Stirring times! Thursday 1st to Saturday 10th September
‘Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,..’ Deuteronomy 32:11 (NLT)
These are lines in the Song of Moses at the end of his life. He uses the behaviour of the eagles to explain how God deals with His people. As the young chicks are fed, they grow, but become too comfortable sitting snugly on the ledge high up the cliff. The parents know it is time to stir up the nest, make life uncomfortable and cause the egrets to fall off - and fall with alarm!
Disturbing times! As the Church of Scotland faces its own reality check with dwindling congregations slumbering into oblivion, it is clear we have become too comfortable in ‘the way we like church to be’! It seems God is now ‘stirring up the nest’ – and many churches are in free fall! It is time to pray this may be a time of revival! Pray for the Church in Scotland and seek a renewal of vision, mission and evangelism through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Unrest in Europe: Is God also stirring up Europe and our ‘world order’? Relations between ‘the West’ and China, between Russia and ‘the West’, seem to have deteriorated to the point where the shift is creating new uncertainties and dangers. Pray for world leaders - that sense and wisdom may prevail. Pray for the role of churches and Christians in all this upheaval. Pray it may be a time of returning to God and to faith.
Pray for our ministers! This is such a challenging time to be a minister of the Gospel. Faced with fewer people young enough to do the work in our churches and faced with a secular society that has set its face against God, our ministers face a daily challenge of leading their people in the work of mission. Pray our ministers may be refreshed and renewed in the Spirit!
Peace ‘on the front line’: Pray for the people of Ukraine who are at the frontline of this seismic political shift. So many are seeking God’s shelter and reassurance – pray with them and pray for them. Many in Russia will be praying also. Pray God will stir up the hearts and minds of these two great nations, their leaders and their people. Pray that many will return to faith and find help and support in God’s grace.
Pray for our own personal peace! If you are disturbed today – pray and seek His presence and power for your own life!
God’s love in action! Sunday 11th to Saturday 177h September
‘Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,..’ Deuteronomy 32:11(NLT)
It turns out that the eagle pushes the egrets out of the nest and into the uncertainty of falling – because the parent is teaching the egrets to fly! Furthermore, the parent eagle swoops down, spreads its wings, catches the alarmed egrets and carries them back to the safety of the ledge! Let’s look forward in faith and see that God is working amongst us - even in such disturbing times for the Church! Pray that the Church of Scotland, the Presbytery and our church may trust in the wings of God – and His love!
Our Presbytery’s Call to Prayer: “In prayer, we recognise that only God has a true perspective on the challenges we face as a Presbytery and as a Church. It is His will we must seek, not our own. Christ himself chose to follow God’s will even though it meant suffering and death, can we do less? God has promised that if we humble ourselves before Him and pray, He will hear from heaven and will answer. All things are possible when we pray with open hearts and minds.”
Presbytery Prayer: Pray your own prayers on each of the themes below:
“Lord Jesus Christ, send your Holy Spirit upon us as we gather together to worship as your body with our brothers and sisters, across all of your creation. Bless us in discerning who you are calling us to be as your people for our communities.
Bless us in our speaking to others of our experiences and listening to each other as we seek you together. Grant us the courage to seek you in our lives together. Let not our hearts be troubled or hardened amid the change and challenges, we face. Let our hearts be opened to your vision for us within your mission for the whole world.
Give us grace when we hurt each other with our words and our silence. Forgive us when we busy ourselves with our priorities and lose sight of your provision.
Open our hearts to see you Lord Jesus in our communities, our congregations, and our Presbytery meetings. Open our hearts to see you in our lives. Bless our praying for each other and ourselves through these times together.
Bless our lamenting what we cannot have back. Bless our struggles relating to each other but not giving up.
Bless our words and thoughts seeking your ways. Bless our hopes and dreams that feel so fuzzy and distant at times.
Bless us as we seek to walk in Your Way, Jesus. AMEN”
Well supported! Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th September
‘There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendour. The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you.’ Deuteronomy 33:26,27a (NLT)
The song of Moses ends with picture of God acting like an eagle – swooping down from His heights to catch us and support us on His arms (wings)! Surely this is a picture for our times! We are not in free-fall as a church or in person – God is catching us and supporting us and nothing or no one can bring us down! Let us look to our God in faith and ask Him to renew His church in Scotland and in our Presbytery and in Cambusbarron. Let us pray:
Pray for the new session of activities in our church: Pray for God to encourage people to take up the roles and tasks that are vacant posts in our own church. Pray many may be stirred into action and answer God’s call. Let us ask God to show us individually, what we can do for Him in our church. Give thanks for the leadership of Angela and pray for her and for the Tuesday Oasis Group. Pray that those attending may enjoy Christian fellowship and be refreshed in faith as well as in friendship. Pray for Graham as he seeks God’s guidance for the best ways to provide opportunities for us to grow in faith and the best ways to prepare our people to serve the mission of our Church. Let us pray that God will encourage us individually to grow in our faith and understanding – so that we might better serve Him! Give thanks for the opportunities provided within our church for fellowship – as we restart the Men’s Zoom Group – pray it may be a time of encouragement in our faith and mutual support in daily living. Give thanks for the Gents’ Walk on Thursdays but ask God to bring back those who temporarily opted out because of COVID. Give thanks for those who lead or attend the Wednesday Open Church opportunity for prayer. Pray those who attend may be encouraged – and pray others will be moved by God’s Spirit to join in and support the work of the church in prayer. Give thanks for the Knit and Natter Group and pray as they work and share fellowship together will be a source of blessing to each other and to those who receive the results of their labours.
Pray with Angela for guidance as to how the church fellowship can best help and support the people of Cambusbarron who will struggle, this winter to heat their homes and provide food for their families. Pray God will show us how we can best use our hall and our people to provide refuge and help.
Give thanks to God: for His calling of Josh Milton to ministry in Templehall and Torbain Parish Church in Kirkcaldy. Give thanks for his faith and faithfulness in preparing for ministry and pray for this congregation who have been led by God to join in union and fellowship.
Simples!! Sunday 25th to Friday 30th September
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
The Stirling Presbytery’s Call to Prayer leaflet quotes this verse. Paul tells the church at Philippi to keep it simple! Don’t worry – just pray! Think of how much time we spend worrying – replace this with prayer. Simples!!
Pray for the people of Pakistan and pray for their leaders: the scenes of flooding evoke instant worry and anxiety for the people of this nation. They are at the epicentre of the effects of global warming on the ice regions of the mountains north of Pakistan – and they are worried! Let us waste no time – turn to God in prayer, asking for respite from flooding, for wise leadership, for help from all the nations and for a renewal of faith and trust in God.
Pray for seemingly endless plight of the people of Yemen! They are praying and don’t have the energy to worry! Pray God will intervene and cause world leaders to get together and resolve the issues without more suffering!
Pray for the poorest and most vulnerable communities across our world. Take your concerns about famine, hunger, and disease in the poorest economies, to God in prayer. Don’t just worry – ask God how you/we might help and respond from our privileged life and lifestyles. ‘We cannot do more than pray, until we have prayed’! Let us pray with them – they are already praying, relentlessly!!
Pray for the leaders of our work with children and families in our church and in Cambusbarron. Give thanks for the group of adults who have been engaged with our children and families throughout the pandemic and at present. Take time to ask them about the families and pray appropriately for them.
Pray for those who suffer from anxiety and stress as part of their personal health. Within Cambusbarron and within our church community there are families struggling to cope with physical or mental or personality issues and the first way we can support them is in praying for them. Ask God to give encouragement to them in answer to their prayers and ask God to show you how you might give appropriate encouragement and support.
Pray for Revival in the Church of Scotland. Give thanks to God for all He has done in our land over the centuries and for the many ways in which He has blest our nation and its communities. So, rather than continue to worry about the state of the national Church – let’s pray for a Holy Spirit led revival!