Faith & Worship Faith & Worship

'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Prayers about our relationship with those around us

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second (Commandment) is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30,31)

Lord, you have said
that to truly love you
then I must also
love my neighbour,
which can be difficult
when we disagree
or lifestyles clash.
Yet in overcoming
those difficulties
it is possible to see
the miracle that you
love someone like me.
Teach us to love, Lord,
as you have loved us
that this world might be
a better neighbourhood
in which to live and share.

May we look at others
as if through your eyes,
less judging, more loving,
and seeing them, like us,
as not perfect or finished
but as a work in progress
that will be completed
in due time by your hands.

Bless the paths that cross today;
the old friends and strangers
with whom we might share
a pleasant greeting, a smile
or maybe something deeper.
Grant us a word in season
that might resonate within
and bring a blessing to these,
your precious children, Gracious God

Lord, teach us to be good neighbours,
not just to the folk who live nearby
but to everyone that we meet,
to see the best in, and want the best
for all your precious children,
who might one day return
to their Father’s house
and the warmth of your embrace.

Bless the good neighbours, Lord,
who call to check that all is well,
and share a cup of tea and chat
with those who struggle to get out,
and whose gentle act of service
brings a ray of light into a day
that would otherwise be cheerless.
Bless them, and all who likewise
give of their time for others
in following your good example,
that this might become a better
and more caring world in which to live.

Help us to put aside
about other people,
because that alters
our behaviour,
and simply accept
that they, like us,
are precious in your eyes.

Bless the givers,
eyes open
for those in need
of prayer,
a little time,
the gift of love.
In the act of giving
and receiving
may both be blessed.

We pray for our communities -
that snapshot of humanity
with all ages, backgrounds,
education, employment status,
politics and religious viewpoint
who are our neighbours
in the streets where we live.
We pray for all of them;
not only those we know by name
and chat to through the day,
but also less familiar faces
about whom we know so little
and pass by with just a smile.
Bless their homes and families,
and let your love and peace
so shine within this community
that smiles turn to conversations,
and strangers become friends.
We pray this through Jesus Christ,
the Prince of Peace. Amen

Help us to help those
who are struggling
through this day.
Neighbour, relative,
stranger or friend,
where we see a need,
rather than walk away
may we stop awhile
and share a hand,
a listening ear,
a smile, a prayer,
compassion, love,
just as you would do.

Remind us often, Lord,
of your words, when some
would tell us otherwise,
that we have neighbours
in this world of ours
who are your children,
living in makeshift tents,
refugee camps, prisons,
subways, shop doorways -
neighbours who are hungry,
desperate, ignored, in need
of the very basics of life,
a new beginning, a chance
of calling somewhere home.
(Matthew 25:34-40)

All I am, and all I have,
I offer, Lord, to you.
I offer you these hands,
that you might use them
in and through my daily work.
I offer you these feet,
that you might lead them
to someone who needs my help.
I offer you these shoulders
if you should them
to help lighten another’s load.
I offer you this voice
that you might use it
to speak up for those in need.
All I am, and all I have,
I offer, Lord, to you.


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Copyright © John Birch, 2019 · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced anywhere else please include acknowledgement to the author/website ·  Privacy Policy