A prayer used in conjunction with the sermon Salt and Light: what makes worship taste good? (5th Sunday after Epiphany, 9 February 2014)
Lord, we love the light.
We surround ourselves with bright and shiny things.
We mix with cheerful and happy people.
We keep our lamps lit, our fires burning and our salt at the ready.
But, Lord, we know that there are dark and unsavoury places inside us:
Places we have not allowed your light to shine;
Activities we have not allowed your salt to flavour;
Dark and unsavoury attitudes that affect the lives of those closest to us;
Dark and unsavoury actions and words that hurt and leave scars we cannot heal.
Forgive us, Lord.
Bring your light and healing touch to every part of our lives:
every relationship, every activity, every word.
And as we begin to experience your forgiveness and healing,
help us to move out into the dark and unsavoury places around us.
Help us to bring your light and hope, your joy and peace to those who need it most.
We pray for those for whom grief and loneliness are constant companions:
for those who have lost loved ones,
for those who have lost their jobs or whose livelihood is threatened,
for those who have lost their way and have lost hope.
We pray for children growing up in a technological world,
for whom technology has become a substitute for love and affection.
We pray for alcoholics and other addicts,
who cannot be helped unless they want it,
but for whom even asking for help is beyond their own ability.
We pray for South Africa as we move towards elections.
Help us to resist the temptation to wallow in negativity,
and help us to bring light and hope to our conversations and discussions.
Thank you for those who resist oppression and greed,
and who suffer as a consequence.
Help us find ways of joining them rather than simply cheering from the sidelines.
Keep us alert this coming week;
help us discover your light shining in unexpected places.
Help us find ways to share the flavours of your love with a hungry world.
In Jesus name,