‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ John 6:68
Lord we come to you, because you are the one who is to be trusted. You showed your great love for humanity when you came into our world as a vulnerable child and lived among us as one of us. You showed your love for those who suffer as you brought healing and hope to those in need. You showed your great power as you calmed the storm on the lake and walked on the water. You showed your compassion as you wept with those who were grief-stricken and wept again for those who were determined to reject you. You revealed the power of divine love as you forgave those who crucified you. You demonstrated your victory over death as you came amongst your friends after your resurrection. Lord, you alone can bring us hope in our fallen, imperfect, suffering world. So we come to you in prayer.
Lord, hear our prayers for all those suffering from the effects of the mudslide that has claimed about 500 lives and rendered thousands homeless in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We pray against water-borne diseases and other infections that may be the outcome of this disaster. We pray for the homeless to get support and places to lay their heads. We thank you for the relief agencies and ask for your protection on them as they work.
We pray for the many victims of flooding in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh where the monsoon rains have been particularly heavy, of devastation in southern states of the USA and the Caribbean as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and also for those who lost homes and loved ones in wild fires in southern Europe. May the God of mercy and love comfort them in their time of need. May God replenish what they have lost and may their faith never fail.
We pray for those caught up in political tensions in Venezuela, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kenya and Europe and for wisdom for the leaders of North and South Korea and the USA. Lord, hold back the hands of any who seek to do violence against other human beings. Remind us how to live in peace with one another, while fearlessly challenging injustice wherever it occurs. We pray for Leila Barbosa, preparing to speak to Methodist Men in early October about violence against women.
We thank God for the many examples of love in action we see in our world as those who, inspired by the love of Christ, give of themselves to care for others. We remember the kindness shown to victims of the Grenfell Tower fire by those who gave food and clothing and hospitality. We celebrate the work of Cities of Sanctuary in the UK, and churches across Europe providing welcome for refugees. We thank God for World Federation women in partnership with Neighbours Link and others New York USA who recently provided backpacks and school supplies to 45 Latino children, many of whom are children of refugees from desperate situations in their home countries. We thank God for the commitment of members of the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe who continue to praise God and show enormous generosity even in challenging economic times. Lord, we know these are just a few examples of how you inspire love in action. We thank you and give you the glory as we proclaim your mighty acts.
We continue to pray for our sisters who are coping with illness, loss and injury. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen.
My thanks to Jemima Amanor, Matilda Johnson and Dr Brenda Smith for suggestions for prayer this month.