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Church Prayers and Intercessions

Prayers Sunday 8th September 2013 Ordinary 23 Year C

Mr Mike Elliott

Jer 18: 1 – 11 The Potter. God shapes his people. 
Philemon 1 – 21Paul writes about Onesimus, the runaway slave.
Luke 14: 25 – 33 The cost of discipleship (sermon theme)

The bidding today will be:- Lord in your mercy.
and the response will be: - Hear our prayer.
And afterwards we will say together the words of the Lord’s Prayer which are printed in the order of service.

We pray together,
Loving God, when we look at the Earth, which formed out of your creation, we see your mighty power and your tender gentleness. We see both your glory and your simplicity.
We see evidence of your sense of humour and your caring provision for all of creation.
All that you have made tells us that this Earth is held in the hands of a loving and generous God who, when its people call out, they will be heard.

So hear us now as we bring before you, in our prayers of intercession, our hopes and dreams for a better world, for better human relationships and for lives restored to wholeness. In all these we seek no more than your grace allows. And so…….

Lord in Your mercy  - 'Hear our prayer’

Lord we pray for your Church - that its leaders and peoples will feel the power of the Holy Spirit as they strive to bring your words of truth, comfort and challenge into today’s world of many faiths and none. Especially do we pray for your church in the Middle East where Christians are seen as easy victims for the surrounding conflicts and who, in their daily lives, know the true cost of discipleship.

We remember Ministers in our own Methodist Circuit who are now taking up their new appointments along with new Circuit officers and pray your blessing on them, their families and their ministry among us.

So we pray for our own church here at St. Mark’s and at Putnoe Heights as we remember all who give of their time and talents in Christ’s name. We pray for Charlie, Jane and Sam and all those in roles of leadership and responsibility that the church may be guided with inspiration that can only come through your spirit.

Lord in Your mercy  - 'Hear our prayer’

In a world still riven by division and open conflict we earnestly seek that peace which cannot be imposed but has to come from within.

As the international community still has no answer to the turmoil that is Syria we pray that those who have influence amongst the many embattled factions will recognise that victory wrests not with the bomb or bullet but in seeing all parties involved as children of God and deserving of a life in peace and with dignity.

As we are shocked at the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis so we pray for the efforts in the neighbouring countries and those of aid agencies to accommodate the ever increasing numbers. We ask that our own country continues its support in providing humanitarian aid in this region.  

Lord in Your mercy  - 'Hear our prayer’

We pray for our own country and its peoples.

We are constantly reminded of the contrasts within our modern society – the level of the minimum wage versus that paid to top executives or footballers. Also that a person’s worth and their monetary reward often seem out of balance. And so pray for a more just and equitable society where service and humility is ranked fairly alongside power and status.

Despite the increase and ease of personal communications many, in British society today, still live lives of loneliness. We pray for those who try and bring some personal contact into such lives and pray for the work of organisations like our own Telecare service within the Partnership and of Friends for Life in the Bedford area. Jesus not only spoke of a loving God but held out his hand and touched those who sort him. Help us all to be Christ’s hands in reaching out to the lonely.

As our country slowly comes out of economic gloom we pray for those who were and still are the victims of downsizing and other euphemisms. Grant that their hope for a working future is not dimmed by the past but is kept alive with the thought of new possibilities.    

We continue to remember and pray for our own armed forces in Afghanistan as their direct involvement continues to wind down. We think of those who will remain to train and mentor the Afghan forces and pray for families who stoically await their safe return home.

Lord in Your mercy   - 'Hear our prayer’

We pray for those in most need in our own families and neighbourhood, thinking of the elderly, the housebound and those in hospital or hospice. We pray for all carers and visitors whether family members, volunteers or health care professionals and especially for those who minister to people near the end of life’s journey through the hospice movement - for they do your work and so we ask for them your gifts of patience, compassion and understanding.

We pray for those that we know who are sick, lonely or in some special need at this time as we share a brief moment of silence together as we name them in our hearts.

(A short period of silence and reflection)

As we have named them in our hearts so let them feel your presence and friendship in their lives as we commit them to your loving care.

Lord in Your mercy   - 'Hear our prayer’

We also remember those we have loved but see no more and pray for those left behind to grieve. Let them know that nothing is more dependable in times of sorrow than your encircling love

Help us also to promote the certain knowledge that………..

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. Today we remember: -

Edith May Willis

For you turn our darkness into light; in your light shall we see light.

Lord in Your mercy   - 'Hear our prayer’

A final prayer for ourselves: -
When you called us to follow you we knew that the journey might be rough, that some would fall away and that the tasks would often appear too big, but you also ensured that we would not be alone and that we would be sustained by your unfailing love along the way. We pray that our time of discipleship should ever be to your glory.

Merciful Father, “Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen”.

(We say together the words that Jesus taught us)

THE LORD’S PRAYER (Authorised Version)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever. AMEN