Prayer: playgroup, Sri Lanka, religious tolerance

Lord, please help us to pray now, and teach us how to pray.

We thank you for the way the church playgroup spreads the good news of your love to so many people who don’t get to hear it in other places. We thank you so much for answering our prayers as a church to provide opportunities to tell people about you through this group. We thank you for the many people who have recently come forward to help with the playgroup, and we ask you to prompt those you want to step forward now. We ask you to help the leaders find a way to fit in a time of prayer and welcoming new leaders before each session, despite all the other calls on their time at that moment. We pray for the church playgroup cream tea afternoon a week on Friday. We pray that we would be able to make the most of the opportunity you provide us through the playgroup. We ask you to prompt more church families with kids to be part of it so that it can be more effective in spreading the word about you. If there are social or practical issues making this difficult, we pray that you would solve them, so that this group can be as effective as possible at telling people about you.

As we take a moment of silence, please show us if you want us to be involved with church playgroup.

We also thank you for the many students who are part of our family here. As they set off home for the summer holidays we want to say thank you for the energy, vibrancy and practical love they provide in our church. Whether we are saying goodbye for good, or just for the summer, we want to thank you for them, and ask you to guide every step they take in the future. Please encourage and strengthen those of us here who work with students, and move this work on from strength to strength next year.

As we take a moment of silence, please show us if you want us do something for one of our students.

We pray for Sri Lanka. After 30 years of civil war, we ask for peace. After thousands of deaths, we ask for a new life together. After division and hate, we ask for unity and love.

We are aware that what we ask looks difficult or even impossible. We know that the only hope for such a miracle is through your love. We pray for your love to flow into Sri Lanka through its Christians. Under 10% of Sri Lankans are Christians, but Christianity offers hope because it is the only faith there that embraces both Sinhalese and Tamil people.

We pray for the 2 Anglican Bishops of Sri Lanka as they work with the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim leaders and the politicians in the work of rebuilding destroyed areas. Much of their work at the moment involves caring for displaced Tamil people. We know that they need water, bedding, medicines and other physical help, and we pray they will get it. We also pray they they will be known for their total integrity. We pray that your Holy Spirit will work powerfully to make them successful in their work of caring, and in their wider task of working towards forgiveness and reconciliation. Lord, we pray that you would break the cycle of hatred and violence. We pray that parents would teach their children forgiveness.

As we take a moment of silence, please show us if you want us to do anything to help the people of Sri Lanka.

We pray for the work President Obama has started in attempting to bring reconciliation between Muslims and The West. We pray for determination and focus on this task even when domestic issues make heavy demands on his administration’s time. We pray for success – for peace and stability in the Middle East, and love and understanding between Christians and Muslims.

It sounds crazy even to pray for such things, but we know all things are possible with you. We ask you to work through Christians in high places and low to bring about your will. We ask you to show yourself through their actions. We ask that the countries that are called Christian would bring glory to your name through their actions and words.

As we take a moment of silence, please show us if you want us to do anything to show your love to people from a different culture or religion.

[Prayed at my church on 2009-06-07.]

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