Evening Prayer Friday, 26 June 2020

Welcome to our prayer time this evening.

We begin our time together with a hymn from the Taizé Community, ‘Bless the Lord, my soul.’

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As I live just outside the boundary of Milton Keynes, it is some time since I came into the city centre.
I miss seeing you all and I miss the many facilities which it provides.
Some, like the Council Offices, the Food Bank, the Hospital, essential shops and Health Centres,
have continued to provide some of their services during the lockdown.
Others, such as the schools and churches, have had to adapt their provision,
while some, such as libraries and leisure centres, have had to close.
Many people have been very thankful for the services they have continued to receive,
and where services are no longer available,
that has just highlighted our appreciation of them in normal times.

So this evening, I thought we might remember these services,
pray for the people who provide them
and thank God for the support they offer to us,
or to others who benefit from them.

We begin by praying for the young people of our city;
Loving God, we thank you for our young people
and pray that they may all have support and know that they are valued.
We pray for young children in of Primary School age.

We pray:
for those who are anxious,
because they have not maintained relationships with others during lockdown,
and fear feeling excluded when they return to school;
for those who are anxious,
because they have found it difficult to keep up with work
when they did not have their teachers to encourage them.
Calm their fears and guide them towards those who will be able to support them.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for teenagers.
We thank you that so many of them are proficient in the use of social media
and have had access to these while they have been isolated from their friends.

We pray:
for any who find it difficult to make relationships;
for those who worry that so much time away from their teachers may affect their future prospects;
May they find the support and encouragement they need to fulfil their potential.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for young people who do not have the support of a stable home life.
We thank you for services provided by youth leaders, churches and organisations like the YMCA.
We pray that the young people they provide for may discover the security of positive relationships
and find the support of someone they can trust, who has their best interest at heart.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

Although Milton Keynes is known as a young city, there is an increasing population of older people too.

We thank you for the services offered by Age UK,
which has had to adapt many of their services during lockdown,
but has done this in a creative way to enable those who are lonely and isolated
to receive some services and to know they are not forgotten.

We thank you for for the volunteers who have delivered lunches to isolated people
and those who have made videos to send out to those who are missing the stimulation and support of lunch clubs.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
We thank you for ‘Food Bank Extra’ which,
through the collaboration between MK Council and the Food Bank,
has enabled many families to have regular, nutritious meals.
We thank you for the dedication of volunteers and staff who have supported these people in need.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We thank you for the ongoing dedication of all in the Health Service,
who have enabled care and medication to reach all those who need it.
Thank you for doctors, nurses, health care assistants, cleaners and clerical staff.
Working as they have been, with social distancing measures and little social interaction for staff,
cannot be easy, and must have made their job more difficult.
We pray that they still find satisfaction in knowing how much their efforts are appreciated.
We pray that in future, fewer people will take these invaluable services for granted.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

We pray for all who have maintained essential services,
all who have creatively adapted their provision
and all who have been unable to maintain services during lockdown.
Life has been a challenge for many people,
and it may take some time to re-adjust
as we begin to return to a more normal way of life.
We pray that we may all be more appreciative of one another
and of the services provided for us in our day to day lives.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

So we end our prayer time joining together in the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.