‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16
We give thanks to our loving God for those who have proclaimed the gospel message down the ages: for the first women evangelists like Mary Magdelene and Lydia of Philippi; for Susanna Wesley and her sons, John and Charles, for Helen Kim and the many World Federation women who have inspired and taught us. We pray that we too may have the courage to share our faith with others.
We remember before God those who are persecuted because of their faith; women and men in Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, and many other places where it is dangerous to confess the Christian belief. We pray for those imprisoned because of their commitment to Jesus, and for those who fear their church will be targeted by those hostile to the Christian faith.
We remember those who have still not heard the good news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has died and been raised from death so that we can have hope and the promise of eternal life.
We ask God to continue to raise up women and men who will speak out for justice and peace in a world that is increasingly hostile and threatening. We pray for courage and wisdom for those in leadership positions. We pray for reconciliation with justice between opposing factions and an end to war. We pray that all people will show respect for each other, regardless of race, faith, age or gender. We pray that love will prevail.
As we celebrate Wesley Day on 24th May, we pray that our hearts may be ‘strangely warmed’ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; that we shall know the presence of the risen Lord so powerfully that we shall be compelled to proclaim with all our being, through our worship, our relationships and our social action, that Jesus Christ is Lord.
In the name of Christ, Amen.