Pray Without Ceasing

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

April 29th

Dear Lord,

  • Today is an important day in the life and witness of Morpeth Methodist Church as we meet together for our Annual Meeting.
  • We offer prayers of thanks and appreciation for our minister, Revd Antony Oakley, for all others who are called to lead, preach and minister within our worshipping community; for the thought, planning and preparation that goes into services and meetings; for the skill, sensitivity and dedication of the musicians who contribute so much to that sense of belonging that we all need.
  • We give our grateful thanks for all those who make things happen within our community so that our Church is welcoming, warm, clean, comfortable, orderly, arranged for concerts and meetings; for the various visiting groups, clubs, organisations to know that all is prepared for them when needed; for the consistently beautiful floral arrangements and displays, for those who tirelessly prepare refreshments for many different occasions; for those who manage finances or office and technical responsibilities.
  • We ask your blessing on all children and parents within our families and that those who brighten our Sundays here will be nurtured into a deepening knowledge and love of Jesus.
  • It is good that we think deeply about what is needed and what does actually happen here.  So many people contribute their time, their gifts, their expertise, their faithfulness, willingly and generously each week to serve within our Church.
  • Today, some stewards will be standing down from the posts they have filled so well, and new ones may take their place.  We thank them now especially, for their reliability and steadfastness and pray for the warm support that new stewards will need.
  • We pray that the gifts we are able to offer, of kindness, friendship, loyalty and fellowship shine within our Church so that all feel the warmth of our Father’s love and care.

April 22nd

This week:

  • We pray for justice to prevail in the Windrush situation. That they may remain as UK residents and able to live their lives in peace and free from threats to their status in the UK. That justice will be sought for those who have already suffered by the loss of status resulting in them not being able to either work or claim benefits.
  • We remember the victims of chemical weapons attacks and pray that God is by their side. We ask for forgiveness for those who use chemical weapons in war. Whether it be their use a century ago in the first world war, half a century ago in Vietnam or more recently in Syria, we hope that leaders of countries resolve not to use them again.
  • We remember those in ill-health in our Methodist community. In particular for Alistair McDonald as he receives care from his family, and Seana Somerville as she recovers from an operation.
  • As fine weather finally arrives in North East England we notice that buds and shoots are appearing in gardens and parks, (weeds are almost ready to set seed!), and the birds are singing at an alarmingly early hour of the day. We give thanks for new life and new hope and anticipate a glorious summer.
  • In a hard world we pray that understanding of the other person’s point of view, ‘standing in their shoes’, will become the norm as we seek to establish God’s kingdom in Morpeth and the wider world. We pray for an end to conflict and war, and an end to judgment. We long for the Peace that passes all understanding to prevail in the world’s current conflicts.

April 15th

This week, please pray:

  • With thanksgiving, for the joy of music, from classical through to heavy metal, thinking particularly of the concerts which have taken place, or are to take place, here over this week and next week: the last of this year’s MMS concerts which was given by the Carducci String Quartet on Thursday, The Felling Male Voice Choir on Saturday night, and the first of this season’s lunchtime organ recitals this coming Friday.
  • For peace for our troubled world, thinking particularly of those suffering in Syria, especially those caught in last Saturday’s chemical attack.  Think too of those in the rest of the world responsible for working out an appropriate response. Pray that a political solution can be found; surely there has been enough killing.
  • For those within our church family who are unwell at present, thinking particularly of Alistair MacDonald, Seana Somerville, and of Caroline Weldon, praying that God will be very close to them, and their families, at this time
  • Remembering those who mourn and particularly the family of William Hunt whose funeral will take place here on Wednesday, thinking of his daughter, Pamela and son, David.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA thinking particularly this week of the church families in Widdrington, North Broomhill, Hauxley and Amble, and their minister, Revd Lynda Coulthard, and of those at St George’s, URC, giving thanks for the enduring tie between our two churches.

April 8th

This week, please pray:

  • We give God thanks for news from the pastor and people of Kamuzinda Victory Church in Uganda. Pray that God continues to bless the children as the church supports families in need.  Pray for pastor Daniel as he seeks to give spiritual guidance and discern the needs of the local rural community where drought affects food crops. 
  • Pray for the health, welfare and spiritual wellbeing of the refugees from Syria and beyond, who have settled in Northumberland. May each refugee be welcomed into their new community, school, work place and make new friends and find peace. Give wisdom and resources to those helping them settle in. Pray that the hurts and bad memories which caused them to flee their countries may be healed, through the love of Jesus and the thoughtfulness and kindness of others.
  • During the Commonwealth Games, pray for the wellbeing of the competitors; the work of security services; the many volunteers; first aiders; and organisers. People from many nations, many races, many faiths and none - united by their sport, sharing a common purpose and understanding. 
  • Let us remember in prayer - people we are concerned about this week, pray for healing, wholeness of spirit, mind and body. Remembering those of our congregation who are struggling. Asking God what can we do to be a good neighbour in the circumstances.
  • Give God thanks for Christ is risen - Alleluia, as we journey onwards from Easter to Pentecost

Eternal God, you hold in love all who know and praise you and those who do not.  Lord Jesus Christ, you are a friend to all who own your name and those who ignore you.  Holy Spirit of God, you work in full view of our wondering eyes and where we are blind to your action.

Knowing your love, your friendship and your work, we commit ourselves afresh, to declare your love, to proclaim your friendship,  to reveal your work to the people we meet day by day so that the day may come when everyone in every place shouts your name and acclaims your work, with joy and delight.

(adapted from Word in the World – Donald Hilton)

April 1st

This week, please pray

  • With joy and thanksgiving for the gift of new life which is ours through Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  Praise him and magnify his name forever.
  • As we eat chocolate eggs and Sunday dinner and celebrate, remember those who do not have enough to make ends meet.  Give thanks for the work of the food banks, homeless shelters, refugee centres and all those who work with the destitute., both in this country and in countries around the world
  • As we celebrate the Prince of Peace, pray for those who live amidst conflict in Syria, in Palestine, in Yemen.  Remember too those who face violence within their domestic situations - from their spouses, their parents, their children.
  • Pray for those whose mental state prevents them from finding the peace which God wants for all of us, whether through illness, mental or physical, money worries, family worries, bereavement, loneliness.  Pray for those who are unwell within our church family, thinking particularly of Alistair McDonald.
    Help them to remember that:
    neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of  God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “
    Romans8: 38 - 39

March 25th

Dear Lord, in our prayers this morning we are thinking of many things:

  • Today is Palm Sunday.  For many in Jerusalem at that time it was a day of celebration, of recognising the miracles and teaching of Jesus.  However , Jesus was going on a journey in which he knew that his destiny would be fulfilled and that a time of great trial would come.  As he travelled with his disciples and many followers who praised and honoured him, they did not know what lay ahead.  Today there are so many in our troubled world who are also journeying without knowing where they might find shelter, food, safety, a home.
  • Father of all nations, we see in these times a world full of threats, enmity, suffering, envy, inequality and are shocked by what we know is happening.  We pray that displaced people will find a refuge and somewhere to lay their heads in safety, to be able to keep their families close.
  • We are certain that many people, made in your perfect image, make you immensely sad by the way they think, act and behave.  We have a beautiful world to enjoy and share; farmland, rivers, hills, mighty oceans, forests, and many people who care about and care for, all these precious gifts.  We pray that we grow more aware and more able and willing to protect and nurture the land, landscapes, seas and rivers and that we become wiser and more careful in  our use o f the world’s resources.
  • We give thanks for the many scientists and researchers who work at developing drugs and treatments to alleviate suffering.  We pray that their talents and expertise are employed only for good purposes, for the benefit of alleviating pain and suffering and that these benefits are shared in all parts of the world.  We see with horror the conditions many people are having to bear because of tyranny and warfare.  We pray that the help that is available will be permitted and that these peoples, wherever they are will, by your grace and power, feel some peace and comfort in their distress.

March 18th

This week please pray for:

  • We pray for international relations between countries and groups in our current time of volatility. The United Kingdom and Russia, the USA and North Korea, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, amongst others. We pray for an understanding of the common good to prevail and for current situations not to escalate. We have faith that in each country people will stand up to be counted in the name of Peace.
  • We hold in our thought those affected by the job losses in the retail sector announced recently, such as the closure of Toys ‘r’ Us shops nationwide. The changing shopping habits of the digital age are bringing threats to the means of earning a living for many people and families. We give thanks that the words and example of Jesus are unchanging, but at the same time realise that as His hands in this world we continue to work out a fair economic system that provides for all in our country.
  • We pray for those who fear growing old. A fear of isolation, of illness, of financial hardship, of being distant from family.  That Morpeth Methodist church will be a blessing to these people and provide support and fellowship, whether it is during Tuesday communion, at the Memory Café, at the Tuesday lunches, or via pastoral visiting.
  • We give thanks for the imminence of Spring. After the recent severe weather causing road closures, railway cancellations, dangerous footways, and hardship to communities in rural Northumberland, let us remind ourselves that the sun is rising higher in the sky each day and warmer weather and longer daylight will be with us soon.
  • We pray for Pegswood Methodist church. That their members will know hope and be energised for the future as they witness for Christ in their village. As members of SENEA we wish for Morpeth Methodist church to stand alongside them as we share our minister Antony and share our goal of being Christians in Northumberland.

March 11th

Forty days alone,
a wilderness of thoughts,
tempting and inviting thoughts,
which could so easily have distracted you
from your task, your mission,
your vision.
Yet you emerged, stronger and more attuned
to all that had to be done,
despite a time constraint
that to our eyes would have seemed hopeless.
We too live in stressful times.
Demands are made of our time,
that leave so little
for the important things of life.
We are easily distracted
in the wilderness of our lives,
by every call to go this way or that,
to turn stone to bread
leap from mountains,
and do all that would keep us from the truth.
We listen to the voices of this world,
and ignore the one who endured all this
and so much more,
and emerged triumphant,
that we might not have to suffer so.
Forgive us, Father,
when we get distracted from our task.
Forgive us those times when we try
to be all things to all men,
and fail to be anything to anyone

John Birch

March 4th

This week, please pray

  • For people left out in the cold, physically or emotionally, whether through homelessness or friendlessness or joblessness.  Pray that they may find warmth and shelter for both their souls and their bodies.
  • For all those working to promote peace in the world. Pray especially that the beginning made by the North and South Koreans at the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang can be continued and built on.
  • With thanksgiving for our emergency services: police, ambulance, fire, lifeboats, as well as motor rescue services such as AA, RAC and Green Flag, as they battle to keep people safe during the weather brought by ‘The Beast from the East’.  Give thanks too, for good neighbours checking on each other and for all those who have struggled with difficult journeys to work in our hospitals (some of whom have slept over to ensure cover can be maintained for patients), care homes, prisons, shops and businesses.
  • For those at home and abroad who are trying to work out a Brexit deal which will protect the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland.  Pray for flexibility, imagination, and good will on all sides, together with a willingness to put aside party politics and personal ambition in order to protect the still fragile peace in that country.
  • As the USA begins to look, tentatively, at gun control, and as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida reopens, pray for all those who have been affected by the senseless violence there, for those who died and those who must live with the memory of what happened.
  • For the work of churches within SENEA, thinking particularly this week of  the church families at Seaton Delaval, Seghill, Bedlington Trinity and Blyth URC, with their minister, Revd Greg Thompson



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