Opening Prayer and thanks
Almighty Father, thank you for bringing us all together in the heart of our government today and for giving us the courage to come here in fellowship.
Save us, O Lord, from being idle bystanders looking on and attempting to interpret the dilemmas of a broken world, yet rarely willing to act.
Give us compassion for the lost and confused, the weary and the oppressed.
Save us from slick and simplistic answers to human problems, which offer words but no real help.
Unsettle us, and move us on from viewing the plight of sin-scarred people, to actions that promote spiritual and inward healing and liberating forgiveness.
Cleanse our lives, that they may be instruments worthy of conveying your truth of abundant and everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We ask in his name. Amen.
17:1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
17:2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?"
17:3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?"
17:4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me."
17:5 The LORD said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
17:6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
17:7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
5:1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
5:2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
5:3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
5:4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5:5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
5:7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die.
5:8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
5:9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.
5:10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
5:11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
God of all life, help us ...
to find new beginnings
even when things have ended;
to be sustained by the hope of eternity
even when our time runs out;
to see the glory of your Kingdom
even when we are broken by failure and sin;
to know the promise of redemption
even when we doubt our own worth;
to hold on to hopefulness and purpose
even in the hardest of times.
(extract from Tom Gordon, A Blessing to Follow, Wild Goose Publications 2009).
Our Prayers for World Events
PRAYER FOR THOSE GRIEVING FOR LOST RELATIVES FROM THE MALAYSIAN AIRLINE
surround us and all who mourn this day
with your continuing compassion.
Do not let grief overwhelm your children,
or turn them against you.
When grief seems never-ending,
take them one step at a time
along your road of death and resurrection
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
A PRAYER FOR PEACE IN UKRAINE
Make your ways known upon earth, Lord God,
your saving power among all peoples.
Renew your Church in holiness
and help us to serve you with joy.
Guide the leaders of all nations,
that justice may prevail throughout the world.
Let not the needy be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Make us instruments of your peace
and let your glory be over all the earth.
PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION IN SYRIA
God of history,
Witness of the struggles within families;
we pray for the divided family of Syria
as brother fights against brother,
and sister rejects sister.
We pray for those whose love of neighbour
has been destroyed in the bitterness of enmity.
May fear be submerged in compassion.
May distrust be diluted by hope,
as a vision of peace illuminates
darkened minds and hate-filled hearts.
We pray in the name of Christ,
our source of light and love.
- TIME FOR REFLECTION -
Our Prayers at Home
PRAYER FOR THE COLD AND HOMELESS
God of compassion,
your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus,
whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable
and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:
we hold before you those who are homeless and cold
especially in this bitter weather.
Draw near and comfort them in spirit
and bless those who work to provide them
with shelter, food and friendship.
We ask this in Jesus' name.
PRAYERS FOR WOMEN AND MOTHERS
We will listen and we will remember.
We will rehearse the stories and we will renounce them.
We will weep and we will work for the coming of the time
when not one baby will be abandoned because of her gender,
not one girl will be used against her will for another’s pleasure,
not one young woman will be denied the chance of an education,
not one mother will be forced to abandon her child,
not one woman will have to sell her body,
not one crone will be cast off by her people and left to die alone.
By Nicola Slee, from Praying Like A Woman, SPCK, 2004
God of Ruth and Naomi,
of hope in bitterness,
harvest in hunger,
life in death,
we offer our prayers of blessing on the feet and lives of women and men living in poverty and taking risks to feed their families and communities.
You, Lord, are born in our resistance to injustice and shoulder with women the burden of poverty. Invite us into solidarity with them and with you, as you lead us to life and justice.
PRAYERS FOR THOSE LIVING WITH DEBT
Father, we pray for the many who are trapped by growing burdens of debt,
who see no way out, and who despair for their future:
give them courage to tackle the problems they face,
clarity in taking decisions which will turn their situation around,
and faith that, as they cry to you in their trouble,
you will deliver them from their distress;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God of power,
you are strong to save
and you never fail those who trust in you.
Keep under your protection all who suffer as a result of debt:
help them through their time of darkness,
give wisdom to all who seek to help,
and bring them to know true freedom
in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- INVITATION FOR PERSONAL PRAYER -
PRAYER FOR THE GOVERNMENT
source of all truth and wisdom, who knows and loves the whole creation,
watch over our nation:
that truth may prevail over distortion,
wisdom triumph over recklessness
and the concerns of every person be heard.
who chose the way of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane,
help us to turn our backs on self interest
and to support policies that sustain the poor, the vulnerable and the frightened people of this world.
who brought understanding among myriad peoples and languages at Pentecost,
give to all your people a passion for peace
and inspire us to work for unity and co-operation throughout the world and in our political life together.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE (Christian Aid)
We pray for justice, peace and reconciliation.
And when the challenges seem too many,
remind us of your resurrection power,
and the miracles of your love that happen
whenever injustice is dismantled and rebuilt with peace.
Help us to hope that the impossible can happen
and live as if it might do so today.
Gracious God we pray for ourselves, that we might remember who is in control in creation, who it is who holds together all things.
So may we give complete control to you of our lives.
Help us to entrust to you our fears and worries and to rest ourselves in Christ Jesus.
Help us to grow in faith, to rejoice always in what you have done, to submit our will and our plans to your will and your plan for our lives.
Closing: The Grace
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us all,
Next Prayer Meeting: 29th April 2014, House of Commons, Room U.
For more information, please visit www.christiansontheleft.org.uk