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Ecumenical Prayer, 11.10.20

CALL TO PRAYER: SUNDAY 11th October 2020 Prayer @ 7pm

Among the many challenges our society faces at this time is that of finding the appropriate words to describe and express that which needs to be described and expressed. As we have discovered, that is a far more difficult challenge than might have been anticipated.

In seeking to describe and express the spiritual challenges of this time, we turn to Scripture and discover that Scripture speaks to us and for us. This is especially so of the Book of Psalms. Augustine, a Christian writer who lived in North Africa in the 5th Century writes: ‘If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.’

At this time, the 23rd Psalm ‘is a mirror for us’: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ The imagery speaks to us and for us. It evokes a memory embedded in our spiritual consciousness that resonates with every part of who we are. Whatever paths we take, even to the ‘darkest valley’, the Lord leads us so that we ‘fear no evil’. In our journey, personally and collectively, the Psalm speaks to us and for us. We pray:

Good shepherd,
Speak to us and for us.
Speak to us in the midst of us these times
And, in the words of the Psalmist, speak for us. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Speak to us at the break of day
And in the evening.
Speak to us the words that resonate in the depths of our hearts Even as human words fall silent.
Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd, Journey with us, Even to dark valleys. Go before us

And lead us safe home. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
We confess that we fear the times And that our souls are troubled. Lead us to still waters
And restore our souls.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Surely you are with us
And your presence there to comfort. Comfort us when we are anxious
And strengthen us when we are weak. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
In these present times,
May your goodness and mercy be with us.
In times to come,
May we recall that goodness and mercy has surely followed us. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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