7th February ~ 2nd Sunday before Lent
The Collect: Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your people; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. All: Amen
The Epistle is written in the 15th verse of the 1st. Ch. of St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians:
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.
This is the Word of the Lord: All: Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John: Glory to You, O Lord
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of all people. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the Light, that all might believe through him. He was not the Light but came to bear witness to the Light. The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His own people received him not. But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
This is the Gospel of the Lord: All: Praise to You, O Christ.
Everlasting God, thank you for welcoming us in love, hear us as we pray for the good of the church, the world and for all in need. Faithful God, we thank you for our church leaders; locally, in our diocese and for our relationship with the other churches in this area. We pray for all who preach your word, inspire, lead and help us to grow as disciples as we reach out to those in need in our communities and in our world. Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Mighty God, we pray for the worldwide Christian Church in all its wonderful diversity. We pray especially for those churches who meet together in difficult and dangerous circumstances, remembering as always those Christians in your holy land. May they feel your abiding presence to uphold their courage and strengthen their faith. Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Creator God we pray for your world and its peoples with all their needs, questions and longings. So often we struggle to understand the reasons behind the many acts of terrorism that have occurred; and yet we know that in the midst of such events your love is shown in the acts of bravery, selflessness and compassion which follow. We pray for all who suffer and for those who provide the medical and community support and, eventually, in the long task of reconstruction. Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Loving God we pray for those in need in our own community, the sick and the dying, the elderly, the housebound and those in care homes, hospitals and hospices and for the work and devotion of those who care for them. We thank you for Carers whose love and compassion bring both material and spiritual comfort at times of need. We name before you now those for whom prayer has been requested. Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Merciful God be close to those who feel the pain of grief at the loss of a loved one whether recent or as each anniversary passes. We pray for the family of Captain Tom giving thanks for his life and the way he has inspired so many to help raise money for the NHS. Help us to support all those who mourn with our prayers, with words of comfort and with practical help as they struggle to come to terms with their loss. Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Holy God, we ask you to help us as we move into Lent. Help us to find inner quietness and an awareness of your presence. Let this Lent be a time when we focus on the spiritual gifts you give so unselfishly, as we prepare for the events of Good Friday and Easter.
Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen