praying for Europe

Recent news headlines have been full of stories on the Eurozone and the European-wide financial crisis. Countries like Italy and Greece have been rocked, each needing new governments and leaders to take over to try to turn things around. The whole continent – and Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland in particular – need our prayers.

Outline map of Europe

We were priviledged to run St Mark’s, Harrogate, church prayer meeting for them last night. Together, we prayed for Europe, the Eurozone and the five main countries in crisis. We thought you might find some of the material we used last night, and that we have been using in the Sanctuary’s own times of prayer, helpful.

You might find it particularly helpful to focus your prayers on:

– protection for the vulnerable, elderly and poor, as governments make cuts to welfare systems, healthcare provision and public services.
– wisdom for leaders  and government in making deficit-reducing cuts.
– the restoration of economic stability.
– Europe to rebuild in a different way, built on God’s solid foundations of righteousness and justice.
– people and whole countries to come to worship God through this crisis, rather than continuing to worship money and be motivated by materialism.
– Europe’s youth, particularly those who are disaffected, dissatisfied, or simply feel betrayed by politicians, and also those struggling to find work.

We have used the above prayer points alongside print-outs showing the outline map of Europe with key countries highlighted to stimulate our prayers. Please feel free to use them for your own prayers or when leading intercessions in your church (to produce the print-outs, you can either copy and paste the picture above or use page 1 of Walk with the World Europe printouts).

In praying for the financial situation in Europe, and the UK over the last few weeks we have also found the following songs particularly helpful during intercession times, some of which we have adpated the lyrics to in order to make them work more specifically for this context:

Matt Redman’s Can a nation be changed (used as it is, and adapted to say Can Europe be changed)
Liz Baddaley’s Healer of nations available here (first verse and chorus only used as is)
Bluetree’s God of this city (as is)
Brian Doerkson’s Refiner’s fire (with “my heart” changed to “your/our/the church” and me changed to “her” or “their”)
Matt Redman’s We shall not be shaken (as is).

Together, we pray:

Father God, we praise you for your sovereignty.
We praise you that you provide a firm foundation, a solid rock under our feet.
Together, we stand in your love and faithfulness, praying for Europe, and knowing that you govern with gentle power and might.

We lift to you now nations that are shaking, governments that are struggling, and people who are suffering.
Bring your mercy.

We cry out for the poor and the vulnerable, asking for your protection and provision.
Bring your righteousness.

We ask for wisdom and compassion for leaders and governments.
Bring your justice.

We pray for economic stability, for new systems to be built on Godly principles, and for people to turn to you.
Bring your transformation.

In the name of Jesus, we pray.

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