Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

Eastertide Devotion and Prayers for Healing

Call to Worship: We gather in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Welcome: to this time of prayer and healing as we turn to the God of our journey. We come to ask for forgiveness and strength in our lives. God loves us with all our faults and failings, no matter what. And a special welcome to those who are anxious or distressed. Jesus offers his peace and love to all, and we come before you Father, confident that you know us better than we know ourselves. Help us to understand your will for each of us.

Opening Prayer: You are the Lord of mercy and of hope, you are gracious and compassionate. We come to you at your invitation to be loved and forgiven. Your heart is open to us even when we sin again and again. A new day is here with new hope and new horizons. God, always forgiving, renews old hope and shatters shame, refreshes desire to love and scatters guilt, calling always anew: Come with me, love with me, serve with me; my friends, God has called us to admit our need for his forgiveness. Let us take up the whole armour of God to realise our need for healing.

Introduction to Confession: Christ walks in our past, he walks in all the dark rooms we pretend are closed, that he may bring light. Let us invite him into our past, experience his forgiveness, and his acceptance of us. Let us offer all we are ashamed of, all that we wish to forget, all that still hurts us, and all the hurts that we have caused others. Let us walk there, in the places we are afraid of, knowing he walks with us and will lead us on.

Prayer of Confession: Merciful God, For the things we have done or failed to do and regret, forgive us, Lord; For all the times we have acted without love or thought, and failed to forgive; For hurtful words said and helpful words unsaid; God of all time forgive us; for unfinished tasks and unfulfilled hopes; help us to lay down our burden of regret. Amen.

Prayer of Forgiveness: May we know in our hearts the compassion of Jesus, and may we know in our minds the truth of his forgiveness. May God’s forgiveness to us be noticed in our forgiveness of each other. May the Father of life, the Son of forgiveness and the Spirit of reconciliation bless us now and always. Amen.

Prayers of concern: We pray for all those inflicted with the Covid-19- for those who have died and their families; we pray for the NHS and for all who cared: for those struggling with the economic effects of the disease. At this time we also give thanks for the miracles we have seen and the sacrifices given during the last year. Listen Lord, Listen Lord, not only to our words but to our prayer. You alone, understand and care.

We pray for all those without a fair share of this world’s resources at home or abroad and for all who experience exclusion because of poverty, gender or race. For those trapped by their own fear who have become isolated. Those who are lost or without meaning in their lives. We pray for all whose homes are places of unhappiness, or there is no real home. Listen Lord, listen Lord, not only to our words but to our prayer. You alone, understand and care.

For all those who are sick or infirm or in need of any kind in our community. For those who are bereaved or whose years-mind falls at this time. We think of especially at this time those who have lost loved ones through the Covid virus. <span style="font-size: 1rem;">Listen Lord, listen Lord, not only to our words but to our prayer. You alone, understand and care.</span>

For those learning at home or those returning to School, College or University, that you will guide and protect them at this difficult time. Finally, we pray for ourselves, Lord. you have called us to serve; lead us beyond words into action, so we may respond to the suffering of others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Healing prayer As we have remembered those who are ill and suffering at this time, and those who are distressed, we pray too for those who love them and are caring for them. May they know your peace and your presence. In Jesus Name. Amen

Prayer expressing “laying on of hands”: Spirit of the living God, present with us now, enter us, in body, mind and spirit, and heal us of all that harms us, in Jesus name. Amen.

Closing Prayer: God our Father, you are the source of all health and healing, all strength and peace, teach us to know you more clearly and to trust you more firmly. Take from us all that hinders your healing power, all anxieties and fears. Help us in our weakness to rest in your love and to enter into the stillness of your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing: May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever he may send us. May he guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storms. May he bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors Amen.

Dismissal: I go in the peace of Christ. Thanks be to God.

With Thanks to M Farr 24.3.21