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Church Prayers and Intercessions

Church Prayers and Intercessions for Epiphany 3

By Helen Wright

The baptism of Jesus marks the time when Jesus sets out on his public ministry. He chooses to do so not in the religious establishment, but rather at the hands of a man outside the system, somebody who will soon be executed. Jesus is making a statement, that he brings something very different from the religious norm. Jesus is standing alongside the ordinary people in the desert, not with royalty in the king's palace. Moreover at the baptism we hear the voice of God, Jesus has chosen well, and God gives him the Holy Spirit to empower him for the task ahead.
This is the time of year when we remember how Jesus demonstrated his commitment to the ministry to which he was called. We are told that it was while Jesus was praying that the wonderful events occurred. The miraculous Baptism was not something out of the blue, but rather something to confirm what Jesus had known all along. We know this from the events last week where Jesus went missing at the age of 12. He knew that he was in the right place when he was found in the temple. Jesus has spent two decades growing in his understanding of the service which he knew he must offer, and the sacrifice which he knew he must make. Here is the baptism experience to affirm him in his role and prepare him for the journey ahead.
As we affirm our baptism vows, we too should expect the energy of God to be present in our lives. Perhaps we too will hear that quiet voice inside which tells us that God is with us and will empower us to walk the path which he has set before us.

The bidding for today is ‘Lord in your mercy’ and the response is ‘hear our prayer’

  1. the church of Christ

Heavenly Father, on this day when we remember the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for all of those who have confessed your name in baptism and we remember especially those who experience persecution for their open profession of faith. We think of the baptisms we have been part of, as children, parents, godparents, family members or as the family of the church here at St Marks. We pray that all who are baptised here become confident followers of Christ.
May we be ready to accept the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our lives in your service. May we rise to the public challenge of declaring our faith as John did in his Ministry. May we know your presence in our daily lives recognising that in all things it is your strength which works in us.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

  1. Creation, human society, those in authority

We pray for our leaders, both near and in far flung corners of the earth. Today we think especially of the government shutdown in America as well as the vote to take place in our own House next week. Give them the wisdom to see the needs of the majority, yet the courage and patience to make good decisions.  In our day to day lives, we ask for those who lead us, to lead by example, following the most important commandment you gave us : to love one another
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

  1. local community

We thank you for all the joys we have in our community, here at St Mark’s , in Brickhill and our wider neighbourhood. We pray for all the groups who meet here, all of our local schools including our wonderful pre school. Let people feel at home when they come through your doors, let our church always be a place they want to come back to. This would not be possible without the many volunteers who give their time in so many ways. At the start of this new year, may they feel always valued here and rewarded by your blessings.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

  1. those who suffer

We pray for those who have troubled lives. Those who rely on things which threaten their lives, those who lives have been badly damaged and broken. Lord Jesus we know that you reached out to those who lives had hit rock bottom and your touch brought forgiveness, healing and change. Allow us to be your healing touch among those who have not known the power of your love. Give us your willingness to be alongside those who suffer and who are in need with conviction and without prejudice. As the weather gets colder in the weeks to come may all who struggle to find shelter find compassion and love, those who struggle to ask for help see it not as a weakness and those who offer help to find strength in your spirit upon them.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

  1. communion of saints

Gracious Lord, sit with those who are alone, even in a crowd. We pray for those who mourn, fresh in grief or even after a number of years have passed. May they feel some comfort in the knowledge that your house has a room for us all and will be forever open.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench, we light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which shines eternally and brings hope. This week we remember ………………………….. as well as those we personally have loved and lost in a moment of silence in our hearts.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we bring our prayers to you today and always in the peaceful faith that you hear us and love us. Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

We join together in saying / singing the Lord’s prayer