Intercession Prayer for Sunday 20th January 2013, The Third Sunday of Epiphany

Prayer1-1God of eternity who governs all things in heaven and on Earth, we ask you to hear the prayers of your people as we bring to you our praises and concerns.

You Lord took the prophet, Elijah to be with You, passing his mantle to his disciple Elisha to go on spreading your word to the people of Israel. May we, Father, guided by Your Holy Spirit, live by Your word and continue spreading it today.

We ask for Your word of peace to be spread to the places of conflict and violence, whether it be of national or international concern as we hear on the news in Places like Syria, or whether it be the struggles we hear nothing of, like violence in a family home. Show all who are in conflict of any kind how to forgive each other and learn how to avoid further conflict in the future.

Lord Jesus Christ, in Your life and by Your death, You showed us the way of peace. We pray that all might come to know Your way.

We pray Father for those hurt or killed by the helicopter crash in London this week. We give thanks for the speed, care and efficiency with which the emergency services responded to the incident. A police office described it as “a miracle” that more people were not hurt. As we reflect on that miracle, and Jesus’ first miracle, at the wedding in Cana, open our eyes to your miracles all around us every day. The miracle of life, the miracle of creation, the miracle of medicine and the miracle of Love.

God of Love, who in that love created us in your own image, let those whose lives we touch see in us the image of your love.

We pray, Father, for the young girls who were victims of sexual abuse and exploitation allegedly by 9 men on trial on Oxford  for that abuse. We ask for Your love and comfort as, by your grace, they try to come to terms with what has happened to them and try to build a good life. We ask for justice for the girls and the perpetrators of the crimes against them and for protection from sexual predators for all children. We pray also for anyone who might have been forced, coerced or tricked into any kind of sex trafficking or slavery. God above, heal the abused and redeem the abusers.

Father, you have clothed our home in a cloak of white, reminding us of your purity and perfection. In this cold and frosty weather we thank You for our warm homes, our warm clothes and hot meals. As we give you thanks for these things we pray for all those that do not have these luxuries we take for granted. We pray for the homeless and those whose only hot meal comes from a soup kitchen, or whose clothing is barely adequate to keep out the cold.

We pray for our still recovering economy and those worst affected by it. We pray for those people and families facing uncertain future as companies cease to trade and shed staff. We think especially of those affected by closure of the companies in the news like Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster, with the potential to make about 10,000 people jobless. We ask You to give our politicians and leaders the wisdom to deal with the situation fairly for all.

We remember before you the hostages in Algeria giving thanks for the ending of the siege and praying for the souls of all who died in its ending and for their bereaved families.

We bring before you, God our Father, the names of those we know who have died, are bereaved, or are injured or unwell, and ask for your comfort and healing touch where you know it is needed and, in a few moments of silence, we bring to you our own individual cares, concerns and praises.

Lord above, let not our hearts
be busy places, with no time for Thee.
But quiet homes of prayer and praise,
where You might find fit company.

Merciful Father, Accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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