Monday, 7 March 2016

Prayers of Intercession – The Body of Christ

Great God of the whole earth, you call us to be your body. And so today, as your body gathered in this place, we offer our whole selves to your service. May we be knit together by your Spirit, so that our common life reflects your calling and your will.

Direct our thoughts, words, and deeds in ways that make real in this world the eternal truth of your coming kingdom.

Teach our eyes to see the world as you see it, rather than as the world wants to be seen. May we learn to see through the insidious propaganda that so readily dominates human relationships from the interpersonal to the international. May we learn that the ‘other’ is also a child of God, as deeply loved and valued as we are ourselves. From the abstract refugee, migrant, and asylum seeker, to the person we find most difficult in our day to day lives, may we discover you in those we fear. And so we pray for those who help us to see. We pray for journalists, for the opinion formers, for politicians, and for bloggers. We thank you for fearless truth telling, and we pray for integrity for all those who show others what to believe. We thank you for the freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country, and we ask for your wisdom as we discern where we should direct our own eyes. May we look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.

And as we have seen, so we must do. Teach us, living Lord, where we should take our stand. May we be released from the compulsion to aggressively defend our own territory, and instead may we learn what it means to stand on justice and righteousness and truth. As the firm ground of our certainties shifts beneath us, may we learn how to walk new paths of collaboration and cooperation. So we pray for our traditional enemies, for those who we instinctively stand against, and we ask that in the new world of your Spirit, enemies may become friends reaching out across borders previously uncrossed. And so we pray for Israel and Palestine, and for Syria and Iraq, and for the countries of Europe. May peace and justice and righteousness prevail. We pray also for those who take their stand on issues of moral or theological certainty, and in so doing exclude others from your love. Grand us again a vision of your universal kingdom which recognises no divisions and transcends all borders.

And as we negotiate the changing territory of the world, we pray that you will direct our actions. May the works of our hands be acceptable in your sight. May we build friendships and not enmities. May we reach out in love and acceptance to those whom others would push away. May we become your body, extending a welcome to all, in your name; bringing food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and healing to the sick. May our hands be generous in your service, releasing our time, talents and money to the service of your kingdom. So we pray for all those with whom we partner as we reach out to the vulnerable and hurting of this world. We commit to our care and guidance our relationships with BMS World Mission, Christian Aid, and the Amos Trust, who extend our reach around the glove, and also more locally the work of London Citizens, the Simon Community, the C4WS night shelter, and the Green Light team. Great God of us all, teach us to live in love, to stand in hope, and to act with justice.

For the sake of your kingdom. Amen. 

No comments: