God pays attention!! Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th February
‘Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God who did not ignore my prayer and did not withdraw his unfailing love for me.’ Psalm 66:16-20 (NLT)
Notice what needs to happen to get God’s attention – ‘confessing the sin in our hearts’! Let’s begin by doing this – so that God will pay attention to our prayers. Then let’s combine our prayer requests with praising God and thanking Him for all that He is, and all that he has done for us already!!Now we have His attention, let us pray!
In our intercessory prayer in our Sunday Worship 3 weeks ago we prayed a meaningful prayer that reflected the needs and concerns of people in our community – let’s pray that prayer again – adding our own concerns for others:
“We pray for healing for those we know with pain in their back or in their joints and those finding it difficult to walk.
We pray for healing for those we know struggling to see or to hear.
We pray for healing for those we know battling with Parkinson’s or dementia or M.S. or MND.
We pray for healing for those we know who have cancer.
We pray for healing for those we know with depression or anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
We pray for healing for those we know who cannot sleep and those tormented by their experiences from the past.
We pray for healing for those we know who have been abused or neglected.
We pray for healing for those families we know whose children are coping with learning difficulties every day and for their parents devoting their lives to them with love and understanding.
We pray for healing for those we know whose relationships have broken down and those who have been bereaved and whose grief is overwhelming.
We pray above all for healing for all of us from the great disease we call sin – give us a new heart that is devoted to You and the strength to stand up against temptation. “
God – to the rescue! Monday 6th to Sunday 12th February
‘’But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my saviour; O Lord, do not delay!’ Psalm 70:4-6 (New Living Translation)
Most of the time we struggle with life – but we cope! However, from time to time we feel we are losing the battle and we begin to panic and need to act with some urgency! We call for help! There is no shame in this – it is just the realistic thing to do next! Whether it be calling an ambulance, running to a neighbour or phoning the family or a friend – there are times when we need help quickly! The Psalmist reveals that while others around him are doing well, they can shout ‘God is great!’ - he is in trouble and needs to shout for help!
In our Intercessory prayer in our Service 3 weeks ago we continued to pray:
“We pray especially today for the National Health Service across our country and for all the staff who work tirelessly to diagnose, to treat and to care for patients. You know all the problems that currently exist and You understand the reasons behind the staff shortages, the long waiting times and the queues to access Accident and Emergency departments.
And so we pray for Your healing power to be unleashed across hospitals and GP practices.
We pray also for the gift of Your wisdom to be given to NHS managers and everyone involved in trying to resolve the problems.
And we pray for fresh supplies of energy and compassion to be given to GPs and consultants, nurses and midwives, physios and pharmacists, lab technicians, ambulance drivers and everyone else who is tired and struggling to keep going at this time.
We pray that You would help us all, wherever we are this week, and whatever You call us to do, to follow Your example: to work to build Your kingdom here on earth, to pray continually, and to have compassion for those we meet. As we sit exams, or do our work, as we spend time alone or with our friends, as we welcome people to our church or visit people in our community, help us to look to You for guidance and to remember that we are Your disciples, called to follow You. And may all the glory be Yours, now and forevermore. Amen.”
‘What truth can calm the troubled soul? God is good,
God is good.
Where is his grace and goodness known? In our great Redeemer's blood.
Who holds our faith when fears arise? Who stands
above the stormy trial?
Who sends the waves that bring us nigh? Unto the shore, the rock of Christ.
O sing hallelujah! ……Christ our hope in life and death.’
Keith and Kristen Getty & Michael W. Smith
Deviant world leaders - beware!! Monday 13th to Sunday 19th January
‘Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he does for his people! He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. Come let us rejoice in who he is. For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; Let no rebel rise in defiance. Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises.’ Psalm 66:5-8 (NLT)
Amidst being nearly overwhelmed by attacking enemies, the Psalmist takes a ‘world view’ because he seeks God’s help and remembers and takes comfort from God’s sovereignty and reach over the world – and the universe! His faith reminds him that God watches every movement of the nations and puts down rebellions against him! What a warning for rebel leaders today!!
Pray for peace and reconciliation: It is so meaningful and powerful that as we concern ourselves with the war in: Ukraine, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Haiti, Columbia, Myanmar – we pray meaningfully for God to intervene because we know ‘he is watching every movement of the nations’. Look up at least one of these conflicts and pray for God’s intervention. As we approach the ‘World Day of Prayer’ on 3rd March let’s read more about some of the troubled parts, so that we may be prepared to join with the world in prayer – for God’s world!
Pray for spiritual leaders of the Churches in our world. Give thanks for all those places where the Gospel is flourishing and God’s church is growing – China, India, Indonesia, Africa, South America! But pray for the post-Christian culture so prevalent in our own nation. Pray for the leaders of the Church of Scotland as they seek to find new structures and organisational practices, they feel will prepare the churches for a more effective, relevant future. Pray for guidance and Spirit-filled inspiration and leadership. Pray for unstoppable revival!
Pray for our New Perth Presbytery: As the Church of Scotland moves towards a new format for leadership through much larger Presbyteries, many are concerned as to how these will work, but also many have the task of making them work. Pray for these new Presbyteries and their leadership teams. Give thanks for the willingness of some to take the key roles – and pray for them to have vision and resilience in their work for God through our churches.
Pray for the leaders in our own church in Cambusbarron: Give thanks for Graham and Trish’s ministry and pray for them as they continue to minster to us. Pray for Angela and Graham as they lead the work in the Community Warm Hub. Give thanks for the encouragement they are receiving from the attendance at the Wednesday session and the opportunities they are having to minister to and support new people who have come in looking for personal support in their times of need.
Pray for everyone!! Sunday 20th to Tuesday 28th February
‘For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seemed to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like anyone else…. These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! …..And so the people are dismayed and confused…”Does God realise what is going on?” they ask. “Is the Most High even aware of what is happening?” …I thought about the destiny of the wicked. Truly you have put them on a slippery path!’ Psalm 73 (NLT)
Someone remarked the other day that the divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ has never been so wide! And the way the influencers and wealthy people talk is so brash, loud-mouthed and ‘in your face’, we clearly live in a culture of empty worldliness. The Psalmist reflects that he caught himself envying them – then he realised they were losers – on a slippery slope! So, we should pray for those ‘fat cats’ – praying that God will turn this world around and bring Spirit-led revival and Godliness back into our culture. Pray for the salvation of our society and the people you know living in such worldliness and delusion. Pray even more, for those caught up in the cost-of-living crisis! So many people around us are filled with anxiety over how to heat and feed their families. So many cannot see any way out and so much of their dilemma is not the result of their own making! Pray earnestly for those who are praying out of desperation, depression and fear for the immediate future. Pray we may find ways individually to help by giving or serving or looking after others around us.
Pray for all those we know who are disrupted by strikes; those waiting for treatments; those whose health is deteriorating through delays; those whose schooling is being disrupted; for children who find it hard to go to school and those who are deeply concerned about the struggles they know their parents have in order to feed them and keep them warm and safe. Pray for government and union leaders to work creatively and with passion and concern to deliver solutions to the obvious crises. Above all, pray for the work of our church on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in reaching out in support of our community and its people! Give thanks for the leaders of the work, Angela and Graham and several volunteers with key duties – pray for them! Give thanks for the increase in volunteers and for further contacts being made throughout the other days of each week. Pray for the Pastoral Group who continue to visit the sick, elderly and home bound. Pray for those they visit! Our visitors are much appreciated and form very close relationships with those they visit – they become friends! However, as people become ever frailer, the visitors suffer the pains of bereavement for those for whom they cared! Pray for them!