Taking place over four weeks, the Diocese of Lincoln is joining in with The Church of England’s #TimeToPray series of prayer prompts. The weekly themes focus on healing the sick (11 January), praying for Christians of all denominations (18 January), peace in the world (25 January) and all who travel (1 February).

Last week, we invited all working in healthcare across Lincolnshire to share their opportunities and challenges with us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We were honoured that people took the time to share their experiences with us and are sharing them with you now in the hope that you will hear and echo their prayers.

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Would be good to pray for people at the coal face of care - ambulance crew; hospital staff; social care workers; primary health care - many are so tired - it hasn’t just been one marathon but several back to back...
- Rhona

I work as a Counsellor supporting the ‘1 in 4’ of us who will experience a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress or depression at some point in our lives.

Today I ask us to pray for all those across our diocese who struggle with depression, anxiety and for all who work in mental health services: for counsellors, therapists, psychologists, mental health practitioners, volunteers and the teams of people that support them:

We recall, there are times in our lives when we feel isolated and we pray we may reach out to God in our darkness. May we place our trust in God’s promise of unconditional love for us, knowing you are a God who is resilient and faithful. We pray for all who are fearful, anxious, sad or in despair; May they know a sense of your peace, your love, your purpose and your hope. Bless those who seek to help those in distress, professionally and in the Church. Amen.
- David

I am a Speech & Language Therapy Assistant working with stroke patients at Lincoln County Hospital. Our usual place of work is a designated Stroke Unit; however, during the pandemic this Unit has been allocated to patients with Covid and our stroke patients are on wards around the hospital.

Please pray for the stroke team (Consultants, Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Therapists and also the Stroke Therapy team in the Community) as we work in difficult circumstances to give the best medical care and therapy we can for our stroke patients. Please pray for all those who support the medical team (the ward clerks, the discharge coordinators and the housekeepers). And please pray for the patients as they undergo scans and assessments while likely to be feeling extra anxiety and isolation without visits from family.
- Jan

I have felt very privileged to be vaccinating some of our most vulnerable patients. Seeing hope in peoples eyes for a time they can be properly reunited with loved ones.

I would like to pray for a swift and smooth roll out of the vaccination programme. To give thanks for the science that’s has enabled the production of the vaccines, the team work involved their delivery and the tremendous army of volunteers helping shepherd patients through the service.
- Abi

I'm a hospital chaplain in North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust. We have come through so much with barely a let up over Christmas. We are expecting COVID numbers to rise again soon. Staff manage so well, but people are tired. The vaccine programme has had a very positive effect on morale - it's been so good to be proactive, be able to care for ourselves and look forward now. We have all learnt a great deal about what we can do, and have developed new ways of working in such difficult times - technology has helped us be at the bedside of patients we might not have been able to visit otherwise - but it has taken a lot of energy and stretched people's resilience. In the end it's the simple things that we can bring, a smile, a listening ear and a prayer that are still so important today. Please pray that God, who is revealed in creativity and compassion may continue to bless the work of health care staff and comfort those who are ill or whose lives are made more difficult because of COVID. And please pray for hospital chaplains as well.
- Harry

Please pray for the people of the critical care wards in Lincoln and Boston, whose staff come from Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals, such is the need now. They are under tremendous pressure, emotionally and in work terms.

Please also remember the hospital staff whose roles are essential but might not be known to the public, like bed managers, staff rota managers, people working in supply chains and health records. They are all vital support to doctors and nurses' work.
- Katy

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We also shared Simon’s story, a Paramedic Team Leader who spoke to The Church of England about his role and his faith, and about being a member of the Christian Ambulance Association.

This week, we are praying for all Christians as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25 January). Once again, we invite you to share your hopes and prayers as we respond to challenges together. We have pinned a post on our Facebook and Twitter pages and look forward to reading your comments. If you do not use social media, you can instead email Sarah Spencer, Discipleship in the World Officer: [email protected]

Further resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity can be found on the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website, here.