Prayer Booklet 85
Welcome to Booklet 85 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.
I hope you enjoy a different week again this week, as I bring to you verses that may seem random but are all verses of encouragement. I am delighted to start on Monday with one that was sent to me by a prayer promoter. Her name is Betty and she is on an additional list as there are a few people not in Ayr Presbytery who are on an additional mailing list and receive – and share – the booklets. She is one of those people who just seems to know how to encourage others – in other words, she has the gift of encouragement. She found her way to these reflections and prayers via the Dundonald Church website where they are printed every week and eventually used my email to ask if I could send them directly to her. God surely works in mysterious ways.
(If anyone has a favourite passage you would like to share with others, if you email me a note of it, I will try to include it with a little reflection over the next few weeks.) As we pray for others in Jesus’ name, I will continue to add notes at the end of the booklet to encourage prayer for others and for situations – focusing for a while on our Mission Plans in presbytery.
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
Sunday, 28th November,, 2021
A prayer as Advent begins (28 November 2021)
O come, O come Emmanuel,
And sit with us as we wait;
Filled with anticipation and longing.
Waiting for a pandemic to end,
For a weight to be lifted,
And the reminder that you are within our midst.
O come, O come Light of the World,
And shine into the darkness;
Bring hope to the hopeless,
And make clear a path for justice.
Give us guidance as we seek your kingdom,
Shine brightly through us as we do your work.
O come, O come Christ Jesus,
And walk with us through each day.
We bring you are fears and desires,
As an offering of all that we are.
We wait with yearning,
To see the world reconciled to you.
For weeping to cease,
The hungry fed, Wounds healed,
Widows and orphans cared for,
And mercy delivered.
O come, O come Emmanuel,
Hear our prayer. Amen.
Monday 29th November, 2021
“ I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4: 11-12
Reflect: If you have read anything of Paul’s journeys in life after coming to faith in Christ Jesus, you will know these are not empty words. Paul suffered many hardships as he shared the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus by travelling widely – often weary and hungry, and many times being thrown in prison. However, for Paul, his true joy in life came from sharing with others the truth about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus as God’s plan of redemption for a broken world. This joy helped him to persevere in every circumstance, and still radiate the joy of the Lord to those he met.
We may not all be called to serve in such an amazing way, but we are called to share our faith wherever we are. One way is to trust God, to begin each day by worshipping Him and asking how we can best serve Him. He will use us. One excellent way is to live in peace and contentment – sharing a smile in God’s love.
Pray: Loving and compassionate God, please be to me all that I need today. Help me to relax in your love, and as I find peace and contentment in your presence, may my life speak to others and draw them closer to you, in Jesus’ name, Amen
Tuesday 30th November, 2021
“10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
Reflect: Sometimes you come across a verse in the word of God that is so simple it needs no further thought – and this is one of them. However, if you are like me, it creates a sense of awe that you are described as a Masterpiece – and not just any old Masterpiece! You are God’s Masterpiece and if we can take in any sense of God as Sovereign and eternal, then we should understand that He planned our time in this world, and planned the part we have to play in His kingdom.
In Psalm 139 we read these words: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” However, this was not the end…when we seek God through the work of Jesus, His Son, He remakes us to live in faith and new life, to help His Kingdom to grow.
The Love of God is about giving us a new and more complete dimension to our lives. May we learn to live life to the full with Christ Jesus as Saviour and Friend and let us give Him thanks…
Pray: Creator God, loving Father, we thank you that you make all things new in Christ Jesus. Help us to live the way you want us to live, in Jesus’ name and for His sake. Amen.
Wednesday 1st December, 2021
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” Ephesians 3:20
Reflect: It seems appropriate to repeat this verse from last Wednesday and to link it to yesterday’s verse and this old but beautiful poem (written 100 years ago in 1921) as we enter the month of December when most of us allow our thoughts to turn to Christmas – and the promise of new life in Christ Jesus:
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”
“Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three…” But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a carolling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game — and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
(Myra Welch-poet-would say that she heard a speaker address a group of students on the power of God to bring out the best in people. She said she herself became filled with light and that “Touch of the Master’s Hand” was written in 30 minutes!.
The finished poem was sent anonymously to the editor of her local church news bulletin. She felt it was a gift from God and didn’t need her name on it.) 1921
Pray: Loving God, I long to know your refining and healing touch on my life. Thank you for the creativity that some people have as a gift in your service. Help us to understand our gift. Amen
Thursday 2nd December, 2021
Two verses from 1st Corinthians this morning:
“8 Love never fails.”
“13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Reflect and pray: These are bold words and it seems to me that although they seem simple, they are actually very difficult to understand. It all depends on our understanding of love. There are many ways to think about love. With God it always means giving of your very best to another in a way that makes a positive and real difference to their life. It means accepting people where they are at; valuing them and giving them a sense of self-worth. It is about not listing the ways in which they offend you, but trying to reach the heart of someone when it is often buried under a broken outside.
It is about asking God to help you to know when to ‘back off’ for a time until someone is ready to receive love. But in the ‘backing off’ you are still prepared to reach out in support.
It is about taking time to pray for those who are hard to love, so that God might soften their hearts…John the disciple of Jesus, wrote: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
Pray: Father God, we thank you that we find in you all that we need. You love us, you comfort us, you teach us and you call us. You showed us the extent of your love in Christ Jesus. Help us to love for Jesus’ sake. Amen
Friday 3rd December, 2021
“I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler.” Isaiah 60:17
“the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” Isaiah 60:20
Reflect and Pray: On Saturday the 13th November and again last Saturday, I suggested you take time to ponder the words with which Jesus closed the prayer we know as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. “For thine is the kingdom, The power and the glory, For ever and ever.” AMEN
These two verses in Isaiah tell us something of what is promised when we live in the perfection of His Kingdom. You might feel as if this is all something intangible – and very far away. This is especially the case when we consider the trouble and strife in all the world. However, everyone who repents and accepts salvation in Jesus, is part of God’s kingdom here and now. Jesus has asked us to be his Light in a dark world. He has asked us to be peacemakers – deflecting difficult situations; he has promised to give us comfort and a sense of well-being when we are wrapped up in his love. We may accomplish these things imperfectly, but we are all travelling towards a day when “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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.” Romans 8: 37-39
Pray: Thank you for the hope and the promise in your word. Help us to live in the truth and in the good of it. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Saturday 4th December, 2021
SOME CHURCH DETAILS FOR PRAYER PURPOSES (Repeated)
I have written the churches in their groupings mainly as assigned by plan A in the Mission Development Plan, simply for a way of assigning them to prayer. (Some are still linked as they are currently -as I used the yearbook. Also, I have no intention to pre-empt decisions still to be made). In each group I have named the Area Grouping Convener/Secretary. Please pray for them and everyone involved in discussions. I suggest we all pray the Lord’s Prayer over them plus other words of scripture. Take time and make your requests fervently and earnestly to God for His will to be done in these very difficult days for the church and the Testimony of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done;
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power and the glory,
For ever and ever. AMEN
- Pray for the Convener and Secretary of each area group that they will find God’s grace to them sufficient for the task.
- Pray for all who attend any meetings that each will look on the other with understanding, and that anger and bitterness will have no place as people honestly strive to understand the issues and present their situation honestly and openly.
- Pray that all will seek God’s will to fulfil the commission given by Jesus to reach out to others in His name
- Pray that care will be taken to keep the light of Christ shining brightly and strongly across our Presbytery
- Pray God’s grace on all who serve on the Mission Committee
- Pray that ministers currently in service will not be driven from their calling by sheer physical exhaustion; that they will not be over-extended; that they will not be in a situation where they are forced to withdraw from mission activities already in place where these are successfully reaching and touching the lives of many and drawing them to Jesus.
- Pray that people will keep their eyes firmly focused on the Lord, and that congregations will still choose to worship even where there could be sadness about the effect on their area, and the ‘fate’ of church buildings
- Let no-one make decisions for the sake of man’s approval – only to fulfil God’s will.
- Pray for the Mission Development Committee – that they will be able to focus on helping churches to build Mission and Outreach with new initiatives; new additional posts and new funding ideas.
- PRAY FOR REVIVAL ACROSS OUR NATION.
North Area Grouping (Rev Dr S McKenna/Mrs L Rankin)
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
“As for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7
Craigie Symington/Prestwick South
Minister: Rev Kenneth Elliott; OLM: Rev Tom McLeod; Session Clerk: Mrs Doreen Tait (CS); Alan Moir (PS)
Minister: Rev Lynsey Brennan; Session Clerk: Bob Stewart
Monkton & Prestwick North – Locum: Rev Stewart Birse; I.M. Rev Brian Hendrie; Session Clerk: Pending
Minister: Rev Ian Wiseman; Session Clerks: Alastair McIntyre & Libby Syme
Prestwick: St Nicholas
I.M. Rev David Gemmell; Locum: Rev Fraser Aitken; Session Clerk: Margaret McIntosh.
Minister: Rev David Prentice-Hyers; Session Clerk: Andrew Fell
I.M. Bill Duncan; Locum: Rev Mary Elizabeth Prentice-Hyers; Session Clerk: John Reid
Troon: St Meddans
I.M. Rev James Hogg; Locum: Rev Andrew McGurk; Session Clerk: Elaine Rodger
May God sustain them and enable them to work in harmony to the glory of His name.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.” John 14:27
Central Area Grouping (Rev Mandy Ralph/Paula Lennox)
“Trust in the Lord forever…the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4
Alloway: Minister: Rev Neil McNaught;
Session Clerk: Eric Ness;
Ayr: The Auld Kirk
Minister: Rev David Gemmell; Session Clerk: Kate Lockhart
Minister: Rev Paul Russell; Session Clerk: Douglas Owens
Ayr: Newton Wallacetown
I.M. and Locum: Rev Rona Young; Session Clerk: John Bell
Ayr: St Andrews
Minister: Rev Stanley Okeke; Session Clerk: Ian Lamberton
Ayr: St James
Minister: Rev Barbara Suchanek-seitz; Session Clerk: Bill Mackie
Ayr: St Columba
Minister: Rev Dr Scott McKenna; Session Clerk: Robert Bartholomew
Ayr: St Quivox
Minister: Rev John McCutcheon; Session Clerk: David McMahon
Ayr: St Leonard’s/ Dalrymple
Minister: Rev Brian Hendrie; Session Clerk: David Murdoch (St L) David Cottrell (D)
May God sustain them and enable them to work in harmony to the glory of His name.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
East Area Grouping (Rev Paul Russell/Dr David Lewis)
“… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Minister: Rev Mandy Ralph; Session Clerks: Mrs Audrey Brown (A) and Mrs Maureen McNae (T)
Minister: Rev Stephen Clipston; Session Clerk: Molly Sunter (A) Pending (C)
Minister: Rev Dr Alwyn Landman; Session Clerk: Anne Howat (C) Margaret Clarke/Anne Hope (D)
Minister: Rev Allan Vint; Session Clerks: Mrs Kirsty Murray (M) and Mrs Christeen Dunlop (S)
Minister: I.M. and Locum Rev Ken Yorke; Session Clerk: Morag Ferrans
Locum and I.M. Rev George Fiddes; Session Clerk: Isabell Montgomerie (O); Mrs Ghislaine Kennerly (S)
Muirkirk/Old Cumnock Trinity
I.M. Rev Alwyn Landman; Locum: Rev Scott Daily; Session Clerk: Sylvia Gallacher (M) Kay Mitchell (OCT)
Old Cumnock: Old/Lugar
Minister: Rev John Paterson; Session Clerk: Ian Ronald (OC); Pending (L)
South Area Grouping (Rev Dr A Vint/Mr Gordon MacDonald)
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Ballantrae/ St Colmon
Minister: Rev Theo Corney; Session Clerk: Claire Strain (B) Lynne McIlwraith (St C)
I.M. and Locum: Rev Edgar Ogston; Session Clerk: Sharon Trotter (B) Ronald Turnbull (D) Ken Johnstone (GS)
I.M. James Anderson; Locum: Glenn Ronald; Session Clerk (acting): Ian Fitzsimmons
Interim Moderator: Rev Paul Russell; Locum: Rev John Lochrie; Session Clerk: Pending (C) Lynne Rankin (M)
Locum and I.M. Rev David Hume; Session Clerk: Elspeth Carter (F); Elizabeth Veitch (K)
Interim Moderator: Pending; Pastoral assistant: Barbara Jenkinson Session Clerk: Jean Barclay (D); Gordon McCrone (PW),
Minister: Rev Gerald Jones; Session Clerk: Janet McFadzean (K); Margaret Logan (S)
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27 AMEN
Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.” Corrie Ten Boom
Continue to pray for the following in relation to COP 26 – that our prayers might cause leaders to keep thinking and planning for a better future.
- Thanking God for all those who surrounded the COP 26 talks with prayer and praise.
- Thanking God for peaceful protests and almost two weeks of calm and commitment to being heard in a largely peaceful way
- Wisdom that has been shared and positive negotiations already in place
- Pray against meaningless rhetoric and disruption and false promises
- Pray that more will recognise and own that God is Sovereign
May we also pray for all delegates, that they will return from the conference with goodwill and determination to take care of God’s creation – whatever their spiritual or secular beliefs.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ “Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7
Continue in all your many prayers for God to assist humanity in finding a cure for this awful, devastating illness Amen
- Father we thank you for all knowledge revealed to our scientists and medical people who have worked tirelessly to find ways of controlling and preventing this pandemic of Covid-19. Continue to open their understanding to find new and more complete answers.
- We thank you for all doctors and nurses who are by now exhausted but still striving to bring healing to those who suffer. Comfort them in those dreadful occasions when they ‘lose’ someone they have been nursing.
- We pray that room will be found in hospitals for all those who need urgent help for other conditions. We also pray that they will be kept safe and free from the virus whilst in hospital.
- Sovereign Lord, you know that the virus is rife in schools and that it spreads like wildfire there amongst staff and pupils – and then into the community around. Lord grant knowledge, understanding and appropriate behaviour patterns to reduce the impact of this illness.
- We pray for all those with decision-making powers in government. Grant them wisdom and grace to make the best decisions; help them to know when to take stronger action to promote safety and well-being.
- Lord God, show those with authority how to make wise financial decisions without bad impacts on those who seriously need support to find basic shelter, food, and heating.
- Compassionate God, comfort those who have lost loved ones, not only through Covid but also other illnesses. Thank you that there is a day coming when we will all be together in your presence. Amen