Ash Wednesday Prayer Vigil

Ash Wednesday Prayer Vigil

On Ash Wednesday (17th February) St George’s will hold a prayer vigil on the coronavirus pandemic. The idea is to pray from our homes, but united as a community on the same day, to pray for positive change about this major issue affecting people around the world.

You can sign up for a 30-minute time slot on the online rota here.

More than one person can pray at the same time, though it would be great to cover all the times throughout the day.

Below is some information to focus your prayers, as well as some suggested prayers. Do take time to reflect on the information and prayers, allowing God to speak to you.

At the beginning of the prayer time, try lighting a candle and doing some breathing exercise to focus your mind. Concentrate on the movement of your breathing in and out, reminding yourself with each breath that God is with you.

Some global pandemic figures (at 31st January 2021)

  • 103 million cases
  • 2.4 million deaths
  • 57 million people recovered
  • 6 million new cases in the last two weeks
  • 104 million vaccine doses administered
  • 56 million vaccine doses administered in the last two weeks

PRAYERS

Coronavirus impacts all of us, but love also unites us all. Join us in prayer for our neighbours near and far.

Love never fails.
Even in the darkest moments, love gives hope.
Love compels us to fight against coronavirus alongside our sisters and brothers living in poverty.
Love compels us to stand together in prayer with our neighbours near and far.
Love compels us to give and act as one.
Now, it is clear that our futures are bound together more tightly than ever before.
As we pray in our individual homes – around the nation and around the world – we are united as one family.
So, let us pause and find a moment of peace, as we lift up our hearts together in prayer.

Prayers of thanksgiving
For the health workers tending the seriously ill.
For the scientists working on a vaccination.
For the researchers analysing data and identifying trends.
For the media outlets working to communicate reality.
For the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers.
For the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning.
For the singing from balconies by locked-down communities.
For the recognition that isolation doesn’t need to mean loneliness.
For the notes through letterboxes offering help and support.
For the internet and telephones and technology that connects.
For the awakened appreciation of what is truly important.
Thanks be to God.

For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones
For those who were already very anxious.
For those immune suppressed or compromised.
For those vulnerable because of underlying conditions.
For those in the ‘most at risk to coronavirus’ categories.
For those watching their entire income stream dry up.
For those who have no choice but to go out to work.
For those who are afraid to be at home.
For those who are lonelier than they’ve ever been.
For those who are bereaved and grieving.
God, be their healer, comfort and protection.
Be their strength, shield and provision.
Be their security, safety and close companion.

And raise up your Church,
to be your well-washed hands and faithful feet,
to be present to the pain,
to respond with love in action,
if even from a safe distance.
God, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

A prayer for times of isolation
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come… will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

God of heaven and earth,
in these times of isolation,
apart from loved ones,
distant from friends,
away from neighbours,
thank you that there is nothing
in all of creation,
not even coronavirus,
that is able to separate us from your love.

And may your love that never fails
continue to be shared
through the kindness of strangers
looking out for each other,
for neighbours near and far,
all recognizing our shared vulnerability,
each of us grateful for every breath,
and willing everyone to know the gift
of a full and healthy life.
Keep us all in your care.
Amen.

A prayer for medical workers everywhere
Restoring and healing God,
thank you for medical workers everywhere,
embodying sacrificial love in these challenging times,
putting the welfare of others before their own,
staying away from their family and loved ones,
comforting the concerned and bereaved,
reassuring the anxious and vulnerable,
working to heal and restore people who are ill.
Be their guide, strength, wisdom and hope.

We pray for those in authority to do right by them
for proper protective equipment to be provided,
and for their dedication to be met with much gratitude
and appreciation when they return home, exhausted.

And we pray for medical workers around the world
where resources and protective equipment
are always in short supply, not only now but always.
May these extraordinary times
lead to deep and necessary changes in how our world works,
resulting in a genuine effort to address the profound injustice
of life expectancy being determined by geography,
to awaken us all to the reality of how connected we all are
and to work together to create the community and world
we all want to be part of.
So help us, God.
Amen.

A prayer before silence
Loving God,
we seek your presence
in the silence beyond words,
looking to you for comfort,
strength, protection and reassurance,
breathing with gratitude,
holding on to hope,
trusting with faith
that you are still God
in the midst of the turmoil,
and that your love reaches
to the ends of the earth.
Be present with us now.
(Silence)
Amen.

A prayer for a global pandemic
‘Love…
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.’
-1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Loving God,
strengthen our innermost being
with your love that bears all things,
even the weight of this global pandemic,
even the long haul of watching for symptoms,
of patiently waiting for this to pass,
watching and waiting,
keeping our gaze fixed on you,
and looking out for our neighbours
near and far.

Instil in our shaken souls
the belief and hope that all things
are possible with your creative love,
for strangers to become friends,
for science to source solutions,
for resources to be generously shared,
so everyone, everywhere, may have what they need,
for your perfect love that knows no borders
may cast out any fear and selfishness that divides.

May your love that never ends
be our comfort, strength and guide,
for the wellbeing of all and
the glory of God.
Amen.

A prayer for the Church
May your love that never fails
strengthen the weak,
encourage the fearful,
calm the anxious,
heal the sick
through your Church –
your washed hands
and feet on earth –
distant but still present,
virtual but still connected,
apart but still helping.
God, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Amen.

 

Previous prayer vigils held at St George’s in 2018:

PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY

PRAYER VIGIL FOR REFUGEES & VICTIMS OF ARMED CONFLICT

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