Prayers of the people
Source of all light and love and healing
– we bring our heavy hearts to you
as we reflect on this past week and seek your guidance
to know how to be bearers of your hope and healing love.
Sometimes it is hard to focus on that light
when there is so much darkness in the world.
Show us how to draw on your light
so we can be beacons of love
and support for those who suffer around us.
We particularly think of all the people
who must be suffering over and again at the news
of George Pell’s conviction and jailing.
We acknowledge the courage and strength of those survivors
who have made it through and come forth
to expose the horror inflicted on them as children.
Surround them with your love
and provide them with the support they need to hold on
through this difficult time.
We especially pray for those who have lost family member
s and friends who could no longer live with their pain.
We acknowledge their aching loss.
May they too be surrounded by your love,
with people who can provide support,
care and comfort during this time.
We pray too, for all those who have walked away from you,
no longer able to associate with the churches
that have protected and upheld this evil.
May they know your presence and sense your spirit,
meeting with you through other pathways.
Perhaps, through exploring the beauty of your creation
or through recognising your spirit in the people who love them.
Meet us all, wherever and however we seek you –
help us all to be still, to find you in quiet meditation,
in community or as we to dwell in your loving creation,
recognising our interconnectedness with the Earth,
finding you in her source of light and love.
We also pray for those affected by the fires surrounding Melbourne
and throughout Victoria. We pray for safety and wisdom
for those affected. We also pray for those who are still healing
from the loss of Black Saturday 10 years ago.
Help us to be aware, sensitive to the needs of those around us
who may be suffering in hidden ways.
Help us to be kind, patient, measured in our responses to friends
and strangers, knowing that we cannot know what traumas
and griefs might be guiding their actions.
Give us the courage to be with people who we know are suffering,
the wisdom to be present with them in open and gentle ways,
channelling your love for them.
Loving God, we also pray for all those who are displaced
and forced from their homes and countries by poverty,
oppression, war and persecution.
Shine your light on the perpetrators of war and terror
that disrupt and displace so many people across the world –
may they be held to account.
Enter the hearts of world leaders to become champions for peace,
providing succour and refuge to people forced from their homes.
Be with the men and women still stranded on Manus and Nauru
and show us how to be part of the solution to this ongoing torture.
Thank you for people like Behrouz Boochani
and Abdul Aziz Muhamat who have stayed incredibly strong
in the face of so much deliberate effort to break them.
May our voices, join theirs to bring an end to this suffering.
Once again, loving God, surround us with your light
and love so that we can know how to challenge our leaders
to acknowledge the suffering they have caused to so many.
We pray that our leaders will listen to the voices of people
like Behrouz Boochani, perhaps be compelled to read his book.
We pray that they will seek forgiveness,
stir in them a burning desire to make restitution for their actions
and to bring healing to people who have suffered
so much over recent years.
In the midst of these and so many other stories of pain
and difficulty, world-wide, on our doorsteps,
and even within our own hearts, we seek your love and your light,
to be bearers of hope, joy and healing for the people we touch
in our day to day lives.
We also pray for the courage to shine your light on injustice
as we too join with others to be clear, strong voices of hope and healing.
Shine your light in our hearts and show us how to respond,
how to act and especially how to be,
bearers of your love and light in the world.
by Meredith Budge, offered for worship 3/3