Pray Without Ceasing
This week please remember
- to give thanks for Muslim leaders who speak out against the nihilism of the death cult that is the “Islamic State (IS)” and to hold before God both victims and perpetrators of the horrendous crimes multiplied across the world against innocent people, praying “Deliver us all from evil…..”
- when we choose and write Christmas cards, that they may become a blessing to those who receive them and a reminder to us to keep praying that our chosen charities may be channels of God’s power and peace
- with thanksgiving the democratic choice of the people of Burma (Myanmar) in their peaceable General Election, and pray that Aung San Suu Kyi may be able to form a stable government dedicated to justice for all Burmese whatever their ethnicity or religion [see Prayer Handbook Day 18]
- to give thanks for the success of the visit of the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir, and, as they complete their 2015 tour, to ask God’s blessing on them, the Molly and Paul Foundation and all our Christian friends in Uganda
- all who this afternoon come to Advent Crafts @ Costa sharing, in happy anticipation, the joyful news of the Coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ
- friends who at this time are seeking wisdom and grace to cope with family problems, or healing and wholeness of body and mind, or courage to live with sorrows beyond their control, believing that nothing “can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This Prisons Week, please pray
- using the prayers in the Prisons Week Leaflet or find them at: www.prisonsweek.org and @prisons week or #prisons week giving thanks that in many prisons, including HMP Northumberland, God is changing minds and hearts through Restorative Justice, Sycamore Tree and Alpha courses and dedicated chaplaincy work
- praising and thanking God for the hugely influential and encouraging work of Mustard Tree Trust among young people in our schools - LifePath Brinkburn, Life Teen Programme at St Roberts, Liquid at Boys Brigade, and GSUS at Chantry and Newminster; please pray for the new Chaplaincy for KEVI and the two Middle Schools [see Mustard Tree Trust Autumn Newsletter]
- for the forthcoming Children’s Events - Junior Church Cake Stall next Sunday, Advent Crafts @ Costa on Saturday and St Nicholas Come and Sing 2015 on 4th December, for children, parents and helpers anticipating the thrill of Christmas
- as we see several Northumberland schools changing and merging, we remember the work of Amity Foundation in China trying to mitigate Chinese government policy which has resulted in the closure of 300,000 schools adversely affecting the education of children in many rural areas; praise God that Amity’s work is proving a blessing to many remote deprived communities
- for friends who are ill and in need of healing and support in hospital or at home, including Keith Marshall, Chris McPhillips and Rosalind Phillipson
- for the people of Nepal suffering both the trauma of the disastrous earthquake and a political dispute with India who have closed the border, depriving Nepal of essential trade and supplies for daily living and reconstruction; pray for a swift settlement and opening of the border [see Prayer Handbook Day 18]
In this season of Remembrance, please pray
- that we may not forget the millions of killed and wounded in wars past and present, commending to God the patient, often sacrificial work of peace-makers resolving conflicts and bringing reconciliation between long-time enemies
- as Advent approaches that the prophetic words heralding the Coming to the world of our Saviour Jesus Christ may thrill us with joy and confidence as his disciples and witnesses in our time and place; and to pray for (and join in) the Advent Bible Study groups beginning this week
- to praise God for all who commit their time and energy to making welcome those who share or visit our Church Centre, those who keep visiting members shut-in at home or suffering acute or long-term illness in hospital, and those who are supplying the needs of our community through many voluntary services: “Inasmuch as you did it to one of these My brothers and sisters, you did it to Me”
- with thanksgiving the steady, costly work of supporting refugees and asylum seekers (e.g., by Common Ground and the West End Refugee Service) who have fled from tyranny and torture to find shelter and healing in our country
- with thanksgiving for their enthusiasm and dedication to their calling, for all our preachers, teachers and leaders of worship with God’s people in all our churches; and for the fellowship and mutual encouragement of the Preachers and Worship Leaders Meeting this Thursday evening
- Universal Prayer for Peace
Lord, lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth;
Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust;
Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace Peace Peace.
As we celebrate All Saints-tide we pray:
- Everlasting God, remembering with thankfulness your faithful people of the past,
we praise you for our world today and the beauty of Creation.
Help us to be faithful stewards of the natural environment
entrusted to us all for the good of all.
We pray that those who remember us in the future
will give thanks for our boldness and action for the climate.
- for thousands affected by floods in the Philippines and in Pakistan and whose lives have been lost or devastated by the recent earthquake in Pakistan; giving thanks for heroic attempts at rescue and resettlement
- thanking God that our parliamentary system, however flawed, can limit the power of Government to ignore the most needy in our society; and pray that we may be ruled with justice and compassion
- for our sister churches at Newbiggin, Ashington, Stakeford and Bedlington (Colliery and Trinity); giving thanks for local leadership and the ministries of Revd Jim Magee, retired ministers and faithful preachers strengthening congregations in their mission to their neighbourhoods
- giving thanks for an easing of tension in the government of Northern Ireland and for those who work tirelessly to promote peace in that community
- for Nurse Pauline McCafferkey’s full recovery from Ebola meningitis, and for the thousands of families who lost loved ones in the West African epidemic and are still afraid of late complications
- for thankful hearts as we lift them up in praise in the quiet of our homes or together in Sunday worship, enhanced by the gifts of our music-makers, flower arrangers, stewards, preachers and teachers and all who serve you in this holy place.
This week please remember:
- to praise God for times of rich worship and fellowship in the faith - Sunday Worship here, the Area Service last Sunday led by Roger Jones and Team from CMM, regular meetings with Christian friends in Women’s Meeting Point, Men’s Breakfast, Friendship Club, Parent/Toddler Sessions and Bible Studies; may all these prepare and encourage us to go out and share our faith in the love of God with all we meet
- to give thanks for the new Methodist Discipleship & Ministries Learning Network (DMLN) offering guidance and resources for Christian development and Expression for every member, worship leader, preacher and minister according to the ability, gifts and - above all - desire of each to make Christ visible in their life and calling
- to ask God’s blessing on our partner church at Kamuzinda, Uganda, as they seek to show the transforming love and power of Jesus in their community
- to praise God for his peace-makers working against the odds to bring enemies to recognise the futility of their hatred and violence and to admit their obligation to be merciful, just and humble before Almighty God whose Name and nature is Love
- to continue in prayer for healing for sick friends - Keith, Seana, Mark and others disabled or in frail old age - and their families and faithful friends
- A prayer of adoration:
your grace makes diamonds from our leaden words of praise.
You take the clay of our humanity and make of it a jewel in your hands.
You take our faith that drifts like sand; that finds itself in pooled shallows
and make it a mirror for your love.
we praise you and thank you for your willingness to enter into our lives, and live alongside us. Amen.
Fiona Green, local preacher, Ashbourne,
Methodist Prayer Handbook 2015-16.
This week please remember:
- today, St Luke’s Day, we praise God for all ministries of healing at home and abroad - our NHS and Social Services, Christian medical missions and all humanitarian health and welfare initiatives; and give thanks for the improving health of friends recently ill - Keith Marshal, Chris McPhillips, Enid Robinson, Mark Rowland, Seana Sommerville, John Wilson and other family members
- as we observe One World Week, concerned economists, politicians and churches are warning about the threats to democracy and the rule of law posed by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) secret negotiations, giving giant corporations power to overturn policies of democratically elected governments, e.g., of the UK’s Health, Education and other statutory public Services
- give thanks and pray for the work of our Worship & Spirituality Group and of Church Council, both meeting this week
- as we continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land, to pray for protection for Christian minorities in both Israel and the Occupied territories of Palestine; and also that Israeli leaders may seek the best interest of their Christian Palestinian citizens allowing them to continue their educational ministry without compromising their unique Christian vocation to reconciliation and peace
- to give thanks for our representatives on Morpeth Town and Northumberland County Councils, praying that our community’s vision expressed in the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan may be respected and promoted by legislators in County and Government
- as we give thanks for the life of TV and radio journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts C.B.E, who bravely reported on so many iniquitous practices at home and abroad, especially the plight of women abused in male-dominated cultures; and to pray for an end (for example) of female genital mutilation FGM), an evil affront to the dignity, humanity and health of women and girls everywhere.
Pray without ceasing
This week please remember
- to praise God for the successful renovation of New Life Centre, Dacre Street, celebrated this weekend and for the vibrancy of that congregation’s life and witness in our town
- with praise and thanksgiving the work and witness of our sister churches in this part of the SENEArea - Alnmouth, Amble, Hauxley, Broomhill, Widdrington (URC and Methodist), Pegswood St Margaret’s and Morpeth St George’s - and their ministers, Revds Lynda Coulthard, Ron Forster, John Park and Gary Ridley, and for Revd Kevin Ridd and fellow chaplains at HMP Northumberland
- the selfless devotion of medical, nursing and auxiliary staff to saving lives in front-line hospitals in battle-torn cities, especially the MSF Hospitals in Kunzu, Afghanistan, and Aleppo, Syria, bombed by careless mistake or evil intent; pray for their protection and courage in the face of such atrocious attacks
- as we reflect on the point-scoring rhetoric, claims and counter-claims of speeches made at Party Conferences may we pray for our legislators in Parliament that they may unite to promote the common good, the elimination of poverty and lead the way in justice and generosity towards refugees and asylum-seekers from nations oppressed and devastated by war and want
- Blyth Central’s weekend of music and praise with Roger Jones culminating in the Area Service at 4 pm on Sunday next, that it may bring blessing and inspiration to all our congregations
- that it is vital that we set aside time for prayer daily, for “intimate daily conversation with the Lord,” for listening to him as he speaks through his word, asking how it applies to our life; he calls us to “take in the deep breath of prayer” so that our everyday encounter and conversation with others may be his breathing upon them imparting to them too his Spirit of love and new life. [John 20. 19-23]
This week please remember
* to praise God for our young friends from Uganda who shared their faith and joy in the gospel with us in song and dance, praying that they may be blessed and made a blessing as they continue their tour
- to continue to pray for Kamuzinda Victory Christian Church and our share in their Christian witness and they in ours:
A collect for this Sunday:
God, you call us to go and serve you in this world.
We give thanks for the gift of mission to the church,
Which opens our hearts and homes to your people.
Where our minds are fearful, strengthen our resolve,
Where our actions are small, widen our vision,
And show us the wonders you are doing in our time.
- many churches across the world campaigning to outlaw violence against women, respecting their rights and honouring their God-appointed place in creation and redemption:
Forgive us Lord when we hear neither your plea,
nor the cries of your people.
Free us from the fears that bind us,
or from any sense of powerlessness.
Fill us with your dream of a just world and the tenacity to keep playing our part, in your name, Amen.
[from the World Mission Council Gender-Based Violence bible study]
- that a major cause of the chaos in the Middle East is the oppression of Palestinians by Israeli occupation and denial of human rights, even to Arab citizens of Israel. Let us praise God for and pray especially for the Reconciliation through Education work in the schools in Galilee founded by Archbishop Emeritus Elias Chacour [and please sign the Petition to the Government of Israel - copies in the vestibule]
* the Lord hears our prayer. His grace is sufficient for all our need.
This week please remember:
- to give thanks for the Women’s Institute (WI) campaign supported by the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) on behalf of families with children with mental health problems and in trouble with the criminal justice system; that this is bearing fruit in better personal support for those vulnerable children and their families by health and care workers
- our young people beginning new ventures in work or higher education, praying that older Christians may befriend and support them in workplace or college
- God’s grace reaching out to young people in Morpeth through Mustard Tree Trust, Messy Church, LifePath, school assemblies, BB and Scouts companies, praising Him for those through whom He brings the joy of the good news, loving care and the invitation to follow Jesus as Saviour and Friend
- to give thanks for opportunities of days of refreshment and fellowship, such as the MWiB “Fellowship Day” at Hauxley on Wednesday and Men’s Breakfast Weekend Away at Willersley Castle Hotel Friday to Sunday, as well as weekly walking, Bible study and friendship groups offering companionship on the Way
- as the refugee crisis continues, to pray for aid agencies - like Christian Aid and Methodist Relief and Development (AllWeCan) - which have long answered the cry for help of displaced people in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, often with limited resources; and give thanks for our Government’s pledge to greatly increase its support this work:
Creator of all: For people who are displaced,
may they find a safe refuge.
For people who have lost control of their lives,
may they know a sure foundation.
For people who live in fear, may they be given a strong fortress.
For people who are disillusioned, may they have hope in a future.
Loving Father, in times of crisis, sorrow and uncertainty we ask that you draw near. Amen
This week please remember:
- To pray for all those caught up in the continuing and deteriorating crisis in Europe. Pray that compassion and generosity may guide us rather than fear and that all the countries of Europe may work together to provide safe refuge for those in need. Give thanks for the work of the Justice and Peace Project and the West End Refugee Service in Newcastle (see flyers in foyer)
- To pray for those who mourn. Remember particularly the Woods family following the death of Anne’s father on Thursday night.
- To pray for peace as we keep Peacemaking Sunday and mark the United Nations International day of Peace and also a World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel giving thanks for the work of the World Council of Churches.
- As we celebrate harvest, remember those who go hungry in many parts of the world thinking particularly of the famine in Somalia where a combination of drought and war, now to be exacerbated by flooding, mean that many thousands of people face an immediate food emergency and millions more are at risk.
- To pray for a resolution to the crisis facing the Northern Ireland Assembly. Pray that talks expected this week can find a way to restore trust and allow the Assembly to function effectively for all sections of the community.
- To give thanks for all the goodness and beauty and real kindness in the world and pray that we do not allow all the troubles we see around us to blind us to the hope we have through Jesus.
This week please remember:
- To give thanks for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, now Britain’s longest reigning monarch, and for her dedication over the past 63 years..
- To pray for the work of those meeting this week at the World Forestry Congress in Durban, seeking to find ways to preserve and manage the world’s forests to protect biodiversity and help minimize climate change. Give thanks that the rate of forest loss appears to be slowing even though an area the size of South Africa has disappeared since 1990.
- Give thanks for the dialogue between different branches of the Christian Church which gave rise to the “Living the Joy of the Gospel” event last weekend in Durham Cathedral.
- To pray for all those within our church family who are ill or in distress at this time.
- To give thanks for all those working for and with POACC to make this year’s visit of the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir a success, not forgetting the families who have opened their homes to host members of the visiting group.
- As we approach the last night of this year’s Proms, to give thanks for the gift of music which enriches our lives immeasurably and which, though varying enormously in style, is a uniting feature of human society everywhere.
- To pray for all those risking everything to find safety and new hope in a strange land and who find themselves unwelcome, uncared for and mistrusted in countries where the have sought refuge, giving thanks that more countries, including our own, are opening their doors to them and asking forgiveness that it has taken the sight of a child dead on a beach to teach us that refugees are people too.
Grant to us, O Lord, fullness of faith, firmness of hope and fervency of love. For the sake of the gospel may we sit loosely to our wealth and daily embrace you in the poor of the world. As we rejoice in your generosity so may we give ourselves in the service of others; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Thomas More, taken from Day 13 of this year’s Methodist Prayer Handbook)
This week please remember:
- the thousands of refugee children we see coming to Europe (or perishing in the attempt) and the 13 million they have left behind who have no education because their schools have been deliberately destroyed or their teachers attacked and killed in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Sudan or Yemen (see www.unicef.org/mena/Education_Under_Fire.pdf]
- that our government which talks about human rights, democracy and “finding solutions” to these crises supports the fuelling of conflicts by promoting arms sales to some of the most abusive, repressive and violent regimes in the world e.g., Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Israel and Egypt [see www.caat.org.uk/media/press-releases/2015-09-01]; pray that the hypocrisy of our foreign policy may be replaced by integrity and justice
- with thanksgiving the ecumenical Celebration this afternoon in Durham Cathedral “Living the Joy of the Gospel”, answering Pope Francis’ call to us all to become missionary disciples
- the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir travelling from Uganda this week, praying for their safe arrival and giving thanks for the joy of reunions with those who’ve been here before and welcoming those who haven’t
- to ask God’s blessing on children, their families and all leading worship and learning at Messy Church on Saturday 12th at Storey Park Community Centre
- friends who are ill at home or have been in hospital especially John Wilson, Keith Marshall, Martin Rowland (Pegswood organist) and all who care for them
- to give thanks for our new Chairman of District Stephen Lindridge and the newly appointed Bishop of Newcastle the Venerable Christine Hardman, praying that with Revd Liz Mullen Moderator of URC Northern Synod, RC Bishop of Newcastle and Hexham Seamus Cunningham and other Christian leaders they may inspire us all to be faithful witnesses to our Lord in this region, famed as the Land of the Saints.