Let us pray!
On this page we are highlighting some areas which need our specific prayers at this time and are on our hearts here at St Michael's. Please partner with us and lift these situations to the Lord.
- Lalibela Trust
- War and unrest in the Middle East
- War in Ukraine
- Racial Justice
- The Lord's Prayer
LALIBELA TRUST - In 2022 terrorists invaded the Amhara region of Ethiopia causing much death and destruction. Rural healthcare units were destroyed and the Lalibela Trust is now working to repair them. For more information on how we at St Michael's are trying to support them click here
WAR AND UNREST IN THE MIDDLE EAST
These are troubling times for the Middle East and in Psalm 122 we are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Sarah, the Bishop of London also encourages us to join in with Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem, who has offered the following prayer:
"O God of all justice and peace, we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.
Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land.
While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples. Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children – for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
The Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal (former Bishop of Jerusalem) who confirmed candidates at St Michael's in 2017 explains how things are, from his perspective, in the Holy Land.
He says, 'The eyes of many millions continue to be glued to the TV screens wondering when will the nations stop killing each other, and start making peace, real and just. The situation continues to be very tense. Most of the people in Israel and Gaza, also Lebanon, are caught in this bloody round. With as many as seventy war ships patrolling our shores, we fear that the fighting will expand to reach near and far countries. The leaders of the world, among them Arab leaders, seem unable to stop this madness. People like myself wonder what kind of agenda is being implemented. Your prayers, and those at St. Michael's Church, are desired and greatly needed. May God be merciful to both Israelis and Palestinians, and may all living in the Land of the Holy One do better in the art of co-living, rather than simply co-existing.'
PRAY FOR UKRAINE
At the beginning of the war in Ukraine Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell wrote a pastoral letter to the church. Here is part of what they wrote:
"We lament with the people of Ukraine, and we pray for the innocent, the frightened and those who have lost loved ones, homes, and family.
We continue to call for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces as well as wide-ranging efforts to ensure peace, stability and security.
These events remind us powerfully that peace is precious and it is fragile. In Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples at the Last Supper and he leaves them his peace. This is not a mere greeting, but rather something deep and abiding. This peace is something that only Jesus gives; for it is a gratuitous gift, a way of living, something to be received for the gift of peace is the gift of Jesus himself. That is why the Lord is able to offer reassurance to our hearts, why those who receive the gift of the peace of Jesus Christ at the deepest of levels should not be afraid.
Peace, therefore, is so much more than the absence of war. It is a gift, and it is also a decision, a gift that must be received. It is a choice we make that shapes the way we live well alongside each other. It characterises our relationship with God. It comes into being by seeking justice.
In these days of uncertainty and fear, we pray that each of us might again turn to the Lord and receive God’s gift of peace, work for God’s justice, know God’s reconciliation and love, and choose paths not of hatred or destruction, of violence or retribution, but God’s way of justice, mercy and peace.
As Christians, our response to a crisis must always be rooted in prayer. And so we invite you to join with us in praying most earnestly for an outpouring of the Spirit of God, that the world may once again choose peace, strengthening those international bodies that enable us to work and live together as one humanity inhabiting one world.
We pray for those in Ukraine who suffer grievously, for all who take decisions around the world, and for the people and leaders of Russia too."
A Prayer for Ukraine
God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion
to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at-risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Archbishop Justin Welby Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
PRAYING FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
Prayer pointers for the month of January 2024
“Embrace the love and acceptance of Christ, for He welcomes all, regardless of our journeys or heritage, into His loving arms.”
Jesus, born into a Jewish community, was a descendant of Abraham, the founding patriarch of Judaism. Abraham led his family and livestock from Ur, traversing Haran to reach Canaan and then Egypt. Seeking sustenance, his descendants moved to Egypt. After enduring oppression, they journeyed through the desert for decades before finally settling in the Holy Land, ever conscious of their nomadic heritage and the divine command to offer compassion and hospitality to all peoples in their territory.
For much of his life, Jesus embraced a nomadic lifestyle. The Roman occupation compelled Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem, where, due to a shortage of accommodation, Jesus was born in a simple manger. To evade persecution, the Holy Family took refuge in Egypt, eventually establishing themselves in the northern reaches of the Holy Land. In the last three years of his life, Jesus travelled widely, frequently without a fixed abode.
The first to visit the infant Jesus were shepherds, semi-nomadic people who wandered with their flocks seeking pasture and safety. Although often marginalized and distrusted by established communities, the Holy Family welcomed these shepherds. Throughout His ministry, Jesus interacted with those cast aside by society, including tax collectors, sex workers, and lepers, always advocating for empathy towards the disenfranchised.
Christians, irrespective of social standing, are in essence pilgrims on a journey, steered by God—the ultimate shepherd—across diverse paths and through life’s trials. Fundamentally, this world is not our permanent residence; our souls yearn for eternal peace in God. When Gypsies, Roma and Travellers—many of whom profess Christianity—seek temporary haven, settled Christians are presented with the chance to live out the Gospel’s message through acts of kindness and generosity. This emulates the way Jesus, Mary, and Joseph interacted with the shepherds and mirrors the grace God extended to us. In offering hospitality to these groups, we may unknowingly bestow kindness and acceptance as though onto Jesus himself.
These prayers seek to honour the distinct experiences and aspirations of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities while invoking blessings of protection, understanding, and respect for their unique ways of life:
God of all peoples, we pray for the Gypsy people who try to live with resilience and determination. Guide them on their journeys, both physical and spiritual. Provide them with the strength to face the challenges of life facing discrimination and the wisdom to cherish each moment of freedom and joy. Let their paths be filled with kindness, understanding, and respect from those they meet. Bless their families with health, prosperity, and enduring love
God across the centuries, we pray for the Romani Gypsy, people your children, who have traversed lands and centuries, carrying rich traditions and vibrant cultures. Grant them fortitude in times of adversity and discrimination. Help them preserve their heritage and language and foster a world where they can thrive without fear or prejudice. May their communities be united in love and peace, and their voices be heard and valued in the tapestry of humanity
God of all journeys, we pray for Traveller communities. Bless their homes, be they on the move or stationary, with warmth and safety. Guide the young and old alike in learning and wisdom and keep their family ties strong and nurturing. In a world that often misunderstands their way of life, grant them the courage to stand tall and proud, and let there be a mutual understanding and respect between them and those who lead a different life
A Prayer by young travelling boy Jamie Johnson
Help us through our days of education.
Let us be kind and responsible for other people’s belongings.
Guide us and help us do the right thing.
Thank you for our friends, families and teachers.
This article has been provided by:
Prebendary Joseph Fernandes
Chaplain to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in London Diocese
Rector of St Mary’s Acton
THE LORD'S PRAYER
And as our Saviour taught us, so we pray ....
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.