F Prayers

Stories from the four churches

At St Ann’s one of the church leaders comes forward to lead the intercessions, and asks the congregation to mention things to pray for. A series of people say ‘Can we pray for …’, usually mentioning things of a fairly personal and practical nature. The leader fits this list of requests into the litany prepared before the service. From the intercession that follows, it is clear that the leader has been awake during the notices and sermon. Both the sermon and the Bible reading on which it was based are clearly reflected in the prayers. St Ann’s have tried other variations for the intercessions, and at the all-age service these are sometimes led by a family together (using the microphone for all of them). Once or twice for a special occasion they have used visuals – photographs, video clips and drawings (but with few words) on the data projector – inviting people to have their eyes open as they pray. Occasionally they pray in small groups, which they find a good way of including children in the intercessions. Some have suggested using extempore prayer with the whole congregation free to join in, but the severe difficulties with audibility have ruled this out.

A small group from St Bartholomew’s went to a deanery course on praying in public and in private, and came back with a checklist of do’s and don’ts (see here). Intercessions at Evensong, where the congregation is small, are usually led by the preacher, who can most easily relate the contents of the prayers to the sermon. Recently in the mornings they have been following a pattern using traditional collects, each introduced with a bidding from a different person, followed by silence before the collect. Today, the intercession is based on the Lord’s Prayer (in its traditional form), with a pause after each petition, into which another person (with a contrasting voice) inserts appropriate intercessions relating to the petition. Next week they are going to do the same sort of thing with the lesser litany in Evening Prayer. Some of the topics come from the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, so that they get a wider – and international – view of the Church. Since going on the deanery course they have adopted the practice of the intercession leader joining the preacher and whoever is leading the worship in the vestry for prayer before the service.

As you enter St Christopher’s today, there are display boards with some posters, newspaper cuttings and pictures which indicate the theme and some of the contents of the intercession. The person leading the intercessions is well prepared, and has arrived in time to look at the requests for prayer pinned on the board by the votive candle stand, and decide how many of these can be included within the Sunday intercessions – not all are suitable! The prayers are led from the centre of the church, among the people. The standard form of response to the intercessions, from New Patterns for Worship, is sung to a Taizé-style chant. The congregation picks up the note and hums it while the intercession leader continues to the next response. This didn’t work very well the first time they tried it, but they soon got used to it.

At St Dodo’s, the person leading the intercessions says ‘Let us pray’, but hasn’t found the right text, so we hear the pages of New Patterns for Worship turning during the ensuing silence. He begins the responsive intercession for Creation, which unfortunately fits neither the readings nor the mood of the congregation. He forgets to rehearse the response at the start and so has to stop at the first break and say ‘When I say … you should say …’ in a voice which implies that the congregation should have known this all along. He keeps switching between addressing God and addressing the congregation throughout the prayers: ‘We really ought to pray for Ann (‘Who is she?’ half the congregation wonder) especially today because …’ – and more of his views of the circumstances of members of the community follow.

Constructing prayers of intercession

The standard Common Worship pattern, both in Order One and in Order Two (Contemporary), provides a helpful outline covering five areas:

The prayers usually include these concerns and may follow this sequence:

*    The Church of Christ

*    Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

*    The local community

*    Those who suffer

*    The communion of saints

As Note 15 to Common Worship Holy Communion says, ‘Several forms of intercession are provided’ (pages 281–287 in Common Worship), but ‘other suitable forms may be used. They need not always conform to the sequence indicated.’ The forms of intercession in this section are designed as further alternatives to the options in Common Worship, and are also intended as models for those constructing their own prayers. It may help to note the pattern for the response most commonly used here, which is designed to help the congregation to know when to make their response, without needing to have the full text of the prayers in front of them. Two things are of particular help to a congregation:

*    First, making the response unvarying, short and memorable, introduced each time with the same ‘cue line’.

*    Second, taking care over how the response and its cue line are introduced to the congregation at the beginning of the prayers. This may be done by saying ‘Each section of the prayer concludes [the words of the cue], and the response is [the words of the response].’ For example:

Each section of the prayer concludes ‘Lord in your mercy,’ and the response is ‘hear our prayer’:

We pray for all people everywhere.

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Another perfectly acceptable way of constructing the prayers is to use a series of short prayers or biddings, followed by silence and one of the congregational endings.

A variety of patterns can be used, for example:

*    bidding – silence – collect or own prayer

*    bidding – set words of one of the litanies – silence – response

*    series of biddings with silences – longer prayer such as that on page 282 of Common Worship.

Whatever pattern is used should be used throughout the Prayers of Intercession. It is important to keep the distinction between biddings (addressed to the congregation) and prayer (addressed directly to God and not referring to him in the third person) and not to slide from one to the other without realizing it.

Other points to note:

*    In planning the prayers section of A Service of the Word, remember that the outline requires that the service should include thanksgiving (and the Lord’s Prayer) as well as intercession. Suitable material is provided in Resource Section G here.

*    In some circumstances it may be appropriate for the president to say both the opening invitation and the concluding words such as the collect or other endings.

St Bartholomew’s checklist: how to lead the prayers

*    DO read the readings. Sometimes they might be used as a basis for prayer (‘Father, thank you for … [what the verse says]; now please help us to …).

*    DO discover the main theme of the service: is it based on the readings, the season or day? Ask the preacher if there is something specific to pray for if the prayers follow the preaching.

*    DO find out about particular needs, who is ill or what church meetings or organizations need prayer this week. Watch the news, and vary the way in which international topics are prayed for; DON’T be out of date! But remember also the need for balance and breadth. As Note 15 to Common Worship Holy Communion says, ‘the prayers of intercession are normally broadly based, expressing a concern for the whole of God’s world and the ministry of the whole Church’.

*    DO be aware of special events like baptisms or when there are large numbers of children or the Town Council present. DON’T focus on them (for example, a group of bereaved people the week after a funeral) in a way which will embarrass them.

*    DO remember what was prayed for last week: should there be thanksgiving for prayer being answered? What other thanksgiving should there be? Again, as Note 15 says, ‘intercession frequently arises out of thanksgiving’.

*    DO decide what pattern of intercessions will be best, given what has been discovered and the pattern of the rest of the service (see the section on constructing the prayers of intercession here).

*    DON’T cram so much in that you have to rush.

*    DON’T forget about the need for silences, and how and whether to introduce them.

*    DON’T preach at people (‘We pray we may all give generously at Gift Day’).

*    DO pray the intercessions out loud before the service, especially if they are home-grown. Watch the speed: will the congregation have time to pray, or be overwhelmed by the variety of images and topics? Will they know when to come in with the response? Is it short enough to remember? Look at the examples in this section.

Collects: stories from the four churches

Today, St Ann’s are using A Service of the Word with a Celebration of Holy Communion. They have seen that the rubric in the service shows that they can use the Collect as a summing up prayer which draws together the intercessions and thanksgivings before the service moves on into the Holy Communion. This means that it need not be particularly linked with the readings or the Liturgy of the Word. They have recently been printing it on the notice sheet, so that members of the church can use it at home during the week.

Children in the church school at St Bartholomew’s have been learning this week how to write collects. They have used a very simple formula (see here) which shows them how to take a verse of Scripture, thank God for something about himself and then pray for something connected with that aspect of God’s character. The teacher hopes it will help them in making up their own prayers at home (and the vicar secretly thinks some of the adults would find this a help too!). He recently preached on the prayer of the believers in Acts 4.24-31, pointing out how many lines of the prayer were taken up with telling God how great he was and what he had done, using that as the reason why God should take notice of their request, which was to result in ‘wonders and miracles … through the name of Jesus’. Compare this with the pattern in the ‘Collect construction’ section here. Four of the children’s collects are going to be used in the worship this month.

The vicar and Reader at St Christopher’s have been particularly struck recently by how good some of the BCP Collects still sound. They have been using them in less formal settings, in small groups and to open or close meetings, following the pattern: ‘Let us pray (for …)’ – silence – collect. They have also used them, where they fit the theme or season of the year, before the final prayer at the Eucharist. The congregation already know three alternative post-communion prayers by heart, so that they can join in from the first phrase of the prayer.

At St Dodo’s, the vicar announces the Collect on page 498 of Common Worship as if he intends people to join in with him. He realizes with dismay that this is the traditional version and he had intended to use the modern version. There is quite a silence before the Collect (which is unusual for them) as he gets almost to the right page but then, despite blowing hard at the pages to try to separate them, he gives up the struggle and prays the Collect one page earlier instead, which one or two remember from last week. He also announces that as it is ‘St William Tyndale’s day’ tomorrow, he is going to pray that prayer too. There is another suitably long silence while he fumbles for the page in another book. The congregation are left with the impression that the Collect is just a bit of mumbo jumbo to be got through, rather than contributing to the movement of the worship.

Collect construction

Ash Wednesday

1Address:Almighty and everlasting God,

God, you are …you hate nothing that you have made

you say …and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

you do … I have done …

2Petition or request:create and make in us new and contrite hearts

Therefore, Lord, please …

3Result or reason:that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness;

So that …

4Ending:through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

Guidelines on language

These guidelines may help those writing their own material, for collects or intercessions for example, to be on the same level of language as the new writing in New Patterns.

*    Use concrete visual images rather than language which is conceptual and full of ideas.

*    Avoid complicated sentence constructions.

*    If there is a choice, prefer the word with fewer syllables.

*    Address God as ‘you’.

*    Keep sentences as short as possible. Use full stops rather than semicolons.

*    Use language which includes women as well as men, black as well as white.

*    Watch the rhythm. The language should be rhythmic and flow easily, but take care not to have a repetitive ‘dum-de-dum’.

*    Liturgical language should not be stark or empty. It is not wrong to repeat ideas or say the same thing twice in different words. Cranmer recognized that people need time and repetition to make the liturgy their own: we need to do it without a string of dependent clauses.

*    Be prepared to throw it away after using it, and to do it differently next time.

Notes to the resources

This section includes:

*    Responses for use in prayers of intercession;

*    Alternative endings for the intercessions;

*    Introductions for the Lord’s Prayer;

*    Responsive forms of intercession and litanies.

The forms of intercession in this section may replace the intercessions in the Holy Communion, or be used in the prayer section of A Service of the Word, or after the third collect in Morning or Evening Prayer (The Book of Common Prayer) or after the Creed in Morning or Evening Prayer on Sundays. They may also be used at eucharistic or non-eucharistic services on weekdays.

Responses for prayers of intercession

Any suitable response may be used. A selection follows, and more, including some seasonal ones, can be found in Common Worship: Daily Prayer, on page 326. Care should be taken that the response is appropriate for the form of prayer being used and for the concluding prayer (such as, ‘Merciful Father, accept these prayers …’). For instance, if the intercessions address the Father, make sure that the response does not address the Son, and so on.

Responses

F1

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

F2

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

F3

Hear us,

hear us, good Lord.

F4

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

F5

In faith we pray

we pray to you our God.

F6

Lord, hear your people

and answer our prayers.

F7

God of love

hear our prayer.

F8

We pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

F9

Lord, meet us in the silence

and hear our prayer.

F10

Jesus [or ‘Father’], Lord of …

(life, creation, … a phrase which can be varied)

in your mercy, hear us.

F11

Loving God, we look to you.

Receive our prayer.

F12

Generous God

pour out your love.

F13

Your kingdom come

your will be done.

Sung responses

It can be effective to use a simple sung response during the intercessions. Musicians might be able to set any of the above to music. Examples follow:

F14

F15

F16

F17

F18

Endings for the intercessions

The section about the communion of saints

In any service which includes Holy Communion, the section of the intercessions concerned with the communion of saints may be replaced by one of the following, which provide a weightier ending and point ahead to the communion.

F19

Almighty God,

by your Holy Spirit you have made us one

with your saints in heaven and on earth:

grant that in our earthly pilgrimage

we may ever be supported by this fellowship

of love and prayer,

and know ourselves surrounded by their witness to your

power and mercy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

F20

Bring us all to your heavenly city,

to the joyful gathering of thousands of angels,

to the assembly of your firstborn,

to the spirits of good people made perfect,

to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant

and to the sprinkled blood that promises peace.

Merciful Father …

cf Hebrews 12.22-24

F21

Hasten, Lord, the day

when people will come from east and west,

from north and south,

and sit at table in your kingdom

and we shall see your Son in his glory.

Merciful Father …

cf Luke 13.29

F22

Lord and judge of all, grant to us

and to all those who long for your appearing

the crown of righteousness on the great day

of your coming.

Merciful Father …

F23

Fill our hunger with the food that lasts,

the bread of God which comes down from heaven

and gives life to the world.

Merciful Father …

cf John 6.33

The congregational ending

The congregational ending for the Common Worship Holy Communion intercessions (‘Merciful Father …’) may be replaced by one of the following endings. Further endings may be found at sections 1–4 and 8 on pages 288–9 of Common Worship.

F24

Lord of the Church,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

F25

God of mercy,

you know us and love us

and hear our prayer:

keep us in the eternal fellowship of

Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

Introductions to the Lord’s Prayer

Whenever the Lord’s Prayer is introduced it needs to be clear to the congregation which version is to be used. A full printed text is one way to make this clear. In Common Worship, the modified traditional and modern forms each have a distinctive introduction, to help the congregation to know which one to expect, as follows:

As our Saviour has taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven, (the modern English version)

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, (the modified traditional version)

Seasonal and thematic prefaces may be added to these introductions, such as

Christ’s coming

F26

Awaiting his coming in glory,

Incarnation

F27

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,

Church and mission

F28

Seeking the salvation of the world,

Lament

F29

Trusting in the compassion of God,

Cross

F30

Standing at the foot of the cross,

Resurrection

F31

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,

Holy Spirit

F32

Being made one by the power of the Spirit,

The introductions which follow here may be used with any form of the Lord’s Prayer. If they are used without a full printed text, care should be taken to ensure that the congregation is clear about which form of the Lord’s Prayer is to follow.

General

F33

Jesus taught us to call God our Father,

so in faith and trust we pray …

General (not at Holy Communion)

F34

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,

let us pray as our Saviour taught us.

General

F35

We praise the Father,

and pray in the words of Christ himself.

Christ’s coming

General

F36

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom

in the words our Saviour taught us.

Holy Spirit

Father, Son and Spirit

General

F37

As God’s children, and heirs with Christ

we cry in the Spirit, ‘Abba’, Father.

Heaven

Cross

General

F38

Lord, remember us in your kingdom,

as we pray in the words you gave us.

Responsive forms of intercession and litanies

General

F39

[Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.]

For the peace that comes from God alone,

for the unity of all peoples,

and for our salvation,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the Church of Christ, for N our Bishop, [for …]

and for the whole people of God,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the nations of the world, [for …,]

for Elizabeth our Queen and for all in authority,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For this city (or town or village or community), [for …,]

for our neighbours and our friends,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us,

and for the wisdom and will to conserve it,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the aged and infirm,

for the widowed and orphans,

for the sick and suffering,

[for …] and for all in any need,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed,

for the unemployed and the destitute,

for prisoners and captives,

and for all who remember and care for them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

[For … let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.]

For the dying, for those who mourn [the death of … ],

for the faithful whom we entrust to the Lord in hope,

as we look forward to the day when we share

the fullness of the resurrection,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Rejoicing in the communion of [… and of all] the saints,

let us commend ourselves, and one another,

and all our life, to God.

Silence is kept.

For yours is the majesty,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory,

now and for ever.

Amen.

The following prayers are in versicle and response form. Some of the acclamations in Resource Section G may also be suitable. Further examples may be found in Common Worship: Daily Prayer.

General

F40

Make your ways known upon earth, Lord God,

your saving power among all peoples.

Renew your Church in holiness

and help us to serve you with joy.

Guide the leaders of this and every nation,

that justice may prevail throughout the world.

Let not the needy be forgotten,

nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Make us instruments of your peace

and let your glory be over all the earth.

General

F41

Blessed are you, eternal God,

to be praised and glorified for ever.

Hear us as we pray for your holy catholic Church:

make us all one, that the world may believe.

Grant that every member of the Church

may truly and humbly serve you:

that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.

Strengthen all who minister in Christ’s name:

give them courage to proclaim your Gospel.

Inspire and lead those who hold authority

in the nations of the world:

guide them in the ways of justice and peace.

Make us alive to the needs of our community:

help us to share each other’s joys and burdens.

Look with kindness on our homes and families:

grant that your love may grow in our hearts.

Deepen our compassion for all who suffer from sickness,

grief or trouble:

in your presence may they find their strength.

We remember those who have died:

Father, into your hands we commend them.

We praise you for all your saints who have entered

your eternal glory:

bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

General

Word

F42

In your glory, Lord, protect us by the power of your name,

that we may be one as you are one.

We are in the world but not of it.

Protect us from the evil one.

Give us your word and the full measure of your joy.

Sanctify us by your truth.

May your Spirit unite us in the love and glory of

Father and Son.

May we be one that the world may believe.

As you sent your Son into the world

so send us, to make your glory known.

cf John 17.11-18

General

Word

F43

[We pray for strength to follow Jesus.

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.]

Jesus said: ‘Whoever wishes to be great among you

must be your servant.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

Jesus said: ‘Unless you change

and become humble like little children,

you can never enter the kingdom of heaven.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

Jesus said: ‘Happy are the humble;

they will receive what God has promised.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

Jesus said: ‘Be merciful as your Father is merciful;

love your enemies and do good to them.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

Jesus said: ‘Love one another, as I love you;

there is no greater love than this,

to lay down your life for your friends.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

Jesus said: ‘Go to people everywhere

and make them my disciples,

and I will be with you always, to the end of time.’

Saviour, we hear your call.

Help us to follow.

God of mercy,

you know us and love us

and hear our prayer:

keep us in the eternal fellowship of

Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

General

Church and mission

F44

Gracious God, fountain of all wisdom,

we pray for all Christian people;

for Bishop N, for all Christian leaders,

and for those who teach and guard the faith …

May the word of Christ dwell richly in our hearts,

and knit us together in the bond of your love.

Hear us.

Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for the leaders of the nations,

and for those in authority under them …

Give them the gift of your wisdom,

and a right discernment in all things.

Hear us.

Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for our … (city/town/village/community);

for those who live and work here,

and for those who visit this place …

Speak your word of peace in our midst,

and help us to serve one another as Christ has served us.

Hear us.

Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for those who do not believe,

and yet who long to know you, the very Word of life …

Open their ears to hear your voice,

and open their hearts to the knowledge

of your love in Christ.

Hear us.

Hear us, good Lord.

We pray for those bowed down with grief,

fear or sickness,

especially …

May your living Word bring comfort and healing

to all those in need.

Hear us.

Hear us, good Lord.

We give thanks for all those who have died in the

faith of Christ

and we rejoice with [N and] all your saints,

trusting in the promise of your word fulfilled.

Lord of life,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

cf Psalm 119

General

Church and mission

F45

[We pray for God’s grace.

Lord, receive our praise

and hear our prayer.]

Lord God, through your grace we are your people:

through your Son you have redeemed us;

in your Spirit you have made us as your own.

We pray for … (new Christians, the Church)

Make our hearts respond to your love.

Lord, receive our praise

and hear our prayer.

We pray for … (the world, society, the local community)

Make our lives bear witness to your glory in the world.

Lord, receive our praise

and hear our prayer.

We pray for … (people in need, Christian service)

Make our wills eager to obey, and our hands ready to heal.

Lord, receive our praise

and hear our prayer.

We give thanks for …

Make our voices one with all your people

in heaven and on earth.

Lord of life,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

General (evening)

F46

[We pray to the Lord.

In faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.]

That the rest of this day may be holy,

peaceful and full of your presence;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.

That the work we have done

and the people we have met today

may bring us closer to you;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.

[That we may be forgiven our sins and failures;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.]

That we may hear and respond to your call

to peace and justice;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.

That you will sustain the faith and hope of those

who are lonely, oppressed and anxious;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.

That you will strengthen us in your service,

and fill our hearts with longing for your kingdom;

in faith we pray.

We pray to you our God.

God of mercy,

you know us and love us

and hear our prayer:

keep us in the eternal fellowship of

Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

God in creation

F47

[Let us pray to God,

that he will bring to fruition all that he desires

for his creation.

Father, Lord of creation,

in your mercy, hear us.]

You have created the universe by your eternal Word,

and have blessed humankind in making us

stewards of the earth.

We pray for your world,

that we may share and conserve its resources,

and live in reverence for the creation

and in harmony with one another.

Father, Lord of creation,

in your mercy, hear us.

You have given the human race a rich land,

a land of streams and springs,

wheat and barley,

vines and oil and honey.

We have made by sin a world of suffering and sorrow.

We pray for those who bear the weight of affliction,

that they may come to share the life of wholeness and plenty.

Father, Lord of creation,

in your mercy, hear us.

In Christ you call us to a new way of life,

loving our neighbours before ourselves.

Help us to treat with care and respect the world as it is

as we live in hope and anticipation of the world

as it will be

when your kingdom comes and your will is done.

Thank you for those, living and departed,

who have shown a true respect for your creation …

Help us to follow in their footsteps,

until, with them, we see you face to face,

where all is made new in Christ our Lord.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

God in creation

Living in the world

F48

O God our creator,

whose good earth is entrusted to our care

and delight and tenderness,

we pray:

May those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who are in captivity to debt,

whose lives are cramped by fear

from which there is no turning

except through abundant harvest.

May those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who depend on the earth for their

daily food and fuel,

whose forests are destroyed

for the profits of a few.

May those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who labour in poverty,

who are oppressed by unjust laws,

who are banned for speaking the truth,

who long for a harvest of justice.

May those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

For all who are in captivity

to greed and waste and boredom,

whose harvest joy is choked

with things they do not need.

May those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.

Turn us again from our captivity

and restore our vision,

that our mouth may be filled with laughter

and our tongue with singing.

Amen.

God in creation

F49

Let us pray for our own needs and for the needs of others,

following the pattern which Jesus gave

when he taught us to pray to God our Father.

Through our love of the countryside,

through our care for animals,

through our respect for property and tools:

Father, hallowed be your name.

On our farms and in our homes,

in our colleges and schools,

where machinery is made,

and where policy is planned:

Father, your kingdom come.

By our seeking your guidance,

by our keeping your commandments,

by our living true to our consciences:

Father, your will be done.

For the millions who live in poverty and hunger,

for our own needs, and the requirements of our neighbours,

by cooperation, sympathy and generosity:

give us today our daily bread.

Because we have broken your commandments,

doing what we ought not to do and neglecting

what we ought to do:

forgive us our sins.

If any have injured us by injustice, double dealing or exploitation:

we forgive those who sin against us.

When prosperity lulls us to false security,

or hard times prompt us to despair,

When success makes us boastful,

or failure makes us bitter:

lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

In the assurance of faith,

in the confidence of hope,

in the will to serve,

help us to love Christ as Lord,

and our neighbour as ourselves.

for the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and for ever.

Amen.

Christ’s coming

F50

[In joyful expectation of his coming

we pray to Jesus, saying,

Maranatha.*

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.]

Come to your Church as Lord and Judge.

We pray for …

Help us to live in the light of your coming

and give us a longing for your kingdom.

Maranatha.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your world as King of the nations.

We pray for …

Before you rulers will stand in silence.

Maranatha.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your people with a message of victory and peace.

We pray for …

Give us the victory over death, temptation and evil.

Maranatha.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us as Saviour and Comforter.

We pray for …

Break into our lives,

where we struggle with sickness and distress,

and set us free to serve you for ever.

Maranatha.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us from heaven, Lord Jesus,

with power and great glory.

Lift us up to meet you,

with [N and] all your saints and angels,

to live with you for ever.

Maranatha.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

*This Aramaic word is traditionally translated,‘Our Lord, come.’

Christ’s coming

F51

Short biddings are offered in the form

To [the suffering; the sick; those in authority;

Mrs Smith in hospital; etc.] …

The response is used each time

Come, Lord Jesus.

The response can be varied to suit the season

Come Holy Spirit; Come risen Lord; etc.

These can easily be used with children present and, after a series of biddings led by the president, further biddings could be encouraged from the congregation, and a suitable collect used at the end.

Incarnation

F52

Christ, for whom there was no room in the inn,

give courage to all who are homeless;

in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Christ, who fled into Egypt,

give comfort to all refugees;

in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Christ, who fasted in the desert,

give relief to all who are starving;

in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Christ, who hung in agony on the cross,

give strength to all who suffer;

in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Christ, who died to save us,

give peace to all who seek pardon.

Lord of the Church

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

Incarnation

F53

Christ, born in a stable,

give courage to all who are homeless:

Jesus, Saviour,

hear our prayer.

Christ, for whom the angels sang,

give the song of the kingdom to all who weep:

Jesus, Saviour,

hear our prayer.

Christ, worshipped by the shepherds,

give peace on earth to all who are oppressed:

Jesus, Saviour,

hear our prayer.

Christ, before whom the wise men knelt,

give humility and wisdom to all who govern:

Jesus, Saviour,

hear our prayer.

Christ, whose radiance filled a lowly manger,

give the glory of your resurrection to all who rest in you:

Jesus, Saviour,

hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the Father,

full of the Spirit,

hear our prayer,

receive our praises,

fill our lives.

Amen.

Incarnation

F54

Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.

Let us offer our prayers for the needs of the world.

Wonderful Counsellor,

give your wisdom to the rulers of the nations …

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Mighty God,

make the whole world know

that the government is on your shoulders …

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Everlasting Father,

establish your reign of justice and righteousness for ever …

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Prince of Peace,

bring in the endless kingdom of your peace …

Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

Lord of the Church,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

cf Isaiah 9.6

Incarnation

F55

The phrase ‘in this holy night’ makes this prayer particularly appropriate for use on Christmas Eve during the night.With the omission of this phrase (or its replacement with ‘at this holy time’) it is suitable for use on other occasions during the Christmas season.

Father, [in this holy night] your Son our Saviour

was born as a child among us.

Renew your Church as the Body of Christ.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] there was no room for your Son

in the inn.

Protect with your love those who have no home

and all who live in poverty.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] Mary, in the pain of labour,

brought your Son to birth.

Hold in your hand [… and] all who are in pain or distress.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] your Christ came

as a light shining in the darkness.

Bring comfort to [… and] all who suffer

in the sadness of our world.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] the angels sang

‘Peace to God’s people on earth’.

Strengthen those who work for peace and justice

in [… and in] all the world.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] shepherds in the field heard

good tidings of joy.

Give us grace to preach the gospel of Christ’s redemption.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] heaven is come down to earth,

and earth is raised to heaven.

Keep in safety [… and] all those who have

passed through death in the hope of heaven.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

[In this holy night] Christians the world over

celebrate his birth.

Open our hearts that he may be born in us today.

Holy God

hear our prayer.

Father,

[in this holy night] angels and shepherds worshipped at

the manger throne.

Receive the worship we offer in fellowship with Mary,

Joseph and the saints

through him who is your Word made flesh,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Incarnation

F56

These intercessions are particularly appropriate for use when small children are present. The prayer should be very simple, if possible drawing from the children the subjects for intercession.

Jesus, born in a human family:

we pray for … (families)

Lord Jesus,

hear our prayer.

Jesus, cradled in a manger:

we pray for … (homeless, refugees)

Lord Jesus,

hear our prayer.

Jesus, sharing the stable with the animals:

we pray for … (the creation)

Lord Jesus,

hear our prayer.

Jesus, worshipped by shepherds and kings:

we pray for … (nations, races, peoples)

Lord Jesus,

hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Emmanuel:

we pray for … (those in particular need)

Lord Jesus,

hear our prayer.

Incarnation

F57

[Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.]

The following, bracketed, section may be omitted in Epiphany.

[Unlooked for,

Christ comes.

To shepherds,

watching their sheep through the long, dark night,

he comes with the glory of the angels’ song

and in the humility of the manger.

Silence

Loving God, we pray for our community …

In the midst of our everyday lives,

surprise us with glimpses of your glorious, humble love,

at the heart of existence.

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.]

Searched for,

Christ comes.

To the wise and powerful,

star-led to Bethlehem, seeking a king,

he comes, child of Mary,

crowned with meekness,

worthy of every gift.

Silence

Loving God, we pray for the leaders of the world …

Guide them with your light

to seek wisdom, justice and peace.

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

Longed for,

Christ comes.

To Anna and Simeon,

whose days are lived in faithful expectation,

he comes, a new life to the old,

a living prophecy of hope.

Silence

Loving God, we pray for the Church in all the world …

Unite us by your Spirit,

and make us faithful witnesses to the hope we have in you.

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

Prayed for,

Christ comes.

To men and women, girls and boys,

crying out in darkness, pain and loneliness,

he comes, at one with us,

our Saviour, healer and friend.

Silence

Loving God, we pray for those whose lives are hard and painful

or whose existence is sorrowful, bitter or empty …

In their need, may they know your healing touch,

reaching out to comfort, strengthen and restore.

Lord, come to your people.

In your mercy set us free.

[Unlooked for and not searched for,]

longed for and prayed for,

loving God, you come to us now

as you have come to your people in every age.

We thank you for all who have reflected

the light of Christ.

Help us to follow their example

and bring us with them to eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Incarnation

F58

Let us worship the Saviour with joy

and make our prayer to our heavenly Father.

The magi came from the east to worship your Son:

Father, grant to Christians everywhere

the spirit of adoration …

Lord of glory,

hear our prayer.

The infant Christ received gifts of gold, incense and myrrh:

Father, accept the offering of our hearts and minds

[at the beginning of this year] …

Lord of glory,

hear our prayer.

The kingdoms of this world have become

the kingdom of our God and of his Christ:

Father, grant an abundance of peace to your world …

Lord of glory,

hear our prayer.

The Holy Family lived in exile and in the shadow of death:

Father, look in mercy on all who are poor and powerless,

and all who suffer …

Lord of glory,

hear our prayer.

Your Son shared the life of his home and family

at Nazareth:

Father, protect in your love our neighbours,

our families and this community of which we are a part …

Lord of glory,

hear our prayer.

Rejoicing in fellowship with the shepherds,

the angels, the magi, the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph

and all the faithful departed,

we commend ourselves and all people

to your unfailing love.

Merciful Father, …

Cross

F59

If this prayer is used as a meditation or Holy Week intercession, the silence comes best after the first line in each section, as here; if it is used as a Sunday intercession, it may come better before ‘Lord, hear us’, where particular requests may be inserted. This is an example of a set of intercessions which would be suitable for two people with contrasting voices: one to read the first part of each bidding and the other to lead the part after the silence.

[Let us pray to the Father,

who loved the world so much that he sent

his only Son to give us life.]

Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry the cross

for your Son.

Silence

Give us grace to lift heavy loads from those we meet

and to stand with those condemned to die.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Son watched the soldiers gamble

to share his clothes.

Silence

Transform the hearts of those who make a profit

from their victims,

and those whose hearts are hardened by their work.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

The thief, who was crucified with Jesus,

was promised a place in your kingdom.

Silence

Give pardon and hope, healing and peace

to all who look death in the face.

Lord, hear us:

Lord, graciously hear us.

From the cross, Jesus entrusted Mary his mother and

John his disciple to each other’s care.

Silence

Help us also to care for one another

and fill our homes with the spirit of your love.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

The centurion was astonished to recognize your glory

in the crucified Messiah.

Silence

Open the minds of those who do not know you

to grasp in your Son the meaning of life and death.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Joseph of Arimathea came to take your Son’s body away.

Silence

Give hope and faith to the dying and bereaved,

gentleness to those who minister to them,

and courage to those whose faith is secret.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Simon and Joseph, Mary and John,

became part of the life of your Church in Jerusalem.

Bring into your Church today a varied company of people,

to walk with Christ in the way of his passion,

and to find their salvation in the victory of his cross.

Lord of the Church:

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

Resurrection

F60

In joy and hope we pray.

We pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That our risen Saviour may fill us with the joy of his

glorious and life-giving resurrection …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That isolated and persecuted churches

may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That God may grant us humility

to be subject to one another in Christian love …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That he may provide for those who lack food,

work, or shelter …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That by his power war and famine

may cease through all the world …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That he may reveal the light of his presence to the sick,

the weak and the dying,

to comfort and strengthen them …

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

That he may send the fire of the Holy Spirit upon

his people,

so that we may bear faithful witness to his resurrection,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

Resurrection

Ascension

F61

Jesus our exalted Lord has been given all authority.

Let us seek his intercession that our prayers may be

perfected by his prayer.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, great high priest,

living for ever to intercede for us,

pray for the Church, your broken body in the world …

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, king of righteousness,

enthroned at the right hand of the majesty on high,

pray for the world, and make it subject to

your gentle rule …

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Son of Man,

drawing humanity into the life of God,

pray for your brothers and sisters in need,

distress or sorrow …

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, pioneer of our salvation,

bringing us to glory through your death and resurrection,

surround with your saints and angels

those who have died trusting your promises …

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ, Lord over all things,

ascended far above the heavens and filling the universe,

pray for us who receive the gifts you give us for

work in your service …

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Jesus Christ,

keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit

and in the bond of peace,

and bring the whole created order

to worship at your feet;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Holy Spirit

F62

[We pray to God the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, come upon us.]

Come, Holy Spirit, creator,

and renew the earth.

Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, counsellor,

and touch our lips that we may proclaim your word.

Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, power from on high.

make us channels of peace and ministers of healing:

Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, breath of God,

give life to the dry bones around us,

and make us a living people, holy and free.

Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Come, Holy Spirit, wisdom and truth;

strengthen us to be bold in faith.

Holy Spirit, come upon us.

Holy Spirit

Relationships and healing

F63

[We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.]

Generous God, we thank you for the power

of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love,

wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church,

living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

Generous God,

you sent your Holy Spirit upon your Messiah

at the River Jordan,

and upon the disciples in the upper room.

In your mercy fill us with your Spirit.

Hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

Holy Spirit

Living in the world

F64

[We pray that God’s Holy Spirit may direct our lives.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.]

‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace.’

Father, we know that your world needs love and harmony.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

‘The fruit of the Spirit is patience, kindness and goodness.’

Father, we know that our world is starved of love and care.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

‘The fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness, gentleness

and self-control.’

Father, we know that our world is short of truth

and justice.

Lord, come to bless us.

Fill us with your Spirit.

Send us out in the power of your Spirit

to live and work to your praise and glory.

Amen.

cf Galatians 5.22,23

Church and mission

F65

[We pray that Christ may be seen in the life of the Church.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

in your mercy, hear us.]

You have called us into the family of those who are

the children of God.

May our love for our brothers and sisters

be strengthened by your grace.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be a temple

where the Holy Spirit can dwell.

Give us clean hands and pure hearts,

so that our lives will reflect your holiness.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be a light to the world,

so that those in darkness come to you.

May our lives shine

as a witness to the saving grace you have given for all.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be members of your body,

so that when one suffers, all suffer together.

We ask for your comfort and healing power

to bring hope to those in distress.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

in your mercy, hear us.

You have called us to be the Bride,

where you, Lord, are the Bridegroom.

Prepare us for the wedding feast,

where we will be united with you for ever.

Jesus, Lord of the Church,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

Christian beginnings

Father, Son and Spirit

F66

High and holy God,

robed in majesty,

Lord of heaven and earth,

we pray that you will bring justice, faith and

salvation to all peoples.

[Especially we pray …]

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people

and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;

we pray that you will fill your Church with vision and hope.

[Especially we pray …]

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, ‘Abba! Father!’,

affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ

and pleads for us in our weakness;

we pray for all who are in need or distress.

[Especially we pray …]

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,

you have opened heaven to us

and enabled us to share in your glory:

the joy of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

from before the world was made.

[Especially we remember …]

May your whole Church, living and departed,

come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.

Lord, hear us.

Lord, graciously hear us.

Relationships and healing

Resurrection

F67

[We pray to Jesus who is present with us to eternity.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.]

Jesus, light of the world,

bring the light and peace of your gospel to

the nations …

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, bread of life,

give food to the hungry …

and nourish us all with your word.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, our way, our truth, our life,

be with us and all who follow you in the way …

Deepen our appreciation of your truth

and fill us with your life.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, Good Shepherd who gave your life for the sheep,

recover the straggler,

bind up the injured,

strengthen the sick

and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, the resurrection and the life,

we give you thanks for all who have lived and

believed in you …

Raise us with them to eternal life.

Jesus, Lord of life,

in your mercy, hear us,

accept our prayers, and be with us always.

Amen.

Relationships and healing

Church and mission

F68

[We pray for the family of the Church,

for loving relationships,

and for the life of families around us.

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.]

Jesus, born in poverty and soon a refugee,

be with families today who are poor

and live in hunger and want …

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you grew in wisdom and in favour with

God and the people

in the family of Joseph the carpenter,

bring wisdom and the presence of God

into the work and growth of families today …

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you blessed marriage in the wedding at Cana,

be with those preparing for marriage

and with those who come to the end of

their resources …

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you healed Peter’s mother-in-law,

bring healing to those in our families who are ill today …

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, when you were dying you called Mary and John to

care for one another.

Provide today for those who lose their families:

the bereaved and childless, orphans and widows …

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, as you ate breakfast on the beach with

your disciples

after you were raised from the dead,

bring the whole Church on earth and in heaven

into your risen presence to eat at the eternal banquet.

Jesus, Lord of love,

in your mercy, hear us,

accept our prayers and be with us always.

Amen.

Relationships and healing

Christian beginnings

F69

[Let us pray to God, our heavenly Father.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.]

Sovereign Lord,

your Son has revealed you as our heavenly Father,

from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

You have made your Church a spiritual family,

a household of faith.

Through baptism we are reborn as the brothers and

sisters of Christ.

Deepen our unity and fellowship in him.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

You sent your Son to give his life

as a ransom for the whole human family.

Give justice, peace and racial harmony to the

world he died to save.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

You gave your Son a share in the life of a family in Nazareth.

Help us to value our families, to be thankful for them,

and to live sensitively within them.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

Your Son drew around him a company of friends.

Bring love and joy to all who are alone.

Help us all to find in the brothers and sisters of Christ

a loving family.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

You are the God of the dead as well as of the living.

In confidence we remember those of the household of

faith who have gone before us.

Bring us with them to the joy of your home in heaven.

Father of all

hear your children’s prayer.

Living in the world

Cross

F70

[We pray to the Lord for the courage to give ourselves to

him [this Lent].

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer.]

Give us the courage to look beyond ourselves

to mission in your world.

[We pray for N our bishop and …]

May the blood and water flowing from the side of Jesus

bring forgiveness to your people

and help us to face the cost of proclaiming salvation.

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to give up war, bitterness and hatred,

and to seek peace.

[We pray for …]

May the shoulders of the risen Jesus,

once scourged by soldiers,

bear the burden of political and military conflict in

our world.

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to give up quarrels, strife and jealousy

in our families, neighbourhoods and communities.

[We pray for …]

May the presence of the risen Jesus,

his body once broken and now made whole,

bring peace and direction as we live with one another.

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to live for others,

giving time, care and comfort to the sick

and those in need.

[We pray for …]

May the wounded hands of Jesus bring his healing,

and the light of his presence fill their lives.

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to give up our fear of death

and to rejoice with those who have died in faith.

[Especially we hold … in our minds.]

May the risen Lord Jesus,

whose feet were once nailed to the cross,

walk alongside the dying and bereaved,

and lead them and all your Church through death

to the gate of glory.

Lord, meet us in the silence.

Give us strength and hear our prayer,

here and in eternity.

Amen.

Living in the world

F71

[We pray for God’s faithfulness to be known in our world.

Faithful God

glorify your name.]

In a world of change and hope,

of fear and adventure;

faithful God

glorify your name.

In human rebellion and obedience,

in our seeking and our finding;

faithful God

glorify your name.

In the common life of our society,

in prosperity and need;

faithful God

glorify your name.

As your Church proclaims your goodness in

words and action;

faithful God

glorify your name.

Among our friends

and in our homes;

faithful God

glorify your name.

In our times of joy,

in our days of sorrow;

faithful God

glorify your name.

In our strengths and triumphs,

in our weakness and at our death;

faithful God

glorify your name.

In your saints in glory

and on the day of Christ’s coming;

faithful God

glorify your name.

Living in the world

Christ’s coming

F72

[We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.]

You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor,

sight to the blind,

freedom to captives

and salvation to your people:

anoint us with your Spirit;

rouse us to work in his name.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor

and freedom to the oppressed.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world

the good news of your healing love.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn,

to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here

for you to save your people.

Father, by your Spirit

bring in your kingdom.

God of mercy,

you know us and love us

and hear our prayer:

keep us in the eternal fellowship of

Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen.

cf Isaiah 61.1–3

Living in the world

Lament

Cross

F73

[In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father

through Christ the saviour of the world.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.]

For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For grace to seek out those habits of sin

which mean spiritual death,

and by prayer and self-discipline to overcome them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For Christian people,

that through the suffering of disunity

there may grow a rich union in Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who make laws, interpret them

and administer them,

that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who still make Jerusalem a battleground,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who have the courage and honesty

to work openly for justice and peace,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those in the darkness and agony of isolation,

that they may find support and encouragement,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who, weighed down with hardship,

failure, or sorrow,

feel that God is far from them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

That we, with those who have died in faith,

may find mercy in the day of Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

This may also be used

Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Heaven

Resurrection

F74

[Let us pray to the Lord, who has conquered death.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.]

Jesus, bread from heaven,

you satisfy the hungry with good things:

grant us a share with all the faithful departed

in the banquet of your kingdom.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, the light of the world,

you gave the man born blind the gift of sight:

open the eye of faith

and bring us from darkness

to your eternal light and glory.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, Son of the living God,

you summoned your friend Lazarus from death to life:

raise us at the last to full and eternal life with you.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, crucified Saviour,

in your dying you entrusted each to the other,

Mary your mother and John your beloved disciple:

sustain and comfort all who mourn.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.

Jesus, our way and truth and life,

you drew your disciple Thomas from doubt to faith:

reveal the resurrection faith to the doubting and the lost.

Hear us, risen Lord,

our resurrection and our life.

May God in his infinite love and mercy

bring the whole Church,

living and departed in the Lord Jesus,

to a joyful resurrection

and the fulfilment of his eternal kingdom.

Amen.

Heaven

General

F75

United in the company of all the faithful

and looking for the coming of the kingdom,

let us offer our prayers to God,

the source of all life and holiness.

Merciful Lord,

strengthen all Christian people by your Holy Spirit,

that we may live as a royal priesthood and a holy nation

to the praise of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Lord, have mercy.

Bless N our bishop, and all ministers of your Church,

that by faithful proclamation of your word

we may be built on the foundation of the apostles

and prophets

into a holy temple in the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Empower us by the gift of your holy and life-giving Spirit,

that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ

from glory to glory.

Lord, have mercy.

Give to the world and its peoples

the peace that comes from above,

that they may find Christ’s way of freedom and life.

Lord, have mercy.

Hold in your embrace all who witness to your love in the

service of the poor and needy;

all those who minister to the sick and dying;

and all who bring light to those in darkness.

Lord, have mercy.

Touch and heal all those whose lives are scarred by sin

or disfigured by pain,

that, raised from death to life in Christ,

their sorrow may be turned to eternal joy.

Lord, have mercy.

Remember in your mercy all those gone before us,

who have been well-pleasing to you from eternity;

preserve in your faith your servants on earth,

guide us to your kingdom,

and grant us your peace at all times.

Lord, have mercy.

Hasten the day when many will come

from east and west, from north and south,

and sit at table in your kingdom.

Lord, have mercy.

We give you thanks

for the whole company of your saints in glory,

with whom in fellowship we join our prayers and praises;

by your grace may we, like them,

be made perfect in your love.

Blessing and glory and wisdom,

thanksgiving and honour and power,

be to our God for ever and ever.

Amen.

(or)

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Heaven

F76

These intercessions are especially suitable for a service for the commemoration of the faithful departed, but may appropriately be used at other times.

[In faith and hope we pray,

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.]

Almighty God,

you bring your chosen people together

in one communion,

in the body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We rejoice in your light and your peace

with your whole Church in heaven and on earth.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.

[Give to all who mourn a sure confidence

in your loving care,

that we may cast all our sorrow on you

and know the consolation of your love.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.]

Give your faithful people pardon and peace,

that we may be cleansed from all our sins

and serve you with a quiet mind.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.

Give us strength to meet the days ahead

in the joyful expectation of eternal life

with those you love.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.

Give to us who are still in our pilgrimage,

and who walk as yet by faith,

your Holy Spirit to lead us in holiness and righteousness

all our days.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.

May all who have been made one with Christ

in his death and in his resurrection

die to sin and rise to newness of life.

Lord of mercy,

Lord, hear us.