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We worship you as God and wonder why it goes on

28 August 2010

We worship you as God and put our trust in you
Show us who is our neighbour and help us to love them

We prayed this prayer, written and spoken by Nick Taylor, in church on Sunday, 22 August 2010. Silence between sentences gave us time to sense the weight of the words and to go along with them. Even so, these words call for rather more praying than they could get in a few minutes in church. We can pray them any day, anywhere. here they are:

Unfairness

Lord God we live in an unfair and unjust world.

We worship you as God and wonder why it goes on.

Through our news and media we are brought face to face with human suffering and despair, of inequality and injustice.

We worship you as God and wonder why it goes on.

We see natural disasters, hurricanes and floods wrecking people’s lives – destroying homes, land and crops and spreading disease. We remember those affected by rain and floods in northern Pakistan, in southern China, in Central America and the ongoing food crisis in Niger.

We worship you as God and wonder why it goes on.

We see war, hatred, corrupt states and institutions working against fairness and unity, denying people basic human needs. We remember those living amongst war and conflict: Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Somalia, Burma, Columbia, and north-east India. And we pray also for the unreported world. For those in suffering who have no voice and whose plight is unknown.

We worship you as God and wonder why it goes on.

But you Lord are the God of hope. You are the God of peace and of restoration. God speak your word, and help us to listen: save us from our distractions, speak your word, your life changing, life-giving, life-saving word. So fill your church with that word, that injustice is challenged, that unfairness is exposed, that hungry people are fed, that enemies are reconciled, that forgiveness is real, that your life is known in our lives, in our church, in our world. We pray for the world’s response: For integrity in strong leadership in governments, United Nations, World Bank, IMF and aid agencies.

We worship you as God and put our trust in you.

Love Your Neighbour

Loving God, we thank you for this Church and the place you have given us, the breath in our lungs and the time entrusted to us. We thank you for the friendships that define us, for the enemies who define us no less, for all our neighbours.

We pray for our neighbours here, those near to us, whose lives somehow interweave with ours. Those we know only by their car, their front door, their routines – we pray that you will help us to be good neighbours, agents of your kingdom in the places where we live. We pray for those living on the doorstep of the church, those who are hungry and homeless, and those who are busy or lonely or empty. Bless them with a taste of your loving presence. Use us as ministers of your kingdom, representing your love to our neighbours. We pray for our church, for a deeper and fuller love for our neighbours, which grows day by day. Show us who is our neighbour and help us to love them.

All these we offer to you as our prayer. AMEN.

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