Welcome to the FWW Prayer Guide for February. We hope it will be useful for personal prayer, but also for those who lead intercessions in church. Any feedback from your use of the guide would be most welcome. Previously the Guide was used at our monthly online prayer meeting. This has now changed to a quarterly meeting with the next meeting on April 11th 1.00 – 1.30 p.m. For the Zoom link for that, and any feedback please email comms@faithatwork.org.uk

Virtually all those who are volunteer chaplains with FWW visit people who work in the retail sector. This month’s Prayer Guide focuses on this sector of the economy, and the work of chaplains.

Christmas is always a key season for retailers, with many relying on good sales to see them through the rest of the year. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) December saw a significant dip in sales as consumers made hard decisions, choosing between food and presents. Retail sales in Great Britain plummet as Christmas shoppers cut back | Retail industry | The Guardian   This puts pressure on all businesses, both larger chains and local shops and markets, with difficult decisions to be made in coming months.

Into this context our chaplains continue to go, listening and so sharing the burdens people have to carry concerning their business, their jobs and the future of their high street. Chaplains are also beacons of hope, helping people hold on to the positive, lifting the spirit with their caring presence, and holding the light of Christ for those they meet.

Lighten our darkness, and the darkness of those we serve,
we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by your great mercy defend all for whom we pray,
from all perils and dangers of this world.
Give to all renewed hope;
lift up the fallen, and strengthen the faint-hearted.
That in Jesus Christ, the light of the world, all may know your love and presence.

Especially we pray for:

  • Everyone working in the retail sector in the community where you live or work (be specific in your prayers, naming before God those shops you visit as a customer, and those you don’t)
  • For retailers who are facing difficult decisions in coming months in order to sustain their business after a difficult winter.
  • For anyone uncertain about their employment and looking for new work.
  • For those working in the online retail sector – often isolated.
  • For producers of the goods our shops sell to us – locally and across the world – and all involved in transport and delivery, for a fair return for the work they do.
  • For consumers – including yourself – in decisions on where and how to shop.
  • For chaplains to those who work in the retail sector – volunteers with FWW and elsewhere – for God’s presence and grace in their ministry.
  • New opportunities for chaplaincy in places and sectors of the economy where there are no FWW chaplains as yet.
  • In our cycle of prayer for chaplains and trustees, this month we pray for:
    • Chaplains: Redditch – in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and Town Centre – Paul Lawlor (Team leader), Sharon Forest, Elaine Whitfield, Linda McRoy.
    • Trustees: Representing the Baptist Church – Stuart Sandys, giving thanks for the continuing support of the regional association, HEBA.

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