June 2023

God of ‘the comeback’!!!                                                                Thursday 1st to Saturday 10th   June

‘For God says, “Just at the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.’ 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT)

Paul is quoting God’s promise to Israel in Isaiah 49:8. Israel appeared to be being destroyed by their enemies – but amid defeat and despair God promises His ‘great comeback’! Throughout the whole of the Old Testament the people of Israel constantly turn away from God and He allows them to be defeated - to the extent that they feel the absence of God. But He always returns and restores them! In our text, during persecution and imprisonment, Paul declares, ‘Today is the day of salvation’. So many in our churches are in despair and despondency over the impending closure of many churches. But, we are living in ‘the days of salvation’! In truth, God never goes away!

In faith, let us pray to the ‘God of the comeback’! What is it, or who is it, you have stopped praying for? We are living in the days when Jesus is gathering His Church and growing His Kingdom. Now is the time to pray for your family who came to Sunday School but now seem far away from faith; your friends who so evidently seek to live without faith and without God in their lives; your community that appears to have forsaken worship and faith and only come to Church for funerals of many who also stopped coming to church long ago.

It is time to pray for the life and role of our church, and other churches, in a society where the culture has become warped and twisted away from God’s Word and Truth. There are many defenders of the faith who are seeking to proclaim God’s truth – pray for them and for our society. Pray God’s Kingdom will grow and influence our culture significantly. Pray we may find ways within our church to engage with our families and community.

Pray for the leadership of the Church of Scotland. Pray for the ‘Faith and Nurture’ Group as they provide leadership in supporting the ‘mission’ of the church through ministry training and change management. Pray the whole Church may be inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit towards a mighty ‘comeback’ to faith within Scotland. Pray above all for repentance within our nation: “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Begin each day this week – in prayer and repentance! Pray God may restore His Kingdom through His people here in Cambusbarron!

Are you ready??
Right NOW!!
                                                     Sunday 11th to Saturday 17th June
‘For God says, “Just at the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.’ 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT)

The TV series called ‘The Gladiators’ is returning to our screens, and I am sure the referee’s loud and distinctive cry will be heard again, “ARE YOU READY???” Paul was not sure how long he had to evangelise the world before Jesus returned – but he did know ‘God is ready to help’ and that ‘today is the day of salvation’! We too have no idea how long it will be before Jesus’ return – we too must live in ‘the urgent present’ – God is ready to help the church right now!

Pray now for all that concerns you - politically, socially, economically, personally. Let’s not live like zombies waiting for some future day - Let’s be alive today and pray and expect His blessing - in the here and now!

Let us cry out to God for His help in bringing peace to our world The Russia/Ukraine conflict is real and happening now. Let’s engage with it through prayer. The Sudan civil war is happening now and whole communities are being displaced and the cities and assets are being destroyed. Never has the threat of nuclear war been so real. Pray the leaders of our world will see sense and seek de-escalation of the threats and even pray there may be true leaders rise amongst them who will seek to do God’s will. Pray for the people of Sudan where people have clung to the hope of peace through tense and difficult times but now are faced with war and destruction. Pray with the people crossing the borders, fleeing for their lives – ask God to hear their cries! 

While we enjoy some warmer weather, let’s remember all those in marginal communities around the world who are severely threatened by climate change. Let’s pray and cry out to God for people in Malawi, who suffered floods and landslides caused by cyclone Freddy. The floods in Northern Burma and Myanmar are having a devastating impact on whole communities who are already living in utter poverty and danger. Pray for them all and ask God to hear the prayers of all those who are asking for help and trusting in His promise to help!

Pray for the community of Cambusbarron. Let’s pray for the Hub in its final weeks before the summer break. Thank the Lord for the funding that has allowed us to run the Hub and for the work cheerfully done by all those who have organised it and helped to run it. Let’s pray for those who continue to struggle with cost-of-living increases. Let’s thank God for those who run or help with food banks, which are now a lifeline to many people. As the school year comes towards its close, let’s pray for the children and young people of Cambusbarron. Let’s pray for their wellbeing and happiness; let’s pray also for their teachers, who have an important role in helping our young people to develop and find their feet in the wider world.

‘The days of Elijah!!!’                                                               Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th June

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years. Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again.’ James 5:16-18 (NLT)

We continue the persistent theme of the Bible – human sin leads to God’s withdrawal and then God, in His everlasting love, returns to His people and restores them. Moses, Elijah and Ezekiel all experienced, both the withdrawal of God’s blessing to the people in their own time, and they experienced the return of God’s blessing. Pray for restoration of faith across the UK.

The contemporary worship song: “Days of Elijah” explains the days of Moses, Elijah and Ezekiel as very dark times in Israel as it was occupied by its enemies and but also experienced times of great hope and restoration of faith as Moses, Elijah and Ezekiel prayed to God – and their prayers were answered powerfully!

‘These are the days of Elijah, declaring the word of the Lord,
And these are the days of Your servant Moses, Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial, of famine and darkness and sword, Still, we are the voice in the desert crying: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord!"’

Let’s pray for Graham in his ministry in the whole Parish of Cambusbarron. Give God thanks for Graham’s faithfulness in teaching the Word of God and in faithfully preaching the Good News of Salvation. Pray for those attending the Bible Study on Thursday evenings. Ask God to speak to each person by His Spirit and lead them to a fuller understanding of God’s salvation and grace.

Pray for Angela and the ongoing work of the Oasis Group. The summer months can often be more difficult as the usual weekly activities such as the Oasis Group and Hub have stopped. Pray for the people in our fellowship who live alone. Pray we may all be encouraged to keep in touch by phone or a visit.

Pray for the families of Cambusbarron. In recent years fathers and mothers have talked about ‘sharing quality time as a family, or as a parent’ and this almost always means participating in some recreation activity together. However, pray many will be led to include attending to their spiritual needs as part of their most meaningful ‘quality time together’ . Pray for many to come back to church or engage with us in some meaningful fellowship. Pray we may know how to offer our community more meaningful engagement and fellowship. Pray for encouragement – ask God to answer our prayers with the restoration of His presence and power being evident in the work of the Church, in our community and in our nation.

Nothing but leaves!!                                                                   Sunday 25th to Tuesday 30th June         

‘He (Jesus) noticed a fig tree a little way off that was in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree. “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And his disciples heard him.’ Mark 11:13,14(NLT)

It has been great to enjoy all the wonderful blossom on our trees over the past weeks! As well as all the colours, the trees have given us such a sense of new life and hope – the sense of vibrancy and the restoration of life has been quite palpable! The blossom shouts to us the promise that fruit is coming later! However, Jesus approaches a fig tree that should have been in blossom at least – but he found nothing but leaves! It was now too late for the tree to bear blossom and therefore it would not bear fruit!! He condemned the tree to bear no more fruit – ever!! It may seem like winter for the churches in our land – but Jesus is telling us he expects blossom, then fruit!!

Pray God may begin the restoration of vibrancy of spiritual life, blossom and fruit of His Spirit through each of us and through our work in our church, and our community, each week. From ‘Days of Elijah’ worship song:

‘Oh, these are the days of the harvest, for the fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the labourers in Your vineyard, declaring the word of the Lord!’

Fruitfulness begins with forgivenessJesus says, ‘Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins, too.’ Mark 11:24,25. Bring fruitfulness and blessing to our church by addressing your relationships with every other person in our fellowship. Restore your relationships and then meaningfully pray for our fruitfulness as a fellowship. Paul says, ‘You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.’ Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

Pray you may have many opportunities to share your faith ‘Pray …that God will give us many opportunities to preach about His secret plan that Christ is also for you…’ Col. 4:3(NLT) Pray God will show you some opportunities – today!

This month’s PrayerNet is a call to repentance; to seek forgiveness; to forgive; to love every other person in our fellowship and pray for them – so that we may bear fruit; our church may be restored to vibrant life; our community in Cambusbarron may know God’s blessing. From ‘Days of Elijah’ worship song:

Behold, He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet call,
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee, and out of Zion's hill, salvation comes!

Pray for the restoration of God’s Kingdom through our Lord Jesus Christ