Crippling droughts and raging floods are familiar even to Australians who live in the coastal capitals, as most do. We hardly need convincing that water is a matter of life and death. It’s an elemental necessity. That makes it a powerful symbol of our deepest need, our need for the grace of God. The Israelites thirsted for divine assurance in the desert. The woman at the well thirsted for faith and love. Jesus promised her a living spring welling up to eternal life. We may often seek to quench our heart’s thirst with a cocktail of illusions, but only God’s good Spirit will satisfy.
Dear friends, Jesus led the Samaritan woman step by step on a journey of faith. As she gladly shared with her neighbours what she found, so let us pray for the whole human family that all might find faith in the mystery of God.
1. For the countless people who have no ready access to safe supplies of water, that this year’s World Day for Water will prompt governments and agencies to come to their aid, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
2. For the Aboriginal Corporations that help surviving members of the Stolen Generations find healing and wellbeing, that our support for Project Compassion will enable Caritas Australia to continue partnering with them, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
3. For all who thirst for deeper meaning and purpose in their lives, that they will be blessed with wise guides and honest friends in their search for the truth, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
4. For the people of every ethnic community that suffers racial discrimination, that a new and world-wide consciousness of our common humanity will prevail over old prejudices, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
5. For Christian believers around the globe, that the upcoming feast of the Annunciation will bring them together in responding readily to God’s call like Mary of Nazareth, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
6. For children and vulnerable adults who have been subjected to bullying of any kind, that they will be blessed with the resilience they need to claim their true dignity, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
7. For ourselves and for those preparing for baptism at Easter, that these weeks of Lent will deepen our resolve to turn away from sin and believe in the gospel, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
8. For the recently deceased ... and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that their hope for eternal life will come to complete fulfilment, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
God of boundless mercy, you showed your love for us in Christ while we were still sinners, and you have poured your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Lead us on the path of faith until we truly believe in Jesus as Saviour of the world. We ask this through Christ our Lord.