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Related Bible reading(s): Luke 3.7-18

Prayers of intercession

This is our prayer

 

O Lord our God,
so many memories of people and places flash through our thinking as we move through Advent and prepare for Christmas, many happy memories intertwined with sadness and loss.

We pray today for those who have been part of our lives, our loving, our living, our growing and maturing; for those who have died we give thanks; and for those who are living we pray with gratitude, that they may find comfort, love, purpose, joy, hope and meaning this Christmas.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For those families who suffered so much in recent storms, who lived without basic comforts of light and heat and warm food; for those who had to moved house and leave their own home comforts; for those who stayed put and struggled to exist; for those who rallied round and helped and supported their local community in its hours of need.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For lives damaged, ruled, destroyed by illegal drugs; for those who supply, who run, who use; for those who pick up the pieces and catch the criminals and live forever with the consequences; for those who seek to help and heal, to care, to love, to support and understand.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For families suffering abuse and harm, neglect and cruelty, be they old or young, victim or perpetrator – may each of us look out for need, look out for signs and be brave enough to speak out and stand up and be counted; for medics, teachers, social workers and all on the front line of care, give them wisdom, insight and strength in the heat of the storm to do their very best for all who are in need.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For countries who seemingly choose to self-destruct, who choose to rule in ways we see as harmful, cruel and wrong; for countries who seek to establish power and influence by corruption and violence and greed; for countries who seek to show support and help and who seek peaceful ways of resolving simmering situations that look likely to explode.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For all who feel the weight of illness and pain, of death and dying; for those impacted by Covid in all its forms and those whose treatment for other conditions have been side lined or at best delayed; for those who have to prioritise and choose who has what care; for care deliverers and providers pushed into crisis by Covid and winter and increasing demand.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

For family and friends who are walking through Advent uncertain what Christmas celebrations they should arrange or embrace or cancel; for those who face Christmas alone or ill, sold or hungry, fearful of the now and more fearful of the future hardships and pain.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

Finally, we pray for ourselves that we may have eyes to see need, mouths to speak words of comfort, smiles to say ‘I love you’ when hugs are out of bounds. May we O God be your eyes, your ears, your mouth to those who share this Advent with us and those whose lives touch ours; may we be the bringers, the signs of ‘good news’ to them.

O Lord our God,
this is our prayer.

These are our prayers for all you people.
Amen.

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