LOCKDOWN-2: DAY 16
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS IN ANXIOUS TIMES
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28).
Come all who are weary of wealth, of poverty,
of power, of struggle, of division.
Come all who are heavy-laden with too much,
with too little, with anxiety, with fear, with anger.
Come all who have hope for liberation,
for peace, for freedom.
Hear these words, “See, I am making all things new.”
As we face the day, daunted by expectations others place upon us, weighed down by burdens, unsure of outcomes, opposed, alone, afraid; remind us, Jesus, that you faced all this and more,
and forgive us for being paralysed by our self-perception:
Lord, remove the guilt that paralyses life and action.
Liberate us to be the human you created us to be.
Lord Jesus, without you life is pointless,
and stresses and strains paralyze our endeavours.
You promise us life, and that we might have it in abundance.
Loosen the things that make us captive,
that we may rise above and beyond the troubles of this world,
and know your peace.
PRAYER IN PARALYSIS
Take from me the tension that makes peace impossible.
Take from me the fears that do not allow me to venture.
Take from me the worries that bring me paralysis.
Take from me the distress that hides your joy.
Help me to know that I am with you, that I am in your care, that I am in your love, that you and I are one.
written by David Adam in “The Open Gate” SPCK 1999
In our anxiety, fear and uncertainty, when hearts are heavy with the load we bear, and there is no one to turn toward but you; yours is the peace that calms, the peace that comforts, the peace that gives us strength to carry on. Yours is the voice we long to hear, the persistent whisper in our ear, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’.
Yours is the presence in the dark that banishes our fears. Yours is the hand that guides, the footprints in which I walk.
In our anxiety, fear and uncertainty, in confidence we turn to you.
WORRY IN THE WEEK BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY
As the world prepares to entice us with more and more, you come: to fill our hearts with all the hopes you have dreamed about us forever.
When scepticism and fear callous our hearts, you come: to bathe us in the soothing lotion of compassion.
When stress scoops out potholes for every step we take, you come: filling the emptiness with serenity as tough as your grace.
As the clock turns faster and faster each day, you come: to swaddle us in a shawl woven with patience.
When others push past us
to get to the front of worry's line, you come, so we can clasp them so close to our hopes they can hear your heartbeat.
You know our fears:
— we are afraid of a future we cannot control;
— we are afraid of losing health and independence
— we are afraid for the well-being of our children
— we are afraid that past mistakes will ruin our future.
May we learn to trust you beyond our fears. Give us hearts and minds ready to trust and follow wherever your Spirit leads, confident that you will not lead us beyond your loving embrace. We ask in Jesus’ name, whose outstretched arms hold us securely in your grace.
Thom Shuman and Christine Jerrett.
THE LORD’S PRAYER – Paraphrased by Monica Furlong
God, who cares for us, The wonder of whose presence fills us with awe. Let kindness, justice and love shine in our world. Let your secrets be known here as they are in heaven. Give us the food and the hope we need for today. Forgive us our wrongdoing as we forgive the wrongs done to us. Protect us from pride and from despair and from the fear and hate which can swallow us up.
In you is truth, meaning, glory and power, while worlds come and go. Amen.
Great God of Heaven and Earth,
you call us to leave behind our preoccupations
and to follow you into the future.
Sometimes we find your call challenging.
May we follow where you lead.
through the name of Jesus Christ,
and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Amen.