Prayer

You may like to join with Christians around the world over the 8 days of The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. There will be day by day guide notes available. One of the ‘Go and Do’ activities will be highlighted each day.

Day 1

https://www.fggam.org/2016/12/was-there-another-wise-man/

Take time this week to star gaze. Let your eyes settle on an unfading star and pause in reverence and prayer before the Creator of light. You don’t have to go outside, you can search for and visit an online planetarium.

Day 2

Focus on a number of examples of where you consider good leadership to be evident. Try to identify the shared principles of leadership in these examples and consider how they can be encouraged in the work of creating unity.

Day 3

https://www.thetwocities.com/book-reviews/review-of-the-many-faces-of-herod-the-great-by-adam-kolman-marshak/

Take time today to sit in stillness and discern what injustice most disturbs your conscience, spend time praying, researching and planning how you can take action about it (if you are not already involved in doing so).

Day 4

https://www.marylutyndall.com/2019/12/out-of-bethlehem-comes.html

Visit Amos Trust (https://www.amostrust.org) to find out more about how to create peace with justice in the Middle East.

Day 5

Start (or continue) a conversation around your Christian community about how you are responding to the challenges of climate justice. As churches, take part in global prayer and action for climate justice (https://www.prayandact4climate.org).

Day 6

Find and join an online service from a church of a different tradition. Join in this act of worship and reflect on what riches God has shown you through this different experience of worship together.

Day 7

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/gifts-from-3-wise-men-to-jesus-gary-donald-sanchez.html

Take time today to campaign for global justice. Visit the websites of CTBI agency partners (see https://ctbi.org.uk/membership/) to take part in their current campaign actions for social justice.

Day 8

Journey familiar routes by another way, for example walk 50% more slowly on your errands today, what do you notice? How do you see things differently?

Virtual Prayer Group – next meeting is on Monday February 14th at 11 a.m. – there will be a Prayer Time via the Zoom platform. It will be for 30 mins. An invitation will be sent out in advance.

‘Be still and know that I am God’

A Prayer for Autumn by Michael Orchard, an Elder at the church

Lord, we meet here today with the dying embers of summer fast becoming a fading, distant memory and the autumn season a sudden reality. The days are shorter, the air crisper. We cannot help but be overwhelmed at your seasonal gifts so freely given. Our dark, fertile fields, lovingly tended by their owners for some months, have given up their bounteous crops, many to be stored for use in the winter. Fruit stores are slowly being filled, wine presses are bursting into life to crush the grape harvest. If we pause for a moment while on a country walk we may smell the scent of newly harvested hops drying in the oast houses.

Nature is never still: as our night temperatures dip we are rewarded with a dazzling array of ever changing colours of leaves on the trees. As the leaves drop, your priceless gift of leaf mold forms to nourish and sustain the trees and vegetation.

We have much to thank you for, but we are conscious of all those who have little or no food. Many live in areas where drought is an ongoing problem or the soil is poor and will not sustain a crop. Some lack the wise advice of an agronomist or suffer as the result of extreme storms or are caught up in a war zone.

Lord, be with them: you know who they are and their individual needs. We ask that you put your reassuring, protective arm around them and give them hope, courage and strength to find a way forward. Bless and guide all those who administer our food banks, making sure no one goes hungry. We ask that you help all of us to be conscientious stewards of your ever-changing world.

We ask these things in your Name.  Amen

Pastoral care   

Pastoral care is very important in the life of  a United Reformed Church member. Showing our love and care for each other and our neighbour is part of our service to God. We have a Pastoral Care Coordinator who works with Church members and adherents so the church can care for one another and keep everyone in regular contact with one another.

What is Prayer ?

prayer stones

‘Prayer is personal, Prayer is private

Prayer is secret, Prayer is silent’

Yet when believers meet together…

‘Prayer is corporate, Prayer is public

Prayer is shared, Prayer is spoken’

Prayer can be a paradox.

On the one hand, prayer is personal, private and silent; yet every week when we come to worship, prayer becomes a public event. There are times in our Prayer life when words are just not appropriate… only silence touches the deepest prayer need.

Stopping… and being silent can enrich our corporate prayer life, as well as keeping it personal.There are particular prayers which lend themselves to short periods of silence.

Firstly, Prayers of Confession, when we can personally and silently tell God about our sin, selfishness towards others, and our self centredness.

Secondly, Prayers of Intercession, when we can privately pray to God about people we personally know and global situations we are concerned about.

Make the most of these silences, not just in worship, but in the comings and goings of life’s activities. Through prayer we meet God everywhere and in all people; therefore our thoughts, words and actions are a constant prayer to God. However, remember the silence: for it is in the silence tht we utter the unspoken words and touch God with the emotions of our hearts.

Prayers from our Minister 

Lord of the seeds,

Blow your seeds of Love and Hope,

Whirl them around by your Holy Spirit

And as the seeds land, bless them

And bless those who will pick them up.

Amen


God

Forgive me for the relationships I have spoiled,

That have brought about hurt and sadness,

Forgive me from the collusions I have participated in

That have brought about vindictiveness and prejudice,

Forgive me for the pollution I have contributed to within your world

That has caused injustice and climate change.

Lord, by your grace

We are restored, healed and a new creation.

By your Son, who lived died and rose again,

We are disciples who strive to walk out as the mundane

and clothe ourselves with mercy,

By your Spirit, who is the intermediary to your Grace,

We are empowered and live in the life and light of your Love.

Amen


Songs that wing heavenwards

Are placed before God.

Then God takes our songs and listens to all of them.

Some painful, others joyous,

Some mourning, others in serenity.

Lord, listen to our songs and bless them.

Let your healing Spirit

guide us into singing new songs

to refresh, to energize and to restore.

Amen


God who sends angels to care for us

We thank you for the many times

small gestures of compassion and kindness

have meant so much to us.

The smile of acceptance,

The gentle touch of reassurance,

The phone call at the ‘right’ time.

Lord we pray,

Even though we may not immediately

recognise your angels,

Enable us to be alert to their presence,

And may you use us to be angels to others.

Amen


Glorious God

Our bodies have been changed

over the years through disease and injury,

Yet you choose to lovingly dwell within us.

Help us to love our bodies that tell the story of the life we have lived,

To sense the delight you have

when we discover new experiences;

And when our Bodies give up on us,

Journey with us

until we become a new creation.

Amen


As the day draws to the night,

I thank you God for the many experiences of today,

the people I have met and

the conversations I have had.

I thank you that yet again

You have shown me your presence,

for you bring hope into a world full of insecurities,

for you bring peace where conflict and challenge prevail.

Lord, bless those who have journeyed with me this day,

those who have laughed with me,

those who have cried with me,

those who have listened to me,

those who have just been happy to be in my presence.

Keep me safe in the stillness of this night.

May you also keep all those who are dear to me secure.

May I rest in your presence while I slumber.

May your angels guard me till I wake.

Amen

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