PRAYERS 19 February 2017

We pray for the church. Almighty and ever-living god, in these times when our lives are busy and it is easy to turn to selfish thoughts and actions remind us that we are born in your image. May we use this in our thoughts each day to influence our behaviours. Help our churches and congregations find ways to navigate our ever complicated world and remain relevant. We pray that the leaders of our church open their minds to accept new ways of working to encourage spirituality and unity throughout our communities for many years to come.
We pray for the leaders of our nations. Almighty and ever living God, we can often find that our world makes little sense and our leaders make selfish and short sighted decisions. We pray that our governments, presidents and prime ministers break down the barriers with our neighbours, not build them. We echo the prayer of pope Francis that our leaders will be guided by rich spiritual and ethical values with a commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.
We pray for victims of conflict and wars throughout our world. Almighty and ever living god, we pray for those suffering from tyranny, evil and cruel regimes. We have learnt that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but this is not easy and we don’t always have the strength to do your will. Give courage to those who suffer and belief that there will be better times. May those who bring terror and pain to people throughout our world think of the damage and destruction they cause and find more peaceful ways to make their cause known.
We pray for our environment. Almighty and ever living god, as the seasons change and we see the new life of spring we are reminded of the beauty of nature. We pray that those in positions of power make decisions to protect our earth; businesses balance the environmental impact with profit in their operations; and each of us considers our individual impact in our daily lives making choices which protect the future of the earth and many generations to come.
We pray for the sick and those in need. Almighty and ever living god we pray for those in our community who are sick, suffering and in need at this time. We pray too for their families that they can provide strength and support to their loved ones, may they have hope through difficult times.
We pray for loved ones departed. Almighty and ever living God, we take a moment to think of and pray for those no longer with us.
by Louise Nightingale
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