Prayer: we offer ourselves

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

We bring before you the people we know who are unwell or in distress. Please heal them and comfort them. Please provide people with skill, compassion and friendship to help them. We offer ourselves to help.

Lord, hear our prayers for these people, and help us to follow through on offering ourselves to them and to you.

We pray for people in our town and our country who are struggling to feed themselves and their family. We pray with Marcus Rashford that everyone who needs the Heathly Start scheme vouchers will be aware of them, and get hold of them. We pray that no-one will go hungry, and no-one will be without a safe place to sleep. We offer ourselves for the people who are in need. Are we really brave enough to pray that? Lord, would you make this next sentence true? “We offer ourselves for the people who are in need.”

We acknowledge the change that is needed in us for this to be true, and we ask you to make that change.

We pray about the pandemic, both locally and globally. Where it’s sensible to do so, we pray for the courage to do the things we used to do without thinking, and the sensitivity to allow everyone to go at their own pace. We pray for the people in authority here: please give them good advice, good decision-making, and courage.

Where the virus continues to kill thousands of people every day, we pray for mercy. We pray for rich countries to share vaccines with poorer countries.
Maybe we’re not sure how you will use us, but we offer ourselves to you.

We pray for Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have had to run away from their homes in the fighting. We pray for everyone who is grieving, and every family searching for a safe home, living in camps or travelling, while most of the country is suffering a serious drought. Please bring an end to the fighting, and allow all the people of Afghanistan to live in safety and freedom, with stable and good government.

We pray for Christians in Afghanistan, who are often excluded from society or killed by their families. We ask for protection, and help for those who need to keep their faith secret. We pray for change anywhere the culture considers being a Christian an offence, or a sign of mental illness.

We bring the people of Afghanistan to you. We offer ourselves to you, most of us probably not clear what we can do to help, but offering ourselves nonetheless.

Lord, when we see devastating events happening all around the world caused by climate change, we are torn between trying to summon up the concern that is appropriate for a humanity-destroying threat, and trying to ignore the situation just to be able to keep going in the face of it.

We are overwhelmed: it’s already too late to prevent the climate emergency.

We feel useless: the power sits in the hands of a few people who have their hands over their ears.

We offer ourselves to you, whether that means giving up the illusion of control, or fighting with everything we’ve got, or both. This makes a joke of our sense of entitlement or power over the world: we give ourselves up to you, because there is nothing else we can do. We give ourselves up to you, because that was always what we needed to do.

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