Prayer Booklet 76
Dear Reader, (adapted from September 2020)
Welcome to Booklet 76 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 guides 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, especially where you know someone who has expressed that they struggle with knowing how to pray.
This week, I plan to return to specific issues facing us, our church and our nation so that as a group we focus on calling out to God as many difficulties seem to surround us. It is my fervent prayer that we will not become complacent, but will desire to humble ourselves before God, confess our own sin and the sin of our nation – particularly the sin that stems from ignoring God, and choosing to believe that human beings are self-sufficient and greater than our creator.
At the same time let us remember the everlasting love he has for us – a love shown in the gift of his Son to our world – a gift which saw Jesus cruelly taken and crucified – yet wonderfully and miraculously raised from the dead before returning to the father. This same Jesus befriends us through life by the gift of the Holy Spirit, always with us to comfort and to guide, if we allow him that place in our lives. How blest we truly are.
If you would like to comment or have a story you would like to share then feel free to contact me: email@example.com Amen
Monday 27th September, 2021
I promised in the first booklet that we would begin each new one offering this reflection and prayer of praise and hope (and remind you of the importance of this in the introduction to this week’s reflections) 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
Praise Him for…
Now just talk to God about whatever is on your heart…he wants to bless you and give you peace as you trust in him. Amen
Tuesday 28th September, 2021
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:15-16
Reflection: Don’t we all have a deep need to know that we are loved? It is so very hard for us when love is removed either by illness, death or unfaithfulness. Take courage that no matter your circumstances, when you have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, the living presence of God by his Holy Spirit is always with us – and our verse reminds us today that the very nature and essence of his being is Love. Therefore we are loved – we are loved every moment of every day. In that love we are entrusted to love others in Jesus’ name.
Let us begin by taking time to pray:
- Father God, thank you that you love us with an unfailing and everlasting love. In that love, you walk with us and talk with us; you value us and you ask us to love in return. Accept the love and praise we offer, and show us how to serve you.
- Loving God, open our eyes and show us the needs of others. Teach us how to reach out where we can. Above all teach us the importance of taking time to pray lovingly for those we know and situations we learn about…(personal prayers)
- Today, Lord, we think of the terrible tragedy of those who are homeless; sleeping rough. We thank you for everyone trying to reach out and care. Bless them we pray. Show the way to providing shelter and food. Teach us and others to care and help to meet that need. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Wednesday 29th September, 2021
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…’ Luke 4:18
Reflection: This is the first declaration of how Jesus describes his role. We know that throughout his ministry he always had a heart of compassion for the poor; he commended the widow who made an offering of two mites (equal only to a fraction of our penny) and many others. Throughout the word of God, those who have are instructed to share with those who don’t and our faith is only commendable when we show love and care for others.
It is also true, that people who are poor in the things of this life are amongst the happiest people when they trust the Lord. If you have ever seen messages from the people of Malawi you will see how they praise God, even in abject poverty. When we have plenty, it is easier to become concerned with maintaining what we have (or even increasing it) than in keeping alive our relationship with God.
Pray: Father God, help us to see the poor through your eyes:
- Bless and support all who are so impoverished they depend on accessing food at the Foodbank. Let them see your love for them that they may respond with thankful hearts.
- Bless all those people who give up their time to serve at food banks. May those who love the Lord demonstrate his grace as they serve the needs of others.
- Bless everyone who gives freely in money or food gifts to those who need them. We pray that these will be gifts of love that will be accompanied by prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen
Thursday 30th September, 2021
“ But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” Psalm 31:14-16
Reflect and pray: David the psalmist, often lived through very difficult times in his life, and often he poured out his heart to the Lord before reminding himself that God is over all, and has the whole world in his hand. This is still true today, and such is the joy of our faith that all our hope for the future is in the hands of God through the work of Jesus to bring us eternal salvation and with salvation, peace. Nothing can take that away.
- Thank you, Lord, that when we share the love of Jesus in word and deed, we bring his light and hope to the darkness.
- Lord, help us to be aware of how to stay safe as we are offered more freedom to gradually return to normal
- May you grant wisdom and knowledge to our government that they may take the best course of action to steer us through the opening of our communities and economy.
- Grant your church grace to know how to encourage faith and worship through these difficult days. Grant patience and healing to all who struggle with relationships that are strained by the tensions of lockdown
- Keep us faithful in prayer, Lord, as we ask you to work a miracle of healing across our nation – spiritually, and physically in relation to Corona virus. Every prayer is hope.
Friday 1st October, 2021
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…” Isaiah 43:1-2
Reflect and Pray: It seems to me that we can only truly turn to God in prayer when we ourselves have found our rest and peace in knowing Him. Knowing about him is never quite enough. But when we experience his love and grace in our lives it transforms us and fills us with joy and hope. Tomorrow we pray for brothers and sisters in Malawi and we can truly learn from them how to praise the Lord in the midst of all kind of trials, and to be faithful in prayer. As Bill Duncan says in his prayer: ‘let us learn from our sisters and brothers. We confess that we are all too often shy about our faith.’ Let us pray:
- Eternal Father, we approach you in the name of Jesus our Redeemer and thank you for your faithfulness to us. We thank you that you care enough to be with us through everything that comes our way – to give us courage and hope.
- Lord God, in this new wave of concern re Covid-19, we continue to pray for all those trying to help us live safely and well through these times. Grant them inspiration, knowledge and understanding.
- Father God, We pray for all those desperately needing medical attention and struggling because of long waiting lists. Grant wisdom to everyone planning our medical resources.
- Help our University and College Students to stay safe.
- Lord, we ask for a miracle of healing, protection, cure. Amen
Saturday 2nd October, 2021
A few points may have changed since I included these prayers in May, but pray for Malawi anyway.
Prayers this week for Malawi:
Ayr Presbytery is privileged to be linked with churches in The African country of Malawi. We are privileged because we have opportunities to pray and support others in a country which knows poverty far greater than we do in terms of financial support, food provision, modern conveniences and health provision to name but a few. However, we are also richly blessed by being aware of a people who truly worship Jesus and shine for him with joy in their hearts. And they pray for us.
These notes are only a summary of prayer points to encourage us to think more and pray more for God’s work in Malawi.
Some prayer Points:
- That Covid restrictions will be lifted sufficiently to allow aid boxes from Ayr Presbytery and others to safely pass through Dundee and onwards to Bandawe and Limphasa Presbyteries
- (Hopefully these will all have arrived)
- That Castlehill Church will be blessed in formalising a partnership with Nhkata Bay Church
- That visits between members of Ayr Presbytery to their partner churches in Bandawe and Limphasa Presbyteries might soon be able to be arranged once again
- Pray that will God will bless all links between Kingcase Church and Chinteche Church and for a blessing on the work of the new minister there, Reverend Custom Kapombe
- Pray for God’s blessing on the links between St Nicholas Church and Phiri Church. Pray for the safer sanitisation of buildings and for the construction of the new health centre at Sanje on the lake shore of Nkhata Bay.
- Pray for God’s blessing on the links between Girvan North and Likoma Island. In particular their minister in Likoma is recovering from Malaria, and we are thankful for improved communications through the new head of education, Mr Benford Mwakauni.
- Pray also for God’s blessing on the links between Troon Portland Church and Limphasa Church. Prayer points include the partnership with a congregation in CCAP in Northern Malawi through a wide range of projects eg provision of a sewing machine to make face masks during the pandemic; provision of printed literature re enhanced hygiene and Covid prevention; finance towards education fees and installation of electric lighting. Pray also for the sadness of the bereaved in the death of John Hart who was inspirational in establishing these links
- Pray for God’s blessing on the links between Annbank & Tarbolton with Sanga Church. They have maintained positive links, communications, provision of financial aid and prayers during the pandemic – although Covid has increased hardship, and also halted the delivery of aid boxes. Pray that all aid sent out will be delivered in the near future. Pray also that the links set up between Tarbolton Primary School and three schools in Sanga can be allowed to develop in the near future. Pray for the work of Reverend Mazunda.
- Pray God’s blessing on the link between New Cumnock Church and Kajilirwe Church. Financial aid has been provided by new Cumnock and prayers are requested because Reverend Alex Mwafulirwa has been moved to another congregation and has been replaced by Reverend Luneta Ng’ambi. May God bless these ministers and the communities which they serve.
- Pray God’s blessing on links between Alloway Church and BAGSS/Bandawe Station. There is much on-going work but pray especially for the successful completion of a pit latrine toilet block and a facility for the disabled at the Bandawe Girls Secondary School.
- Pray God’s blessing on the link between Dundonald and Mdyaka where the minister is Reverend Glory Mazunda. Dundonald was blessed to have a message from Glory shared as part of our worship on You tube recently. They have struggled greatly with Covid but remain thankful for every blessing. Pray for the links which assist their Nursery Feeding Programme; the development of five Community Prayer Houses; supporting a student in teacher training; and supporting the Mdyaka Guild in funding secondary school fees for an orphaned student.
Above all, we ask for your prayers that our precious links with Malawi will continue to prosper and grow as we face the merger of our presbytery with others to become known as West of Scotland Presbytery. Indeed keep all these ‘political’ changes affecting our churches in your prayers that God will continue to bless and strengthen his church – even when we feel daunted by proposed changes. We commit all things to him through the prompting and working of his Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name and for His sake. Amen