Our Prayers for God’s world today

Led by Ian Faulkner

Creator and creating God, we pray this morning for your world: our world.

We find ourselves struggling to comprehend what is happening around us as we see images of burials of COVID victims on an unimaginable scale; as we see images of public disorder, with people being shot and property being damaged – a response to racial injustice; as we see vast swathes of bush and forest burning, destroying homes and habitat, and the contrast of the same destruction resulting from hurricanes and surging seas; as we view clips of refugee camps burning, and hear of others fleeing famine, violence and injustice seeking new life in a strange land.

In the midst of this we see images of human suffering, and of people exhausting themselves bringing healing, peace and security to those whose lives have been turned upside down. We pray for all caught up in this turmoil.

Its ‘politics season’ in many parts of the world; and here at home, in the lead up to national elections. We find ourselves struggling to comprehend what is happening around us. We hear of governments being replaced by coup d’état. We view mass rallies where leaders vilify opposition; and play on their hearers’ fears. We read reports of speeches making headlines that take comments made out of context or that modify them, so the meaning is changed. Deciding what is true, honourable and just is a complex matter

We pray for everyone determining how to cast their vote, which candidate or party they will support. We also pray for the candidates, policy makers, advisers and influencers, that they treat those with differing views with respect and act with dignity.

We pray for those who face uncertainty, who have lost jobs or have had work hours reduced and wonder what the future holds. Surround all those experiencing this disconnect from their known world, or the world as they could imagine it to be, with the knowledge of your love and the support of family, friends, neighbours and their church.

Loving God, we read how in bygone times you held your people as they wandered in the desert. You provided when the landscape changed, and the familiar seemed distant. You are God who is unchanging in a time of rapid change. We lift all who carry a sense of fear or anxiety today. Grant this world clarity, so that we never forget our duty and call to love one another. Help us to reach out in new ways. We lift up those who have no home in which to rest. We lift up the first responders, social workers, and our hospitals as we all move into new ways of caring for one another.

Be in these days a reminder that distance is not absence, and that life giving water still flows from you.

As always, loving and gracious God, we continue to pray for all church families at Pitt Street and Kingsland and our wider Parish. May our communities of faith continue to be a beacon of light and hope in the inner city and in the suburbs in which we live.

In the name of God, creator and giver of life we pray.

Abba Prayer

Led by Sonia Faulkner

Gracious God – heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.

May we honour the holiness in creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.

In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.
Through our freedom, may your justice
be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever. Amen

Sherri J Weinberg, 2007
St Pauls Presbyterian Church, Devonport, NZ

Hymn - Song of faith that sings forever

(Organ interlude before each verse)

Song of faith that sings forever
through God’s people, ages long,
Word that holds the world together
when our hearts take up the song,
always, always somewhere sounding,
though the source we do not see,
counterpoint to all despairing,
it is hope that sets the key.

Song of faith in exultation,
rising through the vaults of prayer,
tune is simple celebration
offered up in open air,
song in chapel and cathedral,
descant to our daily tone,
song from sickbed or in prison:
faith must often sing alone.

And when life would overwhelm us,
when there seems no song to sing,
hear the constant voice of courage
out of fear and suffering:
all who’ve loved and trusted Jesus,
all who lift us to be strong,
endless, endless are the voices
of the faith that makes the song.

Shirley Murray
Tune = ABBEYFIELD, Colin Gibson
Faith Forever Singing (2000)