Heavenly Father,

As we celebrate the gift of the Prince of Peace

 We pray for individuals, peoples and nations engulfed in war and touched by violence

We thank you for the deliverance of the people of Aleppo and pray for them and all the displaced people of Syria that they may find safe refuge. We pray that Syria may be touched by peace and that her people may soon be able to return home and rebuild their lives.

We pray for families and communities who have lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks in Berlin this week and throughout the world this year.

We pray for those who pursue the path of terror – that they may repent and turn away from violence. We especially pray for the protection of young people who may be drawn down that path by false promises of power, glory or salvation.

We pray for those with political power that they may seek solutions to complex problems through peaceful means.

 As we celebrate God’s gift of love in Jesus Christ

We pray for all those who are homeless, needy, fearful or lonely in the place we call home this Christmas.

We thank you for the love and practical work of Asylum Welcome as they show hospitality to strangers far from home.

We pray for the continuing love and practical support of The Porch, The Gatehouse and others in their work with rough sleepers and the hidden homeless in our city.

We pray for the Food Bank and the CAP Debt Centre offering love and support to people in need.

 As we celebrate Christmas as part of the universal church across the world and down the ages

We pray for the church in those countries where it is persecuted and where to be a disciple of Christ is to risk safety, security, freedom and life.

We pray that you will give courage, strength and spiritual endurance to all those who are suffering exclusion, imprisonment or persecution for the sake of the gospel.

We pray especially for the church in the Middle East, in the Palestinian territories and in Israel.

 As we celebrate the gift of the Light of World

We pray that, in these dark days, we will see the fulfillment of your promise that the light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will never overcome it.

We commend these our prayers for your world, your church and our local community in the name of your son – our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.