Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Prayers For The Week 20


  “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favour again?  Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?  Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”  (Psalm 77: 7-12)


We can connect with the ancient voice of faith as he experiences disappointment and despondency:

In the struggle back to what we recognise as normal;

In the impact of the pandemic on our lives and the lives of those we love;

In the prospect of future days and the challenges we face as your Church.


But that same voice of faith calls us to the deeds of long ago when You came with power among Your people to raise them up and take them forward.  

In time there would be voices of faith calling believers to  the Cross where the worst of human impulses were displayed and yet was the means whereby Your loving purpose for humankind was fulfilled.  

So bring us to the Cross.

Where in the midst of our struggles we can be assured of Your presence;

Where in our weakness we can be made strong;

Where in our sin we can be forgiven;

Where even in face of death we have hope.  



We thank you that even as the gaze of our Risen Lord reveals what needs to be changed still it holds for us a vision of what we can be and what we will be.  

We thank you that even as we share the brokenness of humanity still by your grace we can show the fruit of the Spirit.

We thank you that even as Your Church seems to falter and diminish still You hold before us the promise that the earth will never be without a witness to Christ.  

We thank you for those we have known now at rest who recognised their inadequacy and yet looked to the Spirit to renew and revitalise.  


We pray for the world-wide Church that she will be powerful in her proclamation and consistent in her living.


We pray for the world that in a time when our limitations are recognised that the need for a Saviour will be intensified.  


We pray for our nation enjoying new freedoms but required still to be cautious.  


We pray for doctors, dentists, nurses and others in the medical world under constant pressure.


We pray for those whose work is to keep us safe: police offers, fire-fighters, government officials, locally and nationally.


We pray for those restricted by pain, burdened by anxiety, desolated by loss.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Prayers For The Week 19


 
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.  (Psalm 65: 4)




The day begins and many ways open up to us

Places we can go, people we can see, things we can do.

But on this day followers of Jesus feel the pull of Your Spirit.

Our minds have become fixed on Him and we have chosen to be in this place in anticipation of good things filling our lives.  

We open up our hearts to:

The fellowship the Spirit creates for us;

The fulfilment of Jesus’ promise that He is present in our midst;

The assurance that from Him flows forgiveness for our sins, strength for the challenges of this day, and hope for the unknown days that lie ahead.  


We join with the ancient people of Israel who gathered with confidence that despite the shadows that might fall on their lives good things await those whose hearts a
re turned to God.

We join with the early Christian communities whose hearts were so focussed on the sacrifice of Jesus that they knew that nothing would hinder the flow of love from the heart of God the Father.  

We join with brothers and sisters throughout the world who wait in expectation for Your Voice to speak to us in the depths and for Your Spirit to take us forward and to energise us in the building of Your Kingdom.  




Father, you have set before us the eternal example of self-giving in Jesus Your Son and we praise You today that this has brought us forgiveness, renewal and the promise of a place in Your eternal Kingdom.  

We praise you for those we know who have reflected this self-giving in their lives and have been a blessing to us in practical help, encouraging words and prayerful support.

We praise you especially for those who are now beyond our sight, our touch and our call but who have so much for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom in their time.


May Your Church throughout the world be a giving people, offering time, talents and money to make known the story of Jesus and the transformative power of His love.


May the nations of the world who can afford to give show a new generosity to those whose homes have been destroyed,  to those who cannot feed their families, to those denied justice.


May our own nation benefit from the Christian witness that continues in our midst so that laws and institutions may be shaped according to Your will.


May those whose health is failing, whose employment is threatened, whose finances are strained, whose care for a loved one has become overwhelming - may all of those receive what is needed to renew hope and faith.


May those within our families and amongst our friends be blessed, kept safe, and aware of the love of Jesus which no circumstance can erase.  

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Prayers For The Week 18

 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.  (Psalm 54: 4)



We thank you for the ancient voices of faith who turn us towards You in those times when our resources are strained.  


In times when pain distracts us and turns us in on ourselves:

‘Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.’ 


In times of anxiety when we are caught up in a whirlwind of emotion:

‘Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.’


In times when bitter experience threatens to take God away from us, even then help us to persist in saying:

‘Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.’


Father, enable us to see that all of this is the experience of Jesus, born as one of us, our brother, our friend, who is heaven today carries the pain, the emotion, the anguish that so often falls to us.

The One who in the power of His Spirit comes to us when we need help to sustain us and take us forward in strength and in hope.  


Forgive us our lack of faith in His Spirit and bring us now the assurance that whatever our sins of word, of thought, of deed, we are sustained and set free to renew our walk in His ways.  





We praise you that you have called us to be a people together,

Who can praise You with one voice for Your blessings to us,

Who can look to one another for inspiration and encouragement,

Who can share the great commission to tell the story of Jesus and serve those in need.  

We praise you for those in the past who were faithful in responding to the call, who came through the challenges of their time, who believed through their own personal suffering, even death, and now enjoy their place in the eternal Kingdom.  


We pray for the life of the Church throughout the world, that whatever the circumstances there will always be reason for thanksgiving.


We pray for our world, so broken, so divided, so much in need of a Saviour who forgives, heals, unites and satisfies.


We pray for our nation, pressing on with so much pain behind us and so much unknown before us, may our hope be grounded in what You alone promise.  


We pray for those whose pain, anxiety and loss we carry with us today in the faith that Your eye is upon them and Your love is reaching out to them.  


Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Prayers For The Week 17

 ‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

 Do not fret when men succeed in their ways,

 When they carry out their wicked schemes.’  (Psalm 37: 7)




So often the tide of darkness sweeps over the earth.  

Plans that will be hurtful to others.

Policies that will benefit only the privileged.

Promises made without commitment to see them through.

Pleas for food, housing, and justice that will remain unheard.


But the ancient voice of faith calls us to be still before the Lord, to resist the pull into darkness and to wait patiently.

So
we pray for grace to acknowledge Your control over all, to trust in your ways, to be sure within ourselves that love, justice and peace will not sleep forever.


And may it begin in us.  

For too often we have added to the darkness with our words, our thoughts, our attitudes and our actions.  

Forgive us.

As we wait for the Lord let this be combined with our commitment to let our lives reflect your love, your goodness, your justice.  



We thank you for your Church

Where we have heard the story of Jesus,

Where faithful people have shown the love of Christ to those on need.

We thank you especially for those now at rest who were faithful to the end and have left us with an example of commitment and perseverance.


We pray that your Church throughout the world would never be in disarray because of human prejudice and that barriers overcome in christ would never be reinforced.


We pray for the world that no one would ever be disadvantaged because of race, faith, gender or class.


We pray for our nation that we might have your perspective on the things that divide us and learn to appreciate the things that unite us.  


We pray for those who suffer intolerance and pray that they would find strong in the One who was despised and rejected.  


We pray for those known to us whose quality of life has been affected by pain, anxiety, bereavement and ask that the Holy Spirit would be close to reassure and revitalise.  

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Prayers For The Week 16


We come to you, O Father, Creator of our lives.

We come to sing your praises for blessings you provide.

You give us strength in weakness, you give us hope in pain,

You give your truth to bring us back to your will again.

You never will forsake us, your grasp of us is sure,

Your purpose is to cleanse us until our lives are pure.

 

We come to you, O Jesus, the Saviour of our lives.

We come to sing your praises, our Brother and our Guide.

You came to live amongst us, to share our joy and tears,

You healed the body broken and calmed the mind in fear.

Your death has brought forgiveness, new life for those who fall

Your triumph over death is shared with those who hear your call.

 

We come to you, O Spirit, the Power in our lives.

We come to sing your praises, God’s Presence by our side. 

You come to help us worship, to raise our spirits high,

You come to show us clearly where paths of service lie.

Reveal the truth of Christ to us and form in us His mind!

Bring forth the love and peace of Christ to share with all mankind!



Lord God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to you be praise and glory for ever. We rejoice, Father, that in your great love you sent your one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. We ask that your Church may always witness to your presence and your love and that you will guide all preachers of your word so that they may lead your people to know and to love you. We ask you to continue to bless Fergus in his ministry to us here at St. Paul’s and Baldernock.                                                                                           

We bring to your love the suffering and sorrow of our world. We pray for all who are scorned or rejected and who suffer from the cruelty and wickedness of others. We remember those living in areas of war and violence and suffering attacks on their communities, such as the peoples of Israel and Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and so many other countries. We ask your blessing on the efforts of all individuals and organisations working for peace and reconciliation and providing help for those in need.  Give wisdom to those responsible for combating the pandemic so that good decisions are made, especially in countries like India. We pray for those who have lost loved ones and for all who are ill at home, in care homes or in hospitals. May they be comforted and supported. We remember people involved in accidents or acts of cruelty and violence this week. We bring before you all who live in fear or feel that they can no longer cope with life. We ask your blessing on doctors, nurses, care and social workers, teachers, police officers, members of the emergency services and all on whose caring and commitment we depend.  

 Finally we thank you for our loved ones and friends, for those who enrich our lives through their goodness and example. You love them more than we can ever do and you know their deepest needs, and we pray that you will bless and protect them. We ask you to help us through your Holy Spirit to keep close to you in the coming week, Amen.        


Thanks to Robin Easton for the prayers for others.
 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Prayers For The Week 15

 Where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.  (Psalm 65: 8)


God our Father,


We close our eyes in sleep in the knowledge that Your Spirit fills the Universe; that your Spirit sustains the witness of Your Church; that Your Spirit is working in the lives of Your people to comfort, to strengthen, to establish  Your Word.


We move into a new day with the prospect of being drawn deeper into Your Love, of extending our understanding of Your ways, of responding to the call to serve.  

So draw us closer to Yourself and enable us to sing songs of joy, the praise of a grateful people who know God through Jesus Christ, who have been touched by His sacrifice, renewed by His resurrection and inspired by His promises.  


Forgive us that so often we cut off the sources of joy.

Neglecting the Word that keeps us close to You.

Ignoring the promptings of Your Spirit to forgive others.

Setting aside opportunities to support others in time of need.

Father, if You held on to our failure where would be our hope?

But You have assured us in Jesus that sin is not victorious over us, that calling to mind our failure is not a mark of despair but the beginning of renewed aspiration.

So help us to believe that You are on our side as we now go forward to face the challenges of the days ahead. 

Heavenly father once again we find ourselves in your presence this morning and we are safe in the knowledge that you are with us. As we celebrate Pentecost we know that your spirit moves amongst us and because of that we get to know you just that bit better. We know that you find joy among us as we see your absolute power, your incredible knowledge and your everlasting love.




We pray this morning for those in our congregations who need you: a healing spirit, a loving father and a consoling friend. 

We pray for our brothers and sisters touched by illness, affected by a bereavement and isolated by loneliness .

We pray for those who feel that they have no need of your love, those who stand in the boundaries between belief and disbelief and we ask that you enable us to draw them closer to you and closer to understanding.

We pray especially for this year's General Assembly. 

The year past has been a different year and a different Assembly and we pray for the outgoing Moderator Martin Fair. 

We pray for the new Moderator Jim Wallace and ask that you be with him and all who are making decisions about the church this year. 



Go with Jim Wallace as he travels through this country and abroad representing our national church , give him wisdom and strength for the job ahead.


Father we pray today for those in every church in the land, give us a vision that will take some out of their comfort zone and lead us into new ways of serving you, to be beacons of hope in world that has changed

We pray for those we recognise as key workers. Those who selflessly administer care, who enable life to go on and allow families to continue to exist. 

We pray for those who work for peace abroad in war zones and even at home where there is conflict. 

We especially pray for those who work for peace where there seems to be no peace possible like Syria, Pakistan and places where the church is our concern.

We pray for Israel and for calm, we pray for India and for healing and 

Father this prayer for others this morning is heavy and encumbered but we know you are a God who cares and a God who is bigger than anything else in this world. 



Thanks to Alex McEwan who provided the prayers for others.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Prayers For The Week 14


I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 


Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.  (Psalm 27: 13-14)



God our Father,


In these days 

We are asked to be confident in those who govern, in those who administer, in those who research.

We are asked to be confident in one another that we will follow guidance and show consideration.

We are asked to be confident that we will find a way through Covid-19 and regain our quality of life.


We do not despise the skills and expertise of men and women who seek to bring us hope.

But on this day we lift our hearts to the God revealed in Jesus and place our confidence in Him.

The God who was one of us, who experienced the pressures of human living, who knew the limitations of our being, who even knew the death that is our final destiny.  

The God who showed that in the midst of brokenness goodness and love are possible.

The God who assures us that even in death His purpose continues.


This is the God who reveals Himself in the land of the living, the God for whom we wait.

He alone can strengthen us from within as we go forward in faith.  




Our loving heavenly Father, on hearing your Word again this morning, we acknowledge that we are indeed in the presence of a loving, holy and powerful God, who thought us worthy enough to leave all the splendour of heaven and come down to live among us, that we might come to know you as our Lord and Saviour.  Help us to hold fast to the truths and promises in your Word, not only for this life but for the life to come because of our faith and trust in you.


Father, we bring before you our loved ones and ask that you will draw them to yourself.  We pray for our friends asking you to minister to them at their point of need.  


Father, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it has reminded us of the fragility of life.   All of us have watched heart-breaking images on our television screens, read reports in our newspapers of India, Brazil and other countries and we have felt so helpless in the face of such a deadly virus.  Then we remember we can do something – we can pray – we can bring the people, their situations and their loved ones to you in prayer, asking for your help, power and love to walk the difficult road with them.   We also pray for the medical personnel who work in difficult, understaffed and under-resourced countries where the people are not just fighting the virus but are malnourished, scared and without hope.  


Father, our world is so vast, so unequal in that so many people live in countries where they do not have enough food or clean water, no proper government, many random acts of violence resulting in death, and the people themselves feel that they do not matter.  We are also aware of people who live in countries where there is no peace, and, this morning, we pray for Israel and ask that things will not further escalate.  Father, the situations we have prayed for this morning are complex and multi-layered and too big for us to solve on our own and we give them over to you asking that you will intervene and bring peace, intervene and bring equality, intervene and bring hope to the despairing.