Prayers of the people
As we prepare to pray, let’s all sit with our feet flat on the ground and hands resting gently in our laps. Let’s do some calming breathing as we settle into the prayers for the people. Take a deep breath in and imagine it filling your stomach with calm cool air, take another deep breath and imagine it filling your heart space with love, take a third breath and allow it to flood your mind with peace. Now imagine flooding your stomach, heart and head with loving peaceful light, all with one last long breath.
We come to you in prayer today with our deep sense of confusion, fear and anxiety as we watch the COVID 19 virus spread relentlessly through the world and wonder how it will impact on our own lives our loved ones and our communities. We watch businesses close and our own jobs disappear and wonder, how long, how deep and how far will it all go before we see hope and recovery on the horizon.
We each face the difficult questions of where we go, how we should act, where and how we should be travelling, working, studying to keep our families and close ones safe.
And yet, we also know that our community is only as safe and healthy as the most vulnerable in our midst. Loving God, help us to be open hearted and creative in our ability to reach out to the most vulnerable members of our wider community and to keep everyone safe.
We watch as our fears and anxieties risk turning to anger and self-interest as we shut down our lives to keep those we love most, safe. We see people letting fear swamp their sense of composure and grace, stock piling and fighting over products out of fear of the unknown. Loving God, protect us from judgement but instead, to offer understanding, and be examples of a calm, more generous and sharing way to face this crisis together. Help us to find creative ways to share what we have and to trust in the supply of essential goods and services so that we can all get through this together.
We particularly pray for people who are already on the edges, struggling from day to day to survive. For the people who are seeking asylum, for those who have nothing to live on other than the generosity of those around them. Show us how to best care for them while keeping everyone safe.
We especially pray for the Olive Way and the ASWC as they continue to offer support and nourishment to our most vulnerable members of the community. Keep everyone safe and well as we seek to support the ever growing needs of those we care about.
We also pray for people across the world who are in refugee camps or areas of conflict who are already facing so much hardship. We pray they will get the support they need to survive these times. We pray too, that this could be a time when all violence and conflict pause so that leaders can refocus their efforts on keeping people alive rather than killing their enemies. May this be a new opportunity to discover peace in our world.
Loving God, show us how to be beacons of grace and hope in the midst of this fear.
We look for hope, for moments of positive change and disruption that will bring new opportunities and grace to our lives. We pray for governments that will take stock and put the health, wellbeing and economic security for all, ahead of the interests of the rich and powerful. We pray for long lasting changes in government policy to better care for everyone in our society and our environment. Recognising our connection with everything on this beautiful planet. Show us how to also be voices for justice and change in these times.
Give Governments the wisdom to restore our trust in them and guide them to learn from the examples of other countries to take swift and wise actions to protect the whole community.
We pray for grace, we pray that love will direct all our decisions and actions.
Show us ways to stay calm and stay connected and stay healthy and stay involved in the lives of everyone who needs us.
We also especially pray for Ruth and Felix and give them safe travel.
Dear God, sustain us with love and strength, as we seek to serve you in these rapidly changing and challenging times.
Meredith Budge, offered for worship Lent 4A, 22/03/2020