In this moment

A prayer for an extraordinary Easter

Lord of cross, grave and empty tomb,
I can’t ever remember an Easter quite like this one.
Encircled with darkness and overshadowed by death.
Eerily quiet and filled with inactivity.
Expectant of your living presence,
but not in the usual recognisable rhythms and readings of worship.
And yet, when I stop to think of it,
how like that first Easter,
of cross, grave and empty tomb.
This extraordinary Easter:
in the enveloping gloom,
turn our gaze again to that first Good Friday,
to see Jesus, suffering and dying for this sinful and broken world;
in the jarring silence,
tune our ears to the silence of that first Easter Saturday,
to hear the Father’s silent lament for his only begotten son;
in the unfamiliarity of days like none of us have ever experienced before,
tether our hearts to the hope of that first Easter Sunday morning,
to know the shining glory of the resurrection of Christ.
Lord of cross, grave and empty tomb,
thank you for the reminder of another Easter so much like this one,
and for how it resonates with reality in our situation today.
See! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
For her Lord is living, death has lost its sting:
Thine be the glory,
Risen, conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the victory,
Thou o’er death has won.
Amen.

Sunday 12 April

Marking Easter Sunday

  • Pray that Christians all over the world this Easter Sunday would know the presence of the risen Christ in a very real and meaningful way as they celebrate his victory in strange, unusual and varied circumstances arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Pray for those who cannot access a service of worship this Easter Sunday, asking God that they would find comfort and strength in the foundations of personal faith built up over previous years and through reading the Word and prayer.

Monday 13 April

Those being treated for Coronavirus and those whose treatment has been postponed

  • Pray for those receiving treatment for Coronavirus as the anticipated peak in cases occurs, that they will know God’s comfort, strength and healing touch. Particularly remember NHS and HSE staff who have contracted the virus and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnston.
  • Pray for those in need of regular therapy and treatments that must now be postponed, that God would help them stay patient and positive and that their conditions would not deteriorate.

Tuesday 14 April

Business owners and the self employed

  • Pray for leaders and owners of businesses having to make difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees, that God would give them wisdom and grace.
  • Pray for the self-employed who have been hit particularly hard by loss of business and often have fewer reserves to fall back upon, that God would give them peace and supply their needs.

Wednesday 15 April

PCI Global Mission Workers

  • Pray for PCI’s global mission workers that they will be able to model and adopt appropriate social distancing techniques that will increase protection for them and for those in the particular culture in which they are ministering.
  • Pray for the Council for Global Mission staff that they will be given wisdom and energy to support and encourage every global mission worker in their variety of situations in this fastmoving pandemic.

Thursday 16 April

Chaplaincy

  • Pray for units of the UK Army’s Covid Support Force who have been redeployed to the construction of several Nightingale Hospitals across the UK and for chaplains to these units, who may be deployed in support.
  • Pray for Rev Graeme Stockdale, lead chaplain in Maghaberry Prison, as he seeks to respond to concerns and anxieties among staff and the prison population. The prison cannot close – so pray for wisdom for the Prison Service as they manage the challenges of the situation.

Friday 17 April

Media and Society

  • Pray for those who determine and filter media content, that they would provide an effective balance of up-to-date information without unnecessarily increasing anxiety.
  • Pray for society as a whole, that it might respond in a way that is measured and wise, rather than react to unfolding events with fear, panic or carelessness.

Saturday 18 April

For weak and strong; older and younger

  • Pray for those who are especially vulnerable in these days – the elderly, those with underlying health issues, the isolated, poor and homeless – that God would be their peace and provider.
  • Pray for the young, active and strong who feel especially restricted by the lockdown, that God would give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading the virus and envision and inspire them with ways to serve and help others.