Evening Prayer Friday, 15 January 2021

A New Year.  A fresh start?  This has been a New Year like no other that I can remember.  While some of us have appreciated slowing down, I know others are struggling with isolation, and others, working in key services and understandably exhausted.  Most of us miss seeing our friends and family, even if we are in contact by phone and through the internet.  Perhaps may are wondering, ‘How long, Lord?  How long?’

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.  (Psalm 13, NIV)

Perhaps, with the psalmist, we can work through these feelings in prayer, expressing to God those things which bring us down, taking time to recognise the gifts we have been given, and come back to an understanding and appreciation of all that God has done for us.  At the same time, it falls to those of us who have the time, to support all those who are working so hard to keep services going, who have to risk their own health for the sake of us all.

So, let us pray:

Loving God, you have given us a wonderful world to live in and so many gifts to enrich our lives, we don’t always know where to start to say ‘Thank you.’  But when we feel confused or perplexed, we don’t always open our eyes to see the good things around us.  So first, this evening, we will pause and recollect the good things which have touched us today.

Thank you for our homes, our food and for companionship, either in person, or by remote contact with other people.

For all your gifts to us

We praise and thank you, Loving God.

Many of us are confined to our homes at present, while the virus rages on.  We miss the companionship of friends, so we are grateful for the chance to speak with them over the phone or to send and receive cards and messages.

So we thank you for all who are keeping essential services going – postmen, delivery drivers, shop workers, teachers and administrators and those whose work goes unnoticed, but whose efforts would be missed if they didn’t carry on.  Support them as they strive to keep services going at cost to themselves and their families.  May they know how much their efforts are appreciated.

For all your gifts, brought to us by the work of others

We praise and thank you, Loving God.

We remember especially all those who are working in the NHS, including members of our own congregations.   Give them strength and courage as they put themselves in danger day by day. Encourage them when they feel down and strengthen them when they feel weak. May they know how much their efforts are appreciated, find the resilience they need to keep going and be given the support they need to find satisfaction in their own lives.

For all your gifts, brought to us by the work of others

We praise and thank you, Loving God.

We pray for all who are sick, are anxious about sick friends and family members, and all who have been bereaved. When there are so many in this situation, it can be easy to forget to offer support.  It is strange not to be able to visit, or to give someone a hug.  Help us to find new ways to show how much we care.  Give us the words to say and the sensitivity to know what they need most.


For your gift of friendship and the love of others

We praise and thank you, Loving God.


We pray now for ourselves.  When we feel confused and perplexed, keep us from worrying.  When we feel tired and worn down, refresh us and give us peaceful sleep.

When we feel helpless and powerless to help, remind us to pray.  Help us to trust you and share our confidence in you with all those we are talk to day by day.

For your love for us, shown through the life of Jesus

We praise and thank you, Loving God.


And now, I wish you a peaceful night, as we close our Friday evening prayers by listening to, or joining in singing, ‘God is working his purpose out’.