We give thanks for the incarnation of Jesus Christ. We celebrate the story of God with us, entering into the messiness of our world. Jesus, thank you for coming close, for sharing in our pleasure and our pain, our joy and our suffering. We remember your coming into the world that first Christmas, and long for your coming again to set all things right.
We pray for displaced people who are unreached by government vaccination schemes and so are at risk from Covid, particularly where they are concentrated in dense settlements. Tens of millions of migrants may be affected by this trend according to Gavi. God, we pray that obstacles to vaccination would be overcome, and that those most vulnerable would be protected as a priority.
We give thanks for the gifts of family, friendship and community, and pray for those who will be spending this Christmas period alone. God, you made us for community, to exist in love with you and with others. We think of those who are isolated and alone today, and pray that they would be brought into the fellowship of your love.
As we approach 2022, we pray for those struggling with the cost of living. Research by Citizens Advice suggests that 1 in 10 families are facing financial crisis this winter. God, we pray for a transformed economy where everyone has enough to get by. Help those who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families into this new year.
We pray for countries experiencing ongoing crises. We think of Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Syria and many others experiencing extreme poverty, famine, conflict and more. God, you made all people in your image. We pray on behalf of all people caught up in these crises, that they would be rescued from suffering and death, and brought into life and flourishing.
We pray for all those struggling with their mental health. According to the charity Mind, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. God, we pray that everyone suffering would receive the support they need. We celebrate the courage and strength it takes to keep going day by day, year by year.
We pray for this to be a year of action on the climate crisis. COP26 saw some progress made in language used and commitments made, but not enough has been done to protect the environment and the communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As we enter the next year of this ‘decisive decade’, we pray that 2022 would see words turn to action.