17 November 2018
I was invited to take part in an Ecumenical Service of Worship and Prayer in Adare Methodist Church, Co Limerick, last night [16 November 2018] to mark the opening a day of prayer in the church.
The service was introduced by the Revd Ruth Watt of Adare Methodist Church, and the prayers were themed and were led by ecumenical colleagues.
Throughout the church, there were prayer stations with invitations to prayer and opportunities and suggestions for prayers that reflected in the intercessions during last night’s service
The church was lit dimly, adding to the meditative atmosphere and enhanced the stillness and the calm.
The Revd Tom Sherlock introduced the Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving. The Prayers for the Community were introduced by the Revd Liz Beasley of Adare Group of Parishes in the Church of Ireland, who prayed for our churches; Monsignor Dan Noonan of Adare, who prayed for the village; and Father Eugene Boyce, who led our prayers for the surrounding farming community.
Ruth led the Prayers for Ourselves.
Brother Bill from Charleville, Co Cork, led the prayers for Ireland, and I was invited to lead the Prayers for the World.
In my prayers, I mentioned the political crises and tensions in the US and with Brexit in the United Kingdom, the plight of people in the ‘caravan’ in Central America, the children who are victims of the war in Yemen, those who grieve a man tortured to death in a Saudi diplomatic building in Istanbul, the Palestinian people, especially the children who live in the Gaza Strip, and the people of Israel.
I also prayed for Jews who are afraid to go to synagogues in the US for fear of attack by far-right white nationalists, and invited people to pray for places and countries around the world they know or where they have family connections.
I concluded my prayers with a prayer from India in the book Praying with the World Church, produced by the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel):
Dear God, our Father and our Mother,
we thank you that you are the God of compassion and justice;
for your promise to turn darkness into light.
We pray for places where darkness prevails;
for political prisoners who are away from their homelands,
for countries where people experience instability
and exploitation because of the involvement of foreign powers.
We pray that you will bring justice and peace to them. Amen.
The 24-hour Day of Prayer continues in Adare Methodist Church today.