The first Sunday after Epiphany
Heavenly father, who sent Your Son Jesus Christ into this perfect world that we made imperfect, hear us as we pray to You in His name.
You sent John to prepare the way for Your Son, to baptise Your people and Him. You blessed Him by sending Your Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove. Help us to become worthy of the blessings you give freely to those who receive and accept them.
Bless and support the children and young men and women returned to school after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Guide their teachers, carers and mentors seeking to steer them to adulthood in today’s complex world.
We give thanks for the United Nations established in 1945, but which met in general assembly for the first time this week in 1946. We pray for all nations to support its mission, to promote international peace and security.
Bless and protect everyone living in fear in places afflicted by political, religious and cultural intolerance. We remember people suffering hatred and the effects of war. Remind us Father of those who have fled their homes to seek safety in other countries, or in refugee camps. Especially at this time of year, we pray for those in Balkan refugee camps, with little shelter in temperatures well below zero. Give our leaders the wisdom to find ways to provide them safety and shelter and protect the life You created.
We pray for support to people affected by flooding, driven from their homes and livelihoods and now dealing with the aftermath of the disaster. Where floods are receding, we remember the many families still unable to return to their homes in the United Kingdom, and around the world. We pray too for farmers who have lost crops or livestock to floods.
We pray for the people in the towns of Waroona and Yarloop, near Perth in Australia, also driven from their homes not by water, but by bushfires, the flames fanned and driven by 40 mph winds.
Father God, we pray for those in most need in our families and neighbourhood, the sick, the lonely, the housebound. We pray for all those who care for them and we ask You to give them patience, compassion and understanding.
Father above, send Your Holy Spirit to guide us whether we sleep or wake, eat or drink, work or rest. May you always influence the thoughts of our minds and the feelings of our hearts.
Merciful Father, accept this prayer in the name of Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.