A word from our Treasurer.
In light of the present circumstances when the Church is struggling for regular income there is something you can do if you presently give by WFO envelopes. Please consider giving by regular monthly or weekly bank standing order. This can be arranged directly with your bank or you can contact the joint treasurer Fred Stevenson who will provide you with the necessary form. If you wish you can go back to giving by WFO envelopes when things return to normal. Fred can be contacted on 01292 443559 or by email email@example.com.
Monday 21st September, 2020
I promised in the first booklet that we would begin each new one offering this reflection and prayer of praise and hope (and remind you of the importance of this in the introduction to this week's reflections) from Paula Lennox, a member of both the Mission Committee and the Prayer Promoters' Group: 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. Prayer 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 22nd September, 2020
"The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Matthew 4:16 Reflection: These words were written about Jesus by the prophet Isaiah who lived 8 centuries before Jesus was born. Isaiah foretold that when Jesus was born, his life and teaching, his death and resurrection, would bring light to a world darkened by sin - especially the sin of ignoring God. They are quoted in Matthew's gospel just as Jesus began his teaching. How prophetic they are for us today. My prayer is that all our readers have the light of Jesus, guiding and lighting our paths wherever they make take usLet us pray:• Lord God, we ask you to help us to keep our lives focused on you so that your light shines brighter in us.• Father we know there are many who only feel darkness and despair - especially in these days when Covid-19 seems to be increasing. Help us to stay confident and at peace as we trust you, and help us to help others in the love of Jesus.• Today, Lord, we think of the terrible tragedy of the number of refugees roaming homeless in our world. Shine your light on governments everywhere to take action for their people. May their weapons be turned into pruning hooks and ploughs.• We pray especially for all those on the island of Lesbos where fire destroyed everything the refugee population had, even in their temporary homes. Send them loving care in Jesus' name.
Wednesday 23rd September, 2020
"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me." Micah 7:8 Reflect and pray: Covid-19 is often described as our enemy, albeit our hidden enemy...an enemy that lurks in the darkness. The word of God teaches us that all good things come from God; that all our blessings come from God; the joy that we possess in knowing him is what gives us strength. (Nehemiah 8:10.) Centuries ago, the people of God suffered greatly, usually as a result of their own behaviour going against all that God taught them about what was good for them. Sadly, I fear we are guilty of the same mistakes today...But the Lord himself sheds his light for us and over us. How we need him now to lighten the darkness. He is our hope. Prayers:• Lord God, we thank you that we know you love us - because Christ dies for us to open up our relationship with the Father by forgiving us all our sins. Yet we still live in a fallen world where many are blind to your truths. Shine your light, we pray, in all corners of the world to show your love.• Today we pray with sadness for a world where people have largely chosen to ignore you. May our lives show the beauty of knowing you through Jesus, our Lord. Amen• Illuminate the minds of all in authority striving to protect us from this virus. Grant wisdom and understanding that a cure might be found, and a safe, protective vaccine produced. Amen
Thursday 24th September, 2020
" Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:3-5 Reflect and pray: In these words we find our hope. How good it is to have hope. These words were written at the beginning of the gospel of John as he announced Jesus and his ministry to the world. What insight he was granted. Even the wickedness of men taking Jesus and crucifying him could not put out the light. Praise God for resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. Nothing in this world has victory over us - not even Covid-19 at its worst - when it takes loved ones from us, or damages our own health or causes us to be separated from our loved ones. We live in the resurrection power of Jesus and in his light...we are eternal beings and our hope and future with Him is secure.Prayers:• Thank you, Lord, that when we share the love of Jesus in word and deed, we bring his light to the darkness. • Open our eyes, Lord, to see and understand how we can be part of the work of your church in our communities even when normal service is disrupted. Thank you for everyone who generates supportive initiatives in worship and service. Show us how we can all support the work in Jesus' name.• Keep us faithful in prayer, Lord, as we ask you to work a miracle of healing across our nation - spiritually, and physically in relation to Corona virus . Every prayer is a light.
Friday 25th September, 2020
"'You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16 Reflect and Pray: So as followers of Jesus in the 21st Century we are his light in the world. We need to keep that light powered up by prayer, reading his word, worshipping him and singing his praise ( see the hymn, 'Longing for light' printed at the end of the booklet.) Then our love for him will naturally flow into serving others in Jesus' name. When those around us see lives that are lived for the good of others it is God who is glorified. People do not actually need to see what we do, but they will know the effects of living near someone who lives as God desires. The light of peace and tranquillity is evident to all.Let us pray:• Loving God, who through Jesus would inspire us to really live out his teaching - his teaching that would radically change our world for the better - help us to be faithful and true that others might be drawn to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.• Father God, you have promised to be with us in all things; may we know the light of your presence even now in our land, as the Coronavirus seems to be affecting more and more of our people, damaging our resources, and creating great loss in so many ways. We have learned that by our correct behaviour we can work to reduce its effect. Inspire us all to do what is right. Help us to be faithful in prayer and fill us with hope.• Lord, we ask for a miracle of healing, protection, cure. Amen
Saturday 26th September, 2020
The following is taken from a publication for this month from the Barnabus Fund, which is a mission that reaches out to the persecuted church across the world. As we think about it, it gives deeper meaning to the words of the hymn that follows:"Jeremiah prophesied in a time of national disaster. But he brought to those who were exiled a message of hope: 'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11 In 2020, the whole world has been struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an international disaster...Tragically; some who persecute Christians have taken the opportunity of the pandemic to redouble their attacks. Government surveillance (in countries hostile to Christian worship) and community hostility both look set to increase. I (Patrick Sookhdeo) write this on a day when we at Barnabus Fund have been overwhelmed with reports of violent incidents targeting Christians in three African countries, which have left over 170 dead - martyred for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.