Pray Without Ceasing
This week please remember:
- we praise God for the coming among us of Bishop Daniel Kitondekigya and for our partnership in love and witness with Victory Christian Church, Kamuzinda, Uganda: may the Lord richly bless us as together we celebrate the good news of the Kingdom here and in all the world
- to give thanks for our fellowship with sister churches in the Area among them Blyth Central and Blyth URC, Cowpen, Cramlington Doxford Place, Cramlington Welcome and Harwood Court MHA; praying for their leaders and ministers, Revds Ann Shepherdson, Ian Farnsworth and Adele Moorhouse
- to continue in prayer for Mike Donaldson, Gene Groves, David Pallett, Rosalind Philipson, Alan Sanderson, Stephen Proom, Mike Gaunt and other friends recovering from or preparing for major surgery, that they and their families may know confidence and peace
- we give thanks for the many Methodist partnerships with the United Reformed Church, including in the SENEA, and pray for
- that as stewards of God’s creation, our beautiful fragile planet, we confess our responsibility for Climate Change; and pray that our Government may not renege on the aims and terms of the Climate Change Act 2008 (the year Morpeth was flooded!) by going back to more fossil fuel exploitation (fracking for oil and gas) instead of investing urgently in tidal, wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy
- the call to prayer from Christians in Ukraine (see Methodist Recorder front page 07/03/2014). “Our political leaders need wisdom to build a new Government based on democratic norms: our religious leaders need courage to continue proclaiming truth and love and hope; ordinary families need encouragement to keep working together to build a just society” (Methodist minister in Kiev).
This week please remember:
- to give thanks for the response to join in the Morpeth Ecumenical Lent Studies; praying for fruitful understanding among us as the Holy Spirit strengthens the foundations of our common faith and fellowship in prayer
- our Church Council on Tuesday evening, that our leaders may be encouraged and blessed in the governance of our congregation
- to praise God for the work of many Christian leaders among children and young people in Morpeth, as “church without walls”, loving them into the Kingdom
- to ask for the Spirit’s guidance as to how we may best participate in this outreach
- the Christian women of Egypt, whose life and example inspires the Women’s World Day of Prayer Service here on Friday afternoon and shows how in the midst of revolution and persecution they still find God providing “Streams in the Desert”
- to praise God that the way is clear for Bishop Daniel to visit us (arriving Thursday) praying that as partner churches here and in Uganda God may “bind us together in love”
- that, as the President of Methodist Conference Revd Ruth Gee protests, the effects of “welfare reform” is that we are trampling the heads of the poor into the dust……and pushing the afflicted out of the way (Amos2.7); “(this) isn’t acceptable. It is iniquitous and we will continue to challenge political leaders…because that is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus Christ.” [see her column in Methodist Recorder 28/02/2014]
- the crisis in Ukraine threatening the peace and stability of that nation and all Europe; pray that confrontation may give way to reconciliation.
- the District Preachers’ Conference here next Saturday, that it may refresh and encourage those who lead our worship and faithfully preach the Good News of Jesus our Saviour and Lord.
This week please remember:
- Church leaders challenging Government and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) over inaccurate and misleading “facts” about welfare reform see www.methodist.org.uk/news-and-events/news-releases; and give thanks that Common Ground, Food Banks, Credit Unions and Barnabas Safe and Sound are practical Christian responses to “the lies they (politicians and the media) tell about poverty” in our nation
- the Church Family Committee meeting on Wednesday evening (26th) to discern and share what God is doing among and through us here in Morpeth
- with thanksgiving our national and local emergency and rescue services who are protecting lives, properties and vital utilities: pray that their budgets too may be protected from short-term cost-cutting in the name of “efficiency savings”
- that this is FairTrade Fortnight and praise God that Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world; pray that we may be alert to our responsibility to make this happen through our shopping habits, especially remembering the plight of exploited banana farmers denied a fair price for their harvest
- how God has blessed us with a bright succession of ministers in our Area; now in a time of shortage to pray for God’s guidance for the Area Leadership Team and that we all may be ministers and pastors to one another, for ‘“the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming’ [Romans 10.8]
- that Jesus is with us always, commanding and enabling each one of us to be his good news in our neighbourhood, his message of saving grace to our families, neighbours, friends and acquaintances day by day. [John 15.16]
This week please remember:
- as we look forward to Easter, we pray that we may each and all together be given a fresh vision of Jesus Christ crucified and risen and his call to be his disciples and witnesses in our daily and community life
- the negotiators in the Syrian peace talks in Geneva praying that they and their protagonists on the battlefield may realise the futility of their cruel war and great suffering of their people
- the distress caused by the widespread flooding, giving thanks for emergency services and communities that pull together to support the most vulnerable: pray for those whose livelihoods have been lost or endangered especially farmers and small businesses in inundated counties
- with thanksgiving the fellowship we share with other churches in the Area among them Newbiggin St Andrews & St Marks, Ashington Trinity, Stakeford, Bedlington (Colliery and Trinity), their ministers, Revds Barry Welch, Sue Nicol and Heegon Moon, preachers, leaders and faithful members; giving thanks for the joyful Service of Commissioning as an Area Preacher of Clare Oswell
- dear friends laid aside by illness or disability, or convalescing including David Pallett, Alan Sanderson, Mary Coates, Mary Flynn and others supported in care homes: God grant them healing and peace
- to give thanks for the Methodist Relief & Development Fund, Christian Aid and others persevering in the communal efforts to restore and rebuild in the Philippines and Haiti following those destructive typhoons and earthquakes
- that God has given us the means of grace - worship, the Sacraments, the Scriptures and prayer - that we may know him as our constant loving companion, source of wisdom, strength, comfort and joy in every aspect of our lives; thanks be to his Holy Name.
Pray without Ceasing Jesus said:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love
just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15. 9-10,12
Let us pray:
O God of love, we pray thee to give us love:
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love.
This week in prayer we can:
- praise God for the ministry of the Word and Sacraments nourishing and uniting us in Christ as His people in the world; and for our ministers, preachers, teachers and companions on the Way, and those whose gifts (welcoming, musical, flower-arranging, technical and secretarial) evoke our glad response in worship and service
- give thanks for all who bless us with their friendship and support in times of trouble: our pastoral visitors, the fellowship of Summer Club (even in midwinter!), Men’s Breakfast, Women’s Meeting Point, Bible Study Groups; and pray for our Pastoral Visitors’ Meeting on Wednesday evening (5th February)
- celebrate our partnership in the Gospel with the Christian Victory Church in Kamuzinda, Uganda, and pray that nothing may hinder Bishop Daniel’s journey and safe arrival among us next month
- give thanks for the privilege of welcoming all-comers to this Church Centre, for the hospitality offered through Reception, Parents and Toddlers, Drop-In Lunches and to many community groups and societies, and pray for Christ-like grace and wisdom in building upon these contacts, offering His love to our entire community
- to give thanks for every sign of God’s generosity and kindness and everyone through whom these blessings come to us personally, naming them one by one and giving Him the glory and praise
- give thanks for our dedicated Health and Social Services, to pray for all who are trying to make them more responsive to the needs of the sick and needy in a true spirit of loving service
- with thanksgiving the steady commitment of youth leaders in Scouts, the BB, Brownies, Guides, 13+ and Barnabas (Morpeth Youth Support) among all our children and young people, praying they may be faithfully supported by parents and all our church family.
This week in prayer we can:
- cry to the Lord for mercy, peace and justice for the peoples of Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic (many of them our Christian brothers and sisters), giving thanks for those sincerely trying to negotiate an end to these hateful wars
- recall that this month sees the anniversaries of those terrible earthquakes and tsunamis that claimed the lives of thousands in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Haiti, Japan and New Zealand; and pray for the survivors striving to rebuild their lives, homes and livelihoods
- give thanks for the faithful service of our sister churches in the Area, in our “Section” in particular: Alnmouth, Amble, Hauxley, Broomhill, Widdrington, Pegswood and Morpeth - and our ministers Revds Gary, Lynda and Ron, local preachers and leaders in each congregation
- celebrate with thanksgiving the conversion of the apostle St Paul (commemorated yesterday), his obedience to the heavenly vision of the risen Lord Jesus and the universal Gospel he proclaimed with passionate love
- praise God for the lively churches across the world with whom we are in partnership (see daily prayers with them in the Prayer Handbook) and particularly for Kamuzinda Christian Victory Church, Uganda
- give thanks for the life of Revd Julie Hulme, last President of Women’s Network before it became MWiB, whose writings have inspired a whole generation especially her Methodist Recorder series of moving articles last year “Living the Resurrection Life” - written while terminally ill with breast cancer - a wonderful testimony of faith and hope: Julie died last week aged 56; please remember her husband Revd David, their family and all Methodist women who mourn her.
This week in prayer we can:
- join daily with all Morpeth Christians in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, praising God that we are witnesses to Jesus who is the resurrection and the life offered to all people: pray that together we may more effectively make Him known to our neighbours and townsfolk
- give thanks for the fruit of the Spirit in the first Sycamore Tree course on restorative justice at HMP Northumberland; and pray for the 20 men signed for the second course started last week and that God will endow with wisdom and grace the 5 Prison Fellowship volunteer leaders
- give thanks and pray for our preacher next Sunday,
Mrs Debbie Ridley
- continue in prayer for the multitudes of refugees living - and many starving - in camps inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, that the conflict may end and relief agencies reach them in time so save lives and restore hope
- give thanks for our local councillors charged with providing essential services with seriously reduced budgets, praying that they may act with wisdom and integrity on behalf of the communities they represent and serve
- as changing weather patterns bring distress around the world, pray that the we may learn how to use the resources of energy with which we are blessed wisely, carefully, gratefully and with respect for the integrity of creation and for generations yet to come
- on World Leprosy Day - next Sunday 26th - remember leprosy sufferers in many parts of the world, and the continuing campaign of treatment, control and eradication led by LEPRA and The Leprosy Mission, giving thanks for all who have been cured, freed from social stigma and found rehabilitation into their families and communities.
This week in prayer we can:
- thank God for all who meet in Messy Church at Storey Park Community Centre next Saturday - children and parents, Christian leaders from Morpeth’s churches and their helpers bringing the Good News to life in story-telling, creative worship and friendship
- give thanks that Common Ground Refugee Service, Food Banks, Credit Unions and Barnabas Safe and Sound are practical Christian responses to “the lies they (politicians and the media) tell about poverty” in our nation: pray for courage to speak up for the thousands of the most vulnerable people and families who deserve to be spoken of truthfully and with respect, and supported from the common purse. God says: “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14 (NRSV)
- remembering the call at the Lindisfarne Ecumenical Pilgrimage last Summer to “celebrate Christian Faith today, witness to the love of God in the Gospel, and go out renewed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel light”, pray that we may find ways to do this effectively - personally and as a Christian community here in Morpeth [next week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity]
- pray for patience and perseverance for our friends recovering from serious illness and/or surgery or beset by long-term illness, and for all who care for them day by day
- as war rages in Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic, pray for peace-makers seeking to quell the violence and bring the warring parties to make peace with justice for all
- praise God and pray for our preacher next Sunday, Clare Oswell, whose commissioning service will be at Ashington Trinity on Saturday 8th February at 2pm.
At the beginning of this New Year, please remember:
- that God keeps His promises, revealing today “his readiness to enfold us in generous love, not dependent on our deserving; our response, also in love, springs from penitent joy in thankful recognition of God’s grace”: this, the essence of our worship in the Covenant Service, binds us each and all to God and God to us as “with joy we offer ourselves anew” to Him this morning
- to give thanks for all the happy family gatherings at Christmas and joyful Church family reunions in worship and praise, with loving messages to and from those farther afield
- to praise God and pray for the witness and service in their communities of our sister churches at Cowpen, Cramlington (Welcome, Doxford Place and Harwood Court), Seaton Delaval, Seghill and Annitsford and their ministers Revds Ian Farnsworth, Adele Moorhouse, Malcolm Sellers and Yvonne Tracey
- to pray with our young people as they meet in Junior Church and 13+ and share Jesus with their friends at school and college; giving thanks for their growing in grace and knowledge of God’s love and power
- the ministry of Street Pastors to clubbers in our towns and cities, including here in Morpeth, that their unconditional love and concern may provoke questions regarding the Source of that Love and a longing for real joy and peace in those they help
- to pray for acceptance by Israeli and Palestinian leaders of proposals which by US Secretary of State John Kerry will bring this week for renewed peace talks for a just future for all in the Holy Land. (Please read Methodist President Ruth Gee’s account of her visit in latest edition of RECORDER)