For Prayer and Reflection…

Thanks to Dorothy, our President, for the prayer points below, to the people who have contributed various other parts to the page, and to the people at Sermon Central, who have made it possible to share with you some video messages of hope and encouragement in these unprecedented times.  Please feel free to pray on the points given, reflect on the thoughts shared, to watch the videos below, to read the suggested Scriptures, and to reflect on what a great and awesome God we serve.

Alan Harrison (Communications Officer)


Week Commencing 3rd May 2021

“The Day of the Lord is near for all nations.  As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”

(Obadiah 15, New International Version)

On Thursday, people in Great Britain will be going to the polls for devolved and local elections.  This is an opportunity to prayerfully consider who we want to represent us and make decisions for our local area.  The results of the voting will impact on the major parties in Parliament as they see where support is given.

As we look across our world what do we see?  Anger, fighting and war spill out throughout many lands, children and adults become homeless, poverty and illness are rife.  Countries fighting the coronavirus without medicine or oxygen, people held hostage, persecuted and murdered.

What is our response?

Obadiah’s prophecy was concerning the nation of Edom, who had opposed God’s people and His Word, and on whom God’s judgement would come.  In the final times judgement will come upon all nations.

God has called us to come together in unity and to be fit for His purposes.  Now is the time.  Don’t look back, but keep your eyes on Jesus.  Trust Him, be bold and strong and never waiver in your faith.  God is faithful and He will provide all we require to do His will.  Surrender your whole being to Him.

May God richly bless and equip you as you love and serve in His Kingdom.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Prayer Requests from our Churches

Lowton:  Bill and Pamela Hampson’s daughter-in-law delivered triplets last week by emergency caesarean operation.  Please pray for baby Holly to survive and for all the family at this difficult time.

Moorside:  Please continue to pray for Marjorie Berry that the right decisions are made regarding her ongoing care.

Roman Road:  Please give thanks that Derek Barron is continuing to make good progress following his recent operation.

Staple Hill:  Unfortunately, Paul is not in a good place – there is fluid around his heart and in the lungs.  The doctors have decided that, when he finishes this course of antibiotics, they will not be giving him any others.  His breathing is very low and delirium is still an issue.  Please continue to hold Paul, and his family, in your prayers.

Thy Kingdom Come – 13th – 23rd May

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.

Since its start in May 2016, God has grown Thy Kingdom Come with Christians from 172 countries having taken part in praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’, so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.

During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:

  • Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ;
  • Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus;
  • Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness.

For more information, including many resources for prayers and services that your church could use to take part in this movement in 2021, visit the Thy Kingdom Come website.

The National Day of Prayer and Worship – Virtual Pentecost

Two online prayer gatherings have been arranged for Pentecost Sunday, 23rd May, which all churches within the UK are invited to join.

‘In One Accord’ at Pentecost will comprise of two virtual gatherings:

  • 11am Churches are encouraged to link to this as part of their Sunday service.
  • 2pm This is the main gathering with a focus on prayer.

See this YouTube video for the promotional video explaining more!

To date, over 26,000 churches have registered their attendance.  Visit the Virtual Pentecost website to find out more details and to also register your church for these events.

 

Meditation from Wendy Hourriez (Troyes Evangelical Church, France and Bingley I.M. Church)

I started my previous mini meditation with these words: ‘Easter has come and gone, but the message remains’ – and it remains today and for tomorrow too!  We have been continuing our daily reading following the resurrection of Jesus in John’s Gospel chapter 21.

It took time for the disciples to adjust to the resurrection of Jesus and at one point, Peter decided to go fishing.  It was the one thing he knew how to do as, of course, he was a fisherman before he became a follower of Jesus.  Six other disciples decided to go with him.  No doubt they felt the same as Peter: adjusting to a new way of life without the constant presence of Jesus.  In spite of their experience and competence, they spent the whole night fishing without catching one single fish.  They must have felt discouraged.  Then Jesus appears to them for the third time, though they didn’t recognise Him at first.  He called to them from the shore and asked if they’d caught anything.  When they answered “No”, He told them to cast their nets to the right side of the boat and they would catch fish.  Now, these disciples were professional fishermen, yet they’d not caught any fish, and here was this person telling them what to do.  Nevertheless, they did as he said and caught so many fish they couldn’t bring in the nets.  John who wrote this gospel recognised it was Jesus and, when Peter realised this, in his usual impulsive manner, he dropped everything and swam to Jesus on the shore, leaving the others to bring the boat to land, dragging the nets with 153 fish!  Jesus had already prepared a fire and was cooking fish he’d provided together with some bread and He gave them a meal.

What can we learn today from this passage of Scripture?

In a way, we are facing similar circumstances.  We’ve been so restricted in our homes and now as we ease out of lockdown, with much uncertainty, we have to adjust to a new way of life.  Some will be able to go back to doing their job as previously, but for some it will not be easy and some may no longer have a job, similar to the disciples going back to their work yet not catching any fish.  But Jesus is there, waiting for us too, guiding us and providing for us.  All we need, like the disciples, is to obey Him and go forward with confidence and peace in the love of our Risen Lord.

As Dorothy reminded us in last week’s Prayer Sheet, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust Him.  God is faithful and will provide all we need to do His will.  As we meet with others – at last! –  let us be bold and share our faith and the Good News of our Saviour and Risen Lord.  May God bless you abundantly, Wendy.

Good News

Thank you!

Irene Lomas (Roman Road) would like to say thank you to everyone for all the prayers, cards, phone calls and messages of encouragement she, Geoff, Alison and Andrew have received recently from across the Connexion.  They have been greatly touched by everyone’s kindness and support.  Geoff continues with some breathing issues, but his mobility is improving.

Please do submit any prayer requests or good news stories to share from your churches, by sending them to the Resource Centre.  It really would be lovely to hear from you.


Week Commencing 26th April 2021

“Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

(Leviticus 19:2b, New International Version)

God told Moses to say these words to the entire assemble of Israel before proceeding to give the various regulations to govern their life together.  However, they are also words that He still speaks to His people today.  God is holy and God’s people must be holy.

Unlike the Israelites in the times of Moses, we do not have to rely on fulfilling the law to keep us right with God.  To be holy, we have Jesus through whom, we can be forgiven of our sin and empowered by His Spirit to be holy if we truly repent and trust in His redeeming work on the cross at Calvary.

Our actions of themselves do not make us holy – they are a direct result of Jesus being Lord in our life and a testimony to His holiness within.  Recently, I was hearing of various people within our churches who during lockdown have been seeking to love and support individuals in their communities and share the love of Jesus.  At the same time, I was aware of the terrible effects of war on the people in Burma, the Abortion (NI) Regulations 2021 and the suggestion that vaccine passports may become mandatory in places of worship.

The past year has been difficult for everyone.  Now, as we begin to emerge from lockdown, life is not as we knew it.  However, God remains constant.  His call to His people remains the same.  We are to be holy and that means we are to put our heads above the parapet and stand up and act for justice, mercy and peace.  It is what God requires of us – it is not an optional extra, something to add on the side to our daily worship.  God calls His people to be radically different in a world of sleaze, cover up, injustice, famine, war, racism, poverty, climate change, murder and all kinds of evil.

This is not a new message.  As I have reflected on the Word that God has given to us, His people, over the past year, it is a recurring message.  When God speaks once we should listen, when he speaks twice, we should take great notice, when he speaks for a year, we ignore at our peril.

God has called us to come together in unity and to be fit for His purposes.  Now is the time.  Don’t look back, but keep your eyes on Jesus.  Trust Him, be bold and strong and never waiver in your faith.  God is faithful and He will provide all we require to do His will.  Surrender your whole being to Him.

May God richly bless and equip you as you love and serve in His Kingdom.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Prayer Requests from our Churches

Moorside:  Marjorie Berry from the Church had a fall last night and is currently in EAU at Salford Royal.  Please pray for God’s presence and peace for her and also for the right decision to be made for her future.

Ramsey:  Please pray for Rachel Price who is unwell and waiting for blood test results – pray that the results will be positive.

Roman Road:  Give thanks for Geoff’s return home from hospital and continue to pray for his strength and improved mobility please.

Westwood:  For Brenda Hampson, that she will get an appointment with the cardiologist as soon as possible.  Her husband Tom is also suffering from problems with his leg so do pray for healing for him too.

Prayer Points

For all the letters being sent regarding the asylum situation.  Pray that they will be read and responded to with due consideration and for the best interests of all those involved, but in particular those seeking asylum.

For churches to prayerfully consider nominations for all Connexional Committee members and Officers and to seek God’s direction for gifting and anointing to the roles.

To pray for Annual Meeting 2021, for all the administration necessary and for churches to give careful prayerful consideration on choosing a delegate to represent them at this meeting.

Prayers for discussion in Parliament on Abortion (NI) Regulations 2021.

From CARE:

MPs and Peers will shortly vote on the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021.  They give the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland sweeping new powers to impose abortion ‘services’ on Northern Ireland, even if it means bypassing the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and the NI Executive to do so.

Westminster has already fundamentally changed NI’s abortion law, replacing a life-affirming one with abortion for any reason to 12 weeks, abortion on demand until 24 weeks, and up to birth in cases of ‘serious disability’.  Crucially, the new law did not impose any obligation to actually commission abortion ‘services’.  So, in a brave move and one which has helped save lives, NI Health Minister Robin Swann has so far refused to do so.  For these Regulations to stand, they need to be approved by MPs and Peers before 5 May.

Why does this matter?  This about two things.  Firstly, saving as many lives as possible.  Northern Ireland’s extreme abortion law puts the lives of women and babies in danger.  It is even more liberal than the abortion regime in Great Britain.

Secondly, abortion is a devolved responsibility and, as such, it’s up to MLAs to decide on Northern Ireland’s abortion law.  It is one thing to impose damaging social change when the Assembly was not functioning; it is another to do so while the Assembly is sitting.

For over a year now, the Assembly and Executive have been operating.  And only recently, MLAs actually passed a Bill which will stop abortion to birth for disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or club foot.

The new Regulations will allow the Secretary of State to impose abortion ‘services’, even if the Executive is opposed.  For these Regulations to stand, they need to be approved by MPs and Peers before 5 May.  These debates and votes are expected to take place at Westminster the week beginning 26 April.

For further information, look at the CARE website.

Good News

Lent Project at Bethany Memorial, Grindon

During Lent, a member of the church congregation had an idea to give an item away, rather than be involved in giving something up during Lent.  It was decided to complete a project that they named, “It’s not about giving up, but giving out and giving more”.

Members donated toiletry items, which were then bagged up and delivered to families that are struggling in the community around the church.  Also included in the bag was an Easter card from the church.

Such a wonderful idea and thank you to Pat Hodgson for sharing this with us.  We are sure that the bags were such a blessing to all who received them this Easter time.

Please do submit any prayer requests or good news stories to share from your churches, by sending them to the Resource Centre.  It really would be lovely to hear from you.