Intercessions - 24/05

We come to our Father today knowing that through Jesus he will hear us and empower us with his Holy Spirit 

Father, we feel in our isolation much like the disciples must have felt when Jesus left them. We have the advantage over them of knowing that we have been given your Holy Spirit; they were still waiting. May we, like them, continue to pray, and to remain close to each other even though we are physically isolated. And as Jesus glorified you, so may we glorify you through Him, confident of His protection in all we do.

It is not easy for us all to feel the hopefulness that the new day brings; and yet we know that you are the Lord of all hopefulness, and that our trust in you and walking with you will carry us through these unique circumstances. As we wake, may that trust be renewed in us and your joy break through.

We need your strength, Father, for the tasks the day may bring. These are very different from those we had grown accustomed to in our daily lives. Please help us to think about the things we used to fill our time with; to consider whether they were all necessary; whether we were the best person to do them; and whether you are now calling us to think of other ways of glorifying you. Please comfort and guide those whose jobs have been lost, and those uncertain about the safety of returning to their workplace.

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer

Whilst we are adapting to our circumstances, we remember all who have worked through these past weeks. We especially think of health workers and carers wherever they are serving; in hospitals, hospices, care homes, nursing homes and visiting people in their own homes. We give thanks for their continued service and dedication, and ask you to continue to strengthen and guide them. We bring to you all who have suffered and ask for your comfort and strength for the families and friends of those who have died. We remember each pandemic victim and pray for renewal for them. We also ask for your support and care for all who are suffering pain because their planned treatment or surgery has had to be postponed, and those still waiting for doctors’ appointments; please help each one.

Please guide and strengthen everyone working to find new treatment and a vaccine that will relieve the effects of Covid19.

Lord, there are many other key workers who have toiled on through these past weeks; we are grateful for each one of them. We pray that we shall maintain our gratitude when we have come through this period into something approaching the life we used to know. At this time, we think of our teachers who are being asked to decide whether to return to their classrooms, and parents anxious about letting their children return. Please guide them all.

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer

We pray for all whose lives may have been changed by the effects of lockdown. Please guide young people sitting the finals of their degree course, who had expected the results of those exams to shape their future. Be with every student who has not sat GCSE or A level exams, but is relying on teachers’ grades to guide them onto the next steps in their lives. We also ask you to comfort children leaving primary school to start in secondary school when the time comes. Help them, and their families, with their natural fears and anxieties as they step into the unknown. Every child will have been affected by lockdown; help them all to understand and adjust to different school patterns.

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer

For so many people there has been no going out in the morning and returning in the evening. We pray for everyone whose daily pattern has changed radically; we have not been able to come and go as usual, and we have not been able to visit loved ones. Spending more than usual time with our close family or household members may have meant that relationships will have changed; for many, love will have been consolidated, for which we give you thanks, but sadly some relationships will have crumbled under the strain. Please be with all who are suffering, especially where violence and abuse has occurred. For so many, there has been no opportunity to express love physically, but we pray that your love in our hearts has found different ways of expressing our love for each other - by offering help to one another within our groups, whether church, work or neighbourhood, and by being willing to accept the help of others.

Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer

During this time, the rhythm of life has continued around us, as we have seen in the glory of your creation which is such an encouragement to us all. We pray for our farmers and all who make their living on the land. We have perhaps gained more insight into their pattern of life, which can be solitary. We pray that they will not feel alone as they toil, and give thanks for Farming Community Network whose members provide support to those in need. After the hardships caused by floods followed by dry weather, we pray for good yields, fair prices and enough people willing to harvest the crops. We ask, too, for your guidance as we consider our role in preserving your natural world, and undoing some of the harm we have unwittingly caused it.

When we come to the end of another day and pray for your peace in our hearts, we remember with gratitude and love friends and family members who have come to the end of their earthly life and are now at rest with you in the peace beyond all understanding. Thank you for them; comfort all whom they loved.

Merciful Father, Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

A prayer for the week ahead, by Reinhold Niebuhr

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen 

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