I was rostered to do the Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession today, Mothers Day.  I started to write on Saturday night.  The last paragraphs were written out before I left for church on Sunday morning.

Christ the Good Shepherd, stained glass window, First Presbyterian Church, Invercargill

Ah, dear lord, what shall we pray for today? Shall we pray for the world? We know you are everywhere; and to stretch yourself even further, you gave us mothers, and fathers, and sons and daughters, you made us into tribes, and nations, and families, and households. You made us to connect with each other, and you are in those moments.

In an uncertain world and at an uncertain time we give thanks for the success of the church fair yesterday. We thank you for the weather, for the company, for the enthusiasm to work, and to sell, and to benefit others. We celebrate the sharing of time, and talents, and gifts, with each other.

We pray for the world: We pray for peace in Eastern Europe and the reconciliation between rival nations. We pray for the children to whom our blankets go. May they know peace and prosperity in their countries. We pray each stitch will be for their warmth and their comfort.

You know the names of each one of the girls abducted in Nigeria, you are reminded in prayer for each of them by name, each one of them is an individual. Bring them home so they may be restored to their families. Let them have the freedom to become educated and informed citizens who can contribute in turn to their country. Break down the powers and principalities of fear and ignorance that would forbid a girl to read and learn.

We pray for Christchurch, the wounded and suffering city. We pray for those who are demoralised and scattered by the continuing loss and frustration of delay, obfustication and damage to property. We pray for the rebuilding of that city. With the word of hope in one hand and the tools for the job in the we pray for the restoration of Christchurch.

We pray for our city, Dunedin, for the university of Otago, the continuing progress of teaching and educating young people in our city. We hear the sound of the pipes as they lead students to graduation and the celebration of achieving their degrees. We pray that they may come to knowledge of you, and may they like us discover that learning is for life. Do not let them fall away from seeking and discovering the good in each other.

We pray for our Church, here as our community, as the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand, and as the body of Christ. Remember our leaders and our teachers, those who work in the offices of the church as administrators, accountants, theologians and care-givers. May they hear your voice and respond to your call.

God who keeps his sheep safe. We hear your voice, you call us to your fold, you stand as god-with-us between the safety of your embrace and the dangers that would steal us away. Your voice calls us and we pray the words that your disciples heard and learnt from you…