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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. This will then be posted here for following day.

February 2021

Next online Prayer Meeting held via Zoom is scheduled for Tuesday 2nd February from 1:00pm – 1:30pm. Please email if you would like to be emailed the link to the meeting, which is sent out a few days beforehand.

January 2021

Prayer in the Economy

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

Prayer in the Economy

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.