Forgive us our debts
Forgive us our debts, we pray
As we forgive our debtors.
We all have debts, Lord
We owe so much to so many:
For love and nurture
Education and encouragement
Shelter and hospitality.
And from you,
The health that has sustained us
The bounty of the earth
The love that frees us.
As we acknowledge what we have received,
Let us also be ready to give
And to forgive.
We pray for those who are burdened by unavoidable debts
And pray that we who know our indebtedness
May act so that all can experience release and freedom.
For your promise is life in all its fullness.
We pray in the name of Jesus
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18-19)
So as God’s people, in this year of challenge,
let us reaffirm our hope and our task.
God’s kingdom is coming
For those swept into poverty
For those weighed down by debt
For those living in fear of eviction from their homes
For those enslaved by financial worries or poor mental health
For those who are blind to the situation of their neighbours
For those held captive by narrow vision
For all who need to hear good news
May our proclamations and our prayers
be accompanied by advocacy and action,
and God’s kingdom come.
Prayers for the World
God, thank you for the abundance and generosity of your creation.
God of plenty,
Thank you for all that makes us feel safe and secure – having a place to call home, enough income to meet our needs, the love and support of friends, family and wider networks.
God of kindness,
We remember today the plight of those known to us and those around the world who struggle for survival today.
God of compassion,
We pray for those who are trapped by debt, fear and uncertainty.
God of rescue,
We pray today that government, communities and families will come together to support those in need.
God of unity,
Turn the ears and the hearts of the powerful to the needs of the powerless.
God of justice,
We recommit ourselves to supporting and speaking up for the voiceless and the vulnerable.
God of action,
And if a country’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members, may our country be truly great.
We pray these things in resonance with Jesus, who prays for us,
God leads us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust,
from debt into freedom,
and from death into new life.
May we follow where God leads
and know God within us and among us
today and for evermore.
Based on Luke 4:18-19 and Isaiah 61:1-3
Lord Jesus you declared that you had come to bring freedom for the oppressed, to set the prisoners free, to be good news to the poor and to declare the year of the Lord’s favour.
We remember those who are oppressed by debt and financial hardship and pray that they may know your presence, comfort and release. We ask that you will bring hope in place of despair and that you will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
We pray for all those who seek to help those struggling with debt especially those affected by the Covid-19 restrictions – for the work of Christians Against Poverty and other debt agencies and for those who work to bring about justice and transformation in our society.
We pray for a day of jubilee and a release from the debts that hold people captive. And we pray that where there is grief and mourning, you will bring your joy.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
by Carolyn Lawrence