Prayer

Mothers’ Union Prayer

Loving Lord
We thank you for your love so freely given to us all.

We pray for families around the world.

Bless the work of the Mothers’ Union as we seek to share your love through the encouragement, strengthening and support of marriage and family life.

Empowered by your spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship, and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen

 

Mary Sumner Prayer

All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee; and every life I touch, do thou by thy spirit quicken, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe, or the life I live.

Amen

 

Diocesan Prayer Leaflet

As the night watch looks for the morning,
so do we watch for you O Lord.
Lord, I know I have my faults and my many
failings causing you to grieve. I pray that
your spirit will enter into my heart and
through my heart the whole of me.
May I be a light that guides, loves and helps
others to find your forgiveness and peace.
God of welcome take our
mustard seed of faith;
Nourish it with the Holy Spirit,
that confidence will grow within us
to speak your words of invitation.
May our vision flourish. Amen.

 

Sunday, the first day of the week
God has created a new day
Silver and green and gold
Live that the sunset may find us
Worthy His gifts to hold.
Loving Lord, we thank you for the
wonderful world which You have created
and for giving us another chance to shine,
today. Help us to reflect Your glory and
enable others to see You through the work
of our hands, the words of our lips and the
thoughts of our hearts.
All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many
lives as possible for Thee; and every life I
touch do Thou by Thy spirit quicken,
whether through the word I speak, the
prayer I breathe, or the life I live. Amen

 

Lord, help us to follow you
in the way of the Cross.
May my hands this day grasp your cross,
Lord and in doing so show your compassion
and care as I touch others. Give my hands
tenderness as I wipe away the tears of
those in despair and the healing power
when I touch those less fortunate.
Take me Lord and do what you will with
me, only give me your grace and your love
for that is enough for me.

 

You have given us a new Commandment,
to love one another.
Let my head not be swayed in this world of
seemingly self-interest and avarice but
help me to understand that it is only by
following your commandment to love one
another, Lord, that we will find our self in
the fulfilment of your life.
All our problems
we send to the Cross of Christ
All our difficulties,
we send to the Cross of Christ
All our hopes,
we set on the risen Christ

 

This is the day that the Lord has made,
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
The Lord Jesus says to you:
I, I am here with you every day.
Take my hand and walk with me.
You will never be lost,
because I am the way.
In Me, you find the truth and the life.
Embrace life with me
and you will have peace, My peace.
Dear Lord, as this day begins help me to
feel your strength in my body that I may
carry out the work that I do this day however
arduous, difficult or wearisome. Give
me the added strength to help others in
their tasks.

 

One more step along the world I go
As I walk along help me to keep to your
narrow path, Lord.
May my feet guide others along the road
and not lead them astray.
Help me to climb the hills and mountains
that I meet and be with me when my
feet lead me to the deep valleys of
despondency.
Father hear the prayer we offer
Not for ease that prayer shall be,
But for strength that we may ever
Live our lives courageously.

 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.
From whence cometh my help?
Be in my eyes Lord. Let my eyes see not
only the desolation of this world but also
the beauty. Help me to see those who are
in need of loving care, their fear and
hopelessness. Help them to see in my eyes
your love and peace.
May my smile and laughter show your love,
Lord. The happiness of knowing you and a
gift for all who receive it. May the smile
and laughter help to brighten up the day
for those whose life seems a never-ending
grey.
Gentle God, breathe love within us
Breathe love between us,
From one moment to the next
You hold us in the palm of Your hand.

 

Wave of Prayer

The Wave of Prayer is the one time in the year when all Mothers’ Union members across the world pray for us here in the Diocese of Peterborough. It is a humbling thought.

Due to the situation caused by the Covid19 outbreak, MU deaneries and local branches may need to engage with our annual Wave of Prayer in a variety of ways.  Some may be able to meet in church or a church hall as usual, others may opt to gather via Zoom and some members may need to pray in the safety of their own homes.  To accommodate a variety of worship arrangements, the service this year has been kept a little simpler.

Hymns

At present, singing is not allowed in church or confined spaces but CDs could be played and listened to.  Music could be played before or at the start of the service and at the end.  For those worshipping via Zoom, hymns could be sung with the mute button on except for one singer setting the pitch and tempo.

As we pray for our linked branches across the world and they pray for us, may God hear our prayers and join us in true fellowship – one family reaching out across the nations.

Revd Christine Ostler

 

WAVE OF PRAYER

BUILDING HOPE & CONFIDENCE 2020

WELCOME & GATHERING

“Building hope and confidence” is at the heart of our call to support individuals and families to transform their lives. So we gather to celebrate our hope and confidence in God, which inspire and equip us to build hope and confidence in others, as we reach out in love and service.

PRAYER OF PREPARTION

With thankfulness and love we take our place

in the family of Mothers’ Union worldwide.

Open our eyes to the significance of relationship

with members worldwide, with those known to us or not.

With support and love we reach out

to our sisters and brothers across the world.

Strengthen our commitment to those with whom

we share vision and values, wherever we may live.

In unity and love we link hands

with our worldwide family of God.

Unite us in worship; build us in service,

as together we seek to share your love.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

CONFESSION

Merciful Lord, forgive us when we shun the security

of your eternal promises and build our hope and confidence

on the shifting sands of this world.

Lord of steadfast security, help us to anchor our lives on you,

that we may place our confidence in your unfailing word

and build hope that endures in those you call us to serve. Amen.

 

ABSOLUTION

May our loving Lord bless us

with forgiveness and grace

that we may be renewed

in hope and confidence

to gladly serve his world. Amen.

 

New Testament Reading: Philippians 4.4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is the word of the Lord:

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 9.35-38

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew:

Glory to you, O Lord.

 

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord:

Praise to you, O Christ.

 

TALK / SHARING OF STORIES / MU UPDATE

THANKSGIVING & INTERCESSIONS

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love.

Colossians 2:2

As we come to give thanks for Mothers’ Union Worldwide, may God

encourage us in heart and unite us in love.

We pray for our World Wide President, Sheran Harper, Provincial President, Kathryn Anderson, and Diocesan President, Jill Cannings. We pray for all who are working to resolve the financial challenges of Mary Sumner House.

 

We pray for our link dioceses:

Loving Lord, we bring to you our praise for the fellowship and

prayer support that we have through our links with the dioceses

of:  Oyo and Aba Ngwa North in Nigeria; the diocese of Rumbek in

South Sudan; the diocese of Soroti in Uganda; the diocese of North

Eastern Caribbean & Aruba; and for our own diocese of

Peterborough.

We thank you for the times when we have built

relationships through sharing and visits.

We thank you for the times when lack of news

has driven us to pray and intercede.

We give thanks for the blessing

of being united in prayer with our link dioceses.

We pledge to continue to remember

our sisters and brothers in prayer and especially any who continue

to struggle with the effects caused by Covid 19..

We pray for all members.  May God be with them

in every part of their lives,

encouraging them and leading them,

sheltering and strengthening them,

so they may work to your praise and glory.  Amen.

(Some additional or alternative prayers may be used.)

We join together in the prayer Jesus taught us saying,

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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
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.

 

THE PEACE

Almighty God, as you have loved us and made us your friends,

so you have called us to love one another.

The peace of the Lord be always with you; and also with you.

(Maintaining social distancing, you can nod to your neighbour.)

THE MOTHERS’ UNION PRAYER

Loving Lord,

we thank you for your love so freely given to us all.

We pray for families around the world.

Bless the work of the Mothers’ Union as we seek to share

your love through the encouragement, strengthening and

support of marriage and family life.

Empowered by your Spirit, may we be united in prayer and worship, and in love and service reach out as your hands across the world.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Service of Communion can be included here.

THE BLESSING

Lord, as we have celebrated your goodness together,

may our unity deepen and grow.

We are the family of God.

Your love draws us into yourself

and out to one another.

We reach out as your hands

across the world.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

We say the Grace together:

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with us all evermore.  Amen.

 

Peterborough Diocese Prayers

JULY

We pray for all members in the branches of Abington, Christ Church, Holy Trinity with St Paul, Kingsthorpe, St Alban’s, St Benedict’s, St James’, St Mary’s, St Michael’s and Weston Favell in the Greater Northampton Deanery.

As the summer approaches, we open our hearts to seek your will, to be strong in faith and true to your Word.  We pray for all mothers as they care for their families, sometimes against the odds. Give them the patience, strength and love to be good and faithful mothers, encouraging others who struggle with the demands of parenthood.

We pray for successful fetes and summer events, as they show the work of the Mothers Union to all who visit.

We give thanks for the sun and the beauty in your creation; and like the sun helps the flowers grow; so, the Son helps us grow in you.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

AUGUST

We pray for all members in the branches of Paulersbury, Tove and Whittlebury in the Towcester Deanery.

We pray for our founder, Mary Sumner and thank you for her witness, courage and example of love and service.

We remember the Transfiguration when Jesus meets Moses and Elijah. Like the disciples who witnessed this event, help us to be good and faithful witnesses for you.

We give thanks for the beauty of the flowers and the trees; the high summer days and the long warm nights.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

SEPTEMBER

We pray for our link dioceses and their MU Presidents – for the dioceses of Oyo and Aba Ngwa North in Nigeria and Catherine and Odi, for the diocese of Rumbek in South Sudan and Hellen and Rebecca, for the diocese of Soroti in Uganda and Rose and Sarah, for the diocese of North Eastern Caribbean & Aruba and Ephena and for our own diocese of Peterborough and our President Jill.

We thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross; help us to be strong and when we need to give of ourselves for our faith, we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit for courage and strength. We pray for all our Wave of Prayer services and for a successful and uplifting Annual meeting in Belfast. We pray also for the Deanery Leaders’ lunch at Crossways, Uppingham, which takes place this month.

We give thanks for those who give their time freely to enable the work of Mothers’ Union and all charities who work for the good of others.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

OCTOBER

We pray for all members in the branches of Cransley & Geddington, Rothwell, Rushton, Saints & Angels and St Andrew’s in the Kettering Deanery.

Help us to pray for those in need of your help and support.  For those caught up in modern day slavery; for all who are forced to work in deplorable conditions.  We pray for the MU Trustees as they meet at the Parish Hall in Kettering and for those who work at and attend retreats at Launde Abbey. As we pray, open our minds to your Word, and we ask that you answer our prayers and respond to our needs, not just our wants.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

NOVEMBER

We pray for all members in the branches of All Hallows, All Saints, Earls Barton, Orlingbury and Harrowden and Wollaston & Strixton in the Wellingborough Deanery.

Ever loving Father, we live our lives as your saints, and like the saints in heaven, we follow their lead and live to your wisdom and glory. We pray for our MU AGM and Eucharist at All Saints Church, Wellingborough. Give strength and courage to all who serve your Holy Word. We pray for all who are without faith, hope or love.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench. You turn our darkness into light: and in your light shall we see light.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

DECEMBER

We pray for all members in the branches of Eye, Longthorpe, Paston, Werrington in the Peterborough Deanery and for the Oundle members in their Deanery.

Holy Lord, we pray for this holy month, when we celebrate the conception and birth of our Lord Jesus as God in his earthly form.

We pray for the Christmas festivities; for fetes and carol services. We pray for strength for those who prepare services and Christmas events. Help us not to be caught up with shopping for presents and food, that we forget the true meaning of Christmas.

We remember the poor, the vulnerable and the lonely who find this time of year depressing and difficult.

We give thanks for the charities and organisations who work to help the disadvantaged and needy.

We pray for the work of the Mothers’ Union across the Peterborough diocese, in the UK and across the world and for the work being undertaken for the 16 days of Activism. Bless us Father and keep us.

In faith we live our lives to you; in truth we practice your word; in love we live to help each other.

Lord, in your mercy…. Amen

 

Merry Christmas to you all from the Mothers’ Union members at St. Benedict Church in Hunsbury, Northampton.

Thank you to Catherine from the branch of St. Benedict Church in Hunsbury, Northampton for writing these prayers.

 

Prayers for Mothers’ Union Committee Meetings

Compiled by Jean Rose (Trustee, MU Peterborough Diocese) & Rev Christine Ostler (Trustee MU Peterborough Diocese)

Option 1

A short period of silence may be kept:

Leader: Think not of what you have done today or where you have been, but think about the One into whose presence you come now.

PAUSE

Leader: We come together to meet in the name of Jesus Christ, to review what we have done in His name and to explore how we can further God’s Kingdom in this place through the work of the Mothers’ Union.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, nothing in our lives is too small that it escapes your gaze and we thank you for the care and love in which you enfold us. Be present in our discussions today, so that whatever you want us to pursue may come to fruition, and a path you do not wish us to follow will appear as a closed door.

Father as you open the doors before us in our conversations, may we bring your glory to our community and to your church.

We ask in the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Option 2

A short period of silence may be kept while contemplating:

Leader: May the busyness of our lives be restrained for this coming time as we seek the Lord, to further the work of God’s Kingdom in this place.

PAUSE

Heavenly Father, we claim that promise now, that where two or more are gathered in your name then you are with us. We welcome you now to this meeting. May the things we say and discuss be encouraging and uplifting, may we feel your touch of encouragement on our shoulders as we plan for the future.

Guide us in the path you would have us walk.

In the name of Jesus Christ we ask.

Amen

Option 3

A quiet song or worship tune may be played:

e.g. As the deer pants; Oceans; When peace like a river

PAUSE

Leader: As You open our ears to hear Your voice (in the song), so we ask that You open our hearts and minds to hear You speaking to us now, as we discuss and plan for the work of the Mothers’ Union in this community. We ask that you will encourage us to be bold, help us to be creative and, above all else, to bring Your Kingdom closer to this place.

In the name of Christ

Amen

Option 4

Think upon these words:

“Jesus Christ – the same yesterday, today and forever”

Hebrews 13.8

PAUSE

Leader: Holy Lord, as you grew up, you experienced family life as we do now; you experienced the busyness of a working life and travelling. You were in it, yet, apart from it. Help us now to distance ourselves from today’s experiences so we may focus our minds on the work of the Mothers’ Union in this place.

Lord, you are timeless but we are here for a season. Help us to pursue those tasks which have your blessing and to disregard those suggestions which will not bear fruit for your Kingdom.

Be with us now as we plan the future of this Branch in this place.

All honour and glory be to your Holy Name.

Amen

Option 5

“Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail.”

1 Corinthians 13 v.7

Leader: Let us take a moment to focus on the cross of our Saviour. The cross has done it all – Jesus has done it all – for us.

PAUSE

Leader: Almighty God, as our Saviour was obedient to death on the cross for our sake, help us to be obedient to the words you speak to us as we seek to do your will. May we be ever open to your voice and guidance as we carry out the work of the Mothers’ Union in this place. Give us the same love for our community that you have for the world. Grant us grace that we may show Christ to those who, as yet, do not know Him.

Empower us to undertake your work to spread the news of the saving Gospel of Christ, by reaching out to families in need.

Father use us as your hands and feet in this place, and may all the glory and honour be to your Holy Name.

Amen

 

Walking with Jesus – a Reflection

Prayer

O God,
You know how busy I must be this day. If I forget You, please do not forget me.
Jacob Astley (His battle prayer at Edge Hill)

Story

Here is a story so, please sit comfortably and I will begin ☺ …

‘A Surprise Visit’

I was just about to put the cakes in the oven when the doorbell rang. “That’s funny,” I thought. “Its 2’o clock and I’m not expecting anyone, or any deliveries.” I dusted my hands on my apron as I went to the door.

It was a sunny day but, as I opened the door, a wondrous brightness flooded into the hall, so much so that it took me a few seconds to see who was there. I heard a cheery “Hi” first, and then I could see who it was.

“Jesus!” I said. “My goodness. Oh, please come in. I wasn’t, I mean, I just, er … please come in. It’s so lovely to see you.”

“Thank you,” He said. “And it’s always lovely to see you. Sorry to appear unannounced.”

“No problem. I’m sorry, I’m in my muck. I would’ve dressed up if …”

“No need. You are lovely as you are.”

“Do come through,” I said, ushering him into the lounge. “Here, have a seat – this is the most comfortable chair.”

“It’s ok. I can see you’re busy in the kitchen so I’ll come and join you there if I may?”

“Of course. I was just about to bake the cakes.”

“Pretty good timing then,” he smiled, cheekily, sitting himself at the kitchen table.

I put the cakes in the oven and found my fingers were all of a tremble.

“Would you like tea or coffee?” I asked.

“I would love a coffee please. And caffeinated please, as I have a lot to achieve today.”

I went to get out the posh cups and saucers but Jesus said, “I’d love the chunky mug with the monkey on if I may? I’ve always loved monkeys. I created them to be such characters and they just make me smile. So,
how are you? What’s new?”

I resisted the temptation of saying, “Well, you should know,” but then remembered what God wants more than anything is for us to take time to talk to Him. I suddenly realised that my day, like so many others, was
jam-packed with doing stuff and tazzing about so much that I hadn’t even factored Him in. I hadn’t even said a prayer yet that day. He’d had to bring this home to me and actually come in person. He must have
seen me standing there with the kettle suspended in mid-air whilst the penny dropped because He gently asked if I was ok.

“I’m sorry Jesus,” I spluttered. I looked at him, feeling very ashamed of myself. I saw He had tears in His eyes but He looked at me with such love that I just melted.

I knew he could read all my thoughts but He just said, “Isn’t this nice though – just you and me? And hopefully sometime soon a cup of coffee?” He smiled.

“Coming right up,” I said, wiping tears from my eyes. “Do you fancy sitting in the garden? It’s gorgeous out there.”

“Good idea,” he said, taking the coffees and leading the way. “Oooh, those cakes smell delicious.”

“Would you like a biscuit while you’re waiting? Sorry, I’ve only got the ‘basics’ range. If I’d known I’d have got ‘Taste the Difference’.”

“He turned and rolled His eyes. “A ‘basics’ one is just fine. Now, please may we go and sit in that comfy new swing seat you have and watch my world go by?”

I was about to ask how He could possibly know about that, but then realised He knows everything about me, even how I spend my chill-out time. And that thought really made me cringe, as there are a lot of things that I’m embarrassed about that I would rather He didn’t know. “Ah well,” I thought. “It’s pointless trying to hide and dust things under the carpet with Him. I might as well be honest and be myself.” And with that thought, I just relaxed.

We sank into the comfy cushions and sat in quiet companionship, swinging gently in unison on the seat, each with a biscuit in one hand and our coffee in the other. I felt like I’d known Him for years. It wasn’t at all awkward. I was just wondering whether it was good behaviour to dunk when I noticed Jesus doing just that, so I joined in. We looked at each other and smiled.

We just sat and watched His world go by. I can’t put into words how good it felt.

The Sunflowers swayed gently in the breeze. . A big Bumblebee drifted past and landed in the Lavender. A Blackbird hopped about on the grass. A Robin landed on a tree, looked at us, and started singing us a
song.

“What a beauty,” I said and Jesus nodded.

A butterfly fluttered by.

“Thank you for creating butterflies Jesus. They are so beautiful.”

“My pleasure. My Father is a great artist, and has a brilliant imagination. Some people wonder why we made the Cabbage White, but see how lovely it looks flying against the greens and other colours in the garden.”

“You are right, and it’s a lovely shape. I often wonder Jesus, you have created so many wonderful things – flowers, plants, trees, animals, birds, rivers, oceans, countries, places, marvellous inventions – you name it – do you have favourites? Oh! My cakes!!”

I jumped off the seat, leaving Jesus swinging rather briskly to and fro, and flew into the house.

When I returned with the cakes – thankfully unburnt and looking decent – Jesus was sitting calmly in the seat and thoroughly engrossed in studying a Dragonfly on his knee. It appeared to be looking straight at him and it sat there for ages. “It took us a while to get the colours just right on these,” He mused.

“You did a perfect job,” I said. “They are glorious creatures.”

“These cakes look very tempting,” He said, taking one and getting stuck in. “Yum – Blueberries – your favourite.”

“Yes,” I beamed. “Oh, I’ve forgotten the plates.”

“Who needs plates? We’re outside and the birds will enjoy any crumbs”.

We tucked in together and then He said, “It’s good to see your grandma’s plate come out. Your Grandma Alice was a wonderful lady.”

I looked at Him in surprise. I could feel the tears coming again. I had adored her and it was so nice to talk about her as there aren’t many left now who remember her.

“What I particularly liked about her was how she always did little things to cheer up people’s days,” He said.

We talked about her at length and it was as if she was here again and beside us. He told me all sorts about her early life that I never knew. It certainly explained a few things about my Mum. I felt a peace I’d never felt before. “And she was a great cook,” He went on. “It obviously runs in the family.” And he helped himself to another cake.

Another cake later, and some more coffee, we went for a walk around the garden. He marvelled at the flowers and complimented me on my runner beans, in full flower, and soon to be producing a good crop.
I asked him all sorts of things I wanted to know. He had a habit of getting to the bottom of how I really feel. I found myself sharing with Him some of the things that worry me. At one point, I fell to my knees and wept at the sorrow and fear of it all, crying also with the complete relief that I could let it go and share it with someone who cared and completely understood. He knelt down and took me in His arms and held me, softly speaking comforting words, but mostly just being there. When my sobs had subsided, He stood and held out His hand and gently lifted me up.

“Time for another cuppa I think. Do you?” He asked.

He made the tea this time – He knew exactly where to find everything, and then we went into the lounge.

We talked about all kinds of things, and we laughed and laughed. He was so funny. It was a real tonic and great to let go. I can still feel the joy bubbling inside me even now.

He remarked on the photos of my family and friends, and it made me realise I needed to get in touch with them more often. He also made me realise that some of them have a good reason for being how they are, and that I should be more kind and tolerant.

He showed me a photo He kept in His wallet.

“That’s me!!” I cried, in amazement.

“You bet,” He said. I carry it with me all the time. If I had a fridge your photo would be on that too, and in all my photo albums. And I talk about you all the time cos I’m so proud of you.”

I just sat there blushing, and speechless.

How amazing that He loves me that much. He knows all the nitty gritty of my life, even that I have a new swing seat, and that my favourite fruit is Blueberries. Wow.

I asked Jesus what else He had to do that day. He said he was going to call on people who know him quite well, but also on some who don’t know him at all. “A lot more walking to do. That’s why I’m wearing these.”

I looked down at his snazzy trainers.

“Better wearing these,” He said, “If I wore my sandals it would put people off and they wouldn’t take me seriously.” He grinned and thanked me for a lovely afternoon.

Before He left, Jesus looked at me and said, “James 4:8; Matthew 6:33; Luke 4:18.”

“Love you lots,” He said. “Love you this much.” And he stretched out his arms as wide as they would go.

Then he gave me a big hug, and left. He turned and waved from the gate and smiled. What an incredibly amazing smile He has! You just can’t help but smile back. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since. I waved until He was out of sight, yet it also felt like He hadn’t left.

After He’d gone, I felt sad but I knew he hadn’t really gone, because He is always with me. I felt magnificent. I felt so good inside and really energised. I rushed to my Bible and looked up the verses he’d
left me with – ‘Come close to God and He will come close to you’. (James 4:8)
‘Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well’. (Matthew 6:33)
‘ “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” ’ (Luke 4:18)

It isn’t easy, but I am trying to live this out every day. It’s a challenge. But, the good thing is, I know I don’t have to do it in my own strength. He’s there with me and we are a team.

When he visited, I realised the longer I spent time with Him, the more I felt I knew Him. I really felt good in His presence. And, since then, it has been so much easier to tune back into Him, and lovely just sharing
the everyday things. He makes the ordinary extraordinary and I realise now how truly blessed I am.

(Sue Moore – July 2020)

Reflection

Write down the things that strike you about this story. Are there particular things that hit home?

How welcoming are you to others in how your treat them? If you have a visitor, do you give them the nicest things, or the grotty old mug with the chip in it?

Think about someone you know who has a ministry of hospitality, and what their gifts and talents are. Do you see God in others?

If God is in all of us, does that make a difference to how we view them, care for them and understand them?

If we are all God’s creations, should we care for and respect one another more? Even those who annoy us, and who have opposing views and beliefs to us?

How do you normally relate to Jesus and how do you worship Him?

– has the story made you see Him in a new light?
– have you realised something new about God’s character that wasn’t revealed to you before? And, if so, what difference will this make to how you relate to Him and worship Him and serve Him?

Jesus relates to people where they are. Do we do that or do we expect them to conform to our ways and to our church structures?

If Jesus called round to see you, would you recognise Him?

If Jesus came to see you:
– which questions would you ask Him? What would you want to know?
– what would you tell Him?
– what would you hide from Him?

God knows us personally. He know our individual family trees. Do you find that a comfort?

Have you felt God with you at a time of bereavement? How did He help you and are there ways you have you been able to use this experience to help others?

What do you think Heaven is, and where is it?

How does it make you feel that God loves you SO VERY MUCH? So much that he has your photo in his wallet and on his fridge ☺

And how will you respond to Him in return?

In what ways could you spend more time, and more effective time with God?

– in your personal devotions (James 4:8)
– in your priorities and attitudes and how you live your life (Matthew 6:33)
– in the practical ways you serve God and others? (Luke 4:18)

Is God calling you to something new? Take some time to think and pray about this, either now, or at another time.

Ponder the fact that you are unique; God has created you as you and nobody else has the specific set of skills and gifts as you have. So, there is something specific only you can do. Think what that might be.

Sometimes we cannot see the gifts in ourselves so, maybe ask a trusted friend about this.

I have deliberately not given the second character in the story a name.

Read the story again as if you are that person and jot down what you feel.

Give Thanks

Give thanks and praise that God loves you, that He knows you completely, inside and out, that He cares about everything you do, even the tiniest things that happen in your life. Give thanks that you know Him and resolve to get to know Him better, and share him with others.

Prayers

Thank You God that, like that butterfly which dances freely about,
bringing beauty and joy,
so Your Holy Spirit is moving in my life,
sprinkling love and peace,
and radiating light and joy as it flows.
Help me to walk in Your Spirit and truly live the abundant life you came to bring, always giving glory and
honour to You. Amen

(Sue Moore)

O High king of heaven, great Father of love,
breathe Your breath round me down from above.
O High king of heaven, with Your Son here below,
walk by my side through life’s ebb and flow.
O High king of heaven, great Spirit of might,
pierce my spirit and fill me with light.
O High king of heaven, look down from Your throne;
guard me and guide me, for I am Your own

(Pat Robson)

Blessing

Lord Jesus Christ,
be near me to defend me,
within me to refresh me,
around me to preserve me,
before me to guide me,
behind me to keep me on the right path,
and above me to bless me. Amen
(Anonymous, 10th Century {adapted})
Sue Moore (July 2020)

One reply on “Prayer”

Thank you for this wonderful compilation to help us in our daily walk with Christ and each other. A true blessing