Eternal, Almighty, God our Father,
Because you are sovereign in all history – past, present and future – and supreme over all creation – visible and invisible – and compassionate towards all you have made – especially your children – we come to you with our prayers for the Church in the world. We pray especially for that part of the Body that is presently suffering, bleeding, grieving and in some places, clinging desperately to life.
We consider Jesus Christ our Saviour Redeemer, who as ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us – was a ‘cross-bearer’. He suffered unjustly to redeem his Church, which now suffers unjustly to spread the blessings and Good News of redemption to the world.
We approach the throne of grace emboldened by the knowledge that because he suffered and was tempted, Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, does sympathise with those who suffer and are tempted. So we boldly request your promised grace and mercy be poured out upon our brothers and sisters who are this day in great need.
For those who have, through systematic discrimination, been forced into crippling poverty:
Lord, in your mercy, comfort them and provide them with their daily needs.
For those who are abused and intimidated by hostile state authorities, or religious militants or zealots:
Lord in your mercy, protect, comfort and encourage them.
For those who live as refugees or as people displaced by terrorism, war and/or persecution:
Lord, in your mercy, grant them comfort, security and peace, and provide all their daily needs.
For those who walk daily in the valley of the shadow of death:
Lord, in your mercy, grant them courage and assurance of your presence and faithfulness.
For those who are suffering violent persecution:
Lord, in your mercy
– free the enslaved and return them to their homes;
– release the imprisoned and restore them to their families and churches;
– heal the emotional, spiritual and physical wounds of the traumatised, grieving, disillusioned, doubting, tortured and brutalised;
– restore the soul of the faint-hearted.
We thank you for your Holy Spirit who never leaves us and is present with our suffering brethren, even in the darkest, most secret, place. May your Spirit comfort, counsel, and restore our persecuted brethren, including those who suffer outside our field of vision and beyond our reach to aid.
We pray for the leaders of nations and for all those with authority and influence on this earth:
Lord, in your grace and mercy
– convict them of guilt regarding sin, righteousness and judgment;
– turn their hearts towards righteousness, justice and religious liberty;
– and, for the sake of the world, remove those who defiantly resist your Spirit,
and replace them with leaders raised up to be your instruments for good.
We pray these things with confidence because you have already promised that you will do it.
You are the God who breathes life into the dead. You are the God who redeems and sanctifies. You are the eternal, supreme and sovereign God who raises up and tears down powers on the earth and in the heavens. You are the God who is building your Church and filling the whole earth with your glory.
Revive your Church throughout the whole world, and by your Holy Spirit working in and through her, do immeasurably more than we could ever dare ask or even hope, not because we deserve it, but because you are merciful and faithful to all your promises for your own name’s sake…
…and to God be all the glory, now and forever.