Welcome to Booklet 52 of reflection and thoughts for prayer from the Presbytery Prayer Promoters’ Group. As usual, let me graciously remind you that we understand that for some of you, you will have your own prayer notes and ways of approaching God, but we hope that many readers will enjoy these reflections and use them to help guide their thoughts in prayer. Please share these notes as widely as possible; hopefully they will accomplish two things. a) Help us to build our relationship with God, in Christ Jesus and b) lead us into prayer for others, and for situations that seem impossible to us – but not impossible to God.
This is a really special booklet because I have gone back to the first one. As I read it through, I realised I only needed to change the dates and reflection and prayers are still applicable with only one update. Let us give God thanks for his reassuring presence with us – and for many answers to prayer. Thank him for our National Health Service; for doctors and scientists who have been gifted with knowledge and wisdom to produce vaccines; for a spirit of love and compassion evident in the hearts of many.
Thank God for springtime and newness of life. Thank him again for the message of Easter and thank him for everyone who has worked hard to provide us with all we need. Above all, thank him for the constant friendship of Jesus as we journey through life. (I wonder how many of you have kept a prayer journal and noted from Monday’s reflections all that you praise God for… just a thought.) If you would like to comment or share a story then please contact me: email@example.com Amen
Monday 12th April, 2021
As an introduction to this booklet, and to each following booklet, I offer the Prayer of Hope from Paula Lennox, a member of both the Mission Committee and the Prayer Promoters’ Group:
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more (Psalm 71:14)
In this time of anxiety and uncertainty, let us remember there is always someone we can rely on. May we start each day thanking him for all he has done for us and holding this gratitude before us as a beacon of hope.
Father, we thank you for your promise to always be with us no matter our circumstances and we hold on to that promise now, as we feel anxious and uncertain as each day goes by. May we remember that through you all things were created, that you have supremacy over everything and nothing is impossible for you. You are our hope and we praise you. Amen
Prayer points are all about praising God:
Praise Him for the little things, we previously took for granted
Praise Him for nature, that continues to flourish
Praise Him for more time to spend in His Word
Praise Him that whatever happens he is our hope
Tuesday 13th April, 2021 (MC)
“Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them”, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19: 13-15
Ponder how much children meant to Jesus that he bequeathed to them the Kingdom of heaven, and admonished us not to hinder them. Sadly, during these unprecedented times, some vulnerable children are being more than hindered; their young lives are being badly damaged through bad parenting, and at its worst exposure to violence and sexual abuse. Now without the safety net of schools and nurseries their vulnerability increases a hundredfold. With this in mind may we pray for these little ones during this lockdown situation? (As vulnerable children have now returned/ are returning to school sadly there is evidence they still need our prayers and still need support.)
- An adequate amount of social workers available to offer assistance, and to intervene where needed
- Food to be available for hungry children
- A complete shutdown of all porn sites
- A volunteer contact service that children know how to access.
- Schools staffed by people with the wisdom and grace of God to respond appropriately
- Children to learn to know God and trust him while still young
Wednesday 14th April, 2021
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:6,8
It is just over a week since we worshipped together, by various means, during Easter weekend. It was a time that seemed very strange compared to how we usually remember and celebrate Easter and yet it was blessed in many ways. The sorrow and pain of loss, became a heavy day of darkness and despair before the joy of the third morning.
For the first disciples, they had much still to learn, but their journey of faith had begun. On that first Easter Saturday, however, they were in a dark place, not knowing the joy that was to come in the morning. Let us remember today that God never stops working, and even in the darkness when we cannot see Him, or even sense His presence He is there, and He is at work.
- Thank God for resurrection power. We may pray in Jesus’ name but the work is the work of God.
- That God will grant strength and grace to all affected by Covid-19, whether suffering illness or watching over those who suffer
- That God will comfort those who grieve the loss of loved ones or struggle with the loss of income, lifestyle, indeed any sense of loss
- That our leaders will be granted wisdom in all decision making.
Thursday 15th April, 2021
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
This commandment and promise given by Jesus to His disciples has stood the test of time – until this point for over 2000 years. If we could go back in time, I doubt that we would discover a church that functioned in the same format as that which we now know and love. Why? Because little stays the same in our environment, culture, knowledge and understanding. However, as we remembered yesterday, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’
- That God will show us His vision for the Church in our time
- That God will grant His wisdom to those with authority to direct the future development of the Church – that they may lose their sense of self to be drawn into the will of God
- That our Moderator, Presbytery Clerk, Treasurer and Business Committee will be clearly guided by the Holy spirit in all decision-making, and know the comforting presence of God
- That those who fear change will find peace in trusting God with the way forward
- That even now, God will be calling to Ministry His people to do His work, and they will hear and answer the call
Friday 16th April, 2021
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.” This verse will be familiar to anyone who ever was involved with Scripture Union. As a teenager, it held me through many moments of angst and uncertainty. So I have chosen to think of it in relation to our young adolescents. In normal times life is confusing and full of conflict for this age group. How much more difficult must it seem to them during this time of Pandemic with its increased strictures and fears.
Prayer points (remember where appropriate to personalise prayers with specific details and needs):
- Thank God for our adolescents and help us to interact with them with love and respect.
- Thank God for every person who works on behalf of adolescents, offering them a safety net when life is tough
- God, help our young adolescents to understand the importance of abiding by the rules for safety and well-being. Calm those who would rebel against this, and protect them from their own determination to see things their way.
- Help adults to understand that adolescents really experience many fears and to reach them with love and understanding. Be thankful for those who already know and trust God’s love
- Protect our young people from those who would prey on their vulnerability in these difficult days.
- Send your comfort, Lord, to those who already mourn the loss of a loved one or face illness in the family
- Bless them with the knowledge that Jesus is light and love.
Saturday 17th April, 2021
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
It is only with experience of life in the deeper knowledge of God through Jesus Christ that we begin to understand the true beauty of these words. To fear God is to hold Him in awe and respect – something that is lost from our society in general today. However, little though we deserve it, His response to us when we ‘Fear Him’ in this way is to bless us with a sense of His presence that sustains and strengthens us in our daily lives. Let us use this to pray for our older teenagers…
Prayer points (remember where appropriate to personalise prayers with specific details and needs):
- That God would Guide our teenagers through the difficult time of waiting to see how exam results will be decided.
- That God would provide encouragement not to give up on goals and ambitions where they might feel they have lost opportunities to do their very best.
- That God would provide them with inspiration to help them meet the complicated issues that add a burden to their lives and show them how to play their part in a broken world.
- That they would be a comfort and encouragement within their families and amongst their own peer group.
- That God would bless them with the knowledge that Jesus is light and love, especially as they grow into new responsibilities
- Pray for all struggling with depression after this long year…
Now I conclude this year’s prayer work with part of the note I began with a year ago. It still holds true. Next week, God willing, we will explore new pastures with our Shepherd, Lord and King:
Of course, Presbytery itself is still being confronted with the need to make changes in how we, as the Church of Scotland, continue to provide opportunities to lead and encourage worship in changing times. We must continue to pray for all those called upon to make decisions that affect many people in our churches and communities – that they will seek the wisdom and grace of God in all things. (Individual churches also have many decisions to make about the best way to go forward as they open up and seek to fulfil the great commission given by Jesus to preach the Gospel to all the world…)
Reflect and pray:
“ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26,27
Thank God for the gift of prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit making sense of it all to the Father on our behalf. Let us go to Him humbly believing he will hear and answer, as He promised.
Yours prayerfully, Christine Stewart – convener PPG