In the midst of the current crises, Coronavirus, Brexit, Climate Change and many others, be quite still and take comfort from the fact that you are with God who created the world.

Come Holy Spirit, Come.

1.Trusting God:

‘O God our refuge and strength as we face the uncertainty and anxiety of the next few months in this land give us the faith to believe that as we turn to you in prayer you will see us through the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. And as we are constantly reminded of the forthcoming dangers help us to keep our eyes upon you, the one who can solve our problems, rather than focus on the problems themselves; so that your power and your peace may be released in this situation, for the protection and blessing of your people and to your honour and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen’.

Revd Cecil Kerr (a prayer written during The Troubles but equally relevant today).

2.Repentance & Forgiveness:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:17).

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are and direct what we shall be.  We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28); Forgive, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).

Gracious Lord Jesus, help us to see that your love wants us free of bitterness. We choose to forgive and we pray for those who have hurt us physically or emotionally. Only with your grace can we take the first steps to reconciliation. In your name we pray. Amen.

3.Thanks and Praise (let us come before God in an Attitude of Gratitude)

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Father, almighty and ever living God, at all times and in all places it is right to give you thanks and praise.

And so with all your people, with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! (BCP 2004).

4.Genesis 1:31 – God’s Creation and the Environment

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and morning – the sixth day.

Lord, open our eyes to the beauty of what you have created. Open our minds to the fact that you are our Father and that we can have the most perfect relationship with you. May we often take time to behold your beauty even in the times when we are faced with the ugliness and evil in this world.  Lord, your word says that you saw what you had made and that it was very good.  So we give you thanks that we too can see what you have made and behold your beauty. Amen. 

We are stewards of God’s Creation. Whilst we could do so much more to limit our impact on the environment would we ever have believed that the arrival of Coronavirus could make a significant impact in reducing pollution?  

Heavenly father, teach us to recognise the beauty, wonder and diversity of your creation and to fulfil our responsibilities towards maintaining it.  May we learn to treasure your world in which we live.  Teach us all to live wisely, to protect our environment, to be mindful of your creation, and above all mindful of you the Great Creator. In Jesus’ name we pray through whom all was made.  Amen.

5.Prayer for our Land:

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

We are to be righteous people; right with God and right with our neighbours.

Heavenly father, thank you for the love you have for us.  Thank you that you loved us so much that you gave your only Son Jesus Christ to die upon the cross, to save us from our sins, to intercede for us in heaven, and to bring us to eternal life (based on John 3:16). In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

6.Prayers about the Coronavirus Outbreak:

The year, 2020, will be remembered by all of us for the impact Coronavirus has had on our lives:• untimely death and serious illness; • washing hands, wearing facemasks, social-distancing; • the NHS, PPE, Thursday evening applause; • lockdown: those shielding or living alone, loving neighbours;• impact on daily routines – working from home, closed businesses, furlough; and• the so-called ‘New Normal’.

There is a heaviness about the future, but we trust in the Lord who will shelter his children under his wings and no harm will befall them (from Ps91). 

A prayer for all feeling the heaviness of the outbreak;

Keep us, good Lord under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low that they may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate them from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

For the bereaved;

Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved, the spirit of faith and courage, that they may have strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience, not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of thy great goodness in past years, and in the sure expectation of a joyful reunion in the heavenly places; and this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. We remember………….

For those who are ill;

Merciful God, we entrust to your tender care those who are ill or in pain, knowing that whenever danger threatens your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe. Comfort and heal them, and restore them to health and strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. We remember………… 

For hospital staff and medical researchers:

Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those searching for effective treatment and vaccine for Covid-19. Strengthen them with your Spirit that through their work many will be restored to health or prevented from becoming ill; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

7.The Church coming out of the Lockdown, Church Unity, Renewal and the Persecuted Church

Let us give thanks as our churches re-open after the Lockdown. Thankfully during closuremost clergy, with the support of technology and volunteers ensured that the ‘church without walls’ worked-on, maintaining contact with their members and the wider community. 

Perhaps a thought for those who during the Lockdown were unable to say farewell in the normal manner to their loved ones who had passed, with most prevented from holdingthanksgiving services in church and at best only a few being allowed to attend graveside committals. 

I’m sure we would all agree that nothing can satisfactorily replace the togetherness of our in-person gatherings. In time we will be able to return to all our regular church activities.

Heavenly Father, thank you that our church buildings are re-opening allowing us to return to our routine of Sunday worship albeit in reduced numbers due to social distancing. We thank you that during the period of closure many gave generously of their time, money and creative ideas in order to maintain the work of the Church by keeping contact with church members and the wider community. We thank you in Jesus name. Amen.

We pray for a spirit of unity within and between our churches and across denominations; ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…..for there the Lord commands a blessing’ (Psalm 133). We pray for renewal and revival, for a fresh anointing of the Spirit on church members and for your Kingdom to come to our Land, may it come through us.

O High King of Heaven, have mercy on our land.  Revive your Church.  Send the Holy Spirit for the lost, the least and the broken.  May your Kingdom come to our nation. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen’. (Caleb Prayer, Ffald-y-Brenin, Wales).

Thank you Lord that in the face of increasing secularism, we continue to enjoy the freedom to openly worship you across our Land. We ask you to bless and protect our Christian brothers and sisters under attack across the world in war torn and famine stricken lands, by authoritarian regimes and increasingly by the Coronavirus. We think of those in North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and India and others (Open Doors World Watch List 2020 – Top 10 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution).

O God, our refuge and our strength, our very present help in time of trouble, have mercy on our brothers and sisters around the world who live with the reality of anti-Christian violence.We pray for the countless thousands who have been injured or bereaved, who have had to flee their homes and livelihoods. Comfort them with the reality of your presence, hide them under the shelter of your wing, and make the escalating violence cease. May the Name of your Son Jesus Christ be glorified as Christian victims of violence forgive and love their persecutors.Amen.

8.Peace in our Community and in the World

We continue to pray for a lasting peace in our Land and the World.

Locally we pray:• against the evil forces in our society who seek to disturb our fragile peace; • for your blessing and protection on those working at grass roots level to build and keep the peace; • that the peace walls and the invisible walls in peoples’ hearts would be demolished; • for the healing of past hurts; and• against all criminality, sectarianism, racism, and modern day slavery.

Internationally we pray:• for peace in the USA where racial tensions and on-street violence are reminders ofsimilar problems in the 1960s;  at election time we pray for constructive and dignified debate between Republicans and Democrats; and• for an end to all conflicts across the world, particularly in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Israel…) and across many nations in Africa (Nigeria, Niger, Eretria, Sudan, South Sudan…) where our Christian brothers and sisters are greatly affected losing their lives, their living and their homes.

Lord Jesus Christ, help us to build bridges with others and help them to build bridges in turnso that little by little, we might help cross the chasms that still divide our community and theworld.  We ask this in your Name, the Prince of PeaceAmen.

9.Marginalised in our Community

We pray for those in need in our community: for those with financial pressures; refugeesseeking asylum; rough sleepers; the sick in body, mind & spirit; the suicidal; the oppressedand abused; those with addictions, those in prison; single parent & broken families; those in modern day slavery; so many……We give thanks for foodbanks, all agencies of relief andcommunity groups that are bringing help & hope to people at their point of need.

Lord Jesus Christ, we recall your words ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matt 25:40).  Help us to help others Lord. In your Name we pray. Amen.

10.Private Sector Business

We pray for businesses in all sectors whose very existence is threatened by Lockdown imposed by government in a bid to control the spread of the Coronavirus. In particular we think of the employers and employees in hospitality, aerospace, farming, manufacturing and many more sectors. We also pray for agreement on a fair trade deal between the UK and the EU as failure to do so could exacerbate an already deteriorating economic position for all. 

Heavenly father, we give you thanks for the short term support from government aimed at helping businesses survive the storm of Coronavirus and as a second wave of the virus comes upon us we hope and pray that necessary support will be availableWe also pray for agreement on a fair trade deal between the UK and the EU and ask that our local economiesand jobs would be protected in the midst of rapid change. In Jesus name we pray. Amen’.

11.The Young & the Older People

We pray for God’s blessing and protection for the unborn, for children, for teenagers, and for students. We think of all young people whose planned studies have been upset as a result of Coronavirus. We ask you to guide young Christians in how they can serve you Lord.  We pray for young people who don’t know Jesus as their personal saviour and we particularly pray for the young people in Hydebank College, we ask that there would be Christian influences in their lives that would lead them to the Lord.  

Lord of all, hear our prayers for the young people of our land; enthusiastic young people with so many gifts & fresh ideas to offer. Lord, they live with all kinds of pressures, demands and temptations.  Bless them with a strong faith and protect them from evil. In your Name we pray. Amen’.

We also pray for older people who have contributed and continue to contribute so much to your Church and to the community as a whole. We think particularly of elderly people who are lonely, many living in care homes as their health deteriorates.

‘Heavenly father, the Psalmist writes ‘Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come’ (Psalm 71 v 18). Lord bless and protect our elderly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen’.

12.Closing Prayers:

“Lord, let me walk with you and know your peace.  May my life speak of you.  May my whole being wait on you, to hear your word and do your will. My Lord and my God.  Amen”.

May we live by faith, walk in hope and be renewed in love, until the world reflects your glory and you are all in all. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.

“Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”.

Contact details

Norman Sleator, DHM, Mob: 07533 207627, email: norman_sleator54@yahoo.co.uk

IDHM Everyday Prayers Oct-Dec 20