Pray Without Ceasing
This week, please pray:
- today, Health Care Sunday, we give thanks for our National Health Services, and the dedication and skill of all nursing, medical and support staff, and pray that we may all use these costly services responsibly; pray too for people in countries lacking adequate Health Services, especially in West Africa in the grip of the Ebola epidemic [see also Notice re Church Action on Poverty workshop on NHS on 31/10/2014]
- give thanks for those who champion the cause of disabled people and work to combat discrimination in all of its forms [see www.just-fair.co.uk and click on Disability Report].
- praise God for the gift of music and that here in our churches we are privileged to host recitals and concerts given by internationally acclaimed musicians; praise Him also for the joy of expressing our worship in “hymns and spiritual songs” [ Coloss. 3.16,17]
- persistently, “crying out together with the people of Iraq and Syria to a God of justice, peace and mercy as they suffer the living nightmare of persecution and violent oppression by both ISIS and the Syrian dictatorship” [President and Vice-president of Methodist Conference]
- “Living Differently” is the Theme for One World Week 19-26 October 2014 so let us pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven…….
Lead us to worship only you, Lord, and not money,
to put people before profit
and ‘being’ before ‘having’.
Thy kingdom come………..
Inspire us to work together to change the world
so that everyone has enough
and all can live life to the full.
Forgive us our trespasses……….
Create in us the desire
to live in harmony with creation
so all people may flourish
and your kingdom come. Amen.
This week, please pray:
- as we praise God for Harvest blessings, we pray that the fruit of the Spirit may be abundantly evident in our lives, homes, families and neighbourhood: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
- giving thanks for our sister churches in Stakeford, Ashington, Newbiggin and Bedlington and their ministers Revds Heegon Moon and Jim McGee, and for the privilege of worshipping together with them and all other SENEA churches at Blyth Central Methodist Church this afternoon (4 pm)
- with thanksgiving for the Lord’s blessing on the Sycamore Tree courses in restorative justice at HMP Northumberland, bringing many men to faith in Christ and healing and peace to their victims and to their families; for the dedicated work of chaplains and volunteers, chapel services, Alpha courses, befriending and maintaining family links
- for our Church Council meeting on Tuesday, thanking God that no detail of church administration or oversight is unimportant when it contributes to the mission of God among us and through us [read Acts 6. 1-7]
- for Christian medics and nurses in the front line of the battle to defeat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, giving thanks that at last the world is taking this threat to global health seriously and deploying personnel and resources to help prevent further spread [see METHODIST RECORDER 10/10/2014 p.5]
- for the families and friends of Alan Henning and other hostages brutally killed by evil men of the ungodly, heretical “Islamic State”, attacking and oppressing cities and regions of Iraq and Syria; pray that the former may be comforted in the love of God and that the latter repent of their evil ways
- praise God for ALL WE CAN ((MRDF) and partners showing us the potential of God’s creation as seen in stories in the Bible and in Burundi and elsewhere today [see http://www.allwecan.org.uk/service-materials/harvest ]
This week, please pray:
- For the people of Hong Kong who have taken to the streets to protest at restrictions to their democratic system. We give thanks for their courage and pray for a peaceful solution.
- Giving thanks for the work of all those who guide and help our young people: teachers, leaders within the Scouting and Guiding movements and the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades, youth club leaders, Sunday School teachers, Messy Church leaders, those working within local authority Children’s Services and within voluntary groups such as Barnabas Safe and Sound. May God give strength and wisdom to those carrying out such difficult and vital work within our communities
- For families grieving over young people remembering particularly the families of Alice Gross, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller and that of Yussra Hussein.
- Give thanks for the work of food banks throughout the UK and pray that donations to our local bank may increase as they are struggling to cope with demand
- Pray for the work of the Mission Aviation Fellowship in Chad thanking God with them that they now have sufficient pilots for their work there.
- Pray for those who are in Matlock this weekend with our Men’s Breakfast Group. May their time of fellowship together bring them back refreshed and renewed.
Be a light, O Lord, to our eyes, and music to our ears. Be sweetness to our taste and contentment to our hearts. Be sunshine to our days and food at our table. Be rest in our night and sufficiency in our hour of need. Be liberty in our life and everlasting glory at our death; through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen John Cosin (1594 -1672)
September 28th 2014
This week, please pray:
- Pray for all those trying to find a solution to the crisis in Syria created by the group calling itself Islamic State. Help them to find a way that avoids bloodshed and protects the vulnerable.
- Give thanks for all those throughout the world who dedicate their lives to helping those in crisis in areas where there is war, disaster and disease even when such dedication places them in great danger. Remember in particular medical workers helping to fight Ebola and those working to bring aid to refugees in Syria, Sudan and Turkey. Pray for the safe return of Alan Henning and give thanks for the multifaith vigil held this week in Bolton to pray for him
- In a week where the first images of Mars have been received from India’s Mangalyaan satellite we give thanks for the beauty and variety of our solar system and for the spirit of curiosity and endeavour which drives us to explore it.
- As the Party Conference season opens, remember all those attending either as delegates, party members or politicians and pray that wisdom and harmony may emerge as they try to work out the best way forward for the country in terms of social, economic and foreign policies as well as constitutional reform. Pray that everyone can work together to build a better, fairer, morally justifiable future for this country.
- We pray for charities in the region which depend on funding from the Northern Rock Foundation which will be wound up at the end of the year.
- Pray for those in our church family who are ill or recovering from illness. We particularly think of Tom Gordon and, following our regular service there, we pray also for all those resident at Foxton Court.
This week, please pray:
- today Peace-Making Sunday, especially following the Referendum result in Scotland, we offer this prayer by leaders of the URC and our Methodist Church in Britain
Gracious God, grant to us and all people the desire for wholeness and healing that will not be satisfied until justice becomes the foundation for all human relationships. Give us the courage to go on speaking for the oppressed and working for the fulfilment of your purposes. Amen.
- thanking God for the peaceful process that brought Scotland’s voters to their decision in favour of staying within the UK, we pray that promises of further devolution of powers to the people be fulfilled through measured constitutional change and democratic empowerment favouring everyone and all communities in Britain and N. Ireland, with equity and justice for all sections of our British family of nations
- saying a big "Thank you" to God for bringing the young people of Pearl of Africa Choir to us once again; may their visit be a great blessing to all who meet them
- praising God for access for Christian ministries in our prisons, as at HMP Northumberland, we pray that their work and witness may save many prisoners from seduction or coercion into further evil ways, offering them freedom from the power of sin and new life in Christ
- for all young people finding their feet in new schools, colleges, work-places or in job-seeking; giving thanks for chaplains, Christian teachers, mentors, counsellors and societies offering them friendship, assistance and encouragement, on their behalf we pray [with St Patrick 372-466]:
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
This week, please pray:
* Grant to us, O Lord, purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no passion may hinder us from doing your will, and no weakness from doing it; that in your light we may see light clearly, and in your service find perfect freedom; through Christ our Lord. Amen. [St Augustine of Hippo - 354-430 AD]
* with confidence in the knowledge that the Lord inspires and hears our prayer, for cleansing daily from all that hinders his purpose for us and for his church - to make his love known in the world and bring the beauty of holiness into every relationship and situation
* that self interest and desires may not blind us to the crying needs of others, nor that in complacency or cowardice we shelter behind “political correctness” when we see vulnerable young or disabled or old people neglected, abused, exploited or preyed upon [Luke 17.2]
* with joy that we may walk in the light of His word, gratefully discerning the light the flickers or blazes from those who, in all humility, let that light so shine that everyone may see the good they do and give God all praise and glory
* that in Christian service (“inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brothers and sisters,” said Jesus, “you have done it unto me“) we may find freedom from our own persistent sins and concerns and experience exhilarating liberty as children of God.
Glory to the Father, our true and only hope. Glory to the Son, our true and only refuge. Glory to the Holy Spirit, our true and only protection. Glory to the Holy Trinity, our true and only light; now and to the ages of ages. Amen. [A prayer of the Eastern Church, quoted in our Prayer Handbook Day 14]
As we enter this new Methodist year, please remember:
* 13+, Messy Church, our pastoral visitors (meeting Monday pm), preachers and worship leaders (Thursday pm), asking for Holy Spirit guidance, grace and strength for spreading the Good news of Jesus’ love
* pray that NATO leaders may seek justice in the Middle East and Ukraine through peaceful means not aggression which only breeds more hatred and strife
* the battle against deadly disease Ebola in West Africa, praying that overwhelmed medical resources in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia may be strengthened immediately from our Western nations; giving thanks for staff at Methodist and other hospitals, some of whom have sacrificed their lives to save Ebola sufferers
* to give thanks for the recovery from illnesses or surgery of several friends; among them Revd Gary, Valerie and Mike Donaldson, Una Carrick, Gene Groves, and holding in prayer our frail elderly members in Foxton Court, Riverside, East Riding and Northlands
* Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s plea to Israelis: “See beyond the moment, beyond the anger at feeling perpetually under seige, and see a world in which Israel and Palestine can co-exist - a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign.” [in Israeli daily paper Haaretz 14/08/2014]
* the families of both staff and prisoners at HMP Acklington and helpers mentoring and resettling prisoners on release, giving thanks for the goodwill that continues to be shown to Prison Fellowship and its Sycamore Tree restorative justice programme
“ ….prayer is connexional, in that it connects us. It makes us generous as we respond to grace, it is cross-shaped because that is the extent to which God is prepared to go in loving. It is sacrificial, in the basic sense of making things holy…..” [President & V-P of Conference in Prayer Handbook Partners in Sacrifice 2014-15 p.1]
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Ken Howcroft and Ms Gill Dascombe, are asking Methodists to spend some special time in prayer for persecuted minorities today.
They have written this special prayer for use by churches and groups:
God of love, guide us as we pray.
God of all nations and peoples, hear our prayers for the people of Syria and Iraq, and for all whose lives are torn apart by hatred and violence, whose heartbreak is more than we can imagine:
God of compassion, guide us as we pray.
For leaders and politicians and those who seek to negotiate for peace, whose responsibility is more than we could bear:
God of wisdom, guide us as we pray.
For aid workers, medical staff, those who care for refugees, orphaned children and older people, whose daily workload is more than we could tolerate:
God of goodness, guide us as we pray.
For those who feel compelled to accomplish their justice through warfare or terrorism, whose motivation is more than we can comprehend:
God of justice, guide us as we pray.
For ourselves, who look on, devastated and helpless, praying to our God whose peace is beyond our understanding:
God of peace, guide us as we pray.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: Amen.
“The situation in Iraq and Syria can only be described as a living nightmare,” said Mr Howcroft and Ms Dascombe, adding, “as Methodists we stand in solidarity alongside all those who are persecuted. As followers of Jesus who was crucified we stand with all those who find their religion twisted by others out of all recognition in order to justify horrific acts of violence. We stand in prayer, crying out together to a God of justice, peace and mercy. May God have mercy on us all.”
Pray without Ceasing
Please remember this week:
- to give thanks 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 sister churches in this part of our Ecumenical Area - in Morpeth, Bedlington, Stakeford, Ashington, and Newbiggin, their ministers and leaders and the joy of worshipping together this afternoon at Stakeford (4 pm)
- 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 [see Methodist Recorder 22/08/2014 p.2]
- 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
- as we witness the savagery of extremists in the Middle East claiming to honour God (Allah) and of the Nigerian Army’s murderous “reprisals” as they “hunt down” Boko Haram, [ www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od ], we pray that God will bring them to judgement and requite their victims with justice and comfort and heal to their stricken families and communities
- the Methodist Relief and Development partner ALL WE CAN campaigning with the Climate Coalition to persuade political leaders and governments to take climate change more seriously than ever, with its threat to the livelihoods and viability of millions of people and communities around the world [read Methodist Recorder 22/08/2014 pp 8&9]
- to praise God for Greenbelt Festival this week refreshing, challenging and inspiring thousands of Christians to “Travel Light” in their daily walk with Christ in today’s world [ http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/festival/2014 ]
Please remember in prayer this week:
- 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 praise God for friends recuperating from surgery and serious illness, among them Revd Gary, Val Donaldson, Genevieve, Gene Groves, Una Carrick; please continue to remember them in prayer
- Christians and people of other faiths persecuted and driven from their homes, resolute in their suffering; and praying for their persecutors possessed by bigotry and lust for power
- that God may awaken the nations to the global social, economic and political injustices that fuel extremist jihad especially across Africa and the Middle East; giving thanks for those brave enough to expose and oppose corrupt complacency or collusion among the rich of every nation and the grinding poverty, despair and - too often - hatred that results
- to thank 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
O God, whose will it is to fold both earth and heaven in a single peace; let the design of your great love redeem all our and anger and sorrow; and give peace to your people, peace among the nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. [E. Milner-White, 1933 - in this week’s Methodist Recorder Prayer Call]
Please remember this week:
- as we are alerted to the spread of fatal infections like Ebola viral disease in West Africa, [http://www.msf.org.uk/article/ebola-my-last-day-isolation-zone ] we pray too for the many millions in need of prevention and treatment of “old” diseases, e.g., leprosy, TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS; and give thanks for researchers and medical teams dedicated to their eradication
- to thank God for the calling to ministry in our Area of the Revd and Mrs Greg Thompson and Revd and Mrs Jim Magee and family and to pray that they may quickly feel at home in the communities and churches preparing to welcome them
- the dear parents of Jan Bronsema in their frailty needing much more support from social and medical services in Sierre; pray that Jan may soon be able to arrange more support for them
- other frail elderly people in our neighbourhood, at home and in residential or nursing homes, and their carers - all in need of loving respect and loyal companionship in old age
- as we give thanks for the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas and those negotiating a permanent peace, we pray for the thousands of now homeless and traumatised people in Gaza and their rapid relief through many agencies working together to restore vital health services and public utilities
- to give thanks for the mutual encouragement in serving our communities we enjoy with our Area churches at Seaton Delaval (Elsdon Avenue), Seghill and Annitsford praying for their leaders and ministers, Revd Yvonne Tracey and Revd Malcolm Sellars, giving thanks for the fruitful ministry of Malcolm and Pam as they now move into retirement
- Scotland and its people at this time of referendum and ask for wisdom and discernment as we look to the future.
Please remember this week:
- our minister, Revd Gary Ridley, seriously ill in York hospital following recurrence of biliary disease; praying for his recovery and comfort for Debbie and their family; and Genevieve, praying for her swift recovery and those again caring for her in the R.V.I, Newcastle
- as the war in Gaza claims more and more lives, pray that the root causes of the conflict may be repented of by all parties: the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and Israel’s blockade of Gaza together bringing untold suffering to all its citizens [see also www.msf.org.uk ]
- 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
- with our partners at Kamuzinda Christian Victory Church, Uganda, to praise God that Bishop Daniel has been given a car for his ministry among the growing churches in his area
- our elected Town and County councillors confused by flaws in the handling of ill-conceived or premature planning applications that threaten the integral development our town and community requires
- to give thanks for ‘Common Ground’, a safe place of welcome, care and compassion offering emotional and practical support to survivors of torture and oppression; and offering prayers for them with your gift of tea or coffee this month to the ‘Common Ground’ Box in the foyer
- the pastoral care of our congregations, praying for pastoral visitors offering time and friendship and practical help to members who are unwell, or house-bound or who have lost loved ones
- on the anniversaries of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, to pray that this may never happen again; giving thanks for campaigners for nuclear disarmament, the abolition of all nuclear and biological weapons and who work for world-wide peace and prosperity.