Presbytery Booklet 5:
Welcome to Booklet 5 of reflection and thoughts for prayer from the Presbytery Prayer Promoters’ Group. As usual, let me graciously remind you that we understand that for some of you, you will have your own prayer guides and ways of approaching God, but we hope that many readers will enjoy these reflections and use them to help guide their thoughts in prayer. Please share these notes as widely as possible, especially where you know someone who has expressed that they struggle with knowing how to pray.
This week, we will introduce reflections that link us with the Christian Movement, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. I mentioned it last week and will repeat the link to the website where you can find an opportunity to read more and reflect on issues raised there, principally for prayer. Because it links to the prayer known to us as “The Lord’s Prayer” I have copied the words for us all:
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
My prayer is that God will bless each and every one of you as you work through the reflections and prayers and commit to promoting prayer. Christine Stewart
Monday 18th May, 2020
I promised in the first booklet that we would begin each new one offering this reflection and prayer of praise and hope 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.
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
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 19th May, 2020
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and very courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Reflect and Pray: (Thanks to PP Pat – who used to lead the group – for her thoughts and encouragement for today.)
The book of Joshua is a challenge! In it we find walls tumbling down, wholesale slaughter, ferocious penalties for disobedience and a people being moulded and transformed by:
The power of God
The presence of God
The promises of God.
Well worth an in-depth study to discover that the power, the presence, and the promises still are relevant for to-day in our present situation; we have a faithful God who knows the beginning and the end of every trial that may come our way. He understands Covid19 just as surely as He understood those plagues of the Old Testament. “Don’t be afraid”, He says,” your life is in my hands”. Surely the safest place to be, because He is the only one who fully understands and therefore to whom we should pray
- Pray for strength and courage for ourselves and all those on the front line of our present battle.
- Pray for wisdom for those in Government who make life-changing decisions for all of us.
- Pray that we all may have the common sense to live according to the present rules and so avoid endangering the lives of others.
- Pray that we may be ready to grasp any opportunity to witness to the saving power of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Wednesday 20th May, 2020
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.” John 14:1
Reflect and pray:
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples and I want to remind you today that Jesus also said that his words then were for all who would follow in years to come. Wonderful thought – that includes you and me. I have been tidying the study and I came across a prayer bulletin dated October 2016. Let me share a little of what it said: “Every day seems to bring a new crisis headline and it would be very easy to let them take hold and breed fear, anxiety and insecurity about the future. We may well be in for a bumpy ride…no one knows how it will work out, except the One who holds the nations in the palm of His hands! So what do we do? We lift our eyes from the circumstances and fix them on Jesus, ‘The author and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2)… And we pray!” This could not be more appropriate for our situation now.
- Lord, grant us all peace and hope, as we live through difficult days. Nothing is beyond your knowledge and understanding.
- Remind us daily, Lord God, that your grace is sufficient to help us meet the needs of every day. Nothing is too difficult for you.
- While we wait, we ask you to grant wisdom and knowledge to scientists who are searching for a cure. Open their eyes to see what they need to see and understand
- Help us to re-order our priorities to put you first in our lives
Thursday 21st May, 2020 (Thy Kingdom Come)
“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Reflect and pray:
Thy Kingdom Come ( https://www.thykingdomcome.global/ ) is a worldwide prayer movement which currently has participants from 172 countries and 65 denominations of the Christian Church. It encourages Christians across the world to pray specifically between the days marking the ascension of Jesus back to Heaven and the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This marks 11 days on the Christian calendar. The suggestion on Day 1 is that we pray for people we know and love to come to Jesus and receive His salvation. The idea is that we daily name 5 people before God – people we would love to see become part of His Church family. I believe the 5 just to be a suggestion – no doubt prayerfully arrived at. However, in these days when the Church is closed for worship and helping others to find faith, I thought this was an exciting way to continue in the work of the great commission to reach others with the Gospel through the power of prayer. (Of course you can also continue to pray through the many ideas on your heart at this time.) Just talk to God in Jesus’ name. Perhaps you could introduce your prayer:
- Father God, we can be so taken up with the things that weigh heavily on us that we may forget the most important thing is to come and to encourage others to come to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, so that we might all be part of the great Church family to worship you and find our peace. Amen
Friday 22nd May, 2020
“ …And God placed all things under his (Jesus’) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way..” Ephesians 1:22,23
Reflect and Pray:
I was strongly convicted in my Spirit to start today’s meditation with these verses. I wanted to have a day where we remembered again to pray for the Church – especially in this season of isolation, but not forgetting the Church as we know it is going through a difficult time in terms of provision of Ministry and an apparent surfeit of buildings. We need the wonderful reminder in these words above – that the Church is made up of the people of God in Christ Jesus, not the buildings. It is true that many buildings were built to the glory of his name, and are beautiful. However the true beauty of the Church is what God sees when he looks on us, forgiven and dressed in garments of salvation. – for we are the body of Christ. Let us pray:
- Loving and Gracious God, bless us with your presence and guidance in all things:
- In this time of isolation, restore your people to faith and to worship. Remind us of who we are in the body of Christ Jesus
- Draw near to our local church, and all who serve/worship you there. Let us truly reach out to others with the message of the Gospel, and may many turn to you for hope and healing
- Fill our churches again and call new people into Ministry
- May our officials in Presbytery be inspired by your Holy Spirit to make good and right decisions. Grant them true wisdom. Strengthen and encourage them in Jesus’ name. Amen
Saturday 23rd May, 2020
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”.” Zephaniah 3:17
Reflect and pray:
Let me invite you to simply let God love and comfort you today – no matter your circumstances. Be honest before him. Speak aloud to him and tell him your thoughts and your fears. Give him your sorrow and sadness. If you are fortunate today to be feeling strong in your spirit, comfortable in your circumstances, then give Him praise and thanksgiving, and take time to pray for others not so fortunate.
Lord, hear our prayers and thanksgiving as we ponder these truths:
- ‘The Lord, your God is with you’. Time and again he has promised in His word that he will never leave us alone. When Jesus went back to heaven the Holy Spirit, the Comforter was sent to be with us day in and day out and in the night.
- ‘He is mighty to save’: This was proven in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God who loves us and gave himself for us. (Galatians 2:20)
- ‘He will take great delight in you.’ Isn’t this amazing? Yet if we believe the previous point and the verse this should not surprise us.
- ‘He will quiet you with his love.’ Just trust him and find peace.
- ‘He will rejoice over you with singing.’ His word tells us that there is great rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents and is forgiven. Today let us in turn praise him from full and thankful hearts. Amen
Thy Kingdom Come…
If you want to pray with millions across the world from Ascension to Pentecost these are the Bible verses for each day as listed in the Prayer journal. May they inspire you…
21st May: “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
22nd May: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
23rd May: 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:9-10,19
24th May:” 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 6-8
25th May: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” Luke 15:1-6
26th May: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
27th May: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3: 16-18
28thMay: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
29th May: “So he got up and went to his father.“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 20-24
30th May: “The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
31st May: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Acts 2:1-8