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notre dame montreal


2nd February 2003

Let us remember in our prayers of intercession in this Family Service the words of John in his first letter:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God."

Heavenly Father, we need first to thank you for your great love for us, made known in your son Jesus Christ:

the love that accepts us as we are, whatever our failings,

the love that freely forgives,

the love that watches over us day by day,

the love that gives us the strength to overcome all difficulties,

the love that provides us with the power to show love to all others

God of love, accept our thanksgiving, and give us grace to love you more for Jesus' sake.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

We pray for our Church and for its family.

Be with all those who lead us in our worship of you. May they know your love and show that love to all those they meet as they perform their many duties and responsibilities.

We pray your blessing on all who share with us in this Church's life, that we may all grow in the knowledge of your love. We pray that as a congregation we may always be outward looking so that we are conscious of the needs of others. Help us as members of this Church's family to respond to them by our understanding, by our support and by the love we show to them.

God of love, we pray for our children as they grow in our Church family circle. Guide them into the ways of your will, and may they learn to love and serve you. In particular this morning we pray for Fiona and for her family and friends gathered here. Bless them Lord, and we pray they may know your presence in their lives.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

Father, we pray for your Church throughout the world, both here in Bedford and those in far away countries where there is persecution. We pray that it may share in its different ways to the full in the work of your Son, revealing you to men and women, and reconciling them to you and to one another.

We pray that Christians may learn to love one another and their neighbours - as you love us - and that working together, they may bring peace to all people.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

We pray for all those troubled parts of the world, where people are suffering as a result of terrorism, of fighting, of hunger, of disease, of the loss of their homes. We pray that your Spirit may so move in the hearts of people that the barriers of fear, race, suspicion and hatred, which separate so many, may crumble and disappear. Bring peace and hope, and above all expressions of love into their lives.

We think of the peoples of Zimbabwe, of Israel and Palestine, of Afghanistan, of Iraq, and pray that the leaders of these countries will recognise the needs of their people and will spread hope not despair, will strive for peace not war, and will nurture love not incite hatred.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

In this Family Service, we pray now for families in need.

Despite our hopes and efforts, Lord, we fail and things go wrong. We pray for people who are suffering, either from their own mistakes, or from the mistakes of others:

for children separated from one parent and cut off from grandparents

for parents who see their children for only part of the week

for families who have many problems and lack hope

for husbands and wives who no longer find joy in each other

for families who face death, illness or disablement, and feel they cannot cope

for the unemployed who feel hopeless and unwanted

for those addicted to drugs 

We lift them up to you Lord, for your healing love.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

Heavenly Father, we pray for our own families and those we know.

for those nurturing young babies and those about to have them

for children at school, facing the pressures of learning to the best of their ability

for teenagers growing up in an unstable and confusing world

for parents and grandparents trying to show a loving spirit whatever the circumstances

Bless each and every one, and may they all know your presence in their family, and feel your guiding hand in their lives, as they face their different demands and challenges.

Help us to build with you the kind of family which shows care and consideration and tolerance for all its members, and a love for all others.

We pray for those in need within our families and others known to us; for those who are ill, whether in their homes or in hospital. We name them in our hearts and raise them to you Lord. In particular we think of Maurice M--

Bless them. May they know your love, and in doing so, receive courage and strength in their time of need.

We pray for the elderly, especially those unable to leave their homes.

We pray for the lonely, especially those separated from loved ones.

We pray for those who mourn because of the death of loved ones, and for those who still miss the companionship and care of those dear to them. We think in particular this morning of the families of the seven astronauts who died yesterday in space.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world - a light which no darkness can quench. We remember before God those who have died and we light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope. We remember Aileen K--, Violet M--, William B--, Pamela B--.

picture of candle

You turn our darkness into light,
in your light shall we see light.

Lord in your mercy 
Hear our prayer 

Finally, a short prayer for ourselves:

O God of love, we ask you to give us love;
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing.
That we may be worthy to dwell with you, 
Who are eternal love.

Merciful Father:
accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Bible Readings and Notes and sermon: Candlemas / Groundhog Day for 2nd February 2003. 

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