Lord, teach us how to pray, and help us to pray now.
We pray for wisdom for our world. This year 40% of the world’s population will vote in elections. Some of them will be fairer than others, but in all cases, and in all countries, we pray for wise leaders, who are pure, peace-loving, and considerate. We pray for our own elections, and wisdom for those of us who are voting – let us choose leaders who are full of mercy and good fruit, and don’t harbour bitter envy. In the US we ask for leaders who are submissive, impartial and sincere. We pray against those who deny the truth; we pray against the disorder that comes with selfish ambition.
We pray for people who sow in peace as the world faces up to the awful suffering in Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Ukraine and so many other places, and the awful actions taken by people claiming to act on behalf of the downtrodden. Lord, we are impatient for this to change, for you to act, but where we need patience, we ask for patient and brave people. We pray for those seeds of peace to take root and grow. We ask that we can be those patient people – show us how.
For our country, we pray for deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. We ask for an end to rough sleeping, with lessons learned from the 2020 Everyone In initiative, that roughly halved the number of people sleeping rough almost overnight. The numbers are shooting up again since the scheme was stopped: as a wealthy country that prides itself on protecting its people, we ask for that pride to be justified through the government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative, which aims to end rough sleeping for good.
In our community, we pray for our church members flying to Sri Lanka to work with Child Action Lanka. Please give them good health and safe travel. Please make them useful in the work they are doing. Please be with everyone at Child Action Lanka as they work for safety, education and health for the children in their care. Give them success and please show us how we can support them.
For ourselves, we ask that you would provide what we need. Have mercy on those of us who are unwell. Provide jobs for those of us needing them. Let us be a support to each other for whatever we need. Build us into a family that trusts each other and provides. We thank you for the ways we have to support each other, from services and small groups to evening courses and children’s groups, from prayer breakfasts to football, from debt support to community fridges. Most of all through our friendships – help us become friends across any supposed barriers of generation, of class, of culture. Help each of us find a place, and have a chance to be served by each other.
Let us sow in peace, be full of mercy, be considerate and submissive. Give us that kind of wisdom.
(Inspired by James 3:13-18)