Before I pray our prayers of Intercession & Thanksgiving I would like to read a poem titled “What If” which I feel encapsulates Nerri’s theme today of Wrestling with God.
GOD couldn’t take the time to bless us today, because we couldn’t take the time to thank Him yesterday?
GOD decided to stop leading us tomorrow, because we didn’t follow Him today?
GOD took away His message, because we failed to listen to the messenger?
GOD didn’t send His only begotten Son, because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price of sin? What if,
We never saw another flower bloom, because we grumbled when GOD sent the rain?
GOD didn’t walk with us today, because we failed to recognise it as HIS day?
GOD took away the Bible tomorrow, because we would not read it today?
The door of the Church was closed, because we didn’t open the door of our heart?
God stopped loving and caring for us, because we failed to love and care for others?
GOD would not hear us today, because we would not listen to Him yesterday?
GOD answered our prayers, the way we answer His call to service?
GOD met our needs, the way we give Him our lives???
Gracious and merciful God, we come before you today as your family of hope, aware of your loving plan for us.
2020 is only halfway over, even though it feels like it’s been going on for half a century. Every year typically has a few defining moments, but the past six months have contained so many world-changing events, that it’s getting hard to believe we’re not in a simulation that’s running every possible scenario at once. With a pandemic still raging, waves of social change swelling around the globe, areas devastated by earlier bushfires still trying to rebuild, the future seems to hold nothing but uncertainty. Loving Heavenly Father, these are very difficult times. The challenge for us is to drink deep from the well of faith. To ground ourselves in your unchanging love for us, in your complete commitment to us, which we see made visible flesh, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Help us to use this opportunity amidst the stress and anxiety as a compulsory spiritual retreat and develop a daily discipline of prayer.
Creator God, who made the universe and all that is in it you choose to speak in the still, small voice of love, be with those today who show your love in difficult situations. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are bringing your gospel and love to people around the world who don’t know you and pray for an end to religious persecution everywhere. We think of Christians in mainland China who can only open their churches if they sing the national anthem and the national flag is raised under the instruction of the Chinese Communist Party with an official there to supervise this. Christians who defy the Chinese government’s attempts at control of their churches reportedly face persecution, arrest, and detention. Underground churches are destroyed and crosses burned. Translations of the Bible must be approved by China’s Communist Party and often modified to meet its demands. We thank you for the blessing that we live in a country where we are able to worship openly and can freely share the gospel, without persecution or control by our government.
Gentle and loving God you call us to yourself that we might find rest for our souls in the wholeness of your kingdom. We bring before you and pray for those around the world affected by both natural disasters, hatred and violence. We pray for families dealing with mental health issues, for those in our congregation grieving the loss of loved ones, for those suffering from anxiety, depression and hopelessness. For those who are afraid, upset, discriminated against and marginalised. For the aged, the frail, those who fear losing independence, and those approaching end of earthly life, for areas experiencing a challenge with an increase in COVID 19 cases, may you provide them with the grace of patience and the strength for vigilance, may they all know your peace and strength. For the sick especially those in our congregation and their caregivers, for those we hold in the silence of our hearts. We pray that you will help us in our response to those who are not well that they may find strength.
Loving Lord we pray for all those who give of themselves that others may be helped, the doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, emergency medical teams, police, firefighters, army personnel, mental health professionals, teachers, hospital and building cleaners and countless others. We pray that our governments may provide hope for their communities by assuring them of your abiding love.
Heavenly Father be with us as we seek the welfare of one another and teach us how to support the wellbeing of all, may we work together to help the seeds of your Kingdom take root and flourish in our lives and in all the world. We thank you for the wonderful fellowship in our church, for opportunities for hospitality giving and receiving, for our great Southern land and new insights into living in a way that reflects the Kingdom of God, for the dedication of all those involved in bringing us our weekly service online or by DVD, for our Church Council as it discusses the protocols for safety coming out of COVID and the work and ministry of the Church. We thank you that you call us back to you when we stray and are a gracious, loving, forgiving Lord.
Gracious and loving God you never cease to protect and guide us in all our problems. Make us aware that we will always remain members of your extended family. As we begin to return to a more social daily life and restrictions lessen, may we be guided by the Spirit to ensure a safe environment for ourselves and those around us.
Much to pray about today and every day. How blessed we are to have a loving Father, Son and Holy Spirit who hears our prayers, spoken and unspoken and we are never abandoned.
We ask all these things through Jesus Christ our Lord.