This Christmas Eve, we pray for those who are waiting for good news – perhaps a medical result, a settled status application, political change, or something else. God, thank you that you are with us in the waiting. As we await the arrival of Jesus, we also pray for the arrival of peace and justice in our world.
We pray for the freedom and safety of journalists worldwide. The number of journalists in prison reached a global high in 2021, and at least 24 journalists were killed because of their work. God, we thank you for the vital work of journalism to hold power to account and spread information. We pray that journalists everywhere would be protected and enabled to work in peace and freedom.
We pray for children facing long waits and ‘inappropriate care’ in mental health services. A report by the Health and Social Care Committee of MPs has warned that NHS child and adolescent mental health services are close to breaking point. God, we pray that this report would lead to the necessary and urgent changes in the system, for the sake of every child in need of support.
We give thanks for an increase in people learning sign language in response to Rose Ayling-Ellis on Strictly Come Dancing. One firm reports enrolments in BSL courses have gone up by more than 2000% since she began on the show. God, we thank you for the statement Rose has made on this public platform. We pray for more role models from marginalised groups to be heard in the same way.
We give thanks for those working to reduce food waste at Christmas. Various platforms and apps have emerged in the last few years to collect surplus from restaurants, supermarkets and households and take it to places in need. God, forgive us for our wasteful attitude to food. Help us to be mindful of those who will not have enough to eat this Christmas.
We pray for unhoused communities that are exposed to extreme weather events. People without access to shelter are at risk of illness and loss of life from climate change-induced weather events, which are increasing in frequency around the world. God, we pray that no one would go without a safe home. When disaster strikes, help us to protect the most vulnerable.
We pray for the safety of migrants that arrive in the UK by boat. Inspectors report that many are held in “very poor” conditions with nowhere to sleep, poor medical care, and a lack of rape support among other issues. God, we lament these reports. We pray for a change in attitudes that we would take on a duty of care and a spirit of welcome for these people who have undergone serious trauma.
We pray for garment workers in Karnataka, who have not been paid the state’s legal minimum wage since April 2020. 400,000 workers making clothes for international brands have been hit by what is claimed to be the biggest wage theft ever in the industry. God, we mourn the suffering these workers and their families have experienced. We pray for transformation in the fashion industry, that these abuses would not happen again.