Intercessions for Sunday 22nd August 2021

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Prayers of Thanksgiving, Intercession and Commemoration

Almighty and eternal God, Lord of infinite tenderness and compassion, when, as now, we are overwhelmed by the reports of tragedy and disaster bombarding us from all sides – and we are sickened with horror at the stories unfolding both at home and abroad – you understand that our thoughts do not turn naturally to gratitude, nor our hearts to rejoicing.

Yet from the midst of chaos and destruction, of terror, of desperation and of grief comes word which gives us much for which to be genuinely thankful.

We bless you for the loyalty and courage of men and women who put others’ needs before their own well-being and safety. For the steadfastness of those who see at first hand, the evil that men do – yet refuse to give in to despair.

For the strength and determination of those who have themselves experienced betrayal and trauma, yet continue to act with kindness and integrity. Above all, Lord, we give thanks that in our worship this morning, you have reminded us how you came to us in flesh and blood, in the Person of your Son, Jesus: assuring us that nothing, now, can ever separate us from your love; showing us the Way to live in him – and offering us fresh encouragement and hope.

Heavenly Father, may your Church on earth, in all its branches, be faithful and diligent in proclaiming the Gospel: especially when life is hard, and few are interested in hearing your Word. 

May we put aside our inner squabbles and jealousies, and focus only on modelling your love and goodness. Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

We ask your blessing on our Queen, and on all who play a part in maintaining the peace and stability of our nation. May they act with honesty and honour, wisdom and empathy, both for the good of the country, and of the wider world. Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

Remembering that you have made all people in your image, and that, in your eyes, every last one of us is precious, unique and infinitely beloved: we pray for those of our fellow beings who stand in special need. For the people of Afghanistan, whose plight is so much in the forefront of our minds just now. Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

For the peoples of other places, whose situation is no longer reported except in passing, but whose suffering goes on: in particular, we think of Haiti, where the hurricane season makes survival even more precarious for a society mired in endemic poverty, and shattered by its latest earthquake.

We think of Burma, and Hong Kong: where civil rights have been systematically removed, and protest silenced with harsh punishment.

We think of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ivory Coast, where there have been new outbreaks of ebola, as well as the coronavirus.

And we think of the people here at home: especially just now in Portsmouth, where violent crime, human trafficking and drug peddling destroy lives, and tear communities apart. Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

Lord of life, as we pray for the healing of the world, we ask also your help and blessing for those who are sick in body, mind and spirit; and your comfort for those who grieve.

While we offer our concern for those known to us, and who are part of our own local church family – we pray, too, that all may find the help and understanding they need to bring them relief. Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

In silence now, we make our own, private prayers

Silence

Lord, hear us; Lord, graciously hear us

With love and thanksgiving, we remember the faithful departed who now live, with you, in eternal glory. We bless you for their memory and example, and pray that our lives may echo theirs: so that, at the last, we may fulfil our hearts’ desire and join them by your side, for ever more: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Silence

Merciful Father,

Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ

Amen.

Intercessor: Jane Taylor

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