Pray Without Ceasing

December 17th

During this Advent season, please pray:

  • For all those within our church family who are unwell  or recovering from illness, thinking particularly of Mary Eastland, Nigel Collingwood, Lynn Bilsborrow, Gwen Charlton and Dorothy Potts
  • For those for whom Christmas brings no respite from the danger and uncertainty of their day to day lives: the homeless, those living in war zones, those who do not know where their next meal is coming from, those who face persecution for their beliefs, remembering that they too are our neighbours, our brothers and our sisters.
  • For those who have endured extreme weather events this year: huge hurricanes and storms, drought and flooding, which have destroyed homes and harvests in many places, wild fires which have destroyed property and lives, thinking particularly at this time of those affected by the fires in California and of the family of fire-fighter Cory Iverson
  • With thanksgiving for those who give their time and energy to make life better for others throughout the year, remembering particularly at present the organisers of the Christmas Tree Festival at St George’s in aid of MS Research and Relief Fund, and those organising the Christmas Day Gathering at New Life Christian Centre for people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.

December 10th

During this Advent season, please pray

  • We thank God for the enthusiasm of cake bakers and sellers at today’s cake stall. Money raised is going to help Action for Children (formerly National Children’s Homes NCH) work in children’s centres, locally and nationally. Working in partnership with health visitors and local schools, they offer support for parents and young and older children in many ways, like Stay and Play. Pray for parents who struggle at this time of year to provide for their children’s needs.
  • We pray as Christmas approaches, for families who have had to leave home to seek safety, who live in temporary rooms, with little to live on. May these toys generously given today, bring children in need some Christmas joy. The toys are for children supported by the West End refugee service and the Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service, so do remember in prayer, the staff who care all year round to provide this invaluable support.
  • We pray for young people in all our Methodist partner churches around the world. We give thanks that they are striving to be an example in their communities, through their speech, conduct and love. We ask, Lord, that you may help them be resilient in the face of the difficulties that come their way. We especially remember the young people of Zimbabwe; please guide them during this time of political transition.
  • Remember in prayer any we know who are lonely, ill, homeless, despairing or anxious at this time, those of our congregation and those whose plight touches our hearts around the world, who we hear about through the media. 
  • As the story of Jesus born in Bethlehem is told in so many, may God’s presence in Jesus reach out and touch hearts, souls and minds with wonder and surprise. Pray for those who are seeking, that they may find Jesus and know him as friend. Pray for opportunities to share this wonderful news. Give thanks that God’s love is for all, seeks all and longs to heal all and fulfil all. 

Heaven invites you to a party,

To celebrate the birth of a Son;

Angels rejoicing in the starlight, singing,

“Christ your Saviour has come”.

Graham Kendrick

December 3rd

This week, as Advent begins, please pray

  • For patience as we await the coming of the Christ Child amidst the madness of shopping, cooking, writing cards, working…. Help us to find calmness and joy in all we do and teach us that ‘busy’ is not the same as frantic rushing
  • That we can learn to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others and as loving to others as we are to ourselves; remembering that, with all our imperfections, God loves us enough to send his only Son to save us and, with all their imperfections, He loves them just as much
  • For all those who are waiting whether for the birth of a child, for healing, for justice, for answers to questions, for an end to loneliness, for death to bring an end to pain, that they will know the presence and comfort of a God who waits beside them, and has waited a long time for his people to accept his love

For your word which endures
We give you thanks
For your promises to which we hold
We give you thanks
For such intimacy with you
We give you thanks
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
We give you thanks
For those gathered here today
We give you thanks
For family, friend and stranger
We give you thanks
For those who minister your grace
We give you thanks
For the hope that lives each Advent
of a love that has no end
We give you thanks, Amen

John Birch

November 26th

This week, please pray

  • For Emmerson Mnangagwa as he is sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new president, and for the healing of a country which has had so many troubles over recent decades
  • That, as Advent approaches, people can put the madness of ‘Black Friday’ behind them and open their hearts to the real joy of Christmas which is not dependent on whether your new  65 inch smart tv will be delivered in time to watch the Strictly final. Pray for those for whom the pressure of trying to buy presents causes real heartache and financial hardship as they struggle to make ends meet
  • As we observe Women Against Violence Sunday, pray that all women and men might live in safety, free from harm, experiencing constancy of love, enjoying security, being free to speak out, growing towards wholeness
  • For those known to us who have been unwell recently, or have lost someone close to them, remembering that anniversaries of loss can be difficult times - members of our church family, neighbours, relatives, and friends
  • For those working within SENEA, thinking particularly this week of  Revd Lynda Coulthard and the church families at Hauxley, Amble and North Broomhill, and of Revd Marie Attwood and the churches at Ashington Trinity and Stakeford
  • With thanksgiving for the beauty of crisp November days, for sparkling frost on the grass and pavements and for the excitement of children sliding on the ‘skitey bits’ on frozen puddles

November 19th

This week, please pray

  • We give thanks for the memory of the visit of Martin Luther King in 1967 to Newcastle University. We hope that those memories will continue to inspire local people to campaign against racial discrimination and injustice. We pray that the  Chain of Peace gathering at Newcastle monument on 16th November and the consequent procession to and multi-faith service  in St Nicholas cathedral will also live in people’s memories and continue to provide inspiration.
  • We pray for the people of Sarpol-e-Sahab in Iran, devastated by the earthquake on the Iran/Iraq border where 400 have been killed and 7,000 injured. That aid agencies will be able to offer help, particularly medical aid where hospitals have been destroyed and communications disrupted.
  • For the country of Zimbabwe. For a peaceful working out of the army’s taking control of the country and the placing of president Mugabe under house arrest. That a smooth transition of power will take place and bloodshed be avoided.
  • We pray for the Brexit process, that it may be peacefully and respectfully conducted. For politicians to have courage in the face of receiving threats via social media, as they work out the democratic process. For those who voted for or against Brexit to work out a solution for the common good.
  • For the outreach of Morpeth Methodist church via events such as the Enjoy! Event on November 25th, the walking group on 29th November, and church services held over the Christmas period. That those at the edge or outside our community will feel welcome in our Church.

November 12th

This week please pray:

  • For victims of violence throughout the world, wherever they may be, of whatever faith, nationality, race, age, gender, or sexuality, thinking particularly of those who died in the mass shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church last Sunday, and their families and community.
  • For an end to the exploitation of the weak by the powerful, whether on an international level - between peoples; on a societal level -between rich and poor; on a personal level - between employers and employees; on an intimate level - between the sexes. Pray that every human being may come to feel safe and respected and that we may learn to love our neighbours as we are commanded to do
  • With thanksgiving for the meeting which took place on Thursday between representatives of the local churches to further and deepen the ties between us.
  • As we pause to remember those who fought and died in conflict throughout history, pray that we may learn from their suffering and work to eradicate the obscenity that is war.  Pray that God will help us to cherish and preserve the freedoms for which they gave their lives.

    O God of truth and justice,
    we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,
    and those whose names we will never know.
    Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,
    and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.
    As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;
    for you are the source of life and hope,
    now and for ever.  Amen.

November 5th

This week please pray:

  • Let us give God thanks for the beauty of autumn in nature, its surprising weather, bright berries on bare trees and unexpected sightings of birds and animals. Pray that humankind the world over may respect and care for the environment now for the benefit of today’s and future generations.
  • We give God thanks for the continuing work of Action for Children, in caring and supporting babies, children and teenagers and their parents. Action for Children recognises that parents are often coping in isolation and experience loneliness, are often cut off from family and friends and this has an impact on their children. Chat and Play sessions are being introduced at Action for Children centres this month to allow parents to chat while their children play. Pray for all parents and their children who are lonely; those known and unknown to us.
  • May we pray for people we know who are facing hardship, illness or bereavement at the moment. We pray for God’s presence to be real to them, giving peace of mind and healing. Pray that God might reveal how we might be there for or how to help someone. Remembering any of our church family who face difficulties this week and thinking particularly of Jean Matthews, Mike Donaldson and the Carss family
  • Let us pray as sad news breaks around the world: for all directly affected by this week’s terrorist attack in New York; for the victims and their families in their suffering. For all those people starving around the world and in particular in Yemen. For people made homeless by fighting and natural disasters. For people of different faiths, cultures and origins who are persecuted. We pray for a renewed spirit of peace, caring, understanding and tolerance through God’s spirit at work and a willing cooperation of all people to promote good over evil. 
  • “I should like to speak to you, for I know you’re there!
    Every time I try, I find it’s hard to make a prayer.
    Could you see what I’m thinking and know that it’s a prayer?
    Could you look into my heart and find you’re welcome there?
    Could I bring you all my hopes and dreams, my moments of despair?
    Could you take what I am thinking and find that it’s a prayer?”
    Singing the Faith 552 written by Joy Webb

October 29th

This week please pray:

  • In the light of the joint statement issued by global agencies, including All We Can, pray for the people of Myanmar and those trying to help those who have fled into Bangladesh
  • For those within our church family who are unwell or recovering from illness or surgery and for those who mourn, remembering particularly the family and friends of Denis Carss
  • With thanksgiving for all those who work in our neonatal intensive care units, nursing the smallest of patients. Pray too for the parents and relatives of these tiny, fragile human beings who can be so tenacious in their fight for life. 
  • For the staff of Morpeth Methodist Church as the new structure begins this coming Wednesday.  Give thanks for the work and dedication which Jean Gaunt has given to us over the years and pray for Martin Orr as he takes up his new role with us.
  • For wisdom for the political leaders of the world, thinking particularly of Teresa May, Donald Trump, Xi  Jinping, Mariano Rajoy and Uhuru Kenyatta
  • Giving thanks for the joy brought to us by music in all its many forms, from Bach to Folk to Country & Western to Jazz to Pop to Rock, thinking particularly of the great Fats Domino who died this week

October 22nd

Just a mustard seed, you said,
just a mustard seed of faith to remove
the mountain of doubts and difficulties
which beset our often frail existence.

We readily confess, Lord Jesus,
that there are times when we reach out
seemingly in vain for that mustard seed.
And yet, if we did but think for a moment,
in that very act of reaching out
we reveal the presence
of the very seed that we seek.

Lord Jesus we have faith in your power to heal,
but lack the self-confidence to ask.
We have faith in your ability to mend broken hearts ,
but lack the experience in our own lives.
We have faith in your power to bring wholeness
into lives that are incomplete,
but hesitate to trouble you with our prayers.

We are like children, Lord Jesus
standing here in awe of your power and love,
afraid to ask that which we know is possible,
because we are afraid
of the consequences of our asking.

Lord Jesus, accept the mustard seed
that we hold out to you, hearts outstretched.
Take it and the prayers that we offer,
and grant us the grace to accept
that our prayers are heard and answered
at the moment of asking,
by a God who knows our own incompleteness,
and is working to make us whole

Copyright © John Birch, 2016

October 15th

This week: 

  • We give thanks for the seasons and the climate. The bright autumn days, the cosy winter day by the fire, the revitalising dawn of spring, and lazy long summer evenings. The unpredictable weather, fluctuating temperatures, and ever changing day lengths. We acknowledge that the changes renew and bring freshness, and each day is capable of glorying in God’s creation.
  • We pray for the community of Morpeth Methodist Church. Those who attend our worship services as visitors, the families that attend toddlers, rainbow rhythms, and Enjoy, those who attend the Memory Café and the music concerts. That those who help are able to show love and compassion, and make everyone feel welcome. That those who visit may reflect on being part of the church community, and benefit from meeting in our building.
  • For people and cultural movements worldwide that aim to build harmony, and justice, to bring hope and joy, and instil faith that goodness will win. All these people are helping the Kingdom of God on earth. In the face of seemingly never ending news of wars and strife on the television, internet and newspapers we need to remember that Christ’s hope is strong and put our faith in Him.
  • We pray for those in our government, and particularly for our Prime Minister Theresa May. The burden of responsibility is great as the country faces a time of change. We pray that her Christian convictions will guide her decisions, and that the government has time to consider a broad spectrum of issues and not be consumed entirely by Brexit.
  • We give thanks for the person sat next to you this morning. May the peace that passes all understanding be theirs.

October 8th

This week, please pray

  • We give God thanks for the dedication and skills of all emergency service workers in the UK, often working in dangerous situations; fire, police, ambulance, and the accident and emergency departments. We pray for all those workers as day by day they give their all; and for many who struggle to cope and are unable to work, suffering with mental health reasons.
  • For the people of Las Vegas as they struggle to come to terms with the terrible shootings there this week.
  • During Prisons Week we are invited to reflect on and pray for women and men held in prison. For inner healing; for learning opportunities to prepare them for a new start on their release; and for God’s presence and love to touch both inmates and prison staff.
  • The Methodist Church is active around the world, meeting a variety of needs- through the work of scholarship students, local people and mission partners. Day 8 of the Methodist Prayer Handbook ask that we pray with Christians of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania- for peace among different groups, for stable and effective governments and for job opportunities for young people.
  • May we pray for people we know facing change- such as making big decisions, deteriorating health, moving home, job uncertainty, relationship difficulties or money worries. May we make time to listen and understand their concerns and share God’s love.   
  • Over a cuppa this week, take time to ponder these words by
    St Teresa of Avila.
    “Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours.
    Ours are the eyes through which to look out with Christ’s compassion to the world. Ours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
    Ours are the hands with which he is to bless people now.”

October 1st

This week, please pray

  • For the Pearl of Africa choir as they leave us for the next leg of their tour.
  • With thanksgiving for the courage and determination of those who took part in the Invictus Games in Toronto this week, and for the reminder they give us that soldiers, from any nation, are people first of all with families and hopes and lives which can be shattered.  Pray that their stories teach us to work for peace among nations.
  • For those known to us who are dealing with illness at this time, remembering particularly Denis Carss and Bishop Daniel’s daughter, Dorah
  • For the work of the churches in the SENEA area thinking particularly of Ashington Trinity with its new minister, Revd Marie Attwood and of Blyth Central with its leader, Revd Ann Shepherdson. Give thanks for all those who act as stewards, church council members, and members of committees helping to promote the work of those churches.
  • For the Men’s Breakfast weekend helping to strengthen friendships and understanding within the men of our church.  Pray that God will bless them as they spend time together with each other and with Him.
  • With thanksgiving for the smell of autumn in the air, and gold and red colours on the trees, for the joy of finding conkers (even if we can’t think what to do with them once we’ve picked them up), for the arrival of ‘Vs’ of geese in our skies and robins looking for territories in our gardens, giving glory to God for placing our planet tilted on its axis and giving us the wonder of the seasons.


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