The last weeks of the Great Ninety Days – the combined seasons of Lent and Easter – are upon us. Pentecost comes into view and references to the Spirit become more and more explicit. It is not that we have been waiting all season for the coming of the Paraclete. We have been immersed in the life and love of the Spirit ever since we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection. But there is time now to attend more fully to this Gift of God that shapes our lives – as individuals, as church, as world – with love, wisdom, joy and peace. And to give thanks.
Dear friends, Jesus promised his disciples the gift of an Advocate, the Spirit of truth, who would abide with them for ever. Guided by this Spirit, let us turn to the Father and ask for all we need.
1. We pray for national and international leaders in these times of widespread uncertainty and change. May they use the power entrusted to them to promote the wellbeing of the world and the health of the planet. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
2. We pray for the starving people of Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya and Yemen. May the world community contribute all that is necessary to save them from the present catastrophe of famine and disease. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
3. We pray for ourselves as the people of Australia. May this year’s observance of Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week deepen our appreciation of the nation’s indigenous history and cultural heritage. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
4. We pray for those adversely affected by further cuts to Australia’s foreign aid budget. May their pressing needs persuade the Federal Government to reverse its decision. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
5. We pray for all who work in the field of palliative care. May their ministry of mercy inspire us to uphold the human dignity of those who are suffering from chronic pain or facing terminal illness. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
6. We pray for young offenders held in correction centres around the country. May their chances of rehabilitation be enhanced by the reform of the juvenile justice system. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
7. We pray for scientists and concerned citizens who continue to alert us to the crisis of global warming and climate change. May their voices be heard and heeded. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
8. We pray for those who were baptised, confirmed and fed with the bread of life at the Easter Vigil six weeks ago. May they become more and more at home in the parish community and share fully in its life and mission. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they be raised to life in the Spirit and led to see God face to face. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Father of all goodness, you call us into the loving union you share with your Son and the Spirit of life. Help us to be true to your love and to the freedom you give us as your daughters and sons. We ask this through Christ our Lord.