Pray Without Ceasing
Please give thanks and pray
- this first Sunday of Lent, that the kingdom of God announced by Jesus (Mark 1.14-15) embracing all creation and all people may in our time be boldly proclaimed and pioneered in our daily and public life by all of us who believe in Him
- praising God for our brothers and sisters in Kamuzinda, Uganda, may we with imaginative concern find ways of working with them in their mission to show Christ present to bless their neighbourhood and nation
- for the family and friends of Liana who was Rosie Swan’s colleague with Project Trust in Uganda in 2010 and who died last week from the effects of disease she contracted there; may they be greatly comforted by the fruit of her life in the lives of so many whom she loved
- for the many opportunities we have to learn together how to be Jesus’ disciples: through worship and fellowship here or at Costas, Lent Ecumenical Study Groups, ECG (Friday 28th), World Day of Prayer (Friday 6th), Messy Church (Saturday 7th), 2015 NE Encounter Programme etc; may all be life-long learners of our Lord and Master
- for fair play in crucial electoral campaigning in Nigeria, where polling day has been postponed for six weeks, allegedly because of the insecurity caused by the murderous Boko Haram “insurgency” which has drawn in military forces from neighbouring countries
- for local friends who respond to the call to become befrienders of sufferers from Alzheimer’s and their families, distributers in the Wansbeck Food Bank, prison or hospital visitors, members of the chaplaincy team visiting our Care and Nursing Homes, or of Red Cross detachments and other voluntary services
Lord Jesus, your gospel challenges us to repent of complacency and greed. Teach us to live in such harmony with our beautiful but fragile planet home, that our creative energy may bring healing, our carefulness sustain the world and your reconciling love bring peace and joy to all people.
This week please give thanks and pray
- for dear friends laid aside by illness or disability, or convalescing including David Pallett, Tom Gordon and others supported in care homes; and friends recently bereft by the loss of loved ones - Pam Jolly, Edith Sanderson and the family of Mary Flynn -her daughter Anne and grandchildren Avril & Adrian: God grant them all comfort, healing and peace
- for our worship leaders and preachers in Area churches used by God to build up us his people in joyful confidence in His Word; pray also for our Family Committee meeting on Wednesday and all who lead the church family in witness and service
- for Christian Aid, All We Can (Methodist Relief & Development), Fair Trade, Shared Interest, Oikocredit, Church Action on Poverty etc, all working to help people and communities out of poverty both at home and abroad thus seeking to close the scandalous gap between rich and poor [ “If you oppress the poor, you insult their creator” Proverbs 14.31]
- for our County and Town Councillors tasked with determining the future shape of Morpeth taking account of all the concerns raised in the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan consultation and the needs of generations to come
- praising God for Mustard Tree Trust (MTT), its partnership with Scripture Union, its cooperation with schools, and praying especially for Lifepath Brinkburn 2015 [please pick up a copy of prayer update in the foyer]
- that as we hear and take in the gospel for today - Mark 9. 2-12 - we may, like the disciples, “do what the heavenly voice said: Listen to Jesus, because he is God’s beloved son. And as we learn to listen, even if sometimes we get scared and say all the wrong things, we may find that glory creeps up on us unawares, strengthening us, as it did the disciples, for the road ahead.” (Tom Wright in Mark for Everyone)
Lifepath Brinkburn 2015 - Prayer Update Number 1
Please could you support us in prayer by praying for the following:
- For the ongoing success of Lifepath and the wonderful feedback we received from children and staff after the 2014 event.
- For a great planning team and for God’s provision of some fantastic people to fill some key roles.
- Please thank God for all those schools that have already booked in.
- Good relationships with local schools and with English Heritage (who manage the priory).
- For all that God has provided already in terms of team, ideas and resources.
- That God would continue to guide the planning process and the core team as they meet (Chris Hudson, Geoff Brown, Helen Hume and Kirstine Davis).
- Please specifically pray that God would provide all the Pilgrim Guides, Workshop leaders and support team that are needed to make the whole event run smoothly.
- Please pray that God would provide all of the finances and resources necessary to stage Lifepath 2015.
- The planning of the opening and closing acts of collective worship – that these would be engaging, fun and relevant and that the theme would link well to the life story of St Oswald.
- Please pray for wisdom regarding the exact number, content and type of workshops that we offer.
- For all those contacting schools to book assemblies in the build-up to the event.
- That the day will be a significant one for all who attend.
- That the team will feel comfortable in the roles they are given and work well together.
- Safety for all on-site during the event.
- That the weather would be dry when we need it to be.
- That many churches would get behind the event and offer prayer, practical and financial support
Thank you for your support.
This week please give thanks and pray
- for the vitality of our young people, their leaders and parents, and continue to pray that our call for a part-time Families’ and Young People’s Worker may be answered
- for the full recovery from surgery of our minister, the Revd Gary, and for all who are convalescing after illness or accident, with thanksgiving for the care, skills and support that have encouraged them
- for the churches in our “section” of the Ecumenical Area - Alnmouth, Amble, Hauxley, Broomhill, Widdrington, Pegswood and Morpeth - and for our leaders, preachers and ministers Revds Lynda Coulthard, John Park, Ron Forster and Revd Gary Ridley - that through us the good news of Jesus may spread through our communities
- as Lent approaches that we may let the Bible speak to us of the amazing grace of God revealed in Christ: Songs of praise in the New Testament speak to us of His majesty, humility and power to change us and the world - the theme of one of two series of ecumenical Lent studies 2015, the other being 40acts 2015 [see flyer and poster for details]
- fervently for peace in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa, for patience and perseverance of negotiators between hostile parties giving thanks for heroic humanitarian workers bringing hope to millions of refugees from violence and oppression
- 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
- for grace, courage and conviction to speak out against poverty, injustice, inequality and the degradation of life - especially the sexual abuse of children and women by rapacious men in our own cities and those over-run by monstrous jihadis of “Islamic state”, Boko Haram and al Shabab - and do all we can to be channels of God’s love, healing and peace to deeply wounded souls, families and communities.
This week let us pray: Lord God, we thank you
- for teachers, for their enthusiasm and hard work and for all they invest in the children and young people that they teach. Help them as they transform their places of work and their relationships through they way they teach.
- for the many people who enable schools to run smoothly and provide a nurturing environment for our children - teaching assistants, administrators, school meal supervisors….. Help them to know their value and to enjoy the work that they do.
- for school governors who play the role of a critical friend in the life of the school. Help them to make wise decisions, to know when to affirm and when to ask questions.
- for all those in further and higher education, those who teach and those who learn. Help them to be salt and light where they study and work, pointing people towards you through what they do and say.
- for everyone in our church who nurture our faith and enable us to learn more about you - youth leaders, children’s leaders, house group leaders, preachers… Help them to draw close to you as they study and prepare, and to be nourished themselves as they lead us.
- or those among us who nurture the next generation - parents, carers and grandparents, family friends….Help them to love without condition, to set an example of life-long learning and to find support and encouragement along the way.
- for all children and young people at nursery, school, academy and college. Help them to make the most of the opportunities they have - to be diligent students, to play creatively and to know that you delight in them as they seek to follow you.
- for the education we have received from teachers and schools, from colleges, academies and universities, from parents and friends. Help us to support those who work in education, to appreciate the important job they do in shaping the future of our world and to remember them in our prayers.
This week please give thanks and pray
- for our unity with all Christians, fulfilling more and more perfectly Jesus’ prayer that we may be one in Him so that the world may know the amazing, eternal love of our Father God [John 17.20-23]
- for all who have suffered and died for their faith, remembering especially on Tuesday, Holocaust Memorial Day. the victims of the Hitler’s Nazi death camps, and thousands of others since who have been slaughtered by religious zealots and tyrannical regimes
- for our minister, Revd Gary, convalescing after knee surgery, giving thanks for all the nursing, rehabilitation and support services in our community
- for 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 at work in the world and in their lives
- increasing awareness of the negative effect upon people with mental health problems of sanctions that aggravate their illness, deny them vital benefits and hinder their return to work and health; for MIND and CONTACT and other advocates challenging government welfare policies [see News release from Methodist Church and partners: copies in foyer]
- for good neighbourliness when winter weather endangers older people living alone, for transport, utilities and communications workers keeping us safe, and for accident and emergency services, health and social work teams responding to those most at risk
- for all servants of the Gospel, especially our faithful supernumerary ministers in the Area gladly offering extra help in worship and pastoral care at this time; and for dear friends bereaved and families suddenly stricken by accident or illness: our hearts and prayers go out to them.
This week please pray:
- God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we pray for all the peoples of the Holy Land and of our own nations, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian or of other faiths; break down the walls of separation between us - the physical barriers with its military checkpoints, and the invisible barriers of heart and mind which keep your children from different faiths and ethnicities apart. Let not the cries of hate and murderous actions of a few deluded fanatics deafen and blind us to your enfolding fatherly love for us all. Help us in humility, respect and kindness to embrace one another in the spirit of your “love divine, all loves excelling” . Adapted from Jenny Bywaters’ prayer in Methodist Prayer Handbook Day 15.
- in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, give thanks for all our fellow-Christians here in Morpeth, that we may encourage one another in reaching out to our neighbourhood, friends and strangers, with the good news of God’s love for us all in Christ
- with gratitude and praise for the dedicated, hard-pressed staff of our NHS and Social Services, caring for the sick, frail and disabled in our pharmacies, GP and A&E services, hospitals, care homes and in their own homes; that we may all use these precious resources wisely, compassionately and skilfully
- giving thanks that Nurse McCafferkey is responding to treatment for Ebola infection, and for signs that the epidemic in West Africa is being tackled effectively in many places; praise God for all the brave people engaged in this vital work
- and please continue in prayer for the multitudes of refugees from the killing fields of Syria and Iraq, barely surviving in camps in neighbouring countries, or being trafficked by Mafia gangs by sea to an unwelcoming Europe.
This week please remember:
- with reverent awe, that the Lord will requite those killed and bereaved by terrorist attacks in Nigeria, Paris, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq and strengthen the resolve of all peoples to resist the evil of religious or political extremism in the light of “God’s love revealed in His Son who came to this earth to redeem everyone” [D.T.Niles of Sri Lanka]
- God’s grace revealed in the Christian lives and witness of our dear friends Alan Sanderson, Chris Jolly and Doris Stark; praying that Pam and both their families may know the comfort of our dear Lord’s abiding presence in the dark days of their grief
- with thanksgiving our sister churches in Blyth, Cowpen, Cramlington, Seaton Delaval, Seghill and Annitsford, their leaders and ministers Revds Ann Shepherdson, Adele Moorhouse, Ian Farnsworth, and Greg Thompson, praying that we may all unite in confidently spreading the Joyful News of God’s grace and kindness in our neighbourhoods
- to praise God for families cheered and blessed by “Angel Tree” gifts from fathers and husbands serving time in HM Prison Northumberland (183 accepted this help this Christmas), and for all the chaplains and volunteers who are channels of trust, hope and love between them
- to give thanks for healing after recent surgery of Revd Gary and Jim Dunn, and that Tom Gordon, Chris McPhillips, and other friends may know His peace and strength in their present infirmity
- to praise God for the generosity that enables Food Banks, Common Ground and Kamuzinda Christian Victory Church to supply needy families with food and basic necessities
- to continue to ask the Lord to answer our need for a Families’ and Young People’s worker and to bless all who faithfully work with Parents and Toddlers, Junior Church, 13+, the BB, Scouts and Messy Church
Please remember this week:
- children and students and their parents, victims of the slaughter of the innocents in Pakistan, Syria, Gaza, Nigeria, Mexico where, just as in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago there is “weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more”; Jesus, God’s Son escaped the rage of Herod to live and die a cruel death on the cross for the sins of the world; “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.”
- homeless families or lonely people on our streets, in refugee camps all across the Middle East, Central Africa and Southern Sudan, giving thanks for all who at personal cost and risk bring them aid and hope of safety, justice and peace
- the government of Israel, that the hard-line parties may repent of their “apartheid” oppression of their Arab fellow-citizens and Palestinian neighbours in the land of the birth and saving work of God’s Son to bring good news to the poor, healing, liberty, justice and joy to all people just as their prophets foretold [read again Isaiah 61.1-3 ]
- dear friends who are poorly this week or recovering from surgery, including Jim Dunn, Tom Gordon, Jane Kitondekigya, Chris McPhilips, Rosalind Philipson, Chris Jolly, giving thanks for all who bring them healing and hope; and for the privilege of visiting and sharing church news with those who are housebound at this time
- to give thanks for the work of Street Pastors here in Morpeth and other towns praying that more volunteers may be called to this ministry of compassionate service to those endangered by the binge-drinking scene on our streets
- to praise our heavenly Father that at the gate of a New Year we hear the invitation to “put your hand into the hand of God; that shall be better than a light and safer than a known way” (M. Louise Haskins 1875-1957)
Please remember this week:
- To pray for all those working to stop the spread of the Ebola virus remembering not only those risking their lives to care for the ill but also those taking part in vaccine trials. Pray that the side effect experienced by those taking part in such a trial in Switzerland prove to be temporary and that the trial can resume shortly.
- To pray for an end to the use of torture by every country on the planet in line with Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to give thanks for the work of Amnesty International throughout the world. We pray for all prisoners wherever they may be.
- To give thanks for the work of MAF Flying for Life providing access to medical care for isolated communities in many parts of the world. http://www.maf-uk.org This week we are asked particularly to remember those working in Papua new Guinea.
- Minorities everywhere who are persecuted because of their differences remembering particularly the albino population in Tanzania.
- The work of hospital chaplains supporting patients and their families at a time of year when it is particularly difficult to be unable to go home. We remember too, all those we know whose health is giving cause for concern and for those who have lost loved ones recently.
- To give thanks for the efforts of all those who help to organize events, services, carol singing and celebrations in our churches, care homes, schools and communities helping to bring the word to everyone that God is with us.
- To give thanks for the joy and excitement in the eyes and hearts of children (of all ages) as Christmas draws closer.
Pray without Ceasing
Please remember this week:
- praising God for wonderful music inspired by the Coming of Jesus, God’s greatest Gift, we give thanks and pray for all music-makers offering their gifts in worship, concerts, and carol singing to the glory of God our Saviour
- the many ways through which prisoners in HMP Northumberland and those on parole or probation receive God’s gracious help to turn their lives around, make amends and bring peace to their families and communities ; especially giving thanks for chaplains and Christian volunteers engaging with them in worship, Alpha courses, restorative justice mentoring and rehabilitation on release
- homeless young people, often victims of parental strife, irresponsibility or separation, sleeping rough or sofa-surfing and trapped in poverty: pray for all seeking to answer their dire need - working through statutory bodies or voluntary agencies like Barnabas Safe and Sound, Crisis, Action for Children, Barnardo’s depending on our active support and generosity
- our sister churches and their leaders in Ashington, Newbiggin, Stakeford, and Bedlington and their ministers Revds Heegon Moon and Jim McGee, praising God for their effective witness and pioneering new ways of proclaiming God’s love and serving their communities
- the increasing urgency of warnings from the Conference on Climate Change meeting in Peru, praying that rich nations will repent of their self-interest, realise the imminent threat to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in poorer countries and act decisively to reduce pollution of our atmosphere and oceans [see also World Church Relationships Bulletin December 2014]
- Winter Prayer
God of winter glory, of pale sunlight cut to ribbons by bare black branches,
Of cut glass ice intricately etched with your imagination,
What desperate love drove you to the Mary-stable-shepherd idea?
Help us to see in this story of poverty, struggle, hope and fear,
Your most beautiful creation. Amen
Revd Penny Worth, York