Pray Without Ceasing
In this Advent Season please pray:
- For those of our church family facing difficult times through illness and bereavement remembering particularly Chris McPhillips, Mary Kendall, Alex Robinson, Maureen Robson, Caroline Weldon and Tom Smith.
- Giving thanks for scientists and doctors working patiently, year on year, in research into possible treatments and cures for conditions which can blight the lives of many people, remembering particularly the work of Cancer Research, Action Research for Children, and the Alzheimer’s Society.
- For our sister churches in SENEA, thinking particularly this week of churches in Alnwick and Amble under the guidance of Revd Lynda Coulthard, and of Bedlington Colliery whose minister, Revd Adel Moorhouse is currently unwell.
- With thanksgiving for the overwhelming outpouring of donations for refugees coming into the local area. Pray that the families who have already arrived, and those who are soon to join them, will find that this is a place where they will feel welcomed and safe, and where they can make new friends who will help them to rebuild their lives in peace.
- In spite of the commercial hype and secular schmaltz which surrounds us, seemingly inescapably, give thanks that the “count down to Christmas” affords us an opportunity to talk about our faith to many who might not listen at any other time of year and ask that we may have the confidence to speak out when we can.
- Give thanks too for those working to make sure that children hear about Jesus as well as Santa: our Junior Church leaders; Jackie Laidlaw (and helpers) working with our Uniformed Groups and with local schools.
A Prayer for Advent
To you O Lord we bring our lives
Troubled, broken or at ease
A sacrificial offering
For you to use.
Take away our selfishness
And teach us to love as you loved.
Take away our sense of pride
And show us the meaning of humility.
Take away our blindness
And show us the world through your eyes.
Take away our greed
And teach us how to give as you gave.
Show us your ways,
Teach us your paths
That we might walk with you more closely;
Our hand in your hand
Our feet in your footsteps
From the baby in a stable
This week, please pray for:
- The people of New Zealand in the aftermath of last Sunday’s earthquake.
- Too many people sleeping rough on our streets as the nights grow dark and cold, a number which has more than doubled in the last five years. Pray that solutions can be found which help those affected - rather than criminalise them using PSPOs
- Members of our church family who are unwell particularly Nancy Smith, Christine Nuttall and Mary Kendall remembering too the families supporting them and giving thanks for the skill and dedication of medical staff caring for them
- To celebrate the courage of independent candidates attempting to stand in China’s elections this week and to pray for their safety and that of those who support them and to pray for people everywhere who risk their lives for freedom and justice and to make their voices heard
- To thank God for those working, at home and abroad, to make life better for children who are suffering through poverty, disease, loss, illness, disability, loneliness, fear - all the myriad causes which can steal childhood from a child, thinking particularly this week of the work of Children in Need.
- On this ‘Women Against Violence Sunday’, pray for all those, of either sex, who live with domestic violence and for the work of agencies such as Refuge which, together with Women’s Aid runs the National Domestic Violence Help Line working to provide refuges and assistance to victims. (www.refuge.org.uk)
- As we approach the beginning of Advent, pray that we will take time amongst all the hype and commercialism and busy-ness to give thanks for what it’s all about: For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. (Isaiah ch 9 vs 6 - 7)
On this Remembrance Sunday and throughout the coming week:
- Pray for peace in the world, for wisdom for its rulers, strength for those who work for peace, courage for all individuals to stand up for justice, tolerance and kindness
- Pray for all whose lives have been disrupted by war, both civilians and combatants: those who have been injured or disabled, physically or psychologically and their families; those who have lost loved ones; those who have lost their homes; those who have seen and experienced events which have made them lose their faith in God and in humanity
- Pray for healing and reconciliation in the United States as its people try to find their way forward together after such a divisive election campaign, in the hope that those who are disappointed or upset by the result will accept the peaceful transfer of power and work for a united future. Pray for wisdom and guidance for the new administration as it seeks the best solutions for all the people and problems of that divided country
- Pray for the success of a WHO vaccination programme starting on Tuesday trying to reach a million people to avert a threatened cholera epidemic in Haiti.
God of wholeness,
God of Grace,
to you we bring our thanks and praise.
To a world that searches you are a lamp that shines,
to a world that is hungry you are food that sustains,
to a world that suffers you are hope of release,
to a world that’s broken you are one who restores,
to a world full of hate you are love that forgives,
to a world that denies you are truth that endures.
To you we bring our thanks and praise,
God of wholeness,
God of Grace.
This week, please remember:
- The people of America as they elect a new President and Vice-President on Tuesday praying that, whoever wins, he or she may be able to unite the country to work for justice, peace, and a better future for all its peoples without fear or prejudice.
- For refugees and immigrants being moved from camps in France that the future may hold more certainty and security for them, and less fear. Remember particularly children trying to cope alone with what is happening and in need of protection and comfort. Remember too the first families arriving in Cramlington this coming week.
- Members of our church family facing their own ill health, or that of a loved one, thinking particularly of Tom and Nancy Smith.
- To pray for our local community as it tries to balance the preservation of its traditional way of life with the need for new homes; the preservation of its green spaces with the demands of ever-increasing traffic; the desire to retain the individuality of its shopping centre with the need for national chains to increase employment and footfall in the town. Teach us that we may disagree with each other but remain a community working together for the good of all.
- To give thanks for the work in the SENEA area done by ministers - in appointment and supernumerary, lay preachers, stewards, volunteers who clean and make coffee and arrange flowers and shake hands at doors and all the invisible people who work faithfully for the furtherance of God’s kingdom
- To praise God for the beauty of November; for skeletal trees, dark nights with countless stars, the sparkle of the year’s first frosts, the smell of damp leaves and the rustle of dry leaves to kick through, for birds over-wintering and visiting our gardens, for the joy of mushrooms (and toadstools) springing up overnight, for woolly jumpers and cosy socks:
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God” (Gerard Manley Hopkins
This week, please remember:
SENEA-This week we are asked to pray for the Welcome church and the community it serves in Cramlington; also for Harwood Court – a Methodist Care Home in Cramlington- for the wellbeing of its residents and the careworkers.
We pray for families facing or coping with breakdown and separation. For parents, as they agree on and keep to contact arrangements to ensure the wellbeing of their children.
Giving thanks for the skill of NHS surgical teams, we pray for Genevieve Bronsema and Dorothy Potts and their continuing recovery.
Let us give God thanks for the wealth of wholesome activities which feed the mind and faith, for outdoor activities and opportunities to share company with others.
Give thanks for the commitment and continuing support of Christian Aid to very vulnerable people in Nepal- following the earthquakes, Iraq’s displaced people fleeing conflict and Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Iraq. Please continue to pray for these people in need.
We remember that, from the time of Abraham, God has called people to travel and change.
We give thanks to all who have responded to that call, and have given us the freedoms that we enjoy today.
We pray for refugees and those who have had to flee their countries of origin, seeking sanctuary, new life and freedom in Britain and other European countries.
As we welcome newcomers, may strangers become friends, and may we be open to the insights new people bring.
Remove the blinkers from our eyes and broaden our vision.
May we remember that we are all one people, the human race. Amen
(Anne Brown, day 4 in the Methodist Prayer Handbook 2016/17)
This week, please remember:
- Men, women and children caught up in the battle for Mosul, fleeing their homes in fear for their lives and the agencies trying to care for the huge number who have been displaced by the fighting
- The people of Aleppo, praying for an end to the bombardment of civilians, hospitals and aid convoys and remembering that ‘every life is valued by God and that the slaughter must end now.’ (joint statement released this week by The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church in Wales, the Church of Scotland, Quakers in Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church )
- To give thanks for the release of 21 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped two years ago by Boko Haram, and to pray for the nearly 200 who are still unaccounted for as well as the families and communities from whom they were taken.
- To pray for the people of the United States in the run up to their presidential election
- To pray for all those within our church family who are suffering from, or recovering from health problems, especially those who have been in hospital and thinking particularly of Chris McPhillips, Dorothy Potts, Genevieve Bronsema, Alistair MacDonald, Enid Proud, Seana Sommerville, Nancy Smith.
- To pray for all those who work with and pray for and lead and teach our young people. Give thanks for the work being done with young people on these premises thinking particularly of the prayers written this week by the Beavers along with Jackie and placed in our prayer corner.
- To give thanks for the beauty of the autumn as the trees turn to gold and fire, and the darkening of the evenings reminds us that God loves those in the autumn of their lives with the same passion as he does the young and that ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven’. (Ecclesiastes Ch 3 vs 1)
This week, please remember:
- To give thanks for the work of the Mustard Tree Trust reaching out to young people and children locally, thinking particularly of their monthly combined youth event, ‘Liquid’ which our 13+ will be attending this evening.
- To pray for the Methodist Council as it meets this week, praying for its officers and members and for a time of renewal, commitment and courage as it receives and embraces the business, vision and insights brought to its agenda.
- To pray for this country as a United Kingdom as it struggles to make sense of its future path, remembering those who are trying to work out the best way to manage our exit from the European Union and those who feel alienated by the prospect.
- To pray for the people of Haiti and for the work being done there by All We Can together with many other aid agencies. Remember particularly our mission partners with the Eglise Méthodiste d’Haïti, John & Sharon Harbottle, as they struggle to pick up the pieces of their work in community health and Christian education.
- To pray for all those who wake up afraid of what the day will bring. Whether the cause be abuse, poverty, war, slavery, health problems, loneliness - pray that God will grant them the assurance that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Pray too that we will remember that we are the hands by which God shows that love in the world.
Without your presence, O Lord, we can do nothing, yet filled with your Spirit we can bring forth the fruits of love and peace. To you therefore we fly for refuge and to you we surrender ourselves. Your promises we trust and in your word we hope; for you we wait, the same Lord Jesus, yesterday, today and forever. Amen
This week, please remember:
- Events taking place throughout the country as part of the Week of Action on Climate Change (https://weekofaction.org.uk/) particularly in the light of this week’s decision to allow fracking in Lancashire and thinking especially of the Coffee Morning here on Thursday.
- The peoples of the Caribbean and the South Eastern USA suffering the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew and those of Northern Asia who are similarly affected by Super-typhoon Chaba, the fourth to hit the area in the last few weeks.
- To pray for all those who struggle with mental illness, sometimes for a short period, sometimes throughout their lives, and their families, and to give thanks for those who work to help them. On World Mental Health Day on Oct 16th, pray especially for those who provide ‘psychological first aid’ in times of crisis, many of whom are not trained health workers. Remember too the work being done by the Memory Café taking place twice monthly at MMC
- To give thanks for the ministers, supernumerary ministers, and lay preachers working within SENEA to lead and care for the churches and people in Northumberland.
- To pray for all those within our church family who are unwell or are recovering from illness, those with long-standing conditions, those who mourn, and for those who care for them. We remember particularly Christine Nuttall, Seana Somerville, Alistair MacDonald, Ann Colclough, Enid Proud, Nancy Smith, Evelyn Winton and Chris McPhillips.
I bring before you Lord God, the troubles and perils
of peoples and nations,
the sighing of prisoners and captives,
the sorrows of the bereaved, the needs of strangers,
the helplessness of the weak, the misery of the weary,
the failing powers of the aging.
Draw near to each one and comfort them.
This week, please remember:
- As summer ends and autumn colours appear around us, to give thanks to God for the beauty and bounty of his creation remembering that we have a duty to be good stewards of this world and remembering those whose harvest has failed and who are threatened with great hardship in the months to come.
- To pray for those in our church family who are suffering at the moment, through illness, anxiety or grief. Help us to listen to you and be open in your guidance as to how best to support and care for all our members so each one feels that he/ she is valued and loved.
- To give thanks for the time we have spent with our Ugandan friends as they move on to the next part of their tour.
- As the nights and days grow colder, pray for all those with no roof over their heads: those in refugee camps, on the streets, those left homeless by natural disasters thinking particularly of the more than 2000 in Italy still sleeping in temporary structures after August’s earthquake and the people of Haiti still struggling after their devastating quake in 2010
- To give thanks for local people giving up their time and effort to raise money over the past week for Christian Aid and Macmillan Cancer Support by holding coffee mornings, bake sales and street collections.
- To pray for our political leaders during this party conference season. Pray that kindness, generosity and common sense may prevail bringing healing to parties and a country divided and confused about the best way forward for all of us. Teach us to understand that someone may disagree with us but yet be our brother and that we can make common cause together for the good of all.
God of many names and lover of all nations, grant us we pray,
Peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace in our nation, and peace in our world; the peace of doing your will and the peace of knowing your presence; now and forever. Amen (George Appleton)