Lord, we thank you providing us with companions, as we travel your road, for our friends, families and relations, who support us throughout both the good and the difficult times of our lives. Their love for us is a reflection of your love for us.
Those who have traveled far on your road, Those who are just beginning. Those who are traveling together, Those who are traveling alone. Those who are light of heart, Those who are burdened with illness or hardship,
Keep them all safe, and healthy. Walk with them from first step to the last, so that they are never alone, and that they may be lifted by your presence.
We pray for the Uniting Church, Presbytery, and Elders. May they be as signposts along your road.
We give thanks for our Minister and his wife and pray for their continued health safety and guidance.
[Lord, we pray for ……]
A young boy watches excitedly, as the F18 splits the sky apart with a deafening roar. A different young boy in a different country is hiding under a table screaming with fear at the same sight. If one is Australian, and one is Iraqi - does that make it ok? While a hundred thousand people were rallying in Melbourne for peace, fifty thousand were visiting the Air Show. We pray that our leaders will realize the significance of this - that we approve of such machines for entertainment, but not for killing.
We pray for peace, not war; for co-operation, not victory.
As the U.N. condemns Iraq for missiles that travel 30 miles too far, we are aware that many other countries can send destruction halfway around the world. We pray that all the world could finally understand that sending a missile even one mile is too far.
Elsewhere, concern is rising with North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. Japan threatens retaliation; America threatens conflict. Yet very few of the world’s 50 thousand nuclear bombs are North Korean. We pray that common sense and diplomacy will prevail, and that war will not. And we pray that all nations will finally realize that even one nuclear bomb is too many.
Lord, we pray for the people of Palestine and Israel. May they come to a peace that doesn’t involve suicide bombs, tanks, or destruction.
In Australia, some would say that we are at war with the elements. Ravaged by fire and drought - possessions, livestock, memories and even lives have been lost. It will take many years to recover. For some, there will be no recovery. We pray that you will comfort those in need, and that you will help us to help them.
A young girl and her father flee their burning house. The father is injured, protecting his daughter from the flames, and the smoke. They have lost everything. They seek our help, these bushfire refugees, and we come to their aid, with medicines, and clothes, and shelter. We give thanks that your spirit moves us to care for our fellow Australians in need.
A young girl and her father flee their burning house. The father is injured, protecting his daughter from the flames and the bullets. They have lost everything. They seek our help, these gunfire refugees, but we do not welcome them. When they turn to us, we offer no help. We say ’I do not know you’ and turn away. We lock them up in prisons behind barbed wire. We treat them as criminals, and when they behave as criminals, say that they that they are criminals. Forgives us, and Lord, we ask that you might break our hearts of stone.
Perhaps we need a war on terrorism, but with 37 thousand children dieing every day from preventable disease or malnutrition, wouldn’t a war on suffering be more beneficial? Lord, help us all get our priorities right. Lord, help us to declare war on our own weakness and ignorance, rather than on others.
The road to peace may be long but we pray that you will give us strength to march on.
The road to trust may be difficult, but we pray that you will keep us in the right direction.
And Lord, help us to remember that the road to true happiness both begins, and ends, with you.