PrayerNet
September 2020

The national leaders of all the churches in Scotland recently put their names to an ecumenical prayer and the Moderator of the General Assembly prayed this prayer at the start of his term of office. In these times when we cannot be together in worship and fellowship, it is meaningful to use a part of this prayer (in italics) each week to lead and inspire our own prayers.

 

Week 1: Creator and giver of life      
Tuesday 1st to Sunday 6th September

Let us pray:
‘Living God, you are our Creator and our Maker,
And the very breath of life is given as your gift.
We thank you for the gift of life,
And we embrace and treasure that gift.’

‘The gift of life’ – What a gift! 

Faced with a pandemic that has devastatingly threatened human life across our world and brought severe restrictions on our daily freedoms and the opportunities life brings – it is time to reflect and give thanks to God for the world he has created, the vitality of life itself, the gifts of countryside, the gifts and talents God has given us, the opportunities of every day and challenges of every day, the resilience of people, and the joy of family life, friendship and fellowship. Reflect – and give thanks!

 LIFE! – Physical and spiritual!

Reflect on the best of days and times – and for all that God’s creative genius and generosity has given to us and ours. Thank God for the days when you have felt so much alive and have been energised and blest by the vibrancy of nature, the determination of children to grow and learn, the beauty of the earth, the bounty of nature, the refreshment of sunshine and rain and the times when God has refreshed your soul with forgiveness and hope! Give thanks to the giver – and rejoice!

Harvest Thanksgiving!

Remember God’s generosity in nature and the resilience of the natural world that produces year on year a bounteous supply and variety! Give thanks for the ‘bringing in’ of harvest and for the labours of the farmers and workers. Give thanks for the peace and order of our nation, which ensures harvests are gathered and our food is readily available.

Pray for our Families with School Children

There is nothing quite so energising as a group of children going to school. Their shared enthusiasm for life and learning exudes the joy of life. However, many parents and their children are still anxious about the dangers of COVID-19 and are concerned about going to school. Pray for our parents and children – Pray they may be kept safe – and may recover their joy and zest for life. 

 

Week 2: The greatest gift!                    
Monday 7th to Sunday 13th September

Let us continue in prayer:
‘Living God, you are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Whose presence in the world reveals your love for us.
In the giving of your Son,
You reveal the depths of your love.
Living God, your Son embraced the Cross
And the depths of human suffering.
We thank you that you delivered him
On the day of Resurrection.’

The gift and giving of your Son – the greatest gift of all!
Even more than the evidence of God’s love in the gift of life, is the evidence of God’s extraordinary love in the gift of His Son who died for our world and longs to be its Saviour. In times like these we must thank God for ‘the death of death in the death of His Son’ and the offer of the gift of eternal life! Give God thanks again for your salvation – and pray you may show that thanks as you live your life. Pray for others you are concerned about – ask God to make salvation and eternal life a reality in their lives today!

God so loved the world!
There are so many evil and destructive forces in our world today. Consider those areas of the world that are troubling you at this time and pray for a movement of God in that area – and look for Him to act! Pray for God’s Church wherever you know there is persecution, suppression of the Gospel and injustice towards Christians. Pray for brave, faithful Christian church leaders who are suffering for their faith and their determination to spread the Gospel amongst their people. 

Pray for Revival!
So many parts of our world have heard the Gospel and become so familiar with its message it no longer impacts on their lives. In our Western world there are so many people who are nominally Christian but they do not enjoy the truth and reality of God’s love and salvation in their own lives – pray for revival of the Churches and a stirring of the Christian people so that they renew their faith and bring many to know God’s gift! 

Pray for Graham and our Church leaders.
This is not an easy time for Graham and other ministers who were called to serve their Saviour and called to use their gifts in ministry to the people in their congregations and their communities. It is very hard for them to have the opportunities, of explaining God’s wonderful truths to their congregation each week, taken away so abruptly and for such a long time. Pray each day for Graham – as he will be praying for you! Use prayer to share fellowship with Graham and with the rest of the congregation.  


Week 3: Powerful protection of faith!             
Monday 14th to Saturday 20th  September

 Let us continue in prayer
‘Living God, as you spoke to the bereft and the orphaned in days past,
Speak to the bereft and the orphaned in days present.
Speak to the uncertain and the anxious.
Speak into the depths of our incomprehension and fear. 
Living God, your promise
Is that we will not be left alone to face the world.We thank you that through the gift of your Spirit
That promise is fulfilled.’

‘The gift of your Spirit’ – Another great gift! 

Jesus promised us – ‘another comforter’, ‘counsellor’, ‘a teacher’. The glorious truth is – we are not alone! Many today are facing mental health issues, loneliness, bereavement, grief and even self-pity. These feelings have led many to feelings of desperation, despair, despondency, depression, severe anxiety and uncertainty. ‘Living God, Your promise is we will not be left alone to face the world…’  If you share some of the above feelings then – take hold of God’s promise! 

Pray right now – and our loving God will be with you, listen to your prayers and fears and His Spirit will hear your cries and comfort you and minister to your needs. This is the time to make your faith a reality. Others will be praying for you and praying with you – join us right now in prayer!

Pray for others! One of the best and quickest ways to healing our anxiety and loneliness is to think of others and pray for them – ‘Lord, Speak into the depths of their incomprehension and fear…’ There are times when we, or our loved ones, seem so overwhelmed by anxiety or depression that we feel utterly helpless – our prayer above invites us to reach out to the very depth of our despair and find the Spirit of God is near and is with us! David’s experience was: “I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go to the place of the dead, you are there….even in the darkness I cannot hide from you…’ Psalm 139:7-12 (NLT)  Let’s talk with Him – He has never left us!

Pray for the needy - In God’s world made imperfect by our humanity, sin and greed there are many with little food in a world of plenty – give thanks for every charity seeking to supply the needs of the needy and pray the helpers may be encouraged in their labours.  Pray for mothers and fathers unable to provide for their children – pray they may have their anxieties and prayers answered. Pray earnestly that the needy may recognise their greater need of spiritual food and nourishment. Pray for our communities and families to regain their spiritual health and wellbeing.  

 

Week 4: Sustainer of daily life!       
Monday 21st to Wednesday 30th September

Let us continue in prayer:
‘Living God, be with all who sustain our common life at this time,
Carers and nurses, cleaners and porters,
Doctors and ambulance staff, delivery drivers and posties.
Through their giving our common life is sustained.
Living God, as you have watched over us in the past,
Watch over us in the present.
As once more we thank you, that through Christ
And by your Holy Spirit, we are not alone. Amen.’
 

The Giver that keeps giving – ‘we are not alone’! 

 We most often meet God’s presence in every day life as we experience the love of God through the practical, everyday love and service of others around us. We can heighten this experience if we take time to remember in our prayers those who provide services to us and those dealing with the practical issues.

Let us pray for:
Pray for Angela and the Wellbeing team 
as they reach out over the Autumn to older members who so miss the Tuesday morning gatherings. The creative way ahead for our church nationally using technology to reach out and spread the Good News.

Pray for own Church re-opening group who have been working so hard to open up the church buildings. There is still a way to go and the road ahead will not be easy. Pray for those juggling work responsibilities and giving time and talents to the re-opening programme. Give thanks to God for the re-opening of the Hall and pray all will continue to go well. Pray for the parents committee and the leaders of the Out of School Club.

Pray for our own congregation who might be able to return to some kind of Church service but it will not resemble anything we are used to – pray that those attending may still be enriched and blessed in every way. 

Pray for newly qualified ministers looking for congregations – pray opportunities will open up for them. Pray for ministers in training – that they may be re-assured of their calling and see ways forward in these uncertain times.

Pray for our health workers gearing up for winter flu vaccinations as well as re-starting clinics and out patient appointments. Keep all our NHS workers constantly in our prayers.

Pray for staff and pupils back at school and the need to keep everyone safe and well. Let us pray for vulnerable children to be supported and for parents to feel re-assured the schools are safe places for their children to be.