Listen to or read a short service of prayer for Thursday, 23 April 2020, commemorating St George, 4th century martyr and patron of England
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
God of hosts,
who so kindled the flame of love in the heart of your servant George
that he bore witness to the risen Lord by his life and by his death:
give us the same faith and power of love
that we who rejoice in his triumphs
may come to share with him the fullness of the resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter
and our tongue with songs of joy.
Then said they among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has indeed done great things for us,
and therefore we rejoiced.
Restore again our fortunes, O Lord,
as the river beds of the desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed,
will come back with shouts of joy, bearing their sheaves with them.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world – therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “Servants are not greater than their master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.’John 15:18–21 (NRSV)
This is the word of the Lord.
May the memory of those who have fought and suffered for the faith of Christ give strength to our prayers.
Empower the Church with courage to guard and proclaim the word of salvation. As George witnessed for his faith even to death, may God’s people honour his name and follow his example in all adversity.
We pray for all governments and people, especially for this nation of ours, and for all nations who have made George their patron. We pray for those who serve in the armed forces, that they may not lose compassion and care for shared humanity in all the strains of their duty.
In all our relationships, in our work and in our play, give us grace to speak against evil but to forgive wrong done to us, to rebuke when we must but never to resent. Help us, and all those we love, to show the power of faith in our daily lives.
Look with mercy upon those who are persecuted for their faith, and turn the hearts of their enemies. Sustain in love all whose work makes it hard for them to maintain integrity and show the reality of their belief.
We give thanks for those who have fought the good fight, have kept the faith and finished their course. Free from the strife of this world, may they rest in the peace of heaven with blessed George and all the saints.
May our prayers be heard in the name of Jesus Christ, the hope and reward of all.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory
for ever and ever.
May the risen Christ give us his peace.