Covid-19SLD Blog

Global Ecumenical Call to Prayer for Covid – 3/27/21

Saturday 27 March 2021 – Day Six
Prayers of Hope

(We celebrate the signs of hope as people are being helped in particular children and the vulnerable.)*

 

Opening Prayer

God of hope,
our hearts overflow with gratitude for your abiding presence during these exceedingly difficult and troubled times.
May the flames of hope remain aglow among individuals, families,
communities and nations during the pandemic.
May our trust in you be affirmed especially as we continue to navigate each day
the challenges that have confronted us.
Let all that we are wait quietly before you, O God, knowing that our hope is in you.
By your Spirit, may we be grounded in the hope that is proclaimed in your Word:
you are our rock and salvation, our fortress where we will not be shaken.
We pray in the One who, by his resurrection,
has given us the hope of life eternal, Jesus the Christ, Amen.

 

Scripture Readings:
2 Thessalonians 2: 13 – 17

 13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17 comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Romans 15:13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

 

Reflection

‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast’ was written in 1732 by the poet Alexander Pope. It captures the profound instinct that dark and difficult times will pass. To hope is to anticipate, even expect that better days will come. More recently others have shared their wisdom on this theme. Take for example, what Hellen Keller has said, ‘Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.’ Zig Ziglar said, ‘If there is hope in the future, there is literally power in the present.’ The words of Nelson Mandela too are timely when he remarked, ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’ Hope is a bridge which helps us to journey from the difficulties and depravities of the present to a future which looks not only different, but better.

Consequently, when hope is lessened or even destroyed, our spirits are crushed. Little wonder that hope is one of the central tenets of the Christian faith! For followers of Jesus Christ, “hope” is more than being optimistic or having a positive outlook on life. It is that and more, for our hope is anchored in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Our faith therefore leads us to affirm that what we hold to as hope enables us to see beyond the current calamities, even beyond the ‘sting’ of death and to still maintain we are a ‘hope-filled’ Christian people.

Christian hope though in these times also embraces other signs of hope which helps us to keep hope alive during this pandemic. The flames of hope are ignited when we see scientists throughout the world working together to create vaccines. Our hope in humanity is affirmed as we witness nations sharing knowledge and information to mitigate the pandemic, agreeing to quarantine and isolation to protect each other. Though there have been innumerable challenges and difficulties that have emerged since the start of the pandemic, there have also been many signs of hope that remind us that things will get better.

During this week of prayer, in all the varied expressions of lament, concern, intercession and gratitude there has been a thread of hope, a confidence that God is with us. Our God who suffers with his people will continue to bring hope and healing. Paul’s prayer is our prayer, that God, the source of hope will fill us with joy, peace and hope because we trust him. A hope that is rooted in God, not in outward circumstances. Hope that is expressed in what we do and say. God’s people serving him, bringing hope where there is poverty and suffering. This is our active participation in God’s mission, the Missio Dei.

 

Prayers of Intercession

God of hope, we pray to you bring peace and hope to the hearts of all people, especially in communities where hope has been lost and where poverty has taken away all hope for the future.

God of hope, keep us hopeful.

Gracious God, we pray for all the organisations and denominations who have participated in this call to prayer, all who are working in partnership to provide healthcare and education and infrastructure that will enable and equip communities to recover from the effects of the pandemic and build a better future.

God of hope, keep us hopeful.

Loving God, we give thanks for the hope that you have given us, may the Holy Spirit continue to fill us with all hope enabling us to continue to trust you as we minister and serve in your name.

God of hope, keep us hopeful.

 

Benediction

The Lord bless us and keep us;
the Lord make his face shine on us and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace.

 

 

The Day 6 Prayers of Hope have been written by Lieut-Colonel Jayne Roberts, Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the UKI Territory

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