Pray Without Ceasing
This week, please remember:
¨ To ‘Think, Pray and Vote’ in the referendum on EU membership on Thursday and to pray for the stability and future of both this country and Europe, whichever way the country decides. May we vote with our hearts and minds and not only with our wallets.
¨ to pray for victims of violence, remembering particularly the people of Orlando (read the statement from our president and vice-president : http://methodist.org.uk/news-and-events/news-releases/orlando-shooting )and the family, friends and constituents of MP Jo Cox
¨ With thanksgiving for all those trying to further the work of our church in Morpeth: our minister, stewards, office staff, children’s worker, committee and church council members, volunteers, cleaners, flower arrangers, group leaders. Pray that we may all work together with flexibility, tolerance, and love for the furtherance of God’s kingdom, forgiving each other’s mistakes and fears and looking to the future hand in hand
¨ In this Refugee Week (20th - 26th June), pray for all those who have fled their homes through fear of persecution, war, poverty and natural disasters remembering the words of Jesus: For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.
¨ Pray for all those who have been bereaved remembering the family and friends of Emily Manley in particular.
¨ To give thanks for the creative Spirit of God seen in the glory of the world around us prompting humanity to also create remembering authors and poets born this month: Maurice Sendak, Dorothy L Sayers, WB Yeats, Thomas Hardy amongst many others.
During this season of Pentecost, let us pray in the Spirit
¨ Today, Methodist Homes Sunday, we give thanks for MHA’s provision of excellent care of elderly, often frail, people, setting an example for all Care Homes to follow
¨ for the people of Zimbabwe and Zambia suffering effects of severe drought; and for more urgency by the world’s leaders to implement the Paris Agreement (December 2015) on Climate Change; extreme weather events are devastating communities around the world
¨ praise God that the United Church of Zambia is working to reconcile Zambians to the influx of refugees (mainly Hutu) to Lusaka from troubled Rwanda, Burundi and Congo, many of whom make a positive contribution to their host country
¨ with thanksgiving Memory Café events here, an encouragement and comfort to friends and families living with dementia; that by word of mouth many more may come to enjoy refreshment of mind and body
¨ praising God for Mustard Tree Trust, praying for Nick’s work with groups as part-time chaplain in our Schools, and for LifePath2016 at Brinkburn 20-24th June, that many young people may come to trust and follow Jesus
¨ thanking God for the work of the Connexional and District Stationing Committees seeking a replacement minister for our Area and for a new circuit appointment for Revd Gary and Debbie Ridley
¨ O God, you are the gathering one who calls us into community with each other to love and work, to support and heal,
You are the gathering one who calls us into community with all people, to bring justice and peace, freedom and truth.
You are the gathering one who calls us into community with the whole creation, to live in harmony, to cherish and renew.
Let us worship the God who makes us one.
[Taken from Just Church, www.justchurch.org.uk]
During the season of Pentecost let us pray in the Spirit:
¨ praising God for those received into the Christian family through baptism and affirmation of faith today; Harry Mark Young and Sarah Johnson; God grant us all grace to love and encourage one another as true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ
¨ one year since the lethal and disastrous earthquake in Nepal, for its people beset by difficulties in recovering and rebuilding because of strikes causing fuel, food and materials shortages; that these may soon be overcome
¨ for prisoners in HMP Northumberland who on Tuesday will be baptised into Christian faith and confirmed by Bishop Frank, praising God for them and for those who have faithfully brought them the good news of God’s love for all
¨ for blessing upon our Queen as next weekend we celebrate her 90th Birthday and the Anniversary of Morpeth Methodist Church; that we may all follow her example of consistent witness to our Sovereign Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ
¨ for friends who are or have been unwell - Dennis Carss, Gwen Charlton, Jean Robinson, Celia Towers and others who live with chronic illnesses - that they may receive healing and peace
¨ our sister church at Kamuzinda, Uganda and the ministry of Bishop Daniel and the Christians bringing good news to the poor in their towns and villages; may we too in our community and neighbourhoods live the gospel as “a church for the poor” [read the Church Action on Poverty Report (just published) “Church of the Poor?”: http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/poorchurch ]
¨ O God, to those who are hungry give bread, and to us, who have bread, give hunger for justice. [Latin America, taken from “They Shall Not Rob Us of Hope…”, CAFOD, 1995]
During the season of Pentecost let us pray in the Spirit:
¨ praising God that on 24th May 1738 John Wesley felt his ‘heart strangely warmed’, assuring him of God’s forgiving, transforming love, inspiring him to spread this message all across our country; and that by God’s grace we can too
¨ that as God’s word is sown in our hearts, there may be a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, our homes and all our relationships making Christ visible to our world
¨ for discernment as to the future for his ministry of Rev Gary, and as to who God has in mind to succeed him in the work of the gospel among us
¨ for healing and wholeness for dear friends laid aside by illness including Gwen Charlton, Marion Easton, Phil Tallon, Celia Towers and Jean Robinson
¨ that the righteousness of God may quell the hatred and violence of ‘Islamic State‘, while judging the consumer capitalism that disregards the corruption of the rich and the vulnerability of the poor and that threatens the integrity of God’s beautiful creation
¨ praising God for those who by their faith and example have been mothers-and fathers-in-God to us bringing us up in the way of the Lord
¨ Lord our God, you dwell in unapproachable light, pure Essence and Perfection of being! Self-Existent, Necessary, Infinite and Eternal! You comprehend within yourself all nature, all wisdom, all justice, all goodness, all truth and all holiness. Out of the abundance of our reason we adore you and out of the love of our hearts we magnify and praise you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Susanna Wesley, (1669-1742) mother of Charles and John Wesley.
This Trinity Sunday and season let us remember
¨ with thanksgiving the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding by which teachers and preachers impart God’s Word to us Sunday by Sunday, empowering us and our sister churches (especially this week at Alnmouth, Amble, Broomhill, Hauxley, Widdrington, Pegswood and here in Morpeth) to make it heard, shared, active and fruitful in our communities
¨ with thanksgiving all those who have worked hard this past Christian Aid Week, praying alongside the world’s poorest people benefitting from the money raised via baking, market stalls, sponsored walks and street and house-to-house collections
that all around the world refugees from oppression and war are in distress and dying in their thousands; we thank God for those nations already offering rescue, safety and hospitality and pray that others, our own included, may respond with compassion and generosity
¨ as we thank God for the United Nations’ decades-old and continuing effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, to pray for an end to our Government’s ‘shameful boycott’ of current UN-sponsored international talks [see http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/category/whats-new/ ]
¨ with thanksgiving the first Memory Café event here last Thursday praying that it will become an encouragement and comfort to friends and families living with dementia
¨ the serious decisions we have to take when voting in the forthcoming Referendum on our membership of the European Union; praying that all discussion and debate may be courteous, constructive and guided by our obligation under God to love our neighbours as ourselves and always to seek through God’s kingdom the wider common good of all nations (See Puddlers - Think, Pray, Vote notice below)
¨ to praise God for the rescue of 100 women and girls from Boko Haram and pray for 100s more still held captive by them in Nigeria
At Pentecost today - and every day - let us pray:
¨ Almighty God our Father, pour out your Spirit, as you promised, on all humanity;
let daughters and sons prophesy, the old dream dreams, the young see visions,
and all who have been enslaved break free, to proclaim your goodness.
Let all your children eat their fill and praise your name for the wonders you have done, acknowledging your presence as the one and only Lord.
Let struggles be ended and justice be done.
Accomplish your purpose and reconcile all things through the blood of the cross.
Make us servants of your justice in the power and name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
¨ for politicians, our neighbours and for the world’s business leaders, for courage to push for what is right, for boldness to forge a path to climate justice, for wisdom to make decisions that are fair for all.
¨ for our neighbours in the church, local and global, that we may be united in your love, challenged by your Spirit to change, stirred by the Spirit to act.
¨ for our neighbours in Morpeth, for the sick, the lonely and the tired, remembering Anne Bray, Mary Eastland, Elsie Gordon, Chris McPhillips, Phil Tallon, Celia Towers, and frail elderly at home or in Care. As we share with them day by day, may we show them the light of your love.
¨ O Saviour Christ, in whose way of life lies the secret of all life, and the hopes of all the people, we pray for quiet courage to meet this hour. We did not choose to be born or to live in such an age. But let its problems challenge us, its discoveries exhilarate us, its injustice anger us, its possibilities inspire us, and its vigour renew us, for your Kingdom’s sake. Amen. [Adapted from Service for Christian Aid Week 2016]
This week, let us be faithful in thanksgiving and prayer
- for all who ‘get the message’ of God’s saving love through us who believe, that together with them we may all be one in the Spirit, praising His glory and grace [John 17. 20-26]
- for the Family Event (“Messy Church”) to celebrate Pentecost on Saturday next (14th) sharing the discoveries of children and families as Jesus comes to them through His joyous Spirit
- for all who set out to make Christian Aid Week (15th - 21st) come alive for Morpeth, visiting homes and collecting on the streets for this vital life-changing work around the world
- for the talks to be resumed between NHS England and BMA on behalf of our Junior Doctors and that a just settlement may be reached
- for dear friends recently departed including Mary Coates, for her daughter Margaret, son David and their families, praising God for Mary’s life of faith in fellowships from Walbottle to Morpeth
- for the life and witness of our sister churches at Blyth (Central, URC and Cowpen) Cramlington (Doxford Place, Welcome and Harwood Court), Seaton Delaval and Seghill, and their leaders and ministers, Revds Ann Shepherdson, Adele Moorhouse and Greg Thompson
- for several prisoners at HMP Northumberland who are to be baptised and confirmed at a Service on June 7th, fruit of the faithful ministries of Christian chaplains and volunteers sharing the good news of Jesus week by week; please pray for their protection and nurturing as they grow in faith
Lord, we offer you our concerns for the world.
Sometimes it’s hard to see your presence in events that unfold.
Comfort us as we pray for reconciliation and hope in the world in which we live.
Ruth Bowen in Fire and Bread, Wild Goose Publications, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH.
This Ascension-tide let us pray:
- on reading Paul’s great hymn of praise in Philippians 2.1-11:
Father, we thank you for Jesus, risen and exalted.
May we truly be reflectors of his glory
as we walk the way of love’s obedience. Amen.
Revd Isabel Stuart, Danby and Cleveland, in The Great 50 Days
- for the thousands of children without parents or guardians at grave risk in refugee camps in France and across Europe, giving thanks for every effort to bring some of them to safe loving homes in our country
- giving thanks for our Police Forces, praying that our expectation of the highest integrity at all levels may be fulfilled; and also for those we elect as Police and Crime Commissioners to keep watch on them on our behalf
- for dear friends who are ill or awaiting surgery or in frail health, among them Les Brown, Mary Coates, Mary Eastland, Marion Easton, Ken Smith and Phil Tallon, giving thanks for the care and encouragement they receive
- with thanksgiving for our Church Council as Trustees and leaders, guiding the life and work of our church and representing us in the counsels of this Ecumenical Area, our District and the Connexional work and witness of the Methodist Church in Britain
- praising God for the mission of Methodist Women in Britain cooperating with churches around the world to support and empower women and their families to escape from a life of poverty and social discrimination to one of achievement and fulfilment [hear more at the Area Service next Sunday 4 pm at Stakeford which includes Dedication of Easter Offering for World Mission Fund ]
This week please remember:
- with heartfelt thanksgiving for their ministry among us, Gary and Debbie Ridley, who are constrained to move on this year to a new pastorate wherever the Church has need of them for the next four years
- the leaders of our Ecumenical Area churches now seeking a successor to care for and lead this and the other church families; giving thanks for the advocacy of our Superintendent and Chairman of District with the Connexional Stationing Committee and their sensitive obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit
- to praise God that “in all things [He] works for the good of those who love Him, that is, those who have been called according to His purpose” and “His Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we don’t even know what are the proper prayers to offer, but the Spirit ……. intercedes for us according to God’s will.” (Romans 8.26-28)
- to give thanks for all who spend themselves in the service of the church, of their neighbours and of those in dire need, not counting the cost and giving God all the glory
- to praise God for all whose stories inspire and encourage us [there are great examples in the latest Connexion magazine] and 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
- our Junior Hospital Doctors 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.
This week, do please remember Our Calling:
- to make Christ visible in our lives, our homes, our workplaces, our neighbourhood, our church by spreading his light and love all around
- by praying for peace, especially for peoples torn apart and lives ruined by “forgotten” wars, as in Ukraine, Armenia/Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kashmir (compounded by devastating floods recently) and Southern Sudan, thanking God for the courageous endurance of peace-makers and relief workers
- to encourage one another in faith and love though pastoral visiting, bearing one another’s burdens and sharing one another’s joys
- to pray for local medical support charities and those who need them: Macmillan Nursing, Alzheimer’s dementia services, Marie Curie Cancer Care, PALS, Daft as a brush, St Oswald’s Hospice, chaplains and volunteers in our Hospitals and Care Homes, and many others
- that Jesus promised his followers power from on high to announce in his name to all nations repentance for the forgiveness of sins, not only for every person but for all humanity and its institutions - social, economic and political - so that his kingdom may come on earth as in heaven [Luke 24.46-48]
- Jesus, Lord and Master, you transform the lives of men and women.
In your strength we can do all things and please our sovereign God.
Tame our natures Lord; mould us to your need; fashion us to your taste and conform us to your will.
Enable us, and all who hear your call to follow you, to give ourselves generously to your service.
Send us as workers into the Church and into the World. Amen.
[Adapted from Fr Desmond Dale SJ]
This week, do please remember:
- how after his resurrection, Jesus ‘opened [the disciples’] minds to understand the Scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”’ [Luke 24.45- 48]
- that today we have all the Scriptures at our fingertips to fill us with the joy of the Gospel, feed our minds and hearts and enable us too to be faithful disciples and witnesses to the presence and transforming power of the love of God in Jesus Christ
- Christian brothers and sisters living the Gospel in situations fraught with danger, grief or sorrow, praising God for his presence with them and how they show it by their love even for their enemies
- as they meet again in a new school and university term, our young people whose enthusiasm for learning and hard work are tested in GSCE, A-Level and degree exams; giving thanks for the support and guidance they receive from parents and teachers and the encouragement of friends
- a new Sycamore Tree course (the 11th in two years) started last week at HMP Northumberland praising God for men - and their families and sometimes victims - finding healing and hope in their lives and relationships; and for the support by the prison authorities and chaplaincy team for this vital work of restorative justice and rehabilitation
Spirit of truth and judgement who alone can cast out the powers that grip our world …. give us your discernment that we may accurately name what is evil, and know the way that leads to peace, through Jesus Christ, Amen. [Iona Abbey Worship Book]
This week, do please remember:
- with thanksgiving our joyous worship on the day of Resurrection expressed through praise and proclamation, recollection and reflection enhanced by beautiful flower arrangements, sacred music, family reunions and table fellowship
- to intercede for refugees who are treated like commodities, not only by human traffickers, but by EU and Turkish politicians bargaining over the flow of migrants from war-torn countries into Europe; praying that more humane and compassionate ways may be found of relieving their homelessness and distress
- with thanksgiving our minister, Revd Gary Ridley, the members of our Church Council and Leadership Team, Stewards, Pastoral Visitors and Office-Holders, praying that they may be filled with the Spirit of grace, wisdom and discernment as they guide the mission of our church
- with love and affection our sister SENEA churches at Newbiggin, Ashington, Stakeford and Bedlington and their leaders, preachers and ministers Revds Jim Magee, Ian Farnsworth, supernumeraries Stuart Brock, Suzanne Hamnett, Dorothy Hewitson, Jack Macadam, Sue Nichol and Peter Rand, encouraging those congregations in their witness
- to praise the Lord for the children nurtured and families enriched by the meetings of the Parents and Toddlers groups each week and others also helped by the friendly facilities of our Church Centre
- with compassion and concern our fellow-Christians in countries where following Jesus costs the most, like Pakistan, Syria, Iraq. Nigeria, Saudi Arabia; pray for them and for their persecutors in the light of Christ’s promise: “I will build my church and the powers of death will not be able to defeat it.” [Matthew 16.18]
‘…….that day, the first day of the week, Jesus came and stood among [the disciples] and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.’ [John 20.19.20]