Jesus said to the disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:31-34 NRSV
Amid the chaos and confusion, the demands on our time and attention, we long to hear you call us away for a time of rest and renewal. God of Grace and mercy, the news weighs heavy on our hearts. Sometimes we don’t even know where to start, how to make an impact in this world. It can feel as though everyone we encounter is a sheep without a shepherd. Fill our hearts with the compassion of Jesus, that we might both find the rest we so desperately need, and the strength and courage to do the hard work of mercy, justice and reconciliation.
God, we pray for all those in political offices, that they might lead with the best interests of the people, and the planet, in mind. We pray especially for the leaders of Israel and Palestine, that they might make steps toward a sustainable peace.
We pray for researchers seeking to detect and cure cancer and other diseases, as Australian researchers may have developed a blood test which can detect melanoma at an early stage, and may lead to saving many lives.
We pray for police, first-responders, EMTs, and all public servants, as they serve others in difficult and trying situations. We pray especially for the firefighters who are battling overwhelming wildfires in Sweden, and for the neighboring countries who are providing much-needed resources.
We pray for all those who labor, sometimes working in nearly unbearable situations, to afford us the comforts we desire. We pray for miners and all who work in dangerous professions as five miners have died in a South African copper mine.
We pray for business leaders, that they may realize the impact their decisions have on families, and on the environment we all share. We pray for just and fair trade practices as leaders in Japan and the European Union have recently come to a significant trade deal.
We pray for families, that parents are able to provide the needed support and be the role models our children deserve. And, we pray that all children would have their basic needs met, especially when their parents are unable or unwilling to meet those needs.
And God, we pray for ourselves, that we might hear your voice, discern your will for our lives, and have the courage and strength to work for justice. And may we find peace and rest…so we might be empowered to show the compassion of Christ to all those around us.