prayers for a priest

Prayers for a priest taking up a new role

These ‘prayers for a priest’ are for our Curate, the Reverend Gill Barnett, whose final service with us was today, Sunday 30th September. She takes up a new post from 21st October as Priest-in-Charge of Healey & Hamer and St. Ann, Belfield.

Today’s service was also a celebration of all the baptisms that had taken place in our two churches over the last few years. So, the intercessions reflect that too. If you can, please take the time to look at the references given at the end, which together with Gill, provided the inspiration for the prayers.

Prayers for a priest

God of new beginnings, we thank you for our children, for all their possibilities and potentials. For the future that spreads before them. Give them and us the ability to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of mystery, to recognize the divine in all things. Too often we hate and we hurt, we calculate and scheme, we twist for our own ends. In prayer we ask that you switch our centre from self-conscious to self-surrender. You are the source and we are the ebb and flow of your tides.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Faithful God, much of our lives can be routine, preparing meals, going to work or school, paying bills, being so busy that there aren’t enough hours – or being so bored that the seconds drag. In the midst of the ordinary and mundane open our eyes to the extraordinary gift of life. To taste, to feel, to smell, to touch, to hear.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Eternal God, endings can be hard and it hurts to say goodbye to those that we love. We grieve for those that we have lost, both recently and in the past. But we thank you for the time and the life that they shared with us, for how they changed us and how we changed them.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Father God, we thank you for Gill. For the Christmas Day dinners and the Girls nights out. The Prayer Chain and the red wine. For the work with other churches and the black coffee. Her heart for outreach and her energy. Her musicality and her family. For the spirituality and the humanity inextricably bound up together in one person. We see the Christ in her as she sees the Christ in us. And we thank you.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

We ask for your blessing as Gill moves from here to there, from this challenge to the next. Bless her wit and her wisdom. Give her insight and patience. Help her to know when to speak and when to listen. When to lead and when to be led. May she recognise her strengths and realise when she needs help. Help her to fulfil her calling and help her to enable others to see and fulfil theirs. May she encourage others and yet be gracious enough to take guidance. To know when to laugh and when to cry.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Help Gill to know when to be the starting point, when to inform and when to motivate. But help her too to see what you have already set in motion there, to discern traces of your grace, the history of love, to appreciate what you are in the process of doing there, where you have taken the initiative and been decisive. You have long beforehand been with the souls for which she will now have the cure, the care. Above all, help Gill to understand your heart and your passion for all those that she has been called to serve.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

We wrap Gill, our children and ourselves in prayer, spinning a deep softness of gratitude to God around all our thoughts.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Ian Banks

References:

[Thanks to Dave Walker for the cartoon. For Gill’s final sermon with us, ‘Our Journey’, please follow this link]

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