Prayer of Intercession

God of peace, you have called us all to work for peace and justice. Wherever we are, we can find opportunities to stand with people, and identify with their needs and hopes. We can no longer be silent - where there is need, there is a task for us. Wherever there is unfulfilled hope, we can be the inspiration of a new future. God you call each of us to be the vehicles of hospitality.

When we speak out against injustice and for your kingdom, give us courage and the right words to say. We pray particularly for the prophets in our community. Open the ears of their audience, we pray, so that the words of challenge, even if hurtful or difficult, will be acted upon. But, loving God, you know that speaking out, by its very nature, can leave behind bitterness and anxiety - in the heart of the listener, and in the speaker too, who can feel so alone. Surround those who speak out, we pray, with the warmth of your love and acceptance. Give them at least one true friend prepared to act as both sounding board and comforter.

Lord God, we need also the healer and the peacemaker. When we offer healing and work for peace, give us gentleness and compassion. We pray particularly for doctors, psychiatrists and counsellors - all those whose job it is to help heal the hurts of mind and body. May their hands and words be full of your love. We pray too for the peacemakers - for those, and thankfully there are many, who rise above their own hurts and prejudices to work with the 'other side' for peace and understanding - the mediators in our courts, industry and international arena. And for all those who work and identify with oppressed people or minority groups. Give them courage and understanding, and a discernment to know your way ahead. We thank you God of love and justice for all these people who have taken your command seriously to love others just as you have loved us.

Amen.

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