Working for justice & peace
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Gracious God, we are stunned and aghast by  what we see happening in
Israel and Gaza. This is your Holy Land. And there's nothing holy about this
violence and hatred we see today. Your heart of love is being brutally
attacked. And Jesus is once again flung onto a cross. We continue to cry to
you for help, for the worst to be avoided, for the men of violence to be held
in check, for the innocent to be protected, for the deep source of this conflict
to be addressed, and for justice and mercy to live again in this special place.
May the right of Israel to exist in peace, and for Palestinians to have their
land in security, and with peace and justice. May these rights both be
respected and may holiness be seen again, in this holy land? We pray this
earnestly. In Jesus name, Amen.
(Prayer from former Bishop of Oxford Rt Rev John Pritchard)

Bryan Halson.

“The sun gives forth light; it cannot help doing so.  Animals breathe in
and out; they cannot help doing so.  Fish swim in rivers and the sea;
they cannot help doing so.  What, then, are the things which a
Christian cannot help doing?  First of all, a Christian cannot help
praying.  To be a Christian is to regard God as a loving Father, and it is
natural to talk and listen to one’s parents..”

(John Chrysostom,  c.347-407)

Psalm 145,8-10

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Loneliness is one of the major problems of our “western” society.
With our emphasis on individualism at the expense of community we are a
contrast to African and many parts of Asian society. Whereas in earlier times
family ties were close (members living in the same village or town, or even
in the same street) the 21st century family is often “scattered”, members
living many miles apart or indeed in different countries.  In this situation it
is the elderly - parents and grandparents - that find themselves isolated and
consequently lonely.

Loneliness can also come about through simply “not fitting in” to
society as it is.  This is sometimes felt by the younger generation, and at its
extreme leads to attempted or actual suicide.  In all this there are a number
of points for prayer.

We are very likely to know a lonely person for whom we can pray (and
how about following up with a visit?). Pray also for group efforts to spend
time with the lonely - organisations such as Friends of the ElderlyRoyal
Voluntary Service, Mind and other mental health charities. In your regular
prayers for your faith congregation include prayer for all who help the lonely. 
Remember the loneliness which comes through bereavement and pray for
anyone you know in this situation.

Jeremiah 15.17        1 Thessalonians 5.11

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In our everyday life we are dependent on numerous organisations, and
it is very easy to take them for granted.  Sometimes it takes a frightening
incident to make us aware.  Think of the Fire Service (in the light of the
Grenfell Towers fire) and pray for its members. Remember to include those
who organise, and who train firefighters, and also the families of firefighters
who must have frequent anxiety.

Pray for the Police Service. Policing involves an array of tasks beyond
preserving law and order. Think, for example, of dealing with cases of
domestic violence, or such mundane but helpful jobs as meeting your
enquiries on the streets. There are difficulties over financing the police
service in our country - pray for all who have to make decisions in this area. 

Week by week (or fortnightly!) the sight of wheelie bins on the kerb
should prompt us to include in our prayers our organised waste disposal and
those who are involved in this vital work. 

Zechariah 7.8-10 Matthew 6.6

“To all else you have given us
O Lord,
we ask for but one thing more
Give us
grateful hearts.”
George Herbert.

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Give thanks and remember in your prayers, Barbara, Eliam, Rob, Norma, and
all who work in the CA office, the Trustees, and our chairman Bishop John