Prayer: God with us

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

Please help the rescue teams working right now after the explosion in a block of flats in Jersey. We pray for everyone mourning for people who have died, and everyone who has lost their home. We ask that more survivors will be found.

We pray for the people of South Sudan as new fighting seems to be breaking out. We ask for peace, and we pray for the people being sent out to monitor the ceasefire agreement. We pray for the people who have escaped from the fighting. Please keep them safe and help them get back home soon. Help us to pay attention to South Sudan and help our leaders use their influence to work for peace.

We pray for the people of Ukraine as the war continues. We pray for everyone working to restore energy supplies in Ukraine, and we ask that Russian attempts to destroy infrastructure would fail. Please bring an end to this war, and allow people back to their homes in safety. As winter slows down the war, we pray for everyone stuck without power or living in temporary homes. We ask that the Russian leadership would change their strategy, and a fair peace can be found.

As the cold comes in here, we pray for everyone who is struggling to pay their bills. Please provide what is needed to prevent people dying from the cold. We ask for money and warm spaces and most importantly for people, who notice who needs caring for. We ask you to use us to help: thank you for the people in our church looking out for those in need, and the different ways we have to help. Please help all of us to notice, and step in, when our neighbour or friend is in trouble.

We pray for the many strikes and industrial disputes going on at the moment. We thank you for the vital work of our key workers. We ask for fair pay. We ask for good faith on all sides of these disputes, removing people from the picture where they have wrong motives. We ask for protection for everyone affected by strikes. Please bring fair results as soon as possible.

We pray for the hospitals and ambulance services struggling with queues and lack of beds. Please help our leaders to improve our social care structures and get our health care into a sustainable state. We thank you so much for the security we all get from a properly-working NHS, and we ask that it can be restored into a good state.

As we see harsh drought in east Africa and a terrible heatwave in South America it’s hard to hear about a new new coal mine in Cumbria that the government’s official advisor called indefensible. We pray for our leaders: this climate emergency requires wisdom and courage way beyond even what is needed for day-to-day government. We are so often foolish and cowardly: please help us.

It’s hard to ask you to help in all these situations. Many of us find it hard to hope that you are going to turn these huge things around. We thank you for the mystery of Christmas, where we see that you did get involved and get your hands dirty. It gives us hope that you truly are God with us.

Teach us the courage to get involved and get our hands dirty.

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