Intercessions - 26/07

Heavenly Father, we thank you that even in these difficult times, the treasure we rely on is that of your love, bringing with it the certain knowledge that you are with us and hear us when we pray to you. It has not always been easy to remember that, or to listen to you when we should, but that seed of knowledge has always been there, waiting to grow and guide us through every new situation. 

We pray for our world. We have realised more than ever that nations need to draw together in all areas, including finding the way to fight the pandemic and maintain adequate living standards, not just in the western world but among the poorer countries who have been worst hit by Covid 19 and by the current climate crisis. Guide us as we encourage our leaders to find ways for your world's resources to be shared out equally, so that poverty will become a thing of the past.

We thank you for the small seed of hope that has never been extinguished: that one day the world will be able to relax and there will be opportunity for us to pursue the course you have set for us –  maybe involving a change of direction we could not have foreseen. We give thanks for all who are working hard to find a vaccine to protect us, and for those who are volunteering to receive the vaccine during the trial stages. We pray we shall never take for granted the work of our doctors, nurses, support staff in hospitals, hospices and care homes, and all who care for people in need in their own homes. Many have risked their own health and lives to care for others; thank you for each of them.

We thank you for the way people have come together to help their neighbours and all in need around them. May relationships thus formed continue when needs lessen.

The pandemic has been such a major factor in our lives that we have been in danger of forgetting people suffering in other ways: please take care of refugees and migrants, including all who are risking their lives on the English Channel in the hopes of reaching this country. May they find a compassionate reception. We pray, too, for all being persecuted, especially Christians in many parts of the world; protect and keep them steadfast. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

We thank you for the role the church world-wide has played in helping our neighbours, looking beyond colour of skin, race, religion and cultural differences. We remember that "church" is your people, not the building in which they gather; as some people begin to return to the building while others prefer to worship you in the safety of their homes, we know that we are all one, enveloped in your love.

We pray for our Archbishops Justin and Stephen, stepping into his role in York; for our Bishops, including John and Martin and those recently consecrated. We give thanks for them and for every priest and deacon, including Rod and Jonny, who has worked ceaselessly through lockdown to keep us together and ensure our needs are met. We pray for patience for all deacons whose priesting has been postponed, and for ordinands yet to become deacons. We bring to you all who are considering their vocation at this time, wondering whether you are calling them to the priesthood, or whether you wish them to serve in a different way.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

We give thanks for our fellow Christians who have died during the last few months, sorrowing that we have not been able to come together to commit them to your care, but knowing they are safe with you. Thank you for the life of Christian service that Peter Young gave; please comfort and strengthen his loved ones as they commit him to you this week, and continue to strengthen them and all whose loved ones have died recently.

Please bless all who had planned to marry this summer, and have now postponed the ceremony until more of their family and friends can witness the vows they make to each other. Bless all who have married since it has been possible to do so in church, and strengthen them as they support one another. Be with families who have welcomed a new baby recently and are waiting for the time they can bring the baby to church for baptism. And we pray for all who are in need of a holiday but cannot envisage having one in the near future. Give them strength and sustenance to continue to serve you and their fellow men. Bless our families whose children have looked forward to holiday activities that are not taking place. We pray that every child will be adequately fed while there are no school meals for them to rely on, and give thanks for the local food bank and all who donate to it and keep it running.

We commit to your care our family members and friends who are not well, including those in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes. May they all know the treasure of your reassuring presence and peace. 

And as we go into this new week, we pray for ourselves: Lord of heaven and earth, as Jesus taught His disciples to be persistent in prayer, give us patience and courage never to lose hope, but always to bring our prayers before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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