Pray Without Ceasing
This week, please remember:
- with gratitude the dedicated leadership and quiet loyalty of many to humble tasks vital for the life and witness of our church; and for the many Area and District helpers supporting and encouraging us to be true to our calling to serve our community in the name of Jesus our Lord.
- to give thanks that the passing into law of the amendment to the Finance Bill will make tax-dodging by many transnational businesses far harder and help all hard-pressed governments especially in developing countries alleviate the dire poverty of millions of their people: success of the Tax Justice campaign by Christian Aid and others can also be achieved when we Speak Up for people affected by Climate Change [see www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/campaigns/index.aspx]
- this World Week for Peace in Palestine & Israel praise God for the examples of peace-making work in the Middle East, including aid agencies in the front line in conflicts e.g., in Aleppo and those seeking justice and peace between Israeli and Palestinian residents of the Holy Land [see http://paxchristi.org.uk]
- to praise God for the work of our Children and Families Development Worker, Jackie and the many ways in which God’s invitation to families within and beyond the Church is being answered, praying especially for more volunteers for this many-faceted work
- as we give thanks for an abundant harvest this year we pray for rural communities throughout our country where older people often feel isolated and vulnerable lacking community services, young people too poor to afford housing or transport to work, that there may also be a harvest of goodwill and support through lean and lonely times
- all in need of our personal neighbourly care and concern: Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brothers and sisters you did it to Me.”
This week, please remember:
This week, please remember:
- our brothers and sisters in the Area’s churches in Newbiggin, Ashington, Stakeford and Blyth praising God for their witness in their communities through worship, friendship and service, and for their leaders and ministers Revds Jim Magee and Ann Shepherdson
- with thanksgiving how richly God has blessed our land this year with an abundant harvest; pray that those other countries suffering drought or adverse weather, that their people may get enough food from neighbours or relief to help them through famine and seed to sow next year. Pray too for the work of AllWeCan (MRDF), Christian Aid and other development agencies
- as we prepare to welcome The Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir, we pray for their safe travel and vibrant witness among us to the joy of the Lord; pray for Uganda and our partners at Kamuzinda Victory Christian Church
- To pray for those who mourn remembering all those who have sought help from our church this week and thinking particularly of Jackie Tallon and the family following Phillip’s death.
- this Education Sunday, our young people beginning the new academic year in our schools and universities and especially those starting higher education and vocational training away from home: may they and their many fellow students from overseas soon make new Christian friends in student and church fellowships
- we give thanks for the support by the British Methodist Church of education and training in other countries especially though the Scholarship and Leadership Training (SALT) Programme which funds men and women to study advanced or post-graduate courses in a cross-cultural setting; courses are currently running in Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Hong Kong
- to give thanks for the persistence of peace-makers trying to bring an end to the terrible strife in Syria: may they believe in God’s power to reconcile seemingly implacable enemies and so save suffering people from fear, famine and violent death in their beloved besieged cities and towns.
This week, please remember:
- as we enter a new Methodist year, let us praise God for the opportunities we have to make Jesus known in our families, to our neighbours and to be ourselves visible evidence of his kingdom of justice, love and peace in our community, praying:
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- with deep gratitude the freedoms we share:
Loving God, remind us to pause when our freedoms come in the form of another’s chains;
our freedom to shop when we choose means another cannot spend time with family;
our freedom to buy inexpensive clothes means another cannot earn enough to eat;
our freedom to use cheap fuel means another suffers the consequences of climate change.
Freedom is indivisible. Unless all are free, we all are diminished,
because you created each one of us in your image.
Liberating God, we know that sharing your freedoms may come at a cost.
Help us to bear that cost joyfully, in the knowledge that we are doing your will. Amen
[Rachel Lampard, Methodist Vice-president, in Freedoms to Share, our Prayer Handbook 2016-2017 Day 1]
- refugees from war, famine and oppression:
God, creator of all, we pray
for people who are displaced, may they find a safe refuge;
for people who have lost control of their lives, may they know a sure foundation;
for people who live in fear, may they be given a strong fortress;
for people who are disillusioned, may they have hope in a future.
Loving father in times of crisis, sorrow and uncertainty we ask that you draw near. Amen.
[Claire Welch - ALL WE CAN, and see METHODIST RECORDER 2 September 2016]
Pray without Ceasing
This week, please remember:
- to give thanks for our prison chaplains Revd Kevin Ridd and his colleagues, for faithful volunteer visitors and Prison Fellowship members leading Services, Bible studies and Restorative Justice (Sycamore Tree) courses; pray too for the Howard League for Prison Reform campaigning to reduce prison populations and change prisons
- to pray for the afflicted people of Aleppo, victims of super-power and tribal fighting over Syria; and that our Government may be persuaded to cease sales of arms to Saudi Arabia who uses them (£3.3billion worth since last March) to bomb civilians in Yemen’s towns and cities, hospitals and schools [see www.caat.org.uk]
- to continue in prayer for sick and frail friends notably Jack and Mary Eastland, Alan Todd, Chris McPhillips, Keith Marshal, Enid Proud, John Rea and Phil Tallon and those who care for them in hospital or at home
- to praise God for holidays, for refreshment and recreation; time to delight in the beauty of our own or other countries; opportunities to meet strangers, make new friendships and share the love of God
- to pray for communities devastated by natural disasters (the earthquake in Italy) and man-made scourges (arson causing forest fires in Madeira, California and the Amazon basin), severe drought in Southern Africa and severe flooding of coasts and islands aggravated by climate change: all these in our beautiful planet home God gave us to care for and enjoy
Dear Lord, please wrap your warm, loving arms around our world.
Please protect the people in the world who are suffering great loss and grief.
Please keep all your children safe and protected from wars, famines, natural disasters and plagues.
Please help the world look for the good, and banish bad and evil.
May they not give up hope; in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
[Erin Finch, Year 6, Methodist Primary School, Wigan]
This week, please remember:
- to praise God for our fellowship in worship and witness with St George’s URC and for what all Morpeth churches can do together to show Christ’s love in our community
- to give thanks and pray for our hospital chaplains Dave Rogers at Wansbeck General and Revd Martyn Skinner at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Centre, Cramlington and their colleagues in this greatly valued ministry
- giving thanks for the invaluable work of food banks, we pray for the development of partnerships with debt- and money-management charities offering professional counselling services to people seeking the “first-aid” offered by the food banks
- ministers and their families moving this month into new circuit appointments, manses and communities; giving thanks for their dedication and for welcoming congregations and neighbours
- that our few ministers, preachers and leaders in our churches need our constant support in prayer and practical sharing in their ministries on behalf of the whole people of God and the communities we serve (using the Preaching Plan to bring them to God by name)
- praise God for the lively churches across the world with whom we are in partnership (see daily prayers with them in the Methodist Prayer Handbook - New Handbook 2016-2017 now on sale £3.50)
- to give thanks for Drop-In Lunches, Friendship Club and Toddlers and Parents continuing to meet through the summer, giving thanks too for our church’s open door and those who welcome all who come in
- Christians being persecuted and suffering violence in many Middle Eastern countries - praying for all working to promote mutual respect and trust between those of differing faiths in there and also here in UK, especially Christians Aware [see http://www.christiansaware.co.uk ] who believe Peace is born of Love, Love is born of understanding, Understanding is born of Listening, Listening leads to Justice and Peace.
This week, please remember:
- to give praise for the achievements of our young people in their GCSE, AS and A Level exams; may they go forward with confidence into the new academic year, “growing up” like Jesus “in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people” - their parents, teachers, and friends
- our Christian brothers and sisters in Uganda and in nations all across tropical Africa seeking to spread the good news of Jesus in their communities through health care, social development and education, as do our friends at Kamuzinda and The Molly and Paul Foundation Schools and Villages from whom we shall shortly welcome the Pearl of Africa Choir
- to give thanks for our Area, District and Connexional Stationing Officers seeking a minister for appointment to serve here at Morpeth and Pegswood; and praying for Revd and Mrs Gary Ridley as they move this week into the Oldham and Saddleworth Circuit in Lancashire
- thanking God that, being “members one of another” [Romans 12.5] in Christ and so of each other’s churches, it’s our privilege to pray for our Christian friends at Alnmouth, Amble, Hauxley, Broomhill, Widdrington and Pegswood, for their leaders and ministers as they do for us: helped by the Preaching Plan week by week
- to pray for an end to the agony of the citizens of Aleppo, of Southern Sudan and Yemen where frightful atrocities are inflicted on civilians and their defenders alike; giving thanks to God for the few courageous, compassionate relief and medical workers remaining with their people to bring succour and comfort
- to give thanks for the improved health of Genevieve Bronsema , Dennis Carss, Marion Easton, Enid Proud, and Judy Whitehouse and continue in prayer for Jack and Mary Eastland, Alan Todd, Chris McPhillips, Keith Marshal and Phil Tallon and those who care for them
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1.52-53)
Lord, in a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, we know that your kingdom is not being fulfilled. Renew us, inspire us, teach us how to live out our calling. We will seek out those laid low by greed and capitalism, and we will lift them before you. We will fill the hungry with good things and help those with money and resources to use them for the good of all.
Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise. (Luke 3.11)
Lord, in a world where tax havens are seen as legitimate and where millions go hungry and have restricted health care and education, we long to build communities where resources are shared. Help us to make sure that food banks and clothes banks, that credit unions and local exchange and change projects are places that empower and build up resistance to oppression. Help those with money and gifts to share them wisely and generously.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4.18-19)
Lord, if our church services and our prayers are not about bringing good news to the poor, then let us repent and start over. Jesus begins his ministry with the call to be a people of faith who bring joy and freedom to those who need it most. Let our faith and our churches be led by the same spirit. Amen . [from Sparkle - update from Church Action on Poverty July 2016]
This week please remember
- as the “war” with so-called ISIS comes closer to home (Paris, Brussels, Munich, Nice, Ansbach, and, last week, Rouen) we pray for those communities in shocked mourning for the victims of terrorism; and for the intelligence agencies of many countries who call on us all to be vigilant against the contagion of hate that inspires these atrocities
- to give thanks for our new Government’s commitment to a low-carbon economy contributing to reversal of global warming and adverse climate change; and to pray for countries - often the world’s poorest - in Asia and the Pacific already suffering from severe storms and rising sea-levels - a situation to which we in the British Isles are not immune [see www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/act-now-pay-later-climate-report-may-2016]
- with thanksgiving all who befriend sufferers from Alzheimer’s and their families, who work in the Wansbeck Food Bank, who serve as prison or hospital visitors, as members of the chaplaincy team for our Care and Nursing Homes, or in Red Cross detachments and other voluntary services
- our partners at Kamuzinda Christian Victory Church, Uganda, reaching out to their community and seeking to provide buildings and equipment for Christian education among all ages
- at the beginning of school holidays, to give thanks for all the good work by teachers and pupils alike through the Year; pray that the vacation may be refreshing and formative for all the young people and for wisdom and guidance for those who are moving on
- to praise God for the opportunities of spiritual refreshment offered to people of all ages by Summer Schools, retreat centres, Green Belt Festival, the Keswick Convention, pilgrimages, especially those bringing people of different traditions and faiths together in loving service to others.
This week please remember
- to praise God for all whose stories of faith and selfless love inspire and encourage us to follow the way of Jesus; especially for fellow-Christians in many parts of the world who suffer persecution, violence or exile with steadfast faith, who love their enemies or who, like Jesus, lay down their lives for their friends
- to give thanks for and intercede for friends presently suffering serious illness, that through the love and care they receive they may be comforted and sustained and blessed: Genevieve Bronsema, Dennis Carss, Chris McPhillips, Keith Marshal, Enid Proud, Phil Tallon
- our sister churches and their ministers in the southern part of our Ecumenical Area - Blyth (Central, URC and Cowpen), Cramlington (Doxford Place, Welcome and Hartford Court), Seaton Delaval and Seghill; Revds Ann Shepherdson, Adele Moorhouse and Jim Magee; and their leaders and preachers
- to thank God for those hearing God’s call to become preachers and teachers in our churches, and for every encouragement and opportunity open to all of us to learn how to share our faith and the joy of Christian discipleship
- to keep praising God and praying for Christian witness and teaching in our schools, our homes and among all young people, especially for our Junior Church, 13+, Boys’ Brigade, Beavers, Scouts and their families; and for Enjoy, Mustard Tree Trust, LifePath Brinkburn
- people consumed and enslaved by hatred and driven to violence, murder and mayhem, that God the all-merciful, all-holy may confront them with the glory of His grace and turn them from their evil ways into the path of contrition, cleansing, right-relatedness, truth and peace
- the Revd Gary and Debbie, that, as they have been a blessing to us, so they may be richly blessed and made a blessing in the new appointment they seek by God’s grace to fill
Our Prayer Handbook (day 13) has this prayer by Revd. Ruth Gee, Darlington District Chair:
As we walk the road with you, companionate God, we give thanks
* for fellow Christians on the way;
* for preachers and teachers in our District who help people in their
communities to learn more about Jesus through their words and actions;
* for those who hold positions of leadership in circuits and local churches,
the load of responsibility and helping others to see their journey through;
for pastoral visitors and all who, through their ministry, share the joys and
sorrows of others and give them glimpses of the God who laughs and
weeps with them
* for those who feel the pavement hard and cold under their feet, struggling with
poverty, unemployment and hunger, that they will be cushioned and warmed
by the generosity and love of others and that their journey will be made
easier through good government;
for those who walk in open spaces, surrounded by the outstanding beauty of
hills and valleys, but struggling with isolation, and for those local churches
who work to find ways of offering a hand of friendship and practical support
God with us, Emmanuel, may we wait expectantly, prepare prayerfully, act carefully and live hopefully every day with you. Amen
- As we give thanks for the historic statement of intent by the new Prime Minister
Teresa May (Downing Street 13th July) let us pray that she, her new Government
and each of us in this United Kingdom may live up to these aspirations, fulfilling
God’s requirement: “do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your
God. (Micah 6.8)
This week please remember:
* how the catastrophe of the Iraq war, caused by delusions of grandeur and prejudice on both sides, failure of diplomacy and falsifying of intelligence, has brought chaos and untold suffering to the peoples of that country and its neighbours, even this week in the murderous atrocity in Baghdad; and pray that justice may “roll down like a river” to cleanse all our nations of guilt and shame and bring God’s peace to his world
* our Junior Hospital Doctors still in dispute with the Government’s policies for the NHS, praying for a resolution that is just and fair and respects the integrity of these dedicated young people and the safety and well-being of those they serve
* to continue to hold before God sick friends and their families - Chris, Dennis, Mary, Marion, Phil and others known to us, giving thanks for those who care for them and the medical and nursing services bringing healing and comfort
* that anti-Christian forces are attacking our brothers and sisters across the Middle East, Pakistan and India, causing great suffering and the flight of many for refuge in other countries; we praise God for the courage of those who stay and continue to love their neighbours, refuse to hate their enemies and show respect even for their persecutors
* our Government and HM Opposition choosing new leaders and seeking a new way forward for our nation as a good neighbour to all other nations with justice and fairness at home and abroad. [do read our new Vice-President’s Address to Conference last Monday - copies in the foyer]
* our Stewards’ call for prayer and reflection, to praise God for all that is past and trust Him for all that’s to come [Singing the Faith No.67]
This week let us continue to pray in the Spirit:
* for healing and wholeness for dear friends laid aside by or recovering from illness including Genevieve Bronsema, Mary Eastland, Marion Easton, Chris McPhillips, Phil Tallon, and their families; and for Diana Bell and family bereft of her dear mother who died peacefully at their Haydon Bridge home last Sunday
* with thanksgiving for the faithful witness of our Area sister churches, especially this week at Newbiggin, Ashington, Stakeford and Bedlington (Colliery and Trinity) their leaders, preachers and ministers-in-pastoral-charge Jim Magee and Ian Farnsworth
* praising God for LifePath2016 at Brinkburn (20-24th June), when so many children were introduced to our country’s Christian story and heritage and invited to follow Jesus; pray that they may grow in understanding and trust in Him as their Leader and Friend for life.
God of every nation and people,
At this historic moment we pray for all who are affected by the decision that we have made [to leave the European Union].
Whatever differences this has revealed within our own society, may they not eclipse what we have in common.
Where the narratives of political debate have caused harm and division, help us to reclaim the true values of our shared humanity.
Where exaggeration and distortion have generated suspicion and fear, may truth and honesty restore hope and goodness.
We pray for all the nations of Europe that you will help us to find ways of living and working together to pursue the mercy and justice you require.
We recommit ourselves - together - to the values of your eternal Kingdom and pray that along with all people we might help your world become more as you intended. Amen