|THE SICK||Hilary, Ian Ward, Terry Ashby, Elizabeth, David, Barbara, Fy, Jo, Flo, Jill and Fred.|
|YEARS MIND||Bert Tuckey, Paul Layzell, Gertrude Roach, Barry Smith, Patricia Stephens.|
|BISHOPS||Justin, Christopher, Richard, Jonathan, Karowei|
Love never fails
Even in the darkest moments, love gives hope …
Love compels us to fight against coronavirus alongside our sisters and brothers living in poverty.
Love compels us to stand together in prayer with our neighbours near and far.
Love compels us to give and act as one …
Now, it is clear that our futures are bound together as never before …
As we pray in our individual homes – around the nation and around the world – we are united as one family.
So, let us pause and find a moment of peace, as we lift up our hearts together in prayer.
For the health workers tending the seriously ill
for the scientists working on a vaccine
for the researchers analysing data and identifying trends
for the media outlets working to communicate reality
for the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers
for the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning
for the singing from balconies by locked-down communities
for the recognition that isolation doesn't need to mean loneliness
for the notes through letterboxes offering help and support
for the awakened appreciation of what is truly important
Thanks be to God.
For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones
for those who were already very anxious
for those immune suppressed or compromised
for those vulnerable because of underlying conditions
for those in the ‘most at risk to coronavirus&lrsquo; categories
for those watching their entire income stream dry up
for those who have no choice but to go out to work
for those who are afraid to be at home …
for those who are more lonely than they've ever been
for those who are bereaved and grieving.
God be their healer, comfort and protection,
be their strength, shield and provision
be their security, safety and close companion
And raise up your Church
to be your well-washed hands and faithful feet …
to be present to the pain
to respond with love in action
if even from a safe distance.
God, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.
‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come … will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39)
God of heaven and earth,
in these times of isolation,
apart from loved ones
distant from friends
away from neighbours
thank you that there is nothing
in all of creation,
not even coronavirus,
that is able to separate us from your love.
And may your love that never fails
continue to be shared
through the kindness of strangers
looking out for each other,
for neighbours near and far
all recognising our shared vulnerability,
each of us grateful for every breath,
and willing everyone to know the gift
of a full and healthy life.
Keep us all in your care.
Restoring and healing God,
thank you for medical workers everywhere,
embodying sacrificial love in these challenging times
putting the welfare of others before their own
staying away from their family and loved ones
comforting the concerned and bereaved
reassuring the anxious and vulnerable
working to heal and restore people who are ill.
Be their guide, strength, wisdom and hope.
We pray for those in authority to do right by them
for proper protective equipment to be provided
and for their dedication to be met with much gratitude
and appreciation when they return home, exhausted.
And we pray for medical workers around the world,
where resources and protective equipment
are always in short supply, not only now but always.
May these extraordinary times
lead to deep and necessary changes in how our world works,
resulting in a genuine effort to address the profound injustice
of life expectancy being determined by geography,
to awaken us all to the reality of how connected we all are
and to work together to create the community and world
we all want to be part of.
So help us, God,
we seek your presence
in the silence beyond words
looking to you for comfort,
strength, protection and reassurance
breathing with gratitude
holding on to hope
trusting with faith
that you are still God
in the midst of the turmoil
and that your love reaches
to the ends of the earth.
Be present with us now.
‘Love … bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.’
(1 Corinthians 13:7-8)
strengthen our innermost being
with your love that bears all things
even the weight of this global pandemic
even the long haul of watching for symptoms
of patiently waiting for this to pass
watching and waiting,
keeping our gaze fixed on you,
and looking out for our neighbours
near and far.
Instil in our shaken souls
the belief and hope that all things
are possible with your creative love
for strangers to become friends
for science to source solutions
for resources to be generously shared
so everyone, everywhere, may have what they need
for your perfect love that knows no borders
may cast out any fear and selfishness that divides.
May your love that never ends
be our comfort, strength and guide
for the wellbeing of all and
the glory of God.
May your love that never fails
strengthen the weak
encourage the fearful
calm the anxious
heal the sick
through your church –
your washed hands
and feet on earth –
distant but still present
virtual but still connected
apart but still helping.
God in your mercy,
hear our prayer.