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Putnoe Heights Church Prayers for Sunday -11th January 2004

We begin our intercessions with a prayer of Thanksgiving; and asking for God's good grace:

Father in heaven, we thank you for the witness of countless men and women who have put their trust in you and found unfailing power and love.

We pray that your Spirit may give us grace when burdened with difficulties, to trust in your strength;
When overwhelmed with sorrow, to rest in your love;
When emptied of feeling and purpose, to know you are present;
After the example of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who through the utmost suffering of body, agony of mind and darkness of soul, still trusted in you.

As we renew our baptism vows, a prayer for Christian living:
Weave us, 0 Christ, into your people, and bless our belonging. Hold us, 0 Christ, in your love, and bless our pledging.
Stay with us, 0 Christ, in darkness and doubt, and bless our trusting.
Fill us, 0 Christ, with your Holy Spirit, and bless our lives serving you.
As young people return and prepare to return to a new education term, a prayer for their future:
We offer this prayer, Father, for our schools and colleges.
That those who teach in them may be endowed with the love and understanding we se~ revealed in the life and example of Jesus Christ;
That children may be guided in the way that leads to the abundant life which Jesus came to bring us all;
That students may accept with gratitude and humility your gifts of mind and the opportunity to use them;
That the Spirit of truth may use their studies to enlarge their understanding of your purpose for humankind, made known in Jesus Christ our Lord.
In a world increasingly obsessed with material wealth, a prayer to help us put things in their true perspective:
Lord, teach us to value our possessions in the right way. Help us never to think more of them than of people.
Make us ready to use them freely for the good of others and to share them generously without grudging. Thank you for the beautiful things that we enjoy
possessing. May our enjoyment be wholesome and right and may we hold lightly to all we own.
For the sake of Jesus Christ, who became poor that we might be eternally rich.

We pray for those who are unwell at this time, and especially any known to us personally: Let us pray for those who are ill, and for those entrusted with their care:
Lord God, whose son, Jesus Christ, understood people's fear and pain before they spoke of them, we pray for all those who are ill at home and in hospital; surround the frightened with your tenderness; give strength to those in pain; hold the weak in your arms of love, and give hope and patience to those who are recovering. Heavenly Father, giver of life and health, look in your mercy on the sick and suffering; that by your blessing upon them, and upon those who minister to them, they may be restored if it be your will to health of body and mind.

A prayer for those who mourn, and those who have died :
Lord, we pray for those who have lost friends or family members. Comfort and strengthen them in their sadness and sense of deprivation. Give them a special share of your peace and love to fill their hearts. Encourage them in the certainty that they can come close to those they love, as they bring them to you in prayer.

We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Lord in your Mercy; Bear our prayer.

We bring before God now those who have died and those who have been bereaved, whether in recent days and weeks, or in time past:
We give back to you, 0 God, those whom you gave to us. You did not lose them when you gave them to us, and we do not lose them by their return to you.
Your Son has taught us that life is eternal and love cannot die. So death is only a horizon, and a horizon is only the limit of our sight.
Open our eyes to see more clearly, and draw us closer to you, so that we may know we are nearer to our loved ones, who are with you.
You have told us that you are preparing a place for us; prepare us, that where you are we may be always, 0 dear Lord of life and death.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench. We
remember before God those who have died and light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope

We remember...

You turn our darkness into light and in your light shall we see light.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer. .

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

On earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

Now and for ever.  Amen.