Prayers  for  the  week 

The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.   He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins …..
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah.  John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Luke 3 : 3 – 6, 15 – 17 and 21 – 22   New Revised Standard Version

God of grace and glory,
you call us to be your people, faithful and courageous.
As your beloved Son embraced his mission in the waters of baptism,
inspire us with the power of your Spirit
to join in his transforming work;
immerse us in your grace;
fill us with your love;
and raise us up to live our baptismal vows,
following the example of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Suggestions for your personal prayer times

Thank God that He is the source of every blessing in our lives.
Ask God to help you to have an awareness of this each and every day.
Thank God for the promise and hope of eternal life through believing in His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Ask God to help you to have the assurance of the truth of this for you.
Thank God for His overwhelming provision for and protection of you.
Ask God to help you to show your appreciation, to sing His praises, day by day.
Thank God that, in Jesus, He is walking alongside you as you grow in your relationship with Him.
Ask God to help you to have an awareness of His presence with you on your path through life.
Thank God for the gift of wisdom – His wisdom within you.
Ask God to help you to discern how to use His gift today – how His wisdom will be made sweet through you.
Thank God for your friends – for true and lasting friendships.
Ask God to help you to have the comfort of knowing that He is your truest friend.
Thank God for the times when His promises, and your trust in them, have helped you to weather storms that you have faced.
Ask God to help you to draw strength and encouragement from the Bible and to strengthen your trust in Him.
A prayer for our nation

Generous God, giver of gifts, we thank you for the intelligence, expertise, experience, knowledge and wisdom that you have bestowed on the men and women in our parliament – the Prime Minister, his cabinet, the shadow cabinet, all members of parliament and their advisers. 
Help them and guide them to use their talents wisely and give them the courage to ask for help or change direction, when needed.
In the midst of the pressures and dilemmas that they encounter, give them insight, consideration and humility in all that they do, so that it is for the good of this nation and your world. 
May your will be done, through the people we have elected to represent us in making decisions that affect the lives of many many people, as well as in the implementation of policies that will protect our environment and form vital strategies on climate change and energy at this crucial time for the whole wide world.

A prayer for the life and witness of our Parish

Loving Heavenly Father,
thank you for your unchangeable and never-ending love.
You have welcomed each of us into the family of your Church,
and, in Jesus, you call us to be His Body in this place.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us
to fill us with vision, energy and faithfulness in serving you,
that we may be true to our common Baptism,
bringing new life and fullness of life to our parish community.
Guide with your heavenly wisdom those appointed to leadership roles,
as they encourage us to serve you with joy,
offering help and support where needed,
and enabling people around us to grow in faith and knowledge and love of You.