Become a regular Prayer Supporter and join us in praying for our chaplains, those at work and those facing unemployment and the economy…

We have started holding regular, online Prayer Meetings of half hour roughly once a month, at lunchtime. They start with a short reflection, leading to a written prayer and then some bullet points of intentions for prayer, which we used in a time of more open prayer. These are posted here for those who wish to pray in their own time.

October 2021

Next online Prayer Meeting held via Zoom is scheduled for 5th October from 1:00pm – 1:30pm. We have a recurring Zoom link for joining in. If you require the link to be sent to you, please email.



September 2021

We are beginning to learn to live with COVID-19 rather than wait for the pandemic to end. So whilst  nationally many thousand positive cases are reported daily, and sadly deaths continue, the economy continues to show signs of growth. After several postponements the furlough scheme is due to end at the end of September, having been phased out over recent months. There remain shortages of labour and goods in many sectors, in part because of COVID (there is a backlog of people waiting to take their HGV driving test for example), and in part because of Brexit and the reduction in overseas workers. Projections are that redundancies will be lower than had been expected and, with more vacancies than workers, there will be considerable movement in the economy, with many retraining and changing their jobs. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58441555 )

Our prayers therefore focus on those who continue to live with uncertainty about their working future, those who will be looking for work as job retention schemes end, and businesses struggling with labour and supply shortages. We also continue to pray for those continuing to deliver vaccines and care in the health service in this country and across the world where, in many places, the situation continues to be more critical than in the UK.

Almighty God, many have lived with uncertainty in their work for a long time. We cannot know the future, but often fear the worst. Give to those who are troubled your peace and the knowledge that, whatever these next weeks bring, you are present with them, sustaining and caring for all in Jesus your Son, through whom we know your compassion for your world – your creation.

We pray for grace and wisdom for leaders in business and government, that their decisions will serve the common good and protect the most vulnerable, here and throughout the world.

And give courage and discernment to those called to be workplace chaplains as they visit, that they may bring your compassion and care to all whom they meet.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those returning to work after furlough, especially those who anticipate redundancy.
  • Those now looking for new work and those retraining.
  • For business leaders trying to navigate economic volatility and maintain employment, and those struggling with shortages of materials and labour.
  • For those on low incomes who have little financial security.
  • Chaplains as they continue to return to visiting workplaces, for the right words as they reconnect, praying especially for chaplains in:
  • Redditch, including new chaplaincy at the YMCA
    • Worcester livestock market
    • Pershore
    • Stourport
    • Alvechurch
    • Kidderminster
    • Stourport
    • Upton
  • Trustees of Faith at Work in Worcestershire, meeting online on September 16th.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation, and for their families and all who care for them.


There was no online Prayer Meeting scheduled for August.



July 2021

The further delay in the easing of lockdown regulations came as a disappointment to many, particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors. With the furlough scheme now being scaled back there is further pressure on the sustainability of businesses, but also on individual staff as uncertainty about their future continues.

Our prayers therefore focus on those for whom things are yet to improve, especially those working from home or furloughed, and who can feel very isolated and unsettled. There are more reports of continuing isolation having a lasting impact on the mental health of many.

Almighty God, your son Jesus so often drew close to those in hidden need. He saw into the heart of those he met, understanding their needs better than they did themselves. Help us to discern where and how people are in need of your healing, and encourage us to reach out with your care, love and compassion, which we see in your Son. Give to all resilience and patience, and bring light to the darkest corners of their experience.

We continue to pray for grace and wisdom for all those charged with making decisions, here and in other countries and, to all who shape the global economy, insight and understanding to do what is needful to serve the common good. And give courage to those called to be workplace chaplains as they visit, that they may bring your compassion and care to all whom they meet.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those still furloughed, and worried about their future.
  • All suffering anxiety and depression as a result of isolation through working from home.
  • Those now looking for new work, having been made redundant.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation, and for their families and all who care for them.
  • For business leaders trying to navigate economic volatility and maintain employment.
  • For those having to retrain in order to find work.
  • For those on low incomes where the impact of inflation, caused by economic volatility, will be most severely felt.
  • Chaplains as they continue to return to visiting workplaces, for the right words as they reconnect.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our global economy and safeguard the environment.


June 2021

With the prospect of COVID restrictions ending our prayers this month focus on how the economy will respond and how this will impact the lives of individuals, families and communities. There are unexpected consequences with shortages of raw materials to fulfil record order books in manufacturing and construction, and skills shortages in key sectors such as HGV drivers. We are warned that inflation will rise, meaning the economic recovery will least benefit those with low income.

We continue to see inequalities in provision of vaccines and health care in different parts of the world, but also in rates of economic recovery. We pray therefore for international cooperation and for a spirit of seeking the welfare and wellbeing of our neighbours, however distant.

Almighty God, in Jesus your judgment convicts us of the sin of selfishness, as we rejoice in our changing good fortunes and so easily forget the needs of our neighbours. Guide us, by your Spirit, that we may seek always to love our neighbour, build a more equal world and bring hope to those in difficulty or despair.

Give grace and wisdom to those charged with making decisions about further easing of regulations, here and in other countries and, to all who shape the global economy, insight and understanding to do what is needful to serve the common good. And give courage to those called to be workplace chaplains as they resume visiting, that they may bring your compassion and care to all whom they meet.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those returning to workplaces after working from home for more than a year, that they would not be anxious.
  • Those now looking for new work, having been made redundant.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation.
  • International cooperation to ensure those in countries where vaccines and resources are scarce receive their fair share.
  • For business leaders trying to navigate economic volatility and maintain employment.
  • For those having to retrain in order to find work.
  • For those on low incomes where the impact of inflation will be most severely felt.
  • Chaplains as they continue to return to visiting workplaces, for the right words as they reconnect.
  • Those who recently completed training as some begin chaplaincy in new contexts.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our global economy and safeguard the environment.


May 2021

Whilst restrictions on life and the economy continue to ease, news from other places in the world reminds us that, for many others, COVID – 19 remains a very real and present threat. As we give thanks for progress at home we continue to pray for justice for those with less access to vaccines and health care, and a fairer sharing of the means to tackle the ongoing pandemic. We are reminded in this of the global nature of the economy – and our interconnectedness.

As, through May, the Easter season moves into Ascensiontide and we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, we give thanks that, despite all, God reigns through Christ and renews and inspires the world by his Holy Spirit.  We look for signs of this in our economy, as people continue to return to work, new businesses are set up and trading resumes, and pray for the work of chaplaincy to encourage and care, reflecting God’s reign in the world of holy love and compassion.

Almighty God, in Jesus, who wept for his friend Lazarus, and for Jerusalem, we see your tears for the suffering of each person, and for the world. We pray, bring your love and compassion to all who continue to suffer as a result of COVID – through sickness and death, or in the economic changes that it has caused.

As Jesus rose from death and now reigns over all so bring new life and hope where there has been darkness and despair; by your Holy Spirit inspire your people to act with care and compassion and work for a fair sharing of the health resources so desperately needed.

We pray in the name of the risen, ascended and glorified Jesus. Christ our Lord.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those now back at work in the retail sector, especially those anxious about their safety at work.
  • Those now looking for new work, having been made redundant.
  • Those continuing to work from home, or who continue to be furloughed, especially those who feel isolated.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation.
  • International cooperation to ensure those in countries where vaccines and resources are scarce can get their fair share.
  • A spirit of selflessness, as lockdown eases, that all may think of others before themselves and not put others at risk by how they behave.
  • Those whose work during lockdown has been relentless and who are exhausted that they may find rest and peace.
  • Chaplains as they return to visiting workplaces, for the right words as they reconnect.
  • Those who recently completed training as chaplains, as they discern their next steps.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our global economy and safeguard the environment.
  • Give thanks for signs of hope and new beginnings.


April 2021

April 12th saw significant changes in our highstreets, with non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers, amongst others, reopening. Whilst caution is required these signs of new life are to be welcomed, not least for their positive impact on jobs and the economy. With many chaplains visiting in the retail sector plans for resuming chaplaincy are well advanced, in some places, and being considered in others.

In our prayers we give thanks for these new beginnings, pray for those returning to work, and others still furloughed, and for chaplains as they look to resume visiting.

Almighty God, in this Easter season, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, we give thanks for signs of new life in our economy. We pray for all now returning to work; for safety and a new sense of purpose and fulfilment in all they do.

Guide and bless chaplains as they resume visiting to offer your compassion and love to all they meet in work, especially the most anxious. Help them to bring to others your hope, peace and encouragement, as the risen Jesus did for his disciples.

Grant to those who still face uncertainty, as furlough continues, wisdom in all things, clarity in what needs to be done and hope for the future.

This we ask in the name of your risen Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • All returning to work in our neighbourhood – in shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses.
  • Chaplains across Worcestershire – in Redditch, Pershore, Alvechurch, Kidderminster, Stourport, Upton and in the Livestock market – as they make plans to resume visiting.
  • The chaplaincy team in Redditch on April 20th, the day of that team’s first visit to the Kingfisher Centre, and in Pershore where chaplains aim to restart before the end of the month.
  • Those who completed the FWW Introduction to Workplace Chaplaincy just before Easter as they consider their next steps and seek God’s will for their ministry.
  • Chaplains in other parts of the UK also resuming chaplaincy this month.
  • Those whose work continues at risk; all still furloughed and the self-employed.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our global economy and safeguard the environment, especially where the impact of COVID remains high.
  • Those involved with the vaccination and testing programmes, giving thanks for progress and the safety this provides.
  • Give thanks for signs of hope and new beginnings.


March 2021

With 20 million people vaccinated by the beginning of March, there is a real prospect of the economy starting to revive as people get back to work, shops and schools re-open and even the huge leisure and hospitality sectors begin to see some light at the end of a very long tunnel. This will not be easy, with many still facing the very real possibility of redundancy and re-training.

In our prayers we need to give thanks for progress made towards overcoming the pandemic, but also pray for all still facing significant challenges in their working lives as they seek to earn a living, and that, as a society, we may tackle the increasing inequalities within our economy.

Almighty God, as we give thanks for progress in combating the COVID virus, so keep us mindful of those facing a continuing crisis in their work and income.

By your love and compassion encourage us to reach out to those in need; supporting all faced with redundancy and living with uncertainty in their working life.

Inspire us, by the choices we make, to shape a more equitable global economy, where all enjoy the fruits of their labour, the most vulnerable are cared for, and your provision is shared so that none go in need.

This we ask in the name of you Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those whose work is at risk, and who face the possibility of unemployment.
  • All who struggle to make ends meet, especially when government support schemes end.
  • Those experiencing mental illness through stress as a result of their employment situation.
  • All who have responsibility for economic planning in government and business, as we look to the future shape of our economy.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our global economy and safeguard the environment.
  • Workplace Chaplains, and chaplains in other contexts, reaching out, as opportunity allows, to offer God’s love through the support they offer
  • Those currently taking the Introduction to Workplace Chaplaincy training course with Faith at Work in Worcestershire, due to end on March 24th.
  • Those involved with the vaccination programme.
  • Give thanks for signs of hope and new beginnings.


February 2021

February begins with Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, February 2nd, (Luke 2 v 22 – 40); and ends well into Lent and our journey with Christ to the Cross. Both are about declaring, at the beginning and end of Jesus’ life on earth, God’s Salvation. In the words of Simeon, as he held the baby Jesus, ‘my eyes have seen Your salvation . .’; in the words of Jesus himself from the cross, ‘It is finished!’(John 19 v 30).

And salvation is what we need in these dark days of COVID – for each person, every family and community, all businesses and workplaces and across our economy.  Salvation is not always easy to see in these days, though there are signs of hope, for example in the vaccination programme. And yet we can pray with confidence, for the one in whose name we pray is Jesus – whose name means Saviour.

Lord Jesus, Saviour of the World, by your love and compassion come and save those for whom we pray.

Where there is sickness in mind or body, bring your healing;

Where there is isolation, bring your presence;

Where people have lost their way, bring your light;

In all parts of our economy, in work and trade, education and care, may your salvation be known, through the care, compassion and concern we show for one another, and in the enterprise and inventiveness which human beings, made in your image, are capable of.

Come Lord Jesus.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • Those whose work is at risk, and who face the possibility of unemployment.
  • All who struggle to make ends meet, especially when government support schemes end.
  • Those who are sick and all who mourn.
  • All who have responsibility for economic planning in government and business, as we look to the future shape of our economy.
  • Wisdom to know how to reduce inequality and injustice in our economy and safeguard the environment.
  • Workplace Chaplains, and chaplains in other contexts, reaching out to offer God’s love through the support they offer.
  • Those starting the Introduction to Workplace Chaplaincy training course with Faith at Work in Worcestershire, starting on February 17th.
  • Jobclubs and all who are exploring in their churches and communities how they can help those experiencing unemployment.
  • Those involved with the vaccination programme.
  • Give thanks for those signs of hope and salvation, light and new beginnings.


January 2021

At the beginning of 2021 there is no let up in the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic or the restrictions it results in. There is confusion in the education sector; enormous pressure on all who work in the NHS and care sector; and uncertainty for many about their work as lockdown and furlough continues, despite the eleventh hour trade agreement with the EU.

This comes at the season of Epiphany when we reflect on the way God’s healing purpose, in Christ, is made manifest in the world. We see this ‘revealing’ in the many stories of this Christmas season – in the nativity itself, in the gifts of the magi, the declaration at Jesus’s baptism, the abundant wine at the wedding at Cana, the prophetic words of Simeon when the baby Jesus was presented in the temple: and when we are challenged with Christ’s declaration that, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’  (John 14 v 6). Jesus says this in response to the plea of Thomas, ‘we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

So, in our prayers, at the beginning of this year, we ask for guidance for all, to see beyond the uncertainties of these days to the risen one who shows us the way to life.

Almighty God, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Help us to know him in our lives and see him in the lives of those for whom we pray, that we may look beyond our present crises and lay hold of the life you will for all you love. Reveal yourself afresh and teach us to respond to the needs of others with the compassion, mercy and love which is the mark of your presence in the world, made manifest through your Son Jesus, in whose name we pray.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • those working for the wellbeing of others, in the health services, education, and food production and distribution sectors
  • those known to us – neighbours, friends, family, church members – facing redundancy and uncertainty about the future of their work
  • those for whom unemployment will mean loss of their home, and real difficulty in making ends meet
  • the work of foodbanks and all who support or volunteer with them, and rely on them
  • FWW chaplains, and others in similar teams across the country, as they try to keep in touch with people they normally visit
  • all implementing the new trading arrangements.
  • those involved with the vaccination programme; giving thanks for the science and knowledge that has produced positive results, and the hope that it brings.


December 2020

In recent days the news has been dominated by three topics: people losing their jobs as lockdown continues; uncertainties about any Brexit deal; and the beginning of vaccination. The latter brings hope, for which we give thanks, but anxiety remains for those whose work is under threat, and the impact of yet to be agreed new trading regulations that begin January 1st.

Jesus said, ‘Do not worry about your life . . .’ ‘Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you’ (Matthew 6 v 25, 33)

But it is difficult not to worry when our work disappears or to worry on behalf of others.  Striving for the kingdom of God means reaching out to love and care, seeking justice and hope for those facing uncertain change. And reaching out too to God in prayer, for mercy, compassion and resurrection.

Almighty God, we cry out to you for all who are anxious in these uncertain times. Jesus teaches us not to worry. Grant us faith to trust, for ourselves and others, in your unending love and care for all your children.

  • Give to those who are anxious in the face of economic uncertainty and redundancy, your peace and provision;
  • Give to all who feel isolated, uncared for and alone in life and work, knowledge of your presence with them through the care of friend or colleague;
  • Give to those who despair, your light in the darkness of their experience and the hope that light kindles.

And to your church, a renewed call to serve and love, in your name.

Amen

Especially we pray for:

  • those whose jobs have ended, or are predicted to end – more than 197,000 since March as a direct result of COVID
  • those known to us – neighbours, friends, family, church members – facing redundancy
  • those for whom unemployment will mean loss of their home, and real difficulty in making ends meet
  • those now looking for new work, and considering re-training.
  • Staff at shops visited by FWW chaplains including Debenhams, Caffe Nero, Boots and M&Co
  • For chaplains, trying to continue chaplaincy at a distance, for a safe return to visiting, and the right opportunities and words as chaplains meet those facing redundancy.
  • All involved in negotiations for new trading arrangements from January 1st – for wisdom, insight and courage
  • All working in distributive trades, and those who work at ports and customs
  • For those involved with the vaccination programme; giving thanks for the science and knowledge that has produced positive results, and the hope that it brings.


November 2020 

As we enter a time of greater regulation and restriction so we search for ways to express to God our fears and yearnings, and our concerns for those most in need. At such moments we need to return to Christ, who taught his disciples to pray, to guide our prayers to ask for what God dearly wants to give; and faith to trust and hold on to the hope that is before us in the crucified and risen Jesus. 

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray . . . . (Luke 11 v 1a)    
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’. John 10 v 10 

Jesus, Lord and teacher, we need you to guide our prayers. Give us courage and faith to ask for what you want to give; life in abundance for all your people – your life. And so we pray; 

  • Give to those who are anxious in the face of economic uncertainty and redundancy, your peace and provision;
  • Give to all who feel isolated, uncared for and alone in life and work, knowledge of your presence with them through the care of friend or colleague;
  • Give to those who despair, your light in the darkness of their experience and the hope that light kindles.

And to your church, a renewed call to serve and love, in your name. 
Amen 

Especially we pray for: 

  • Those for whom lockdown will mean a greater likelihood of redundancy 
  • Those working to heal and care, in the NHS, Care sector and social services 
  • Emergency services – police, fire and ambulance – for safety in their work and ways to manage with fewer staff as COVID infections rise 
  • For workers in essential retail businesses – online, in shops, production, distribution and delivery – helping meet basic needs 
  • For all working in education 
  • For chaplains, trying to continue chaplaincy at a distance 
  • For the sick, the dying and their families and loved ones. 

PRAYER – July 2020

As our economy emerges from lockdown many people will be facing changes to the way they work. And so we pray . . .


PRAYER – June 2020

As more people return to work whilst others, having been furloughed, now face redundancy. . . .
Dear Lord
In these times of fear and uncertainty, we pray for those who are anxious as they return to work. Calm their fears and keep them safe.
We give thanks for those essential workers who have supported us despite their own fears. We pray sustain them.
And for those with no work, we pray that you would  strengthen them to cope with the situation in which they now find themselves.
Amen


PRAYER – April 2020

from the Police and Fire Service websites

At certain times, whatever our religious beliefs, prayer can bring comfort and consolation, giving shape to what we experience and feel. Prayer, in this sense, is the simple expression of our hopes and fears and our love for others. Prayer can be expressed just by a thought; or using our own or familiar words.

The present COVID-19 crisis brings to us all the possibility, for ourselves or our loved ones, of serious illness on even death. But even without that, just coping with the isolation and anxiety of these most unusual days can make us anxious and afraid. So here are some simple prayers which you might find useful. They use the language of the Christian faith. But use them according to your own faith, whatever that is, and your needs at this moment.

For those alone or afraid:

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For those who are sick:

Lord God, Jesus Christ understood people’s fear and pain
before they spoke of them,
we pray for those in hospital;
surround the frightened with your tenderness;
give courage to those in pain;
hold the weak in your arms of love,
and give healing to those for whom we pray
we ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

For those who mourn:

O God, who brought us to birth,
and in whose arms we die,
in our grief and shock hold and comfort us;
embrace us with your love,
give us hope in our confusion
and grace to live these difficult days;
through Jesus Christ.
Amen.

‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear nothing, for you are with me to protect and comfort me.’  Psalm 23


PRAYER – March 31st

The economy of separation 

When eventually we look back on 2020, ‘Self-isolation’ will undoubtedly be one of the words of the year, along with lockdown, social distancing and many others which have become the language of our present experience. We separate from one another, to safeguard ourselves, the NHS and the most vulnerable. But business, work and the economy can only flourish when we come together; to trade, to network, to provide a service to one another. Phone, video conferencing and mail (e or otherwise) keeps us connected remotely, as does prayer . . . .


PRAYER – March 2020

Healing in a fragile world

Current concerns over the Corvid-19 virus are bringing great anxiety to many – fear of catching or passing it on, and what that might mean to vulnerable people, but also fear of the normal being disrupted, including work, business and the economy. Despite measures announced in the Budget, uncertainty mounts, and we see how interconnected our lives have become and how fragile our economic way of life actually is.  In Jesus we see God’s healing touch on the world, not just for those who are sick, but in so many other ways. And so, trusting all to God’s healing, because sometimes all there is left to do is pray,


PRAYER – January 2020                   

Epiphany Blues

The gloom of January often fails to reflect what we should be feeling in these Christmas and Epiphany seasons, not least in the fall-out from the holidays in dieting, debt and winter depression. In the High Street, businesses where Christmas trading was not as might have been hoped are under pressure, and jobs are at risk. To this reality the message of Epiphany is that light does come to the darkness of the world; that God in Christ is incarnate and bears our burdens, our sin and despair. We therefore pray in hope.


PRAYER – Christmas 2019

A Christmas prayer

The Christmas story is where God meets the world of work and our economy; from the shepherds at work in the fields, to the Innkeeper and his staff, and even the officials there in Bethlehem to conduct the census on which taxes would be based, so much part of our economy now as then. As we celebrate Christ’s birth this Christmas, whatever our work, we pray that God would meet us and fill us with Christ’s light, peace and love.