March 3 - Prayer around Psalm 63
Lent is a time of wilderness.
And because it’s easy to think of wilderness as something
Somewhere else, out there, not in my back yard,
We remind ourselves this week of all exhausted families struggling,
And children who could be pushed into poverty
As a result of proposed changes to benefits.
Refresh the lives of all who inhabit a dry and weary land,
Be with them, and keep them safe.
March 10 - Prayer around Luke 15:11b-32
From the happiest place you find to the saddest place you go through, may you always find the way back home. And may you know the love of your heavenly Father as he runs to meet you in his Son, Jesus.
March 17 - Prayer around John 12:1-8
This is a story about a woman, here called Mary,
Who loved Jesus so much
That she gave the very best of what she had.
Some people had a problem with this,
Such a problem, in fact, that all sorts of stories
Have been told about who she was and why she did this.
Take a moment to consider what is your very best.
Where are the voices that tell you not to offer it?
How are you being asked to give it?
Know that whatever you offer in Jesus’ name
Will fill wherever your house is
With the fragrance of the costliest perfume.
7 April (John 20:19-31)
Risen Lord Jesus
When you appeared to your disciples,
your body bore the scars of a horrific death.
This was the way you were recognised,
Not in triumph but in weakness.
Challenge our understanding of power,
And grant us the imagination
To see your presence now
Where there is vulnerability and weakness;
And when the powers that be
Want to crucify you again,
May we walk alongside you,
in the strength that your risen life gives us.
April 14 - Prayer activity around the journey to Emmaus
You will need pens and pencils, and pictures on cards of boots, a question mark and a loaf of bread.
Explain what each picture might mean about the ways in which we can pray (see below) and invite people to take one or more cards and write or draw something they are praying for on the reverse. You could then bring them to your altar or worship table.
Boots: Pray for people who are on a journey of some sort. Maybe they are travelling to a new home or country. Maybe they are escaping danger. Maybe they are on an emotional journey such as grief, illness, or excitement.
Question mark: Pray for people who are facing difficult questions in their lives about money, school, work, or family. Pray for people who deal with difficult questions about poverty or neglect.
Bread: Pray for those who help to make others welcome, especially those who do not have enough to eat. Pray for those who work in foodbanks, and those who have the power to make decisions, for example about who receives free school meals. Pray for all who do not have enough to eat.
(adapted from a prayer activity in Scripture Union’s All-age Lectionary Services, Year A)
April 21 - A prayer around Psalm 23
It may be too glib to suppose
That because your psalmist fears no evil,
Others can too.
And still we pray today for all who live in fear.
For those who face benefit cuts and simply don’t know
how they will feed their children;
For the unaccompanied asylum seeker, fleeing violence,
Alone and terrified;
For the child going home not knowing
whether mum will be drunk or stoned or worse.
Because we believe your ancient promises of restoration and wholeness
We bring these people before you.
Work through us to alleviate their fear,
And restore us all in your goodness and mercy,
So we shall dwell in your house for ever.
‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.’
Loving one another sounds as if it should be so easy.
And yet we confess that there are people we find very difficult to love:
Those who are different to us;
Those whose behaviour we find challenging;
Those whose choices we would not have made ourselves,
And who we think deep down have made their bed
So really ought to lie on it.
And yet your commandment remains.
We confess our failure to love,
And offer ourselves,
And those with whom we struggle before you.
Help us to have love for one another,
And so to be your disciples.