Pray Without Ceasing

July 15th

This week please pray:

  • With thanksgiving for the safe rescue of all 12 boys and their coach from caves in Thailand.  Think particularly of the family of Saman Kunan who died taking air to the trapped team.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA thinking particularly this week of the church families at Bedlington Trinity and Blyth URC and their minister, Revd Greg Thompson.
  • For the people of Salisbury following the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, thinking particularly of the other residents of John Baker House, the hostel for the homeless which was evacuated following the events.  Pray that those investigating may soon find the source of the poison and be able to reassure all those who are worried about their safety.
  • For the people of Japan coping with appalling floods, and landslides with more than 8 million being told to leave their homes, thinking especially of the people of Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi who have been worst hit. Pray too for those who are trying to help the victims.
  • Giving thanks for the dedication and courage over the past 100 years of the men and women of the RAF,  helping to keep us safe and supporting our ground troops abroad.
  • For the ‘Growing leaders’ course taster session this afternoon and for all those wondering whether it might be for them.  Give thanks for all those who answer:
    “Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
    I have heard you calling in the night
    I will go, Lord, if you lead me
    I will hold your people in my heart “

(StF 663, Daniel L Scutte)

July 8th

This week please pray:

  • For all those working to rescue the 12 children and their coach trapped in caves in Thailand.  Give thanks for their safety so far and pray that rescuers will find a way to bring them out sooner rather than later.
  • As our heatwave continues and more areas are forced to introduce hosepipe bans, give thanks for the fresh water which comes out of our taps.  Pray that, as we moan about the, relatively minor, restrictions we face as we are asked to reduce our use, we remember the millions of people who walk many miles daily to gather unsafe water.  Give thanks for the work of WaterAid ( working to bring clean water to people in more than 30 countries across the world.
  • For our previous minister, Revd Gary Ridley, whose churches at Greenfield, Delph and Uppermill are very close to the Manchester hill fires.
  • For the community of people on the island of Bute following the death this week of Alesha MacPhail, thinking particularly of her family and friends. Pray, too, for the teenager arrested on suspicion of her murder and for his family.
  • As the NHS turns 70 this week (5th July), give thanks for the doctors, nurses, health care assistants, cleaners, porters, therapists, radiographers, caterers, admin staff, chaplaincy workers, maintenance staff, ambulance drivers, paramedics, shop assistants, “Friends” organizations, and volunteers who work together to deliver the ‘cradle to grave’ vision of those who instigated its creation.
  • For the new president of the Methodist Conference, Revd Michaela Youngson, giving thanks for the radical grace of God which, as Revd Youngson said in her address, “goes beyond what is only fair to a prodigious and reckless generosity…..which flows from the lover’s desire to see the beloved flourish, to be whole and to live in delight”.

July 1st

This week please pray:

  • For all those affected by the fire devastating huge tracts of moorland near Manchester: those who fear for their health and their homes, especially those who have been evacuated.  Give thanks for the courage and dedication of the firefighters and soldiers working to control the  fire.
  • With thanksgiving for all those who have trodden the Christian path before us over 2000 years, remembering that human nature (as shown in the very old, anonymous prayer below), like the faithfulness of God, does not change.

Give me a good digestion, Lord,

And also something to digest,

Give me a healthy body, Lord,

With sense to keep it at its best.

Give me a healthy mind O Lord,

To keep the good and pure in sight,

Which, seeing wrong is not appalled

But finds a way to set it right.

Give me a mind that is not bored,

That does not whimper, whine or sigh.

Don't let me worry overmuch

About that fussy thing called ‘I’.

Give me a sense of humour, Lord,

Give me the grace to see a joke,

To get some happiness from life

And pass it on to other folk.

June 24th

This week please pray for:

  • world leaders making difficult decisions in a compromised world. That they may have the courage to listen to the opinions of goodness and compassion and if necessary change their minds and do ‘u’ turns -  not stick to their original decisions just so as to not lose face. Think in particular of moves towards peace in the Korean peninsular and the future togetherness of families in immigration centres wherever they are.
  • the Lifepath event at Brinkburn Priory taking place Monday 25 June to Friday 29 June, which this year focuses on St Oswald. We pray for the Lifepath Team leaders, Kirstine, Helen, Geoff and Chris, and for all the volunteers from many different churches including MMC, as they undertake a 5 day programme instead of 4 days as previous years. We pray for dry weather so that all the children and adults visiting the site will be kept safe and enjoy their experience.
  • the forgotten, unnoticed people in our community. Those living with physical or mental ill-health problems, those living with scars from the past, victims of either the actions of others or of their own choices and  circumstances. That Christians will reach out to them and accept them without judgement and welcome them with friendship. As Jesus said ‘Come to me if your burden is heavy, and I will give you rest.’
  • the family of Dr Alistair McDonald as Alistair’s funeral takes place on Monday. Recall a life well led with a strong faith, and count the blessings of having known Alistair, and picture him as a young man walking in the Cairngorms while studying medicine at Aberdeen University.
  • the churches of Morpeth and those of SENEA, that they may flourish together and work to bring Christ’s Kingdom closer to the lives of the people of Morpeth and Northumberland. That Morpeth Methodist church will work alongside both the churches of Morpeth and our neighbours in SENEA such as Pegswood church, being supportive and strong for each other.
  • those who have just finished, or are nearing the finish of their exam season. May the rest of the summer be long and relaxing, just like it was in 1976.

June 17th

This week, please pray

  • With thanksgiving for the promise of hope provided by the agreement between the USA and North Korea.  We know there is a long way to go but a beginning is a welcome thing.
  • For all those whose lives were, and are still, disrupted and devastated by the Grenfell Towers fire, thinking particularly of those who are still living in hotel accommodation as they try to grieve for those they have lost, care for their children and rebuild their worlds.  Pray for wisdom and compassion for those responsible for the bureaucratic processes they must go through to be re-homed appropriately.
  • As the residents of Delhi suffer in a haze of dust and severe air pollution, pray that we may learn to care for our world, God’s creation, as good stewards should. Pray that we may find answers to the problems which we have created of climate change, habitat destruction threatening much of our wildlife, the plastic finding its way into every part of our planet’s environment…. Pray that we will learn that our ‘must have’ ‘throw away’ way of life is not sustainable in time to change it.
  • For the people of Yemen as fighting continues in the port of Hudaydah where much of the desperately needed food aid for this troubled country arrives.  Pray for peace in that country and for aid to reach the eight million who are at risk of starvation.
  • For the work of SENEA thinking particularly this week of all of our worship leaders, local preachers and supernumerary ministers who contribute enormously to the lives of all the churches in the area.

June 10th

This week, please pray

  • As another volcano erupts, this time in Guatemala, we pray with the people of that country, for those who have died and their family or whose family members are still missing. That God’s presence will help and comfort them in their need. That there will be sufficient resources to care for the survivors and that the rescue and health services reach all who are suffering in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption.
  • Give God thanks for the lives and faith of Alistair McDonald and Muriel Bacon, members of the congregation, who died recently. May God’s comfort and blessing be with their families and friends, now and in the weeks to come.
  • Hold before God in prayer, the emotional and spiritual needs of young people. Those taking exams at the moment. Those under 11 year olds who call on mental health services. Jesus says “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you...Let your hearts not be troubled.” May the practical support and understanding of mental health professions work hand in hand with families and faith communities, to recognise and alleviate increasing numbers of young people’s struggle and inner turmoil.
  • Springtime is a wonderful time, when birdsong is all around, when fresh green growth and there is a profusion of many-coloured flowers and tree blossom. Let us take time to “smell the roses”, stop to gaze up at the cloud formations or stars and planets at night, to listen to the waves, or wind rustling through the trees. How wonderful is God’s creation, how it makes the heart sing praises to God, how refreshing it is to be still and know the presence of God, Jesus and the Spirit of God within and all around. “To God be the glory”.
  • Let us pray for farmers around the world where climate change, disease, pests, natural disasters and drought ruin crops. Praying for people where food shortage means hunger and poverty. Giving thanks for scientists motivated to develop new farming methods and seeds which improve cropping and food production. 
  • Pray for family members, neighbours and friends who are struggling to cope with illness, sad news, change or anxiety, thinking particularly of the Gaunt family following the death of Jean’s father, and of Win Morris recovering from surgery.

June 3rd

This week, please pray

  • Following the first Northumberland Pride event in Alnwick yesterday, pray for all those who struggle to be accepted for who they are, for whatever reason. Think particularly of those who are estranged from family or friends and those who have not yet managed to come out to those they love.  May they come to realise that God, who created each one of them, loves each one of them without limit.
  • As the FCA moves to try to control high rates of interest on ‘rent to own’ goods, pray for those who are in difficulties trying to manage debts. Give thanks for the work of Credit Unions helping people learn to manage their money, and for the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau helping people to take back control of their situations.
  • With thanksgiving for the work of Gideons International making Bibles available in hotels, hospitals, schools, prisons and elsewhere.  Think particularly of our local branch in Alnwick as it celebrates its 40th Anniversary this week.
  • For all those affected by the continuing eruptions in Hawaii, many of whom have lost everything to the lava.  Give thanks for the work of the emergency services.
  • As talks continue to try to salvage the proposed summit between the USA and North Korea, pray for peace in that region and good will and good faith on both sides.
  • For those within our church family who are unwell, thinking especially of Alistair MacDonald and his family.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA, thinking particularly this week of the church families  at Ashington Trinity and Stakeford with their minister, Revd Marie Attwood.

May 27th

Dear Lord,

  • There are so many things that we need to pray for at this time, so many people and events that need our thoughts and prayers and today we are thinking especially of relationships of all kinds.
  • Remembering the wedding last week of Prince Harry and Megan, of the love which surrounded them in St. George’s Chapel as they made their commitment to each other, the blessings felt by millions, of being in God’s house, of being reminded by Bishop Michael of the strength and power of love.  We think of the many other newly married couples as they start their new lives together, of those who are engaged; times of hope, promises and commitments.   We ask your blessing on couples of all kinds who make commitments to each other, that they may feel your presence in their lives.
  • We pray for families: parents and children; brothers and sisters; grandparents; aunts, uncles, cousins.  We pray for the friends we have and give thanks for their affection, support and loyalty.  We know that we cannot always achieve what is best in relationships, but ask for your guidance and help in doing the best that we can.
  • In our prayers we think also of wider circumstances, of colleagues, fellow students, teachers and pupils, and especially at this time of exams when teachers have been working closely with their students to help them achieve their best.  
  • At this testing time we think of our relationship with our Christian church and Christian heritage – what it has meant to us throughout the centuries.  Let us never forget that the values held within the Christian faith are ones for which we, with your presence and guidance, should offer prayerful thanks.  During the recent Christian Aid week we have seen so many people living out their faith in the help and service they have shown and pray that their efforts will have made a real difference in the lives of those in need.   Amen.

May 20th

This week:

  • We pray for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they move forward in their lives following their wedding yesterday. We pray for people everywhere who have made a commitment to live in a long term relationship with that special person.
  • We pray for those suffering with or dying from Ebola. The outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that started in the countryside has now spread to the city of Mbandaka. We pray that the Congo health service with support as required from outside agencies and charities will be sufficient to contain the outbreak and reduce the suffering of those unfortunate enough to contract the deadly disease.
  • We pray for the new mayor of Morpeth Jack Gebhard, that his youth will bring a fresh perspective and help make local politics real for a new generation. We wish him well as he serves our community.
  • We consider those who have been visited by Christian Aid collectors this last week. From those who have filled their envelopes and have them ready by the door for collection, to those who choose not to, or are unable to give, and especially the lady who needed a hug and someone to talk with at that time. As one of the few remaining house to house collections, we pray that Christian Aid will continually review the balance of how to raise funds against changing habits and attitudes to both giving and Christianity in the 21st century.
  • We pray for those taking or approaching examinations at school or university and wish them well. In the light of recent reports on student mental health, we hope that the examination process will not seem all consuming and overwhelm them. That the examinations will be viewed on a holistic scale, and that, in the words of Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.

May 13th

This week please pray:

  • As this year’s Christian Aid week begins, pray for the organization’s work with some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in 37 countries across the world - in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Pray too for those working to raise money to support that work through book and plant sales and house to house collections.  In particular, pray that recent scandals involving misconduct by a very few of those workers do not detract from the enormous amount of good done by the charity and does not reduce the support given to it.
  • For those working to maintain a stable situation in the Middle East as America pulls out of the agreement which limits Iran’s nuclear programme.  Pray that sanctions to be applied by the USA do not result in the complete collapse of the agreement and a nuclear arms race in that region.  Pray for patience and wisdom on all sides.
  • For those imprisoned because of their political or religious beliefs in many places throughout the world where the freedoms we take for granted do not exist.  Give thanks for those who work to support such prisoners, thinking particularly of the work of Amnesty International.  Give thanks too for organisations - such as Liberty - who work to protect our own freedom.
  • With thanksgiving for the work of local care and nursing homes remembering those of our church family for whom they care, sometimes permanently, sometimes on a short term, respite basis.  Think particularly of Les Brown, Alistair MacDonald, Anne Bray, and Terry & June Harrison - all of whom have moved into care in recent weeks remembering that age comes to all of us:
    For those who walk more slowly
    through this world than in the days
    when they were young,
    may each step be made lighter
    and their joy be greater for seeing beauty
    in little things that the hurrying pass by.

With thanks to

May 6th

This week please pray:

  • Let us give God thanks for the sheer beauty of blossom covered trees and spring flowers of gardens and countryside, at this time of year. It is such a contrast to see the scattered debris of litter dropped by individuals and dumped in huge amounts illegally. We pray for a renewed effort by individuals and companies worldwide, to  stop littering, to clean up litter and to find new ways of disposing of it safely. God created this beautiful, resilient yet fragile world and universe. Humanity’s task is to preserve this gift, for its wildlife, eco systems, lands and oceans, and to preserve its resources now and for future generations.
  • Holding before God in prayer the needs and difficulties of our families, friends, neighbours and co workers this week. We pray for peace of mind and soul and the healing and wholeness of all we care for in this church. Praying for the family and friends of Muriel Bacon who died earlier this week, giving God thanks for her graces and kindness over a long life.
  • We give God thanks for the ministry of chaplains of all denominations and faiths who meet and help people in places such as hospitals, prisons, airports and universities day by day. May each of us walk and talk with Jesus, discerning a way forward and then share his peace and presence with everyone we meet this coming week.
  • Pray for the people in the news stories this week, here and around the world. Take time perhaps over a cuppa to reflect on particular situations and ask that God heals; that Jesus be with someone; and that the holy spirit comforts those in need and guides those causing the harm.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down. O Comforter and Friend,

how we need your touch again.

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down. Let your power fall,

let your voice be heard,

come and change our hearts, as we stand on your word.

Holy Spirit, rain down.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can know what God has in store. So open up heaven, open it wide

Over your Church and over our lives.     StF 384





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