“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1.3
Lord, giver of life, let us live our lives to the full, with humility, care and compassion and in your Son’s image. Let us forgive where forgiveness is sought. Let us strive to ease the burdens of others and in so doing lighten our own load. We ask of you in your infinite wisdom, to cherish us all in this world you created and protect those who cannot protect themselves. During this Easter season let us pray, as Jesus taught us, for our brothers and sisters around the world and remember the very power of that prayer.
- We thank you Lord for the safe recovery of 6,000 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea last weekend and the continued efforts of those involved. Let our thoughts and prayers turn to all refugees whose lives are lived in the desperation of poverty, in the fear of illness and treatment, in the struggles for freedom and justice, in the weariness of war, and in the bleakness of despair. We imagine you, Holy God, seeing the precious lives of your loved ones in each nation, each with their own struggle and pray that if they, and we are your children, as was our risen Christ Jesus, that you help us to see clearly who and what we are to one another.
- We pray for all those countries involved in continuing conflicts; for the violence in South Sudan where tens of thousands have been killed and thousands more are fleeing the border from targeted ethnic killings perpetrated by mostly government forces; for the rising tensions over North Korea where the United States is desperately seeking to solve and ease relations after a failed missile test on Sunday by the totalitarian regime, and for the ongoing conflict in Syria. As we hear that the death toll from a bomb attack on a crowded bus convey near Aleppo, Syria has reached at least 126, to include 68 children, we pray for those innocent souls caught up between the warring sides. Let us think of all countries’ service personnel in active duty around the world and ask that you will keep them safe until they return home to their families and those they love.
- In Sri Lanka, we pray for those dead and missing from a landfill collapse which occurred as people celebrated their New Year and for the crew of a cargo ship that went down in heavy seas off the Black Sea coast near the Crimea. We pray for the five killed in a light aircraft crash near Lisbon, Portugal and for the 12 Saudi solders who died in a helicopter crash in Yemen. In the Philippines, we pray for the 24 people killed when a bus plunged into a deep ravine and for the three men fatally shot and another wounded in a suspected race attack in Fresno, California, US. Lord, have mercy on those who mourn, who feel numb and crushed, are filled with the pain of grief and whose strength has given up. Lord, in your steadfast love give us peace and courage and take away our fear through the dying and rising of Jesus your Son.
Father, may we feel and realize your presence in the coming week, and in the magnificent strength it commands, let us think of the stone of Christ’s tomb and as it was, so roll away the stones of illness, despair, worry and fear and pour the light and joy of his resurrection into our lives. Amen.