The Easter season, as we celebrate resurrection, is a time of joyful thanksgiving for deliverance, new hope and new beginnings. For many, whether as a result of the war in Ukraine, or circumstances in our economy which mean their businesses and jobs are at risk or that make the current cost of living crisis a real challenge, this can seem a hollow promise. It is always the task of the Church and Christians to faithfully hold on to the hope of resurrection, even when all seems hopeless. Chaplains face this every time they meet people in the workplaces they visit and quickly learn that easy reassurances are not very helpful. Rather, the task is to stay alongside those who experience the darkness, compassionately and faithfully holding the Christ light for those they meet and letting that light shine though their careful, prayerful listening and empathy. This is not easy and takes perseverance, grace and being prepared to be vulnerable, as Christ was.
And so this month we focus, in our prayers, on those who need to know the Light of the risen Christ, and for our chaplains in their vocation to hold it for those they visit.
Almighty God, in the death and resurrection of your Son, we see reflected all that life can be and mean. Give to those who suffer, your peace and hope;
to those who face hardship, the help and care they need;
to those who are sick or grieve, the comfort of your healing and the new life of resurrection:
For we pray in the name of him who died, and rose again that all may have life,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Especially we pray for:
- Ukraine and relief for all affected by conflict there and elsewhere in the world, and for peace.
- Refugees and all who have had to leave homes and their jobs, and for a spirit of welcome and hospitality wherever they find sanctuary.
- Those least able to cope with rising prices and at risk of debt, and those who will go without as a result.
- Businesses under pressure because of rising costs and problems of supply. Pray for businesses in your own locality.
- The work of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and their task of supporting and enabling businesses across the two counties, and for Sharon Smith, Chief Executive, and all who work for the Chamber.
- The Supporters of FWW network, launched at the end of April, and for the prayer, promotion of our work and fund raising that we hope will result.
- All chaplains as they hold the Christ light for those they visit.
- Chaplains: In our cycle of prayer this month we pray for chaplains in Redditch – Paul Lawlor, Sarah Leeson, Malcolm Wilkes, Sharon Forrest, Elaine Whitfield and Jules Bird.
- Trustees: This month for those who represent the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, Christine Dodd and Christopher Harvey.