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Pray for those running in today’s London Marathon, especially for those running to raise funds for charities.

International Mother Earth Day is kept on Monday. To speak of the Earth as our mother (a phrase used by Francis of Assisi among others) affirms the fact that we have only this one planet, which we share with many other forms of life. The day seeks to raise awareness of the challenges before us, and of the responsibility we share to promote harmony with the natural world, and to have in mind the needs of future generations of humanity.

Tuesday is St George’s Day: pray we may be proud of our heritage, and that this may be expressed in a generous spirit that honours the rights and freedoms of all.

English Language Day is also celebrated on Tuesday, a reminder that English was the language of Shakespeare, who was born on this day. Give thanks for English is a vital means of global communication in the modern world, but also as a language of literature, full of beauty and possibility.

Wednesday is Beep Beep Day, organised by the charity Brake to help ensure the safety of children aged 2 to 9 on our roads. The aim is both to teach young children basic road safety skills, in schools and nurseries, and also to raise the issue with parents, to ensure they know what is good practice. Pray for all that encourages road safety.

Thursday is World Malaria Day, focusing attention on one of the major killer diseases of our world. Global travel and climate change may impact on malaria (and several other diseases) by allowing the spread of species of mosquito into new areas. Pray for the continued investment and sustained political commitment that will be needed for malaria to be prevented and controlled.

Thursday also commemorates Mark the Apostle, writer of the shortest of our Gospels, with a refreshing directness and a sense of urgency. Pray for all our use of the Bible, and for study groups, etc, in our churches.

The poet Christina Rossetti is remembered on Saturday. Give thanks for all who by their poetry inspire our thought, our prayers and our praise.