Perhaps, Lord, we need a big sign in our life, reading "Detour Ahead". Perhaps, we already have such a sign, Lord, in Christ.
We would blindly go our own way, but just as Philip was detoured by the Holy Spirit into the desert to bring the Good News to the Ethiopian, so we are also detoured by the Spirit, from our safe, comfortable life-journeys, into uncharted territory, with unclear, unpredictable, or unexpected results.
If our vision is more earthly then heavenly, forgive us Lord, and help us to follow the Holy Spirit regardless.
If we expect instant results rather than trusting in You, then forgive us, and help us to forge a stronger faith.
We pray for all those experiencing detours in their normal lives.
We pray for those whose normal routines have been interrupted by ill health. We pray not only for their speedy recovery, but also that you will support them as they battle through their healing. We pray for those who minister to them, doctors, and nurses, who struggle to balance their own family lives with their hectic, and often emotionally or physically draining work lives. We pray for family and friends, whose lives are often turned upside-down as they try to carry on while caring, visiting, and aiding the sick.
We pray Lord for those whose peace has been shattered by war. We pray for an end to violence, an end to war. May you derail the hostilities, and may there be an outbreak of unending peace. We pray for a time when guns and bombs are just a memory, when jet fighters are for entertainment, and when the world finally recognizes the futility of war.
We pray for those who wander aimlessly through life, unsure of their direction, unsure of You. Chasing the latest technology, the newest toy, lost in sensation and desire. Hooked on drugs, alcohol, sales, thrills and spills, or TV, they miss the Good News of Jesus, wallowing in two-dimensional life rather than living real life in Christ. We pray that you will open their minds to the Living Word, Lord, and that you might use us, as you did Philip, to bring our faith to them.
We pray for the angry, the fearful, and the disturbed; the violent, and the self-obsessed. May their detour from patience and love be short lived, and may they come to know your peace soon. For those in difficult or painful relationships, we pray for compassion, tolerance and patience. May they find in You the perfect basis for mutual respect, and un-conditional love.
We pray for those affected by earthquake, by floods, by fire or by wind. With their lives in disarray, we pray that will give them peace of mind, and the strength to rebuild their homes and their lives.
We pray for those suffering from loss. We take the future for granted, and suffer much when we lose the things we have built up, or when the people we assume will be there for us, are suddenly gone. We are reminded of the fragility of life, and the temporary nature of our existence. Remind us, of the everlasting life made available to us Lord, by the death of Jesus on the cross, and of the Good News of his resurrection.
Finally Lord, We pray for all those who you send in unexpected directions. Help us to be committed, just as Philip was committed, to follow even when we don’t know where you are taking us, to do your will, even when we do not understand or appreciate the results, and to move on to wherever you call us next in total obedience to you, with total commitment to you, and with total faith in you.