‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Gracious God, as international Seafarers Day is marked today, we lift before you all those who navigate the seas to sustain this industry. We recognise the sacrifice of being away from home for long passages of time, separated from family and friends. We pray for the safety of all crews when they are faced with the dangers of heavy seas and storms. May they feel the assurance and security of Your presence with them and may they be brought safely home to shore. So too, we pray for all families and loved ones who wait for their return. May they too experience the strength and support that comes from being loved and sustained by You. Finally, Lord God, we pray for the work of Mission to Seafarers who seek to support Seafarers and their families. We ask that you bless the work of all chaplains and all staff and volunteers. In times of economic uncertainty, we lift the future of this industry into Your hands and pray for the wellbeing of all those whose lives engage with our seas and oceans. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen’.
Gracious God, we lift before You the Methodist Church Conference which begins today. We pray that the business of Conference is able to be conducted effectively and efficiently within Covid restrictions. Please be with all Church leaders and representatives in the week ahead. Lord God, as part of the Universal Church, we have faced tremendous challenges and been forced to rethink what it means to be Church, as buildings have closed and restrictions put into place. And yet You have continued to support and sustain and guide us. You have given us the strength and encouragement to be radical, to do things differently, and to reach out to a wider community in ways we had not envisaged before the pandemic. As we move out of lockdown, the challenges continue as we witness the pain and anxiety of many people in our communities, who’s lives have been affected in so many different ways over the past 18 months. And so Lord God, we pray that Conference will be inspired and encouraged to be bold and brave, to wrestle with the difficult decisions, to seek wisdom and integrity to be relevant as the Church of today, and to equip ourselves as fit for purpose to be the Church of the future. May we be Your Church, adhering to Your will, witnessing to Your healing reconciling power and Your love in our world. We pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone and our Saviour. Amen.
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid’.
Gracious God, the story was read in our Churches yesterday, of how the disciples of Jesus, caught in a ferocious storm whilst sailing across a lake, cried out in fear for their lives as the storm raged. And in the midst of the situation, Jesus commanded the storm to be quiet and the sea to be calm and peace was restored. As the story is retold, we are reminded of the sense of peace that comes from being in a relationship with Jesus,Your Son. At the start of a new week, we acknowledge that there may be times in the week ahead when we, or those whom we care about, feel that we are battling through a storm, that there are moments when our sense of peace is disturbed. And so we thank You that in those moments we can turn to Jesus, that we can share our concerns knowing that He is with us and walks alongside us to bring us His peace. May our hearts and minds be filled with the assurance of His presence with us, now and in the days to come. In His name we pray, Amen