Prayers for dark places

Words in bold italic may be said by all present.

A candle may be lit

Preparation
Jesus said,
‘I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.’    John 8:12

Darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn..     Isaiah 60:2-3

Opening: Seeking God

O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you,
where and how to find you:
you are my God, and you are my All;
and I have never seen you.
You have made me and remade me,
you have bestowed on me all the good things I possess.
Still I do not know you.
I have not yet done that for which I was made:
teach me to seek you.
I cannot seek you unless you teach me,
or find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
let me love you when I find you.    Anselm of Canterbury

Let me find you by loving you,
let me love you when I find you.

Listening

All my longings lie open before you, Lord:
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbours stay far away.
Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.

For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Many have become my enemies without cause;
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.

Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Saviour.  From Psalm 38

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’
But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’  Luke 8

Let me find you by loving you,
let me love you when I find you.

Offering

In silence, or using words, or in both,
memories or issues of challenge or pain
are mentioned.

A time of silence may be kept

Lord, do not forsake me:
come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Saviour.
I will glorify your name for evermore:
do not be far from me, my God.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Saviour.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter –
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: here am I.

‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.   Isaiah 58:6-11

Conclusion

God of all things seen and unseen,
if you had insulated yourself from the pain of the world,
then your name could not be love and our condition would be without hope.
Thank you for being so personally involved,
for revealing your complete commitment in Jesus of Nazareth.
Through him we pray with hope,
in him we pray with love.   Bruce prewer

Lord, in your mercy:
grant to your faithful people pardon and peace;
that they may be healed and made whole,
and serve you with a quiet mind;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!
The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil;
and bring us to life eternal. Amen.

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