Prayers for the farming community

Christians are being asked to pray for the farming community on Plough Monday today.

Plough Monday traditionally marks the start of the agricultural year and follows Plough Sunday, when many churches hold special services to pray for farmers and farming.

To mark the occasion, the Church of England has published special prayers to ask for relief for farmers in need and allow them to prosper throughout the year.

The Right Reverend Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter, said: "Farmers work incredibly hard producing our food often in difficult and challenging conditions, especially now when it has been so wet for such a long time.

"This is a good opportunity to take a moment to reflect and pray for the coming year, for our own production and for the fair distribution of food across the world."

The prayers read:

Eternal God,

you crown the year with your goodness

and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season:

grant that we may use them to your glory,

for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

God our Father,

you never cease the work you have begun

and prosper with your blessing all human labour:

make us wise and faithful stewards of your gifts

that we may serve the common good,

maintain the fabric of our world

and seek that justice where all may share

the good things you pour upon us;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

O God, who gives each of us work to do for your sake,

Bless this plough,

Together with the machines that enable us

To do our work upon the land,

And bless all those who use them:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prosper throughout the year

The work done on our local farms.

Bless all who work with the world's resources

And enable them to be good stewards of your creation;

Fulfil the farmer's hopes in a plentiful harvest;

Feed your people with wholesome food;

And may town and country, united in gratitude to you,

Be drawn nearer to the understanding

And true service of each other;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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