Prayer

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Sunday, 16th January 2022

" For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

Reflect: This is a wonderful verse from Paul about the glory of God. Being in the presence of God is to be within range of His glory. It is wherever He is at all times. Before Jesus came, this was a truly awesome thing for His people to experience - and they feared God, trembling in his presence. It is still awesome, but Jesus, His Son, has made it possible for us to be in the glorious presence of God. When we come to Him in prayer, in Jesus' name, we come into His glorious presence. Of course it is still awesome, but it is also a place of privilege; a place in the warmth of belonging to Him; a place of love, grace and truth; a place where we can be ourselves and speak one-to one with our awesome God. It is also a place where we can listen to what He wants to say to us - which is always, 'Be at Peace, my child!' (We have looked before at how he always wants us to receive His peace).

Prayer: Glorious, yet gracious Father, we come again to you to tell you that we love you and give you praise for the gift of Jesus your son. Help us to be worthy of His name as we seek to serve where you have placed us. Teach us how to pray for the many things that crowd into our minds - grant us order and faithfulness as we praise you and bring our petitions. Let us always approach you in Jesus' name with thankful hearts. Amen.

Monday, 17th January, 2022

"What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him." John 2:11

Reflect: I wonder what we understand by the word 'glory'. Those of us who hear it regularly in Church settings are more likely to associate it with God. However, human beings ascribe glory to those who have achieved something great. The difference is that God is always glorious - not just on special occasions. His very existence is the embodiment of glory. In this first miracle performed by Jesus he revealed that he carried the glory of God. It spoke volumes to those present at the wedding about Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph - and yet not only human.

I love the additional information here..."and His disciples believed in Him". They already knew there was something intrinsically different about this man, and when he called, they followed. However, this first miracle confirmed to them that they were right to do so. Try to imagine how they must have felt in those moments...

Pray: Thank you Father God for the sense of your call upon our lives and for our decision to believe in you. Thank you for the wonderful certainty that is added to that first call when we walk with Jesus and know His presence with us. Thank you for every moment we find His peace calming our troubled souls and healing our anxious minds. Thank you as we walk in your created world, we see evidence of your glory everywhere. We give you praise.

Tuesday, 18th January, 2022

"I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." John 17:4-5

Reflect: Often when Jesus has accomplished a miracle in the presence of others it is associated with revealing His glory. In these verses, He is addressing His disciples, knowing that the time of His crucifixion was near. By now, there was much that His disciples knew and understood, but there was still much they had to learn - and indeed as Paul reminds us all, while we are still on earth our knowledge of God and Christ Jesus will remain incomplete. He reminds us that 'we know only in part..." (1 Corinthians 13).

Jesus, in these verses, lets His disciples know with certainty that He had come from God the Father with whom He existed before the world began. He also lets them know that His life on earth was fulfilling the purposes and plans of God. Also His glory and the Father's glory are one and the same. This is the God to whom we pray in the name of Jesus, the Son. How awesome...

Pray: Again, we give you grateful thanks, Father God, even as we come in humility into your presence. We automatically want to honour you and give you praise before we present our prayers and petitions for ourselves and others to you. We bow before you, and our Lord Jesus Christ to say 'You are worthy of all our praise, hear us as we yield to your will and your call upon our lives and hear us now as we bring our various prayers to you...Amen

Wednesday, 19th January, 2022

"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17: 22-23

Reflect: Isn't this the most amazing verse from the lips of Jesus in prayer? He is talking about those who believe in Him and follow Him - and he says He has given us His glory. If you are like me, you will feel ashamed when you first take this in. We do not deserve this, yet it is a free gift of His grace to all who believe. Instead of feeling that we don't deserve it, let me encourage you to look around at all those you know who have declared they love the Lord, who sit at His table to share the bread and wine, and let us question our own attitudes to one another. Doubtless we will agree there are many that are easy to love, but equally there will be those that have hurt us, or don't behave as we think they should, or don't move in the same circles as us...So what? Jesus lived and died to bring us to complete unity. That does not begin with someone else. It begins with each one of us.

Pray: Loving and gracious God, hear our prayer today as we humbly thank you for your many gifts to us. Strengthen our faith and grant us the ability to look at one another through your eyes. Enable us to love one another, even if we have to overlook things that we might not agree with. May we reflect and remember that you are the only righteous judge and that, on our own, we all fall short of the standards to meet your glory. Amen

Thursday, 20th January, 2022

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Reflect: God, in the person of Jesus, came from His glorious Kingdom to live for a time in this world He had created. His word tells us that He looked with sorrow at the ways in which sin spoiled the pure beauty of creation. While He lived on earth, Jesus was not spoiled by what He saw around Him. He remained full of the grace that made Him who he was. In himself he was beautiful in every way - in thoughts and in actions towards others. Although many resented Him, it was not because of what he was as a person, but rather that the religious leaders found it hard to accept the message he brought from God, his Father, which destroyed the power they held over the people, and undermined their own sense of self-righteousness.

Jesus made this grace available to everyone of us: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24

Pray: Lord God, King of all the earth - yet we can call you Father - thank you that by trusting in you we are given a share in your glory and we freely receive your grace. Hear our prayers again as we confess we are not worthy of these gifts and yet, because of Jesus, we receive them. Create in us thankful hearts as we ask you to be with us to help us to be the best we can be in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen

Friday, 21st January, 2022

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1

Reflect: We live in an age when we are taught to doubt everything. Sadly, the evidence of those who lack grace towards others is all around us. There are many who plan ways of confusing us in order to steal what is rightfully ours. Think of emails that we must not respond to by clicking links; phone calls that try to convince us that we need to provide our bank details or agree to part with a sum of money; people who try to gain false entry to our homes by pretending to be some sort of official - the list is endless. When it comes to Jesus and His claims: "'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6, we can be thankful to have the written witness of many who knew Him and who witnessed interactions between God and Jesus. We also have the witness of millions from all nations who have come to him in faith and found Him to be all that they needed down through the centuries. When we "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8, we need no other convincing because of the presence of the Holy Spirit from then on... and remember this, God does not want to take from us - he longs to bless us as we give ourselves to Him.

Pray: Faithful God, we thank you for the lightness of spirit that you grant to us when we kneel at the cross and receive the forgiveness offered by Jesus. Help us to live in the grace you give us and may we always be ready to share the truth of your love with others, in Jesus' name. Amen

Saturday, 22nd January, 2022

PSALM 8

LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

in the heavens.

2 Through the praise of children and infants

you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels

and crowned them with glory and honour.

6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

you put everything under their feet:

7 all flocks and herds,

and the animals of the wild,

8 the birds in the sky,

and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Prayers for others:

Continue in all your many prayers for God to assist humanity in finding a cure for Covid 19 and related situations. Amen

• Father we thank you for all knowledge revealed to our scientists and medical people who have worked tirelessly to find ways of controlling and preventing this pandemic of Covid-19. Continue to open their understanding to find new and more complete answers.

• We thank you for all doctors and nurses who are by now exhausted but still striving to bring healing to those who suffer. Comfort them in those dreadful occasions when they 'lose' someone they have been nursing.

• We pray that room will be found in hospitals for all those who need urgent help for other conditions. We also pray that they will be kept safe and free from the virus whilst in hospital.

• Sovereign Lord, you know that the virus is rife in schools and that it spreads like wildfire there amongst staff and pupils - and then into the community around. Lord grant knowledge, understanding and appropriate behaviour patterns to reduce the impact of this illness.

• We pray particularly for those students with exams at the moment. Lord you see this generation of pupils who face another year of disruption to learning in a way that will impact their future. We cry out to you to pour out grace and mercy on all who struggle. Again we ask you to intervene to bring healing and restoration. Help them to find strength in you.

• We pray for all those with decision-making powers in government. Grant them wisdom and grace to make the best decisions; help them to know when to take stronger action to promote safety and well-being.

• Father, we ask you to banish corruption and weakness from those in leadership in our land. Raise up leaders of commitment and integrity - leaders who see the need to own your sovereign authority.

• Lord God, show those with authority how to make wise financial decisions without bad impacts on those who seriously need support to find basic shelter, food, and heating.

• Forgive us, Lord, when we fail to be honest in how we live and how we deal with others. Help us Lord.

• Compassionate God, comfort those who have lost loved ones, not only through Covid but also other illnesses. Thank you that there is a day coming when we will all be together in your presence. Amen

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name;

Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done;

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation;

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power and the glory,

for ever and ever amen.