In this moment
A prayer that we might be refined by our experience of God
Lord, you have promised to be like a refiner’s fire,
proving and purifying our lives as your people.
You refine us like silver and test our lives like gold.
In these last months we have suffered grief and known all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of our faith
– of far greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire –
may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
It all sounds so stirring and heroic when we read it on the page of Scripture,
but, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego of old in the fiery furnace,
we have felt the heat of the flames that have licked around our lives.
We’re not sure whether we shine brighter,
or we are in danger of shrinking back from the lessons you have taught us.
But we want your refining to redefine our lives as your people,
and as your church.
Help us to take confidence that as we have walked through the fire,
we have not been burned and the flames have not set us ablaze.
Already refined by the experience of pandemic and lockdown,
give us a fresh faith to call on your name,
and to know that you will answer us and say, ‘They are my people,’
so that we can reply with new vigour, ‘The LORD is our God.’
As your work in us is further revealed by fire in these days,
and that furnace tests the quality of our life and witness,
may we be further refined into your ways for us –
reformed, remoulded, reshaped, re-polished, reignited,
for your glory.
In Jesus’ name.
Sunday 20 September
- Give thanks that despite the restrictions within which we continue to gather for worship, we can still know God’s presence as his people, reassuring us of his grace and prompting us to live well for him.
- Pray for a fresh appreciation of worship in these days as something we do primarily because God is worthy of our praise and not because it serves our needs and desires or satisfies our whims.
Monday 21 September
The Refined initiative
- Give thanks for all those who have contributed to the These Three Remain initiative, providing content for resources, blogs, podcasts and prayers and how it is has helped the Presbyterian family in Ireland to encounter God together as a denomination during the pandemic and lockdown.
- Pray for the launch of the Refined initiative this week, asking that God would use it to enable us to move on to a forward footing in our life and witness as a denomination as we transition to the next phase of our response to living through the pandemic.
Tuesday 22 September
- Give thanks to God for government charged with the responsibility of leading through the period of the pandemic, asking that he would give wisdom in exercising finely balanced judgement and making difficult decisions.
- Pray for unity in government in Westminster, across the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom and in Ireland as we continue to face difficult days in our islands.
Wednesday 23 September
PCI global mission workers
- Give thanks for PCI’s global mission workers and partners across the globe, asking that God would bless their work and encourage them in life and witness as they continue to minister for him in a multitude of settings and circumstances.
- Pray for grace, patience, creativity, resilience, wisdom and safety for PCI global mission workers as they serve far from home and loved ones in these strange and disrupted times.
Thursday 24 September
- Give thanks for the staff in care homes run by PCI and others, asking that God would continue to keep them safe as they serve the needs of residents under continuing difficult circumstances.
- Pray for residents of care homes and their families, asking that they would know God’s peace and reassuring love in these times of disruption and upheaval.
Friday 25 September
Blended children’s and youth work
- Pray for those involved in planning and delivering children’s and youth work in congregations as restrictions continue to make meeting together difficult and programming has to be provided with a blend of digital limited gatherings with social distancing, asking God for creativity and wisdom.
- Pray for the maintenance of good contacts with children, young people and their families at this time, asking that God would make his love, care and encouragement evident in every conversation and communication.
Saturday 26 September
Onset of winter
- Pray that as autumn soon gives way to the onset of winter, God would preserve us from a second spike in coronavirus.
- Pray for wise restraint and the observation of necessary restrictions across society, enabling attempts to avoid spreading the virus as more time is spent indoors and there is greater risk of the spread of infection during winter months.