Prayer for 2021
At this time of stress and uncertainty,
we are assured by your sovereignty,
trust in your love,
we approach you with humble confidence, through your Son and by your Spirit.
As we look back on the challenges of this past year,
we thank you for every sign of your grace:
the kindness of family, friends and neighbours,
the beauty of nature,
the sacrifices of key workers,
and the marvels of technology and medical science.
Above all, we thank you for the strength and comfort your Spirit has given,
through the Scriptures and your people.
We confess those times when we have not trusted, obeyed or loved,
but have been self-dependent, self-pitying and self-serving.
Lord have mercy on us.
As we begin a new year,
we remember those in our church family who have been most affected by Covid-19:
physically, psychologically, economically and spiritually.
Help us love and support one another through these difficult times.
Please equip us to minister to those in greatest need,
in the parish, through CAP and Open Door and among our neighbours and friends.
We are grieved by the restrictions we have to endure in our church life.
Even when we are physically separated, please deepen our fellowship,
and build us up in Christ.
May we not hide behind masks and screens,
but open our hearts to each other with vulnerability and sacrificial love.
Give wisdom and strength to those serving in government, health and social care, and other frontline services.
We long for deliverance from this pandemic.
When that day comes, may we not forget the lessons you have taught us.
Keep us humbly dependent on you,
not forgetting our frailty,
and living with you at the centre of our lives.
Help us to spot and resist any harmful tendencies that have set in during this time,
towards selfish independence,
or towards excessive love of comfort or control.
We pray that we may shine with faith, love and hope in the darkness of these days.
May others be drawn to you through our witness
and come to know Christ for themselves.
We look forward with hope to the day when we are all free to gather again in one place,
and can join together in singing your praises.
That will be just a foretaste of the great day when Christ returns,
when all your people will worship you in your presence,
in a world free of all sickness, mourning and pain.
Until then, please work in us and through us for your glory,