Pray Without Ceasing
Pray without Ceasing
Let us this week remember:
- to pray for Revd Ken Howcroft and Mrs Gill Dascombe installed as President and Vice-President of Conference respectively, praising God for the gifts of grace, experience and passion they bring to their leadership of our Methodist Connexion [see profiles in the Methodist Recorder 20/06/2014 pp 8&9]
- to praise God for the women and men to be ordained today as Methodist ministers and deacons, for their obedience to God’s calling, for their families and home churches who have supported them; praying that they may be anointed by the Holy Spirit with His grace and strength for their new ministries
- to give God thanks for the contribution the Wesley Study Centre has made to the making of ministers within the life of our Church, and for the continuing commitment of the colleges and University of Durham to theological education and validation in partnership with The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham [see Methodist Recorder 13/06/2014 p.16]
- to pray for Revd Lynda whose responsibilities now include the Methodist Churches at Alnwick and Christon Bank in the Lindisfarne Circuit in response to the shortage of ministers there
- our Minister, Stewards, Leadership Team and all who adorn our church with quiet practical service, a hospitable welcome, flowers, art, music and prayer to the praise and glory of God
- every refugee child, woman and man whose plight we witness daily, praying for an end to the violence, terror, oppression and humiliation from which they flee and that peace and justice may bring them the freedoms God desires for all his children
to give God thanks for the thrill experienced by so many children at LifePath Brinkburn last week, and pray for Scripture Union planning Summer camps and local events during the holid
June 22nd 2014
Let us this week :
- Give thanks for all those involved with the Morpeth Chaplaincy Team who were commissioned on Friday. Pray for their work in visiting and supporting residents and staff in care homes, retirement residences and day centres in Morpeth.
- Pray for peace in Iraq and for the defusing of a situation becoming more unstable every day. We pray for the people of that country who are suffering terribly and for the international leaders trying to find a solution other than the use of force.
- Give thanks for all those working in the voluntary sector at home and abroad; in charity shops, in hospitals, in prisons, on telephone help lines, in support groups, in refugee camps and situations of dire emergency - all those who give their time and energy to try to make the world a better place.
- Pray for refugees and displaced people throughout the world - more than 50 million people according to a UN report this week, the largest number since the end of the 2nd World War, remembering that Christ was himself a refugee and praying that we may be forgiven for not having prevented the situations which have resulted in such widespread suffering.
- Give thanks for the celebrations of athleticism, skill and friendly competition between nations and individuals represented by the World Cup, Wimbledon and the upcoming Commonwealth Games remembering that winning isn’t everything.
- Pray for members of our church family who are ill or convalescent, those who are worried or depressed and those who have difficult choices to make. Pray that they may be surrounded by the love of God and of the church family and know the peace which comes from that.
June 15th 2014
Let us this week :
- praise God that the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir have been granted visas for their travel to the UK; and pray for all arrangements for their welcome here
- continue to pray for LifePath 2014 at Brinkburn Priory, 24-27 June, especially for a full complement of helpers for the 600 children who will enjoy this wonderful introduction to Christian faith and life
- as we see the World Cup in Brazil being staged at great expense, and see also the lack of investment in public services, education and health in that country, we pray for the government of Brazil and all who are working to abolish inequalities of opportunity that impoverish millions of their young people
- give thanks for another successful Messy Church at Storey Park and for all who joined in re-living the story of Joshua, a fore-runner of Jesus, and for the impact of Messy Church gatherings all across our country
- on hearing news of fellow-Christians persecuted (and some killed) for their faith we pray for them in their suffering for Jesus’ sake, and that their churches may stand firm as witnesses to the grace of God in their communities
- praise God for the gracious work of the President (Rev Ruth Gee) and Vice-President (Dr Daleep Mukarji) of Methodist Conference during their year of office, travelling constantly to visit and encourage the churches, and on our behalf ‘speaking truth to power’ about the poverty and injustices they have encountered
- remember with compassion all refugees in this and many other countries who have fled from persecution, war or poverty, that in our own cities and communities they may be made welcome and helped towards a secure, independent and happy life among us.
June 8th 2014
Let us this week :
- praise God for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit who, since the first Pentecost, has brought life and love and lasting joy to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.
- remember with thanksgiving the growing compassionate work of Methodist Homes (MHA), asking for God’s blessing on all who live and serve in Homes across the country, in particular our friends at Harwood Court, Cramlington
- recalling the momentous events of D-Day 1944 and Tiananmen Square 1989 when at great cost so many paid the price of freedom for nations oppressed, pray that we may not forget but in our time be vigilant and valiant for truth and justice in obedience to the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, the Lord of all
- pray for healing for friends suffering or recovering from sickness in hospital or at home, among them Peter Gardner, Betty Whitton, Arthur Cassie
- give thanks, as Methodist Conference 2014 approaches, for evidence that those in working parties, committees and consultations first seek God’s guidance through His Word; may we too through prayer, in every aspect of our congregational life and work, listen, learn and do what our Lord commands with faith, hope and love
- pray for prisoners, staff and voluntary workers in HMP Northumberland, giving thanks for tangible signs of improvement in relationships, recruitment, training and attitudes within and beyond the prison
- give thanks for our sister churches at Ashington Trinity, Newbiggin, Stakeford, Bedlington (Trinity and Colliery) and pray for their leaders and ministers - Revds Ian Farnsworth relieving Barry Welch, Sue Nicol, and Heegon Moon.
Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
Make this lost world your home;
Descend with all your gracious powers,
O come, great Spirit, come.
[Andrew Reed, Hymns &Psalms 327]
June 1st 2014
Let us this week faithfully remember:
- older members of our church and community suffering the often hidden pain of loss of energy, mobility, independence and sense of worth; giving thanks for care managers and professionals who seek respectfully to promote the dignity and well-being of elderly people in residential and nursing homes and praying for Morpeth Churches’ chaplaincy to those Homes
- to praise God for several prisoners’ lives transformed through the work of chaplains and Prison Fellowship volunteers in HMP Northumberland - through the ongoing Sycamore Tree Restorative Justice programme, the present Alpha Course, Worship Services and Bible Study groups; and to pray: “Please, Lord, call and send more volunteers into this fruitful field.”
- LifePath Brinkburn 2014, 24-27 June, bringing First School pupils and teachers together to explore Christian faith and life; pray that more helpers may join in this joyful work with our children [see LifePath notice below]
- many of our young people sitting GCSE, A-Level and University Degree Exams this month, praying that they may value the hard work they have done and approach these tests with confidence
- political leaders of European nations taking stock of Election results and seeking reforms to the way the EU works to unite and prosper all our peoples and communities
- continuing ecumenical initiatives among Morpeth churches including study groups to resume in the Autumn, giving God thanks for “A Season of Joy” events at St Robert’s [see flyers in foyer]
- our Christian brothers and sisters in Uganda and in nations all across tropical Africa seeking to spread the good news of Jesus, the Prince of Peace to communities violently harassed by competing political parties (as in South Sudan) or terrorised by extremist religious movements (as in Nigeria, Mali , Somalia and Kenya).
Pray Without Ceasing
"Without the Way, there is no going,
Without the Truth, there is no knowing,
Without the Life, there is no living."
Thomas a Kempis 1380-1471, author of The Imitation of Christ
Let us this week remember:
- this Ascensiontide to praise God for the fulfilled promises of Jesus that “I will not leave you bereft: I will come to you. Because I live, you also will live” and for the hope and joy that has come into the world through the coming of the Holy Spirit.
- Café Church at Costa’s this evening offering faith and friendship in our community, welcoming all-comers to join us in hearing the good news of God’s love
- 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 that welcome them
- to cry out to God with the people of all faiths in Nigeria for an end to the atrocious bombings and kidnappings perpetrated by Boko Haram; praying that Christian people and churches may shine like beacons of hope and peace in the midst of this conflict
- to praise God that all over Nigeria churches are being planted and growing: pray for the commitment of Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican Churches there to Christian education and training in lay witness and leadership, and for our contribution through Cliff College International Training Centre’s work with the Methodist Church Nigeria [see: www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/page/international_training_centre ]
- our Health and Social Services under strain due to over-management and bureaucracy imposed by Government; giving praise for those who serve with compassion and diligence beyond the call of duty.
Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life……” [John 14. 6.7]
Let us this week remember:
- as we vote in the European Parliamentary Election let us pray: God of justice, you have given us the chance to vote. Help us to reflect and use our votes wisely to tackle injustice where we see it. And to pray for countries where people do not have the opportunity to vote…. [See full prayer in METHODIST RECORDER 16/05/2014 p.8.]
- with thanksgiving all those who have worked hard this past Christian Aid Week, and to pray alongside the world’s poorest people benefitting from the money raised via baking, market stalls, sponsored walks and street and house-to-house collections
- the urgent need for funds for the Northumbrian Alzheimer‘s Society, whose vital outreach work cannot continue beyond this month without a generous injection of cash
- to reflect upon our discussion at the Annual Congregational Meeting last Sunday, and ask the Holy Spirit to help us be obedient to our Calling in every aspect of our work and witness beginning here in Morpeth, in our country and across the world [See Acts 1.8]
- our Ecumenical Area service this afternoon at Blyth Central Methodist Church (4 pm) to encourage one another in Christian witness locally and to dedicate our Easter Offering to the wider work of God’s Kingdom around the world
- as we look around us at the beauty of our countryside, its many-splendoured woods, hedgerows, fields and pastures teeming with new life we lift our hearts in praise to God and give thanks also for all who tend our parks and gardens, delighting our senses with colour and form and fragrance
- “A Season of Joy” at St Robert’s RC Church in which all are invited to “come and join in a journey of spiritual growth and renewal” [ see flyers in the foyer]
This week please remember:
- To pray for the success of efforts to find a release Nigerian schoolgirls taken from their boarding school and for forgiveness that the international community has been so slow to offer assistance.
- To give thanks for doctors, rescue workers, Aid Agencies and volunteers working to help victims of the devastating mud slide in Afghanistan and to pray for those left homeless, bereaved and traumatized by the disaster.
- To pray for all those within our own church family who are facing illness, loneliness, worry and changes that they will feel our love and know that we are anxious to let that love be expressed as practical help.
- To give thanks for all those working as chaplains in hospitals, in prisons and in the armed forces; all those who may meet people at times of particular difficulty in their lives
- To thank God for the very young and the very old: for the hope for the future which our children give us and the experience of the past which the elderly can share with us.
- To pray for an end to apathy amongst the British electorate and that all those eligible to vote in the European elections will use their votes thoughtfully, prayerfully and wisely on May 22nd. With Jenny Dyer, superintendent of the Derby circuit,:
We pray for everyone involved in public life;
for councilors and Mayors, the government and MPs;
that those who seek power will be driven by a vocation to serve,
that they will set a high value on integrity and honesty,
in matters of finance and of speaking the truth,
and that they will exercise the authority vested in them,
with intelligence, wisdom and compassion. Amen
This week please remember:
- To pray for all those affected by extreme weather in various parts of the world remembering particularly those affected by tornados and flooding in the United States
- To pray for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
- Parents, friends and relatives devastated by the loss of life in the Korean ferry disaster.
- All those whose lives are blighted by war and strife remembering particularly the people of Sudan, Syria and Nigeria; we pray for peace, tolerance and reconciliation.
- To pray for a successful outcome to the attempts to rescue those trapped underground following the collapse of an illegal mine in Columbia and to remember all those who work in dangerous, unregulated environments to try to support themselves and their families.
- To give thanks for the work of those who care for others, whether they be family members, friends or paid care staff, without whom the lives of our most vulnerable people would be desperately difficult and lonely.
- To give thanks for artists, poets and writers who help us to express and understand our feelings and make the world a more beautiful place in a year which sees significant anniversaries of the births of Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas and Laurie Lee.
As Easter people let us this week 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
- that we need never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is “the power of God for the salvation of those who believe,” and which we can freely and lovingly share with everyone (Romans 1.16)
- to praise God for ECG Northumberland next weekend at KEVI led by Andy Hawthorne OBE notable for his work with young folk in disadvantaged communities: and for churches and people in our county growing in Christian faith, character and commitment [see flyers in foyer]
- to pray for discernment when politicians claim ours is a Christian country while passing laws which penalise the poor and excusing the greed of the rich: and that as Christians we may speak up for the poor and protest the acquisitiveness of the rich
- 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
- the parents and communities of the 200+ children lost in the Korean ferry disaster, and of the 200+ schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria: “God of justice and mercy bring them comfort and hope.”
- to give thanks for our sister churches at Alnmouth, Amble, Hauxley, North Broomhill, Widdrington and Pegswood and St George’s Morpeth and to pray for their leaders and ministers - Revds Lynda Coulthard, Ron Forster, John Park, and Gary Ridley encouraging them and us in discipleship, pastoral care and public Christian witness.
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
This week please remember:
- that, as we hear again in the wonderful story of His Resurrection, Jesus can pass through the locked doors of our fears, disappointments or uncertainty to bring his assurance of life and hope: “Peace be with you.” [see Luke 24.36-49]
- with compassion and concern fellow-Christians in countries where following Jesus costs the most, like Syria, Pakistan, 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]
- as they meet again in a new school term, young people whose enthusiasm for learning and hard work are tested in GSCE and A-Levels exams; giving thanks for the support and guidance they receive from parents and teachers and the encouragement of friends
- the challenges of poverty and injustice that are a priority for many local churches and charities working together through Food Banks, Refugee Services and Credit Unions. The Methodist President Revd Ruth Gee wrote; “I see those affected by poverty becoming poorer. I see the failure of those in power to acknowledge the facts.”
- ECG Northumberland 3rd and 4th May at KEVI led by Andy Hawthorne OBE : Encouraging Christian Growth is for people of all ages and all kinds of churches in our communities [see flyers in the foyer]
- to hold before God the peoples of Ukraine, that all may peacefully face down those who would violently impose political change
- “Out of death came life, and God defeated evil. An empty cross and an empty tomb, a nail mark shown and a presence known. Out of sorrow came joy.” [Iona Community Worship Book]
This week please remember:
- this Holy Week to pray:
Living Lord, your power surrounds us as we face the way Christ trod;
challenge us to fresh commitment to the purposes of God;
called to share the new creation; called to preach a living word,
promised all the joys of heaven through the grace of Christ our Lord.
(from a Liturgy for Holy Communion during Lent)
- to give thanks for our various journeys with Jesus through Lent, as He led us in the company of friends from all Morpeth churches in the weekly Lent study groups
- to be constant companions in prayer and friendship with those who suffer loss among us, through illness, disablement or bereavement: when words fail, Love prevails
- to ask the Lord to imbue us with confidence and joy this week as - in worship in our homes, in our churches, in the market place and with our neighbours - we share the great good news that “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” [John 3.16]
- frail elderly people at home, in residential or nursing homes and their carers - all in need of loving respect and loyal companionship in old age
- to pray for peace with justice in Ukraine, Syria, North Africa, Central Africa and wherever forces of evil, disorder, anarchy and violence make life hell for innocent people
- to praise God for the work of ALL WE CAN Methodist relief and development, tackling the roots of poverty through partnerships in many countries in Africa, Asia and Central America: “Poverty is personal: So is the solution.”
This week please remember:
- the Passion of our Lord Jesus in Jerusalem, and to grieve with him over that city, the focus today of division and enmity between Jews, Christians and Muslims reconcilable only through faith in Jesus the Son of God, Messiah and Saviour of the world
- to praise the Lord for evidence of real change in the men engaged in the Sycamore Tree (restorative justice) courses in HMP Northumberland; pray for peace in the prison following the riots last weekend, and for both prisoners and officers under stress due to 20% reduction in staff
- to give thanks for all the music offered in worship in our church, for the dedicated work of our organists and music-makers and the gifts and talents shared through the various recent and upcoming concerts
- to pray for an end to the atrocities committed in the violent struggle between extremist Boko Haram and Nigerian military in which over 800 civilians have been killed this year and many communities devastated; and for Muslim and Christian leaders working together for peace and justice
- to give thanks for healing ministries promoting wholeness of body, mind and spirit within our Health Services and in community and family relationships, in particular for Contact, Relate, NCH Action for Children and AgeUK, and for chaplains in our hospitals
- 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, Revds Malcolm Sellars and Yvonne Tracey; pray that the Area Service next Sunday 4 pm at Doxford Place, Cramlington may bring blessing to all our congregations.