Pray Without Ceasing

March 18th

This week please pray for:

  • We pray for international relations between countries and groups in our current time of volatility. The United Kingdom and Russia, the USA and North Korea, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, amongst others. We pray for an understanding of the common good to prevail and for current situations not to escalate. We have faith that in each country people will stand up to be counted in the name of Peace.
  • We hold in our thought those affected by the job losses in the retail sector announced recently, such as the closure of Toys ‘r’ Us shops nationwide. The changing shopping habits of the digital age are bringing threats to the means of earning a living for many people and families. We give thanks that the words and example of Jesus are unchanging, but at the same time realise that as His hands in this world we continue to work out a fair economic system that provides for all in our country.
  • We pray for those who fear growing old. A fear of isolation, of illness, of financial hardship, of being distant from family.  That Morpeth Methodist church will be a blessing to these people and provide support and fellowship, whether it is during Tuesday communion, at the Memory Café, at the Tuesday lunches, or via pastoral visiting.
  • We give thanks for the imminence of Spring. After the recent severe weather causing road closures, railway cancellations, dangerous footways, and hardship to communities in rural Northumberland, let us remind ourselves that the sun is rising higher in the sky each day and warmer weather and longer daylight will be with us soon.
  • We pray for Pegswood Methodist church. That their members will know hope and be energised for the future as they witness for Christ in their village. As members of SENEA we wish for Morpeth Methodist church to stand alongside them as we share our minister Antony and share our goal of being Christians in Northumberland.

March 11th

Forty days alone,
a wilderness of thoughts,
tempting and inviting thoughts,
which could so easily have distracted you
from your task, your mission,
your vision.
Yet you emerged, stronger and more attuned
to all that had to be done,
despite a time constraint
that to our eyes would have seemed hopeless.
We too live in stressful times.
Demands are made of our time,
that leave so little
for the important things of life.
We are easily distracted
in the wilderness of our lives,
by every call to go this way or that,
to turn stone to bread
leap from mountains,
and do all that would keep us from the truth.
We listen to the voices of this world,
and ignore the one who endured all this
and so much more,
and emerged triumphant,
that we might not have to suffer so.
Forgive us, Father,
when we get distracted from our task.
Forgive us those times when we try
to be all things to all men,
and fail to be anything to anyone

John Birch

March 4th

This week, please pray

  • For people left out in the cold, physically or emotionally, whether through homelessness or friendlessness or joblessness.  Pray that they may find warmth and shelter for both their souls and their bodies.
  • For all those working to promote peace in the world. Pray especially that the beginning made by the North and South Koreans at the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang can be continued and built on.
  • With thanksgiving for our emergency services: police, ambulance, fire, lifeboats, as well as motor rescue services such as AA, RAC and Green Flag, as they battle to keep people safe during the weather brought by ‘The Beast from the East’.  Give thanks too, for good neighbours checking on each other and for all those who have struggled with difficult journeys to work in our hospitals (some of whom have slept over to ensure cover can be maintained for patients), care homes, prisons, shops and businesses.
  • For those at home and abroad who are trying to work out a Brexit deal which will protect the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland.  Pray for flexibility, imagination, and good will on all sides, together with a willingness to put aside party politics and personal ambition in order to protect the still fragile peace in that country.
  • As the USA begins to look, tentatively, at gun control, and as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida reopens, pray for all those who have been affected by the senseless violence there, for those who died and those who must live with the memory of what happened.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA, thinking particularly this week of  the church families at Seaton Delaval, Seghill, Bedlington Trinity and Blyth URC, with their minister, Revd Greg Thompson

February 25th

Dear Lord,

  • We thank you for all the good things in life, for the goodness in so many people; for the kindness and courtesies of everyday life shown to those around us. We thank you for the blessings of love, home, family; for the warmth of friendships, joy and laughter; for the opportunity to share happy times; for the freedoms, justice and peace that we are privileged to enjoy.  We pray that we do not forget or take for granted the strength and value of these gifts and that we are willing to share generously the gifts and strengths that we have, with others.
  • We pray for those in our community who are experiencing difficult times, those who are sick, anxious, worried or afraid.  We pray that they will feel your healing presence to support, encourage and comfort whatever their need.  We think especially today of Maureen Robson, Mary Eastland, Win Morris, Stephen Proom, Elizabeth Murphy and Celia Towers and pray that they will soon be returned to better health.
  • We pray with all our hearts for the leaders of nations.  They have such a responsibility to their citizens and at times must feel doubtful about choices and decisions they have made.  We pray that you will grant them wisdom and courage to make fair decisions, to support the weak and vulnerable, never to abuse the power that they have. 
    There is now a new Prime Minister in South Africa and we ask that he is guided to making wise and fair decisions for his people in that country.
  • There are many thousands of totally dedicated, compassionate and hard working aid workers swift to go to troubled or afflicted areas.  Lord, we pray that they are not discouraged and disheartened by recent events that have affected their reputations.  Do not allow them to lose heart in their mission to alleviate suffering, but to have the will and determination to continue to help some of the world’s most deprived and dispossessed people.

We ask these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, the lord of justice and peace.

February 18th

Pray without Ceasing

This week please pray:

  • We pray for those affected by the mass shooting in a Florida school this week which has left 17 people dead. Our thoughts go to those affected with the loss of family, scarred by images of violence, and worried about the future. We wonder what drives people to think that violence is the solution to a problem. Across the world increasing numbers of people relative to 2010 are affected by violent conflict, particularly in Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, and we pray for peace. We also consider the changing face of violent conflict that results a greater percentage of victims being innocent civilians as opposed to direct combatants.
  • We are hopeful for the proposed Morpeth Methodist Worship Group. The group are organising a planning meeting, and will be involved mostly with Local Arrangement Services. We are thankful for those willing to take on the role of disciples for Christ
  • We pray for those in our congregation who are living with ill-health at this time, either physical or mental. May their faith in Jesus be a comfort to them, and the pastoral support given by the Methodist church a benefit to them.
  • We give thought to those working for a fairer society where all are valued, as in God’s Kingdom. A report this week highlights the fact that life expectancy between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ areas is significant and continues to increase. Dame Karen Dunnell, chair of the Longevity Science Panel, said: “ we need better understanding of the precise causes, followed by co-ordinated policy initiatives across health, work, welfare, pension and housing to improve outcomes for all,” Sir Michael Marmot, who is director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, said the growth in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt”. This is contrary to the rising life expectancy seen over the past 100 years.
  • We pray for greater understanding between the different church denominations, and in particular for those initiatives in Morpeth such as Christians Acting Together in Morpeth, Morpeth Justice and Peace Group, The Women’s World Day of Prayer in March, ecumenical Lent groups, the Good Friday parade, and Morpeth Christian Aid group. We also pray for greater working together of church denominations in the United Kingdom.

February 11th

This week please pray:

  • For all those living in poverty amongst the abundance in this country where we should be capable of building a society which protects the vulnerable and nurtures each human soul.  Give thanks for the work of Church Action on Poverty working to find solutions to this problem thinking particularly, on this Poverty Sunday, of those meeting locally for lunch at St Aidan’s.
  • As we celebrate 100 years since women in Britain gained the right to vote, pray for women throughout the world who still struggle against oppression, discrimination and violence thinking particularly of those denied education, or control over their own bodies.  Give thanks for the courage of those, such as Malala Yousafzai, who speak out and campaign for change now, as well as for women in this country who campaigned for equality in the past.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA, thinking particularly this week of the church families at Cramlington, Doxford Place and Cramlington Welcome Chapel and their minister, Revd Adele Moorhouse, as well as St George’s URC.
  • For the people of Taiwan following a major earthquake this week, thinking particularly of the city of Hualien where hundreds of people are still unable to return to their homes.  Give thanks for rescue workers and engineers trying to bring the city back to normal.
  • With thanksgiving for the joy and hope brought to us through our children as we watch them grow and learn about the world.  Give thanks for Lily Charlotte Ansell and pray for her and her family as she grows up surrounded by the love of their friends and family in the family of the church.

February 4th

This week please pray for :

  • Our thoughts and best wishes go to those who suffer ill-health at this time. Lord give strength to those who are having surgery and be alongside those who have been diagnosed with terminal conditions. Remind them that You are there for those whose burden is heavy, and that You will give them rest.
  • We are grateful for the thanks received from Bishop Daniel and Ponsiano regarding the gift they received from Morpeth Methodist Church. We rejoice that at least 50 families received food at Christmas and we receive their blessings in return.
  • We pray for those who seek asylum from oppressive regimes. We feel for them as they tell us stories of torture, violence, and discrimination. We give thanks for the capacity shown by ‘western’ countries to accept these people, and that those deciding their asylum applications will act with true justice.
  • We give thanks for the churches of Morpeth. The week for Christian Unity may be over, but quietly behind the scenes the members of churches in Morpeth give their time, energy, thought, to numerous causes in the town and in the country and also internationally. We pray that even though statistically the number of Christians is declining, that people will realise the good that comes out of Christianity, and continue in the future to be followers of Jesus.
  • We pray for those who come along to the Memory Café on Thursday mornings in whatever capacity. Blessed are those who help make tea and coffee as they get to know the visitors better. Blessed are those caring for someone living with dementia as they get a chance to talk things over with people living with the same experience. Blessed are those with dementia as they enjoy coming to the café. We pray to the Lord that it will continue to shine as a light in the darkness.

January 28th

This week please pray:

  • For all those who work in our prisons doing difficult work in difficult, sometimes dangerous, circumstances
  • Marking yesterday’s Holocaust Memorial day, pray remembering the thousands who died at the hands of the Nazis.  Pray for the survivors and their relatives, and pray that we may work together to eradicate the prejudice against those who are ‘different’ from us, in whatever way so that such events cannot be repeated.
  • For those who, on this Homelessness Sunday, are without shelter in our winter weather whether through misfortune, persecution, mental illness, or their own choice.  Pray that each person in our society can find a place where they can belong, in safety and warmth and love.
  • For all those affected by the collapse of  Carillion who don’t know what the future may hold for them, whose jobs and homes are in jeopardy.  Pray for those employed directly by the company and also for those who own small firm is dependent on work done for it.
  • For those who mourn, thinking particularly of the family and friends of Pat Jones who died this week, and of Alistair Macdonald following the loss of his sister.
  • With thanksgiving for the first tiny signs of spring around us: for the green tips of bulbs visible now the snow has melted, for increasing daylight, for catkins starting to be seen on hazel trees, for the first, amazingly early blossom on the trees - remembering that God can bring spring to our hearts after periods of darkness, just as, each year, He returns it to the earth.

January 21st

This week:

  • We pray for those who become isolated by our winter weather, not able or perhaps fearful of venturing out in cold icy conditions. We hope that they still feel part of a community, particularly those who attend our church. For those who are ill at this time and need the help of the NHS or social services, we pray that their needs are met despite strains in the health and social care systems.
  • We give thanks for the power of sport in improving international relations. In particular the talks taking place between North and South Korea in regard to North Korea competing in the winter Olympics in South Korea next month, and the possibility of them both marching in together under one flag. We pray that competitors in all sports will enjoy competing and feel the benefit of different cultures and countries coming together in a peaceful games.
  • We are thankful for the New Year, venturing forth into 2018 with new hope, expectations of the approaching spring, and then the delights of an English summer. Picture the daffodils and tulips in Spring, the smell and beauty of the rose in summer. We give thanks to those who tend the plants in parks and gardens, and those who open their gardens to the public for pleasure or for charity.
  • We pray for the people of Syria as the civil war continues to destroy parts of their country and bring death and injury to innocent civilians. 2018 will mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. This was talked of as the war to end all wars, but sadly this proved not to be the case. Let  the year 2018 be more peaceful than 2017 as a step in the right direction, and we pray for all those who work for reconciliation and peace throughout the world.

January 14th

This week please pray:

  • For those who mourn, thinking particularly of the family of Alan Todd, whose funeral takes place this Wednesday, and of the Potts family following the recent death of Don’s mother. Pray too for all those within our church family who are unwell or awaiting the results of medical tests, thinking particularly of Tom Smith and Gwen Charlton.
  • For all those affected by severe weather events across the world: huge quantities of snow in the alps resulting in avalanches, disruption to transport and dangerous conditions; those in Australia awaiting the arrival of cyclone Joyce; pray particularly for those in California dealing with the mudslides caused by torrential rain on top of the dreadful fires over the last months.
  • For our government as it tries to find a way through negotiations over Brexit, remembering that, whatever our opinion about the decision to leave, we have to find a way to form a mutually beneficial, friendly, relationship for the future.
  • For those who sleep on the streets of our towns and cities, shelterless, jobless, friendless, often hopeless that they may find warmth and comfort and giving thanks for individuals and organisations, such as Shelter, the Salvation Army and The People’s Kitchen who go out to them with love in their hearts and practical help to offer.
  • As the church year returns to ‘Ordinary Time’ pray that we may never find it ordinary but reach out for every moment - happy, sad, joyful or difficult - remembering that all of our time is a gift from God.  Pray that we can learn to use all of it wisely, and to his glory.

January 7th

At the start of this New Year, please pray:

  • Let us give God thanks for long term mission partners Isabel and Jonathan Hill working in Zimbabwe, as they care for children in schools and churches in rural Matabeleland.  Give thanks that in spite of huge poverty and difficulties, people in Zimbabwe continue to be generous, resilient and hospitable. May the new government leaders be determined to resource and build up both rural and urban communities and begin to address hunger, disease and poverty.  May God bless the churches’ work in addressing local needs and in continuing to give spiritual guidance and hope in difficulty. 
  • In the beginning God created a beautiful and fascinating universe and created life on our world with people, other creatures and vegetation. In 2018, the world now faces an urgent wakeup call, as plastic pollutes our oceans and inland waters and damages sea life. Pray for a responsible, speedy, effective response, so that mountains of British and other countries’ waste plastic may be safely disposed of or recycled.  Litter of all sorts, visible and invisible, spoils our cities, coastlines and countryside; we pray for a greater awareness of and commitment to create a litter-less country.
  • We are asked to pray with other church communities in South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area (SENEA) this week for the fellowships of Ashington Trinity and Stakeford churches and their minister Marie Attwood.  Give thanks to God for their ventures in serving their local communities; that they may continue to be a beacon of hope in God to any and all and share Jesus’ love.
  • We pray this winter, for the National Health Service with its high demand on urgent care services, and subsequent delays for planned or continuing care. Pray for staff and managers at this very busy time, as they make essential adjustments; for the many people who are disappointed by treatment delays; whose work and family arrangements are now on hold. Remember in prayer any we know who are waiting for results, operations, therapy and assessment and perhaps give support where needed. 

Lord, we are at the start of the year: Thank you for new beginnings.

Lord, we are at the start of a month: Thank you for new beginnings.

Lord, we are at the start of a new week: Thank you for new beginnings. 

Lord, we are at the start of another day: Thank you for new beginnings.

Lord, we are at the start of the rest of our lives: Thank you for new beginnings.


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