who lifts us from our burdens
that our lives may be an offering of worship,
we respond with heart and soul,
acknowledging Your presence
in every breath and activity.
May what we offer
from our wealth and talent
reflect the hope and courage
of our faith
Prayers of the People
In the winter chill and enforced rest,
You, Creator God,
have been at work.
When humanity would want to scurry on by,
opportunities for reflection
have nestled into the waiting time.
As the cold wraps around us
and the hard work of movement frustrates,
we find it hard to be thankful.
But thanks we offer You,
for time spent with family;
for community spirit
that has neighbour reach out to neighbour.
We are grateful for those moments
when we have been moved to look beyond ourselves,
and notice all that You have created;
the awe we have felt at changing light
and icy blasts;
the compassion that has been stirred
as from warm homes
and full stomachs,
we have remembered those
who were seeking shelters in doorways
or who fridges were empty
with little hope of being replenished.
we pray for those
who have no place to call home,
moving from doorway,
to sofa to hostel.
Teach us the humility that we do no know the reasons why
and the answers to how,
and instead making us willing
to make conversation
and offer support.
Where we can offer simple help,
open our hearts.
Where we recognise the need for changing structure,
let our voices sound
to those who need to hear.
We pray for those who have felt trapped
by the weather,
as isolation settled in their homes.
While for some this was an unusual experience,
for others loneliness is the pattern of a day.
We give thanks for those who act as neighbours,
knocking at doors,
Where we see the need for community,
enable us to reach out to our neighbours
willing to help,
and to accept the offer.
On this mid-week of Fair-trade,
we find ourselves unsettled.
Aware of the goodwill, energy and support
that the branding has been brought,
it would be easy to be discouraged
at the businesses who are seizing the opportunity to do something different.
As church communities may we celebrate
the support that has been offered
to small local community businesses,
and covenant to continue the practices we have.
As a community with a voice and buying power,
may we challenge supermarkets and purchasers
to seek a fair price for work and goods.
Spirit of Creation,
sweep through our world,
and upset the tables that prevent us
from meeting You in others,
and allow Christ’s love ever-present love
to pour into all of life.