Recently, the Archbishops wrote to all the clergy in the Church of England stating their conviction that the first and primary response of the Church at this time should be prayer: “Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever. Above all, we recall people to some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines that shape our Christian life. How we do this is up to each congregation and clergy person. We will publish resources to support you before the first day of lockdown. During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.” The Archbishops, in consultation with the House of Bishops, decided that this call would take the form of an invitation to every Christian and person of good will to pray at 6pm every day for the period of this present lockdown. The Archbishops promised some resources in the form of different styles of written prayers with a particular thematic focus for prayer each day.
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week. Prayers are said for these people in the Daily and Weekly prayers below. Those who are ill in body, mind or spirit: George and Jean Hodgetts, Rose Ward, Nina Davies, Vicki Ellis, George Carter, James Carr, Lindsey Dawes, Fred Clarke, Ted Dodd, Chris Handley, Mike Harrison, Stephen Wright, Sam Martin, Lynn Yule, Keith Turner, Bill Rae, John Manns, Amanda Horton, Charlotte Talbot, John Lewis, baby Frankie Rowley, Debbie Sampson, Ray Stansbie, Barbara Willerby, Lilian Freeman Natalie Price, Malcolm Wright, Mike Gwynne, Lesley Beech, Debbie Sampson, Colin Breakwell, Anita Hayfield, Anona Hickin, Audrey Jones, Wendy Wright-Owen and Matthew Pritchett. Those who have died: Evelyn Fullard, Roy Parker, Brian Hodson, Norman Price, Jean Howell, Edna Betty Jones, baby Riley, Barbara North, Richard, John Withers, Aiden Homans, Mick Hardcastle, Brian Cowley and John Barton.
Our daily prayers on Thursday 26th November
Prayer for our government and leaders:
We pray for our Prime Minister and the government; for the responsibilities of office and the difficulties of decision-making. We pray for members of Parliament - for their faith; for their families and the pressures of being away from home; for their workload, both in Parliament and their constituencies. We remember the staff who support the work of Parliament and government. Amen
We pray for those who are ill in body, mind or spirit, those who have died and those mourning:
Father, your love is as wide as the oceans, as deep as the sea and as tall as the heavens. May your spirit rise like a mighty wave and come and restore those who are ill. You are the water of life, you are a fresh spring, you are healing rain to all those who are in need. Amen
We pray for all of us to be strong; to believe and have faith. We pray that we love, care and respect one another; and that we have patience and listen. We pray for one another, for the sick and for the deceased. Amen
Please keep and carry these precious people in their sadness and loss. Cover them with your great wings of love, give their weary hearts rest and their minds sound sleep. Lord, lift their eyes so that they may catch a glimpse of eternity, and be comforted by the promise of heaven. Amen
We remember all those who are struggling:
If we’re feeling alone in our internal panic, take comfort in the fact that we’re not alone. When the world feels like it’s spinning out of control, we pray to God to help us let go of the worry. We pray for those who feel alone, vulnerable and are overwhelmed by anxiety at this time. Amen
God of compassion, be close to those who are afraid or alone in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Dear Lord, we lift up all who are hungry today. You know who they are so we ask that you comfort them and bring them their daily bread. We pray that people will no longer have to suffer hunger. We pray that we will never take for granted the provisions we have. Open our eyes to those in need around us. Show us how you would have us love our neighbours and brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen
Prayers for all of us:
Lord, be with our children and grandchildren who are in school, college or university. Please watch over them and keep them safe. Amen Lord, be beside us every day, always guiding and leading us gently. Lord be above us, help us to see the hope of the future, of all we could be. Lord be beneath us, carry us when we’re too shattered or tired and have no strength. Lord be ahead of us, smoothing our paths, protecting and blessing the places we pass. Lord be behind us, healing our wounds, forgiving our mistakes and making us new. Jesus be within us, this family is yours now and forever, you are our Lord. Amen
Today's prayer from the Diocese of Lichfield:
Loving God, you know us and all that we are facing. We thank you that we can come to you as we are – with all our fears and concerns, our difficulties and challenges. Please draw close to each of us and those we remember before you now. Bring to us your peace and comfort and fill us with your Spirit that we may be bearers of your grace and hope to others. As a country protect us, encourage us and keep us. In the name of your Son Jesus, we pray. Amen
Today’s prayer from the Church of England:
God the Father, help us to hear the call of Christ the King and to follow in his service, whose kingdom has no end; for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one glory. Amen
It is with great sadness that we have heard of the loss of our dear friend John Barton. John passed away on 19th November and we send our sincerest condolences to his wife Lynn and their family. John had attended Saint Bartholomew's for some time and occasionally played the organ for us. He will be greatly missed and his family will be remembered in our prayers. May he rest in peace.
Weekly Prayers 22nd-29th November
Prayer for 22nd November:
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer and reveal your hand in our days. May those things be done that bring your future nearer and that let the world see you as the Saviour who can lead us to our Father. Bless your Word within us. May our hearts be strengthened and may we always live in your presence. We draw our life from your Word, from your promise, and we set our hope on you. Show your might and carry out the will of God over all the world, so that we may rejoice when we see God's glory appear and his will being done on earth as in heaven. Amen
Prayers for our church:
Dear God, we pray for Fr Mark and ask that you watch over him when he has to conduct funeral services. Make our church a community of peacemakers and bridge builders in the midst of turbulence. We pray that our congregation can stay close to their faith in their homes. We ask that you enable our fellow worshippers to stay safe. Amen
Lord, we pray that amidst so much pain, anxiety, weariness and despair in society that we will hold on to our Diocesan vision to be People of Hope; that churches may reach out to their communities in word and deed in creative ways; for the opportunities for personal prayer in our churches; that many will participate in the daily time of prayer at or around 6pm; that the new series of Ministry Shift will provide inspiration and encouragement to all in ministry.
Lord, in these days of mercy, make us quiet and prayerful; in these days of challenge, make us stronger in you; in these days of emptiness, take possession of us; in these days of waiting, open our hearts to the mystery of your cross. Amen
OUR PRAYERS FOR THE SICK AND THOSE WHO HAVE DIED.
Those who have asked for our prayers: George and Jean Hodgetts, Rose Ward, Nina Davies, Vicki Ellis, George Carter, James Carr, Lindsey Dawes, Fred Clarke, Ted Dodd, Chris Handley, Mike Harrison, Stephen Wright, Sam Martin, Lynn Yule, Keith Turner, Bill Rae, John Manns, Amanda Horton, Charlotte Talbot, John Lewis, baby Frankie Rowley, Debbie Sampson, Ray Stansbie, Barbara Willerby, Lilian Freeman Natalie Price, Malcolm Wright, Mike Gwynne, Lesley Beech, Debbie Sampson, Colin Breakwell, Anita Hayfield, Anona Hickin, Audrey Jones, Wendy Wright-Owen and Matthew Pritchett.
God of mercy, look kindly on these people in their suffering. When Jesus was on earth, they brought the sick to him and he healed them all. Today we ask you to bless all those in sickness, in weakness and in pain. Ease their burden and make their faith strong that they may always have confidence and trust in your care. We ask that you watch over all those awaiting operations. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen
For those who have recently died, we pray for: Evelyn Fullard, Roy Parker, Brian Hodson, Norman Price, Jean Howell, Edna Betty Jones, baby Riley, Barbara North, Richard, John Withers, Aiden Homans, Mick Hardcastle, Brian Cowley and John Barton.
Lord, we humbly entrust Evelyn, Roy, Brian, Norman, Jean, Edna, Betty, baby Riley, Barbara, Richard, Ronald, John, Aiden, Mick, Brian and John. In this life you embraced them with your tender love; bid them now eternal rest. Amen
Jesus said “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust God still and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. (John 14:1-4)
Almighty and eternal God, from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted, either by death or life: hear our prayers and thanksgivings for all whom we remember this day; fulfil in them the purpose of your love; and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
For those known only to you who have died, we pray:
God our Father, your power brings us to birth, your providence guides our lives, and by your command we return to dust. Lord, those who die still live in your presence, their lives change but do not end. We pray in hope for our families, relatives and friends and for all the dead known to you alone. In company with Christ, who died and now lives, may they rejoice in your kingdom, where all our tears are wiped away. Unite us together again in one family, to sing your praise forever and ever. Amen
Father of all, we pray for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
For the bereaved, we pray:
God of love and mercy, embrace all those whose hearts today overflow with grief. Grant them space to express their tears. Hold them close through the coming days. Amen
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” We pray today for those mourning; send them Your comfort now. Wrap your arms around them and hold them tight. Shower your comfort on them. Lord, please keep and carry these precious people in their sadness and loss. Cover them with your great wings of love, give their weary hearts rest and their minds sound sleep. Lord, lift their eyes so that they may catch a glimpse of eternity and be comforted by the promise of heaven. Amen
For the hungry and the Food Bank:
We pray for all the generous people we have in our community who have donated food to the Food Bank. May God protect you and keep you safe during this uncertain time. Amen
Lord, we pray for our local Food Bank volunteers who help feed the poor and hungry in difficult times; made more acute during the current Coronavirus pandemic. You made us to know what hunger is, but also to know the goodness of your provision. We pray for those who share this earth with us, but for whom hunger is a crippling, life-threatening danger. We pray for those who have nothing and have too little to eat. Amen
God of faithfulness, your generous love supplies us with all that we need. We know that all we have is yours. We celebrate the work that you have done in Wednesbury through the Food Bank by means of the generous support of local people. Through the Food Bank we are able to offer food to the hungry, a drink to the thirsty and compassion to the strangers in our town. Accept our offering of worship and service. May your Spirit empower us to be your hands and feet in our community as we continue to serve those in crisis. We pray that you bless all those who give and receive. Increase the capacity of the Food Bank; help the food to get to those who need it most. Amen
We remember all of those who are struggling:
Loving God, we pray today for those who are confronted by the sadness, ambiguity and confusion of mental illness, and for those upon whom they depend for attention and compassionate care. Look with mercy on all whose afflictions bring them weakness, distress, confusion or isolation. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give to them understanding helpers and the willingness to accept help. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayers for all of us:
We pray that you watch over us, Lord, in these uncertain times. We pray for a vaccine to become widely available soon to stop the spread of the virus. We are thankful that many thousands of people have recovered from Covid-19 and we pray that this will continue. Amen
Lord, be with our children and grandchildren who are away at college or university. Please watch over them and keep them safe. We pray for the staff and pupils/students in all educational establishments as they face more demanding and unsettling weeks ahead. Amen
Father, we seek your wisdom daily. Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, country and the wider world. Inspire and invigorate people developing better tests to diagnose the virus, vaccines to prevent it and protocols and communication to eliminate the disease’s spread. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection. Amen
Lord God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, understood people’s fear and pain before they spoke of them, we pray for those in hospital or sick at home; surround the frightened with your tenderness; give strength to those in pain; hold the weak in your arms of love, and give hope and patience to those who are recovering; we ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick; and your wisdom to those searching for a cure to the current Covid-19 virus. Strengthen them with your Spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Today's prayer from the Diocese of Lichfield:
Generous God, you have provided for your people in every generation. In our faithlessness you remained steadfast. In our obsession with scarcity you provided abundance. In our anxiety you offered us freedom from fear. In our despair you gave us hope. We receive your gifts, believe your promises and trust you for the future. May we cease trying to fix the church and join with you in loving your world. May we hear your call to fullness of life and share it with others. May we be shaped by the Good News of Jesus, the light of the world. May we seek your kingdom as people of hope. Amen. Today's prayer from the Church of England:
Eternal Father, whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord and King: keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Lord's Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYERS FOR US IN LOCAL LOCKDOWN
Please do what is right to protect all of us – our families, our friends, our neighbourhood.
"Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy. Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may find comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen”
“Ever present God, be with those who are still isolation, be close to us in our distancing, be healing in our sickness, be joy in our sadness, be light in our darkness, be wisdom in our confusion, be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar. For Jesus’s sake. Amen”
WE PRAY YOU WILL STAY SAFE.
Prayer for Remembrance Day
PRAYER FOR ALL WHO SUFFER AS A RESULT OF WAR:
Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of war and ask that God may give us peace: We pray for all of those who have died in the violence of war. Each one is remembered by and known to God; May God give them peace. We pray for all members of the armed forces who are in danger this day, remembering their families, their friends and all who pray for their safe return; May God give them peace. We pray for all civilian men, women and children, whose lives are disfigured by war or terror, and we call to mind in regret the anger and hatred of humanity; May God give all peace. We pray for all peacemakers and peacekeepers, We pray for all who seek to keep this world secure and free; May God give all peace. And we pray for all who bear the burden and responsibility of leadership: political, military and religious; We pray that they may have the gift of wisdom and work in the search for reconciliation and peace; may God grant us all peace. O God of truth and justice, we hold before you those whose memory we cherish, and those whose names we will never know. As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future; for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever. Amen.
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.
A fitting end to our Remembrance Day prayers is Nelson’s Prayer: On the morning of the battle of Trafalgar, Nelson made an entry into his journal and with it the following prayer: “May the great God, whom I worship, grant to my country and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British fleet. For myself individually, I commit my life to him that made me; and may His blessing alight on my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen.”