Pray Without Ceasing

January 6th 2019

We thank you, Lord God, for this time of year when we sang those tuneful carols with families and friends, for giving and receiving those special presents, so lovingly thought about, and for all the ways of saying “Christ is born”.  May Christ be among us as real, as close, as warm, as at that first Christmas: with Mary, may we open our hearts and lives to the prompting of God.  Save us from a faith so shallow that, like our coloured lights and Christmas tree, we put it away fro yet another year.

The wise men had the wisdom to follow a star which led them to Christ.  We pray that the rulers of the world may work and struggle together for the good of humankind.

The wise men had the wisdom that revealed the glory of God.  We pray that the rulers of the world may have a vision of goodness and truth, and strenuously seek the best for all their people.

In our prayers we bring before you, the three people who were attacked over the weekend in Victoria Station, Manchester, and are suffering from serious injury.  We pray for all the victims of the growing threat of knife crime in our cities, that the authorities may find a way to deal effectively with it.

We pray for the family of Alan Matthews who died on Boxing Day.  We remember Jean, Colin, Diana and Bethany.  Give them, O Lord, strength and comfort at this very sad time.

We pray for all families who have known sadness over the holiday period through serious illness, times of anxiety and worry.  Let them know and experience your loving care.  For those who care for them, give them the courage and ability to cope with the extra demands made upon them.

We remember the different churches in the Ecumenical Area.  They need our prayers and support.  This week, we pray for Ashington and Stakeford and we thank them for their witness and faithfulness.

December 2nd

This week please pray for all those who wait:

  • For soon to be mothers and fathers, big brothers and big sisters, asking God to bless them and the new person soon to enter their family, and to give them the love and wisdom they will need to help that person grow.
  • For prisoners for whom the end of their sentence looks far away.  Pray that God will help them know that, whatever crimes they have committed, he loves them. Pray that each of them may learn that, while society may be slow in giving them a fresh start, God is always ready to forgive someone who truly repents.
  • For refugees waiting to find out whether safety and welcome await them in a new country, fearful of being rejected and untrusted.  Pray that God will comfort them and give to us the generosity and courage to recognise his likeness in their faces.
  • For those who wait for the results of medical tests, fearful of the news they may receive.  Pray that God will give them strength to face whatever comes, knowing that, however bad news may be, he will be with them always.
  • For those who wait for news of someone who has gone missing - about 180,000 each year - not knowing whether that person is safe.  Pray for those who have felt they had no alternative but to disappear.  Give thanks for organisations such as the Salvation Army and Missing People which try to reunite people, where possible, or at least bring news, to families who are so worried.
  • For those waiting for peace but living with conflict thinking of the people of Yemen, Syria, Palestine.  Pray for all those trying to find solutions to the problems besetting them.
  • For all of us, waiting for the coming of Christ this Advent that we learn that “For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”   Frederick Buechner

November 25th

Almighty and everlasting God, who knows the secrets and longings within our hearts, this week we pray:

  • For all the leaders of our country who have so much responsibility when they are discussing and negotiating matters of grave importance that could influence our nation’s lives.  Give them the wisdom and courage to follow the best possible, fairest paths, and to think, work, plan, listen, to those who have experience and expertise and can give sound advice  to make our country a better, more equal place to live.
  • Lord, there has been so much anger, bitterness, conflict and disagreement over the past two years, conflict which must grieve you.  We have a beautiful world, beautiful country, we pray that we may also learn to have beauty within our hearts and souls. 
  • During the recent commemoration of two world wars we have seen and heard so much of the courage, strength, endurance, suffering and selflessness of all those affected in so many ways. Father, we pray that we, the people of the United Kingdom whose freedoms and ways of life became established by those sacrifices, can see that we need to have our divisions healed, our differences resolved so that once more we are a people with a common bond, a common purpose of support for one another, an understanding of our neighbour’s point of view.
  • We know that attention has been diverted from the pressing needs among poor and struggling communities and we pray for those who work tirelessly day by day to help and support them.  We ask that they feel your presence in their lives and pray that the social fabric of the nation will become once again a priority.
  • Within our own community, we pray for Betty Whitton and Betty Matthewson, each of whom has suffered a broken hip as a result of a fall.
  • We pray too for those who mourn, thinking particularly of Bishop Daniel and his family, and all our friends at Kamuzinda, as they mourn for Daniel’s daughter, Dorah who died on Tuesday.

November 18th

This week please pray

  • For our divided government as it tries to find a way through the chaos that our leaving the EU has become.  Pray that they may find a path which we all can follow to a future which gives hope to all of us.
  • For all those affected by the devastating fires in California.  Pray particularly for those who are waiting for news of loved ones who are amongst the more than 600 people missing.
  • For the Rohingya people who are living in camps in Bangladesh having fled persecution in Myanmar. Pray that none will be forced to return to their homes against their will and that the ‘persuasion’ which Bangladesh has said it will use does not cause these people more fear and hardship than they have already endured. Pray too for the authorities in Bangladesh trying to cope with this enormous problem with limited resources.
  • For all minorities who live in fear because of the prejudices of the community in which they live, thinking particularly this week of the LGBTQ community in Tanzania
  • For Asia Bibi living in fear in Pakistan despite having been cleared of the blasphemy charge which had had the death penalty hanging over her for so many years.  Give thanks for the courage of the court which freed her in spite of much pressure not to and pray that she may be allowed to leave the country in safety.
    Pray that the communities in Pakistan, and elsewhere, may learn to live together in peace.
  • As Morpeth switches on its Christmas lights amidst so much commercial hype, pray that the Christian community in the town can work together to ensure that the real celebration does not get lost amidst the twinkly lights, and that the light which came into the world 2000 years ago can be seen shining brightly in the darkness which cannot put it out.

November 11th

This week please pray

  • Remembering that God’s love embraces all of creation, that his realm knows nothing of the borders we draw between nations, that he has taught us that every woman, man and child is our neighbour, that he has commanded us to love, without thought of our own security, or glory, or gain and that he has pronounced his blessing, not upon nations and armies, but upon the poor, and the meek, and the peacemakers.
  • Remembering those who have lost their lives as a result of war; young soldiers, dispatched to far-away places, never to return and civilians, young and old, caught in the crossfire of conflict.  Pray that God will bring healing to families torn apart by war and comfort those who mourn for loved ones.
  • Remembering those who have been psychologically wounded by the horrors of war, those who find themselves unable to live with the burden of having taken away human life, those who dehumanise ‘the enemy’ in order to carry out acts of violence and find their own humanity diminished as a result.  Pray that God will bring healing to hearts and minds that are broken and reveal to us his image deep within us and within every other human life
  • Remembering the ecological cost of war; the landscapes that bear the scars of bombing, the soil and water poisoned by the chemical residue of weapons, the scorched earth churned to dust by heavy vehicles, the destroyed forest-habitats of birds and creatures and the innocent animal lives lost amongst the ‘collateral damage’.  Pray that God will bring healing to the earth and make a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland
  • Remembering those living, now, under oppressive regimes or in the midst of violence and conflict, the millions displaced from their homes to refugee camps, the communities struggling on with their daily lives under the shadow of war, fearing for their lives, and the lives of their children.  Pray that God will bring healing to nations where there is unrest and inspire in us hope for a world where all can live in dignity and safety
  • Remembering those who campaign for peace, who seek and encourage reconciliation, and non-violent resolutions to conflict, those bold prophets who raise their voices to declare that there can be another way and those who, in their lives, model the radical forgiveness that Christ himself taught and demonstrated.  Pray that God will bring healing to communities; forgiveness where there is hurt, compassion where there is hatred, love where there is fear.    Amen.

November 4th

This week, please pray

  • For the work of Gideons International making the Word of God available to millions of people worldwide over the last 110 years.
  • For candidates and voters in the US Midterm elections on Tuesday 6th.  Pray that tolerance and reason will win out over bigotry, ignorance and inflammatory rhetoric from whatever source.  Pray that the divisions in that country can be healed and its people work together to build a future where all can live together without fear.
  • At this time of Hallowtide, pray for those who mourn that they may be comforted.  Pray for all those who have lost friends or family over the past year, thinking particularly of all those who loved Alan Todd, Sheila Cave, Muriel Bacon, Jean McCowie, Michael Pickard, William Hunt, Doreen Clark, Pat Jones and Alistair MacDonald.
  • For the work of SENEA, thinking this month of the church families in Bedlington Trinity, Blyth URC., Elsdon Avenue and Seghill as their minister, Greg Thompson prepares to retire at the end of the year.  Pray that God may show us the way forward as the whole area struggles with staffing difficulties.
  • As the nights grow darker, give thanks for the light which came into the world at the moment of its creation and which we can see all around us, in spite of all the evil which grabs the headlines; in the goodness of ordinary people choosing right over easy every day; the strength of ordinary people living difficult lives; the generosity of ordinary people giving of their little to those who have less; the dedication of ordinary people working ceaselessly to care for the sick, the aged, the disabled; the hope and faith of ordinary people in desperate situations - all combining to show us that we have no ordinary God.

October 28th

Dear Lord, our loving Father we pray today for many different things, people, times, events, for the great needs and concerns we have in our world and in our lives:

We pray for the thousands of refugees, desperately fleeing their homeland in Honduras where there is corruption, gang violence, poverty and misery, travelling for days and weeks through Honduras and Guatemala, into Mexico where they still have great distances to travel, mostly on foot and carrying their few possessions; braving hostile border controls, crossing dangerous rivers....Dear Lord we see so much injustice.  We pray that those who are already living in these areas will have compassion on the travellers, offer help and comfort when they are needed.  We know that many Mexican citizens and help agencies have already responded kindly to those in such need and give thanks for that.

How can we understand what these refugees are feeling?   Help us to understand, to pray for the situations which lie ahead.  They already know that they many will not be welcomed into the U.S., but still in their desperation they are prepared to  keep trying to make  better, safer lives for themselves and their families.  We pray that they will be spared danger, violence and conflict as they continue their journey until they find the peace and refuge that they seek.

We give thanks that the refugees who are becoming settled in our own area are finding a home and a welcome from many local people and especially for those who are helping to heal broken lives and hearts in many practical and supportive ways.

We pray for all of those within our Church family who are coping with difficulties in daily living or with making big decisions, that they may feel the strength and support that they need in feeling you near


October 21st

This week, please pray

  • For the people of the Yemen who face hunger and starvation on an epic scale, as a result of war. We reflect on our countries’ role in the global arms trade and wonder if we enjoy the increased wealth it brings, balanced against the harm caused to others.
  • For those affected by extreme weather events, causing flooding and storm damage in Portugal, France, USA, Indonesia, and the UK. We pray for those who have lost family and friends, their house and possessions and their livelihoods. We give thanks for the work of governments and charities to help those affected.
  • We pray for the Methodist church and it’s congregations as they answer the questions ‘Who are we?’ and ‘What are we called to do?’ We hope that these questions galvanise our minds as we face a changing future for the Methodist church as a whole and Morpeth Methodists in particular.
  • For those living with anxiety and depression. During the recent Mental Health Week it was suggested that we work to reduce the stigma of mental illness. We pray for a deeper course of action, and ask what it is about our society and way of life that is resulting in an increase in the incidence of mental ill-health. We hope that the words of Jesus and the sanctuary of our churches are a source of hope to those in need.
  • For those identifying as  LGBT+, female or male. That all may be comfortable with their gender, and accepted by others, and accepted by themselves. Jesus loves them all.

October 14th

This week, please pray

  • For the many groups which meet on the church premises each week and their leaders: exercise groups run by Abi, Paul, Jan, Helen, Gill, Sally and Amanda; Puddlers Bible Study; AA; children’s activities run by Roger & Christine (Toddlers), Jackie (Rainbow Rhythms & Messy Church), Joanne & Mary (Sunshine), Jenny (Tiny Tasters), Northumberland Music Partnership, and our Uniformed Groups and their leaders; activities for our more senior people - Friendship Group, U3A, Memory Café, Lunches; hobby groups like the Voicemale choir, French, Woodhorn Matters, Morpeth Camera Club.
  • For those who have been affected by Hurricane Michael as it brings power cuts, high winds and flooding across Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Pray too for the emergency services trying to keep people safe.
  • For all those who are persecuted for their faith or cultural differences thinking particularly this week of the Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjian province where re-education camps for those regarded as extreme have been set up.
  • As scientists release further warnings about the need to limit global warming, pray that we may all learn to think about and change our way of life to preserve this beautiful, fragile planet for those who come after us, remembering that we are stewards of creation, not owners.
  • For those within our church family in need of support and healing, remembering particularly George Brigham and Diana Matthews.
  • With thanksgiving for the gift of music which enriches our lives and brings joy to our hearts whether it be classical, country, rock, old or new, sacred or secular.

October 7th

  • For the people of Indonesia following the earthquake and tsunami which have devastated the island of Sulawesi.  Think particularly of those who have lost family and friends and their homes. Pray too for the rescue teams and aid workers trying to bring relief to survivors in extremely difficult circumstances.
  • For members of our church family who are unwell, depressed or worried.  Think particularly of George Brigham having surgery on Tuesday for a tumour in his knee, and for Marjorie. Pray too for the surgeon looking after him.   Pray too for Dorah and her family in Kamuzinda.
  • For the work of SENEA, thinking particularly this week of the church families in Blyth URC and Bedlington trinity with their minister, Revd Greg Thompson.
  • With thanksgiving for the glory of the autumn and the bounty of the harvest:
    We see signs of summer’s passing in golden leaves,
    shortening days, misty mornings, autumn glow.
    We sense its passing in rain that dampens,
    winds that chill, Harvest’s bounty placed on show.
    Creator God, who brings forth
    both green shoot and hoar frost,
    sunrise and sunset,
    we bring our thanks
    for seeds that have grown,
    harvests gathered,
    storehouses filled,
    mouths fed.
    And, as your good earth rests
    through winter’s cold embrace,
    we look forward to its re-awakening
    when kissed by Spring’s first touch.

John Birch

September 30th

Almighty Father,

  • There are so many events and conditions in our world which we find grievous, painful, frightening and inexplicable.  There are countries torn and ravaged by war, violence, hatred, greed; disasters caused by storms, flooding, landslides, earthquakes, sickness and poverty.  We pray with all our hearts that you will bring your comfort and healing to all those in need and that your influences of freedom, justice and nurture will fill the minds of those who have  power and control over so many lives.
  • We give thanks for all who work, all over the world, to alleviate the suffering of families desperate for help for their children and for communities with little or no supplies of clean water and sanitation.
  • We give thanks for all the doctors and nurses who struggle to obtain the medicines and further the skills in surgery that are available to some, and that the Christian community of Kamuzinda Victory Church, Uganda are blessed and supported in their work to help and have successful treatment for the young daughter of Bishop Daniel and his wife, Dora, who needs further surgery and treatment for her worrying condition.  Doctors and surgeons have come such a long way in their ability to treat or cure so many conditions, but resources are scarce in many areas, which often makes their job even more difficult.  We pray that you will strengthen and support those who are trying to improve the fairness of distribution in poor communities, that they should not lose heart, but be encouraged by the good work that is achieved.
  • Dear Lord, we pray that those within the embrace of our own Church community should never feel neglected or left out of our concern, our thoughts and prayers.  There are now many whose needs are great, who have anxieties and feelings of loneliness, who are awaiting tests or needing surgery and treatment and are worried about the outcome.  Father please help us be aware and supportive of these needs and offer the prayers of the whole Church family, to uphold them in your loving care, to give them true comfort and reassurance.


September 23rd

This week please pray:

  • For a deeper understanding of the Peace of Christ in our everyday lives. Let us face the future with calm hearts because we know that Jesus stands alongside us. There is no promise of an easy ride, but just a blessed assurance that Jesus is mine.
  • For our partners at Kamuzinda Victory Church, Uganda, as they continue to reach out to their community in various ways and especially by means of a feeding programme.  Also, for Bishop Daniel and his family as his youngest daughter Dorah is to have further surgery and medication to treat two tumours on her ovary and kidney.
  • For our political parties during the party conference season. We pray that the long term good is considered, and not just short term opportunism. That Justice will pervade the thoughts and goals of those in government. That Christians will continue to work within the political parties in an attempt to influence policies and bring about God’s Kingdom.
  • For those at Morpeth Methodist Church who are planning action to help refugees and asylum seekers who have come to live in our community. We also pray for those who are refugees and asylum seekers in a world that has more displaced persons than ever before. It is a global affliction that affects people in Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Myanmar and many others. And we pray that the voices of reason and compassion will prevail against the hardening attitudes and isolationist tendencies of some, in a global world inhabited by God’s people.
  • And finally we pray for those who pray. That God will hear their prayers and understand their longings. Pray with words, pray with thoughts and wishes, pray with actions, pray in company, pray by yourself, pray in the morning, pray in the night, pray in the present, and pray for the future.

September 16th

This week please pray:

  • For all those affected by extreme weather events, thinking particularly this week of the people of the Philippines and southern China dealing with Typhoon Mangkhut and the people of the United States affected by Hurricane Florence.
  • For the United Nations General Assembly opening on Tuesday, and for its secretary General, António Guterres. Give thanks for its work throughout the world since 1945 trying to support international peace and security.  Pray for all those who work for its many different specialised agencies, working with refugees, children, women, trying to promote health, literacy, food supplies, reduction of poverty, environmental responsibility - amongst others .(
  • For the south East Northumberland Ecumenical Area, thinking particularly this week of worship groups within the Area’s church families, working together to lead Local Arrangement services.  Give thanks for the differing talents within our congregations which come together in these services.
  • For emotional healing for all the Rohingya people who have fled Myanmar and are now living in Bangladeshi camps. Give thanks for the work of organisations such as TearFund and the COAST Trust and the impact they are having on the health and wellbeing of many vulnerable families.
  • For all those groups and organisations whose work depends on the goodwill of volunteers.  Pray that more volunteers - increasingly hard to find in a busy and aging population - may be called to offer their time and talents.  Give thanks for the work of those who do offer their help, either on a ‘one off’ basis, or as a regular commitment., running clubs and our uniformed groups, coaching children in sports, working in charity shops, providing admin or premises for organisations, baking cakes and making jam, knitting … an almost endless list of gifts.

September 9th

This week please pray:

  • For all those who work with our young people, thinking especially on this Education Sunday of teachers in our local schools: KEVI High School, Newminster and Chantry Middle Schools, and our first schools - Abbeyfields, All Saints, Morpeth First (Goosehill), Stobhillgate, St Robert's RC. Pray too for those working in early years education thinking particularly of the Sunshine Pre-School who meet on our premises.
  • For the people of Japan which has been hit by an earthquake on top of the problems caused by the most powerful typhoon for 25 years.  Pray for the rescue workers trying to find the missing in very poor conditions and those who have lost their homes.
  • For negotiators both in the UK and Europe trying to find a way through the chaos that is Brexit.  Pray for good will and common sense on both sides and a desire for a workable solution which protects the peace in Northern Ireland.  Pray for Europeans living in the UK and for UK citizens living in Europe all of whom are uncertain what the future may bring.
  • For the invisible people living amongst us, those isolated by ill health be it physical or mental, elderly people living alone and housebound, the friendless, the disabled, the homeless, single parents struggling to make ends meet, those whose first language is not English who find it hard to understand and be understood, those who find our culture difficult to live within, those who cannot love themselves and so can’t believe that anyone else could care about them.  Pray that we may find a way to show them the love of Christ by loving them ourselves.
  • For all those for whom the tenth anniversary of the floods in Morpeth brings back difficult memories giving thanks for the community spirit which brought the town through that time, and all those who gave time and effort to help those who had been affected.

September 2nd

This week please pray:

  • At the start of the new Connexional year, pray for all those for whom September brings ‘new beginnings’:
    for children and young people who are changing schools or moving on to colleges and universities;
    for parents facing the future as ‘empty nesters’;
    for those who, newly retired, are working out a new plan for the days ahead and wondering what their purpose is
    for ministers and their families taking up new appointments, thinking particularly of Revd Una McLean, coming into the area, and Revds Lynda Coulthard and Marie Attwood, and Deacon Joy Sykes taking up new roles within SENEA
  • For all those within our church family with worries about their health or that of members of their families, thinking particularly of those awaiting the results of tests or facing surgery
  • For the homeless for whom the shortening days and falling temperatures make life even more precarious than during the summer giving thanks for organisations, such as Shelter, which try to help them
  • As the true death toll from Hurricane Maria emerges - nearly 3,000 lives lost, pray for the people of Puerto Rico still trying to rebuild their lives and their country. 
  • Giving thanks for the abundance of nature which we see around us, for berries shining on bramble bushes and rowan trees, for wheat being harvested in the fields, for gluts of runner beans and marrows in our gardens and allotments, for plums and apples and pears and conkers ripening in front of our eyes.




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