Shaping for Mission is the process in Lichfield Diocese to strengthen our life of discipleship, vocation and evangelism while facing a significant reduction in financial income. We are working together as people of hope to make our mission sustainable in helping fulfil our diocesan vision. A Shaping for Mission team in each deanery is working to understand what and who God calls us to be and what our priorities are for mission and ministry in a church that has recognised its call to be humbler, simpler and bolder.
This is an exciting and extremely challenging process. This lent we are inviting you to pray for the Shaping for Mission process and for the next phase of our Christian life together in this Diocese. In order to make changes which our faithful and hopeful, we will have to be faithful and hopeful people, so please pray with us that all the people of this diocese may be inspired to open their hearts to God’s invitation and to discern what that means for us today.
These prayers can also be downloaded as a pdf for printing.
Shaping for Mission Prayer
You have provided for your people in every generation.
In our faithlessness you remained steadfast.
In our obsession with scarcity you provided abundance.
In our anxiety you offered us freedom from fear.
In our despair you gave us hope.
We receive your gifts, believe your promises and trust you for the future.
May we cease trying to fix the church and join with you in loving your world.
May we hear your call to fullness of life and share it with others.
May we be shaped by the Good News of Jesus, the light of the world
And may we seek your kingdom as People of Hope. Amen.
Jesus Christ, the source of our hope, through you was created all the world. Everyone we see and hear today is in your image. We live in a world where few know your name or story, but you put hope deep in every heart. Help us to hear hope when others speak it in their own words. Help us to welcome others’ hope when it doesn’t seem to look like ours. Help us to tell of our own hope in you with confidence and tenderness. Amen.
LORD through the prophet Jeremiah you said, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’ We believe that it is your desire LORD to draw us close to you and in doing so enabling us to hear your voice. May we respond to this calling with open hearts and a hunger to know you in a deeper and more intermate way.
As we seek your will for our own lives and the mission of our deanery help us to be of one heart that we may hear your calling and serve you as the united body of Christ.
We take comfort in the fact that you never change and are constant in our changing world.
We pray during this time as we focus on Shaping for Mission, for courage for change. We know that we get stuck or comfortable sometimes, doing things our own way or getting anxious about change. We ask you Lord for courage, to open our eyes to the way things really are. Courage to have difficult conversations and to be open to trying new things. Please show us your will. Show us where you are at work in the world and give us courage join in.
Keep us focussed on your kingdom and prepare us to be bold and brave as we continue to share your Good News and love.
Who in Jesus Christ
has shown us the Way, the Truth and the Life;
renew our faith,
deepen our love
and open our hearts afresh
to the Good News you have entrusted to us.
As we pray that the two million people in our diocese
encounter a church that is confident in the gospel,
may we in our local contexts rediscover your message of love,
that through word and action
as we share this with others
we may be shaped for your mission
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 15:1-2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
Loving God, help us to be brave enough to ask you to prune the branches that no longer bear fruit. Remind us that we cannot do everything, but that we can do whatever you call us to and bless. Help us to look at where we put our energy and our resources and to see where no fruit grows. Give us the courage to notice it, to name it and to allow you to prune those branches so that the healthy ones will bear more fruit. Help us to accept that pruning even when they are our branches. We ask this for the sake of your kingdom and for the sake of your church in this place. Amen.
Faithful God, through your son you lead us on pilgrimage throughout this life. Awe-struck, we would love to stop, build huts, and dwell just with you, but you call us onwards. We tire, and we would love to sleep in the garden, but you rouse us. In the dark moments we tremble, and would love to betray you, but you will not let us go. For you do not stop calling us to dwell in your kingdom, and so we dare to follow you. Amen
Lord you are the Alpha and Omega, in you all things have their source and their destiny. Reveal to us your vision for the outworking of your Kingdom in our churches, deaneries and diocese. Show us the parts we are called to play in that vision. Walk with us on the journey towards that destination. Fill us afresh with your Spirit that we may travel together in faith and love, be inspired by your wisdom, and supported by your strength.
Diocesan Prayer Diary
We hope you will use the Weekly Diocesan Prayer Diary alongside this special resource. The Prayer Diary has been restructured to enable us to pray in an informed way for different Deaneries each week as they engage with Shaping for Mission. These prayers can be used on a daily basis or fit well into Sunday Intercessions. The prayers for the week are available in an A4 format and can be accessed on the Diocesan Web site, www.lichfield.anglican.org/prayer-diary/or by request as an email attachment from email@example.com or through the well-reviewed PrayerMate App which has a direct feed to Lichfield Diocese.
Diocesan Day of Prayer
We will be hosting 24 hours of prayer on Friday 23rd April. More details will be available soon.