Intercessions – for New Year 2021 and John the Evangelist

May we pray:

Father we give thanks for John the evangelist, and as we come to a new year, ask that we may take time to think about Jesus. Show us not only who he was and is, but also what difference he makes to our life and the people we are to be.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

This last year has been difficult in various ways, and we are reminded of our failures. Help us to take responsibility; and face up to them. Show us better ways for the future, and in mercy forgive our sins.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

John knew about exile and isolation, and many of us are cut off from meeting as congregations at worship. We pray for our churches, their continuing life online and in other ways, We ask your help for Christian leaders, the stress and worry that faces them, and for money worries, as traditional sources of income have disappeared.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Our world seems to face more threats than ever in a New Year: the Covid pandemic, which continues even as vaccinations become available; Climate Emergency, sometimes lost in other news; and our changing British relationship to Europe and the world. Give wisdom and integrity, Father, to politicians, advisors and planners. Help them to find policies which protect the weak and bring justice and hope to all.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

We remember those in crisis, whatever the reason for their difficulty. May the poor, the unemployed and those crippled by debt find support and help. May the tired and overworked be given strength and encouragement. May those who are ill, and their carers and friends, find courage and hope. May we be alert to all opportunities to help in whatever way we can.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

And we pray for ourselves. You know us, heavenly father, and you know exactly our needs, possibilities and difficulties. Set us off in the right direction. If we find ourselves in strange circumstances, be our guide and coach. If we are stuck in what has become familiar, show us what to value and persist with, and what to adapt, or abandon. May this year, and whatever time we are given, be a blessing to us and to others.

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