cultivate the land to ensure we have enough food to eat. So too, we give thanks for all those involved with food production from the fields, to the supermarket shelves. We acknowledge Lord God, that not everyone in our communities has enough to eat and we offer our support for the work of Food banks and other agencies. So too, we recognise that the effects of climate change are creating more and more challenges for farmers across the world, particularly those in poorer countries. And so we lift before You charities such as ‘All we Can’ and Christian Aid. Help those of us who have plenty to hear the voices of those who have less, and may we find ever resourceful ways to share what we have, so that all may benefit from the fruits of Your creation. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Psalm 133:1 NIV
‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!’
Gracious God, as we mark the United Nations International Friendship Day, we give thanks for the gift of friendship. We acknowledge that inequality, discrimination and conflict damage the very core of unity, peace and the wellbeing of others in society. And yet You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us to witness to the gifts of Your Holy Spirit; kindness, love, compassion, patience, understanding and wisdom. And so we take a moment to give thanks for our friends, the people who make us smile, who stand by us when times are difficult and make us feel loved and valued. Then we take a moment to think about those in need of the hand of friendship, who may be feeling lonely and isolated today. Lord God, help us to nurture relationships and may the gift of friendship be at the very heart of our communities, both at home and across our world. In the name of Jesus, our friend and living Lord we pray, Amen.