If you would like December's prayers, please click here.
January 1 (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13)
'He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.' (Verse 11.)
Ageless one, who created time
And is sovereign over its every passing moment –
Be near to us at this turning of the year.
Help us to look back and celebrate all you have done
And all you have accomplished through us
To build your kingdom of justice and peace.
Empower us to also face the disappointment
And holy frustration of the change we have yet to see
And the injustice that continues to rob so many of their future.
And above all, fill us with your Spirit
That we might look to the year ahead with hope, determination and love
For we need your perspective as we continue to work with you
For an end to poverty, and a future for all.
January 8 (Psalm 29)
'The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!' (Verses 10-11.)
Lord Jesus, today we remember kings who came
And bowed before you, offering precious gifts.
And we remember you – Almighty King – who came
And humbly gave yourself, even to death on a cross.
We also would come and kneel, and lay our lives at your feet.
We commit again to love you, and others, with all our hearts,
minds, souls and strength.
We pledge again to give our money, our status, and our very selves
to your kingdom of love.
We ask for your help in prioritising you, and your image in others
And we remember all those waiting for floods to recede;
Lives to be restored;
Peace to come;
And us to rise up and follow your call
To build your kingdom of justice
With obedience, sacrifice, and love.
January 15 (1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20) )
'The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, 'Go lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.' ' (Verses 8-9.)
Here I am Lord.
Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
Let me hear your call to serve you
And work with you
To bring hope to the world's poorest communities.
Here we are Lord.
Speak Lord, for your church is listening.
May we hear the cries of those living poverty
And recognise the call and gifting on each one of us
To bring hope to the world's poorest communities together.
January 22 (Mark 1:14-20)
'And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fish for people.' ' (Verse 17.)
The one and only Christ,
You called many people
From many walks of life -
To leave their own ways and follow you;
To be your disciples;
And to prize people as something to seek, find and restore.
The one true leader of every church,
We choose to stand as one church – your church –
And to lift our focus from our differences and divides.
We will leave our own ways and follow you together;
Support each other as we seek to be your disciples;
And work together to focus on fishing once more.
For we must act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly together
Before you – and each other.
For the sake of our worship of you,
Our love for each other,
And the future and freedom of all those still living in poverty.
We ask for your Spirit's help with this
For we are quick to focus on ourselves, our labels and our differences
Rather than the same nets in our hands, and the same leader before us.
Christ have mercy - in your precious name which unites us all.
A prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day (22 January)
When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving
And calls out, protests, screams.
(translated by Robert Hass)
January 29 (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)
'We know that 'all of us possess knowledge.' Knowledge puffs up, but love builds us. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.' (Verses 1-3.)
Father of life,
Who sees all and knows all,
We come to you to confess what you already know -
That we do not have all the answers
That we so desperately long for
In order to free our world from poverty, pain and injustice.
But we are spending ourselves on loving you
And serving the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.
And so we ask, in your mercy, that you would fill us again for the work ahead.
Build us up in love
That we might pour ourselves out again and again
To build what counts and lasts forever – justice, peace, and freedom.
And to make it known that you are love, and you give love, and you require love in return.
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