Thanksgiving and intercession prayer 18 February 2018

Lord God

with us, around us, before us

guiding and comforting us

cajoling and challenging us

to go where the spirit leads us, even as

you call us into the wilderness, the marginal places, the places at the edge of society or at the edge of our lives, the places we do not want to go, but where you need us to be, so we may be built up, strengthened and deepened in our love and dependence of you, our maker, our creator, our king.

In this time of Lent, of preparation, of reflection, we praise and bless you for allowing us the opportunity to enter the wilderness, the opportunity to take time to see the wonder and beauty of the world, to take time to see your image reflected in the life of every person we encounter.

We thank you in the testing, the temptation, the struggles of life we have, not only in the present time, but in the past and in times to come, you are with us, ministering to us, sustaining us, looking after us.

We think of all known and unknown to us who are struggling with life, struggling through illness, through abuse, through circumstances beyond their control. In their pain, in their sorrow, in their worry you, God, may seen distant, or to have completely abandoned them.

We especially recall before you all within this community of faith who are ill, or worried, or in sorrow in at the moment. Bring them healing and hope, love and peace, calm.

us, may they know your presence, feel your love, and realise, in the fullness of time, that you never abandon nor leave any of your children, that you are with them, you carry them, you love them.

We pray for the worldwide church, united as one through Jesus Christ our Lord. Together, throughout the world, we are marking Lent, journeying to Easter and the cross. But our brothers and sisters are suffering in many places at the hands of extremists.

We are united in horror and pain at any injustice, any act of violence, any type of intolerance which takes place in the name your name, oh God.

Father, hear all these prayers, and the unspoken prayers which are laid on our hearts.

All this we pray in and through Jesus Christ, our Lord