Prayer Booklet 90
Welcome to Booklet 90 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 week I hope to focus on the faithfulness of God as we find ourselves still contending with Covid 19. Just as we were given vaccines and boosters – a vaccine to help us to find a way out of the pandemic – we were hit with the realisation that a mutation of the virus was transmitting itself amongst us at a faster rate than before. There is always hope, however, and it is believed that the vaccine will still work against this new form of Covid. We need patience and endurance for a while longer. Let us keep looking to God who is sovereign to sustain us and to grant wisdom to all earthly leaders, doctors and scientists. Let us pray as never before, remembering to make our requests with thanksgiving and to give him praise that he cares for us – although we are often determined to go our own way and shut him out.
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Monday 3rd January, 2022
I thought it would be good to remind ourselves of this reflection from PP Paula. a member of both the Mission Committee and the Prayer Promoters’ Group. It is so important to put God first and praise Him before everything else. May we find new hope:
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 4th January, 2022
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Reflection: We are just at the beginning of a new year – 2022. I hope that once again the Christmas season helped you to experience the blessing of knowing that God was with you as we remembered again the birth of Jesus into our world. And so it is that he is still with us as we go in to 2022.
If, like me, you have a sense of ‘Oh no! we’re not out of this yet’ just take a moment to reflect on the words of promise above. There are so many examples in our Bible of God’s presence with people in times of adversity that through them we can learn to trust him always – and what a difference that makes.
When we read of Noah and his family being locked down into the Ark, we know that God was with them.
When we read of David (The Psalmist) ‘locked down’ in a cave – hiding for his life – God was with him and showed him what to do.
When we read of Daniel, locked down into a den of lions, God was with him and closed the mouths of those lions, protecting him.
When we read of Ruth and Naomi locked down together in grief, God walked with them granting strength and courage for the next part of their journey.
When Paul and Silas were locked down in prison for sharing their faith, God planned their freedom and brought others to faith at the same time.
Best of all, when Jesus was locked down for 33 years into the world he created, he brought the majesty of heaven and the love of God to open the way for new relationships between God and humanity. When people rejected his love, his teaching and his ministry and tried to lock him into death, they failed. His eternal love was revealed in the cross and his awesome power is revealed in his resurrection. Today we can walk with him by the presence of his Holy Spirit. Emmanuel – God with us. Enjoy his presence with you, even in lockdown.
Prayers: (Be specific where you can)
- Loving Father God, we confess our hurt and confusion at the continuing force of this pandemic sweeping through us. As we go in to 2022, we ask that you will grant us a fresh awareness of your loving presence with us.
- We continue to pray, Father God, that we will find comfort in your Word and the joy of our salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- We pause in our own thoughts to ask you to look on those who have lost loved ones, to comfort them and to bless them even as they struggle to find a way through each day. May they know your loving presence with them.
- Sovereign Lord, grant direction and wisdom to all who work to find answers to this pandemic. Touch our world with your healing.
- We also ask that you will grant all wisdom and grace to those in authority as they make difficult decisions. We ask you to raise up people of honour and integrity. Amen
Wednesday, 5th January, 2022
‘And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:12-13
Reflection: Here is a promise from our Sovereign Lord made thousands of years ago – the rainbow is a visible sign from God that he is still honouring this promise. Doesn’t your heart lift when you see the rainbow appear through the rain? Cynics will try to explain all this away with simple scientific explanations – but in doing so they forget that every particle is set in place and sustained there by the God of creation – every law of physics is there to be discovered, not created by man.
This is a promise that reminds us of God’s presence with us at all times. It is more than this – it is a promise of the salvation he offers to each and every one of us through the gift of Jesus, his Son. Why should the almighty creator God want to make a covenant with those he created? His word tells us it is because he loves us, and he is enthralled when we choose to love and worship him and in return richly blesses us. Let us pray:
- Father God, our hearts soar with delight when we see a rainbow. Thank you for every sense of your presence with us.
- We thank you for wisdom that has led to the creation of a vaccine against Covid-19 and for every development in medicine that has helped each one of us.
- We pray for all who have suffered and still suffer, and we pray for a quick end to the devastation of this virus. Amen
Thursday, 6th January, 2022
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. Psalm 142: 1-3
Reflect: We are told that David wrote this Psalm while he was hiding for his life from King Saul who had threatened to kill him. This is a story of the tragedy of human envy and betrayal of friendship, but God steps in and shows David how to behave. David found himself with the opportunity to take Saul’s life as he slept, but he chose not to – God kept him from this act and in that moment David found a greater victory by behaving honourably. We know from his Psalms that David trusted God, and in his hardest times, when he pours out his feelings to God, he always senses the voice of God speaking back and reassuring him. He relaxes in the presence of God, and says: “I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge…” Let us pray:
- God our Father, thank you that you welcome us when we choose to pour out our anxieties and fears to you. You pick us up when we fall down, and guide us when our hope is in you.
- Lord, we confess there are many reasons that lead us to disagree with one another, especially in these days of political change and unrest. Grant us your way of peace and help us to respect others. Help us to know you are Sovereign over all.
- We ask you today to help us to look after this world. Above all, help us to remember that all peoples are equally precious in your sight. Amen
- With David we say,I lift up my voice to the Lordfor mercy.
Friday, 7th January, 2022
“They could find no corruption in him (Daniel), because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:4, 5
Reflect: This story shows more evidence of the dark side of human nature when envy and selfishness are let loose in our lives. Thankfully it also reveals the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. When men conspired against Daniel to stop him from worshipping God, Daniel refused to obey their dictates. His faith was in the living God – not mere idols. Daniel was thrown to the lions (he was prepared to die rather than deny God), but God moved in mighty power and preserved his life, and all the scheming of men against Daniel’s faithful worship of God backfired leading the King (Darius) to conclude the event with these words about God:
“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6: 26, 27 Let us pray:
- Living God, grant us the faith to honour and worship you even when life is extra hard and we are faced with many conflicts.
- Loving God, thank you that you that you know the things that would attack our peace. Close the mouths of those ‘lions’ and set us free to live and serve in Jesus’ name. Amen
Saturday, 8th January, 2022
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1: 16
Reflect: The story of Ruth is the story of redeeming love. However, it begins with the deep sorrow and tragedy of Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law) losing her husband and two sons. In her sorrow, she chooses to return to her people from the land where they had been living – surrounded by those who worshipped idols. She is also returning to worship the Living God. Ruth loves her mother-in-law and stays with her and follows the way of God. In the end, God directs their steps leading them to new happiness. It is easy to lose sight of God when sorrow overwhelms us, but he is always there, and always ready to reach out to us when we turn out thoughts to him. Christmas always reminds us of the amazing step he took to teach us that he wants us to walk in faith with him, in Christ Jesus. Let us pray:
- Father, forgive us when we lose sight of you, when our faith wavers, when we give more time to other things than to you – show us the idols that we need to bring down to make room for Jesus in our lives.
- Remind us, Lord, that we are part of a wider humanity, and that your love would reach and touch all peoples. Help us to show your gracious love to all who cross our paths.
- Lord, grant your grace and healing to all who mourn the loss of loved ones. Strengthen them in their innermost being, patiently show them how to step forward each day. Amen.