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Prayers for the elderly


Prayers as the years catch up with us, and memory fades...

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come." (Psalm 71:18)

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you " (Isaiah 46:4)

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green " (Psalm 92:12-14) 



For all who struggle
to cope with change
in the shifting scenes
of life – childhood,
education, families,
identity, relationships,
employment, faith,
growing older, dying -
bring hope, a sense
of your love for them,
a glimpse of eternity.



Be close to those who,
growing old, are afraid
of what the future holds.
Grant them the strength
for daily tasks, and more,
a joy of life that can rise
above its aches and pains,
and by your Holy Spirit
become a daily blessing
to all who they shall meet.



Lord, help us accept with grace
that this journey of life
is limited both by time
and the process of growing old.
May we leave the path
a little easier to follow,
less overgrown with weeds
or thorns likely to cause pain,
an encouragement for others
to step out in faith with you.



Thank you, Lord
for the wisdom of age,
such a valuable guide
for those walking
unfamiliar
or hazardous routes.



Gracious God, we bring to you
those regular aches and pains
that greet us every morning
and have become a part of us.
Today we bring them to you,
and, hands outstretched, ask
for healing, and your Spirit
to flow in and through bone,
muscle and sinew, bringing
freedom, wholeness and peace.



For those who walk
more slowly
through this world
than in the days
when they were young,
may each step
be made lighter
and their joy be greater
for seeing beauty
in little things
that the hurrying pass by



Gracious God, bless those who,
because of increasing years
are struggling with daily tasks
that would, not long ago,
have been accomplished
in just a fraction of the time,
and without increasing pain.
Bring healing and comfort
to aching joints and muscles,
and ease their frustration
at this slowing down of life.
Bless them, and use their gifts,
knowledge and wisdom
that younger lives might
be touched and blessed
by these, your older children.



Memory fades,
and recollections
become hazy clouds,
fading outlines
of strangers' faces
and forgotten places.
Even the familiar,
loved ones and names
that once tripped lightly
off the tongue
cause confusion,
in what seems
a cruel dismantling
of a life once lived.
Compassionate God,
for all who live in fear
of what they might become,
and those already walking
down this lonely road
we call dementia
grant them peace.
May each moment,
however brief,
be filled with joy
not sorrow,
and your love be seen
through those
who care for these
your loved and fragile people.



For carers in this world,
young and old,
whose love, time
and freedom,
sometimes even childhood
is given sacrificially
for one who is in need.
May they know your blessing,
through good days and bad,
and receive as they have given
love in good measure,
flowing as a gentle river
into their hearts and lives.



We pray for those who find
difficulty in remembering;
for whom once-familiar faces
are becoming strangers,
and treasured memories
disappear from memory’s store.
Lord, grant understanding
to those who care for these
your vulnerable children,
and dignity to those
who suffer in this way.
May they know and feel
your love surround them
and every moment,
though soon forgotten
be a moment filled with joy.



God of compassion and grace,
we pray for all those who,
through age and infirmity
find themselves imprisoned
within the loneliness of home,
watching a world outside
that once had their
full involvement
increasingly pass them by.
Be with and bless them, Lord,
along with family and carers
calling through the week to help.
May they know that they are loved,
still precious in your sight,
and feel your arms support them
in the day and through the night. Amen



Gracious God, be with all those
struggling today with symptoms
of dementia in its many forms;
mood changes, memory lapses,
confusion and helplessness.
May they know in their hearts
your comforting embrace
amid their daily frustrations,
and continue to realise,
as names and memories fade,
that they are still loved by family,
friends, and especially by you.

 


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©John Birch · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced elsewhere please acknowledge author/website
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