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 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 6th April 2020
Points for Prayer
“But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope – That the grace of ADONAI is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended. (On the contrary,) they are new every morning! How great is your faithfulness! ‘ADONAI is all I have,’ I say: ‘therefore I will put my hope in him.’”
Lamentations 3: 21 – 24 (The complete Jewish study Bible)
Welcome to our 3rd prayer sheet. Keep on sending in the prayer requests and good news stories. They are a great way of us keeping together and encouraging one another.
As the weeks continue and the weather improves there will be an increasing desire to go outside but let us remember the Government’s message to “Stay at Home”. Our testimony is given not only in the words we say but the actions we take. Let’s ask God to show us more ways we can reach our communities whilst staying within the guidelines given and not bending the rules. We have seen the consequence of a Pharisaic attitude of “do what I say and not what I do” and the response by the general public. As Independent Methodists our desire is to be good disciples of our Lord Jesus, and especially as we journey with Him through this exceptional Holy Week let us remember that He chose the path of obedience to His Heavenly Father, which resulted in His laying down His life for everyone that all who put their trust in Him may have eternal life. We will come through this time but it will not be in our own strength but in the Lord’s.
Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President
Prayer from The British Methodist Connexion
God of all hope we call on you today. We pray for those who are living in fear: fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them. May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty. For those people who are worried about attending worship; for those needing to make decisions in order to care for others; for those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend. Grant us your wisdom. Holy God, we remember that you have promised that nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ. Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you. Amen.
Please pray for
- New Deleval Fellowship. They have all been poorly with flu but are on the way to recovery but remember especially Brenda Yates who has been left with a chest infection and is particularly vulnerable.
- Moorside Fellowship. Marjorie Berry is becoming increasingly frail. The Fellowship are supporting her but are all in the self-isolation group themselves.
- Thatto Heath Fellowship. One of their younger members Helen who is 7 months pregnant with her second baby has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Please pray for all the family especially her husband, Alan, who has suffered with depression previously and their young daughter Alana.
- Roman Road Fellowship. For David who from 6th April will be managing one of the ‘homeless hotels’ in Manchester. There will be 40+ residents, and staff are coming from 4 different housing associations. Please pray for vision and wisdom as it is totally new territory for everybody.
For NHS Staff and all front line workers especially those at:
- Lowton Fellowship. Sheilah who is frontline NHS working shifts at Wythenshawe Hospital and for Nevimbo who is on his own a lot.
- For Mandy who has this week returned to work at Lime House caring for extremely vulnerable elderly people.
- Hetton-le-Hole Fellowship. Gill at Sunderland Royal on newly opened ward for Covid-19 patients.
- Easington Lane Fellowship. Jean as she takes funerals and ministers to the families from a social distance.
From Stanley Street Fellowship. For members of the Church of God of Prophecy denomination. At least 7 people in the London and Midlands area have died from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and all were either leaders in churches or families of leaders.
Ramsey Fellowship. For Keith as he takes a funeral on Wednesday morning that he will be kept safe and no virus transfer to the home where Rachel is in full social isolation.
For all those who have lost loved ones and are in mourning at this time. For those who have loved ones in hospital and in Care Homes whom they cannot visit.
Good News Stories
Many of our Fellowships have been holding services and prayer meetings via zoom. Some have also been live streaming services so others can watch and listen.
All the Fellowships contacted this week have been keeping in touch with one another via phone, text, WhatsApp, email or zoom. Praise the Lord for modern technology and those who are willing to use their gifting and talents to use in the Kingdom.
Bethel Newtown Fellowship. Pauline is preparing weekly Sunday services which she distributes by email or paper copy but the Fellowship are then distributing them far and wide so using a great witnessing opportunity.
Churches together in England issued this; ‘As our nation faces the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, CTE is encouraging Christians across our nation to continue uniting in prayer, in their homes at 7.00 pm each Sunday evening. The candle poster which we’re encouraged to put in our window is available at www.cte.org.uk/prayersofhope
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
These are unprecedented times, filled with uncertainty and fear. The way we meet together as a church has changed, but we will persevere. Because the Church is not a building; it is not brick and mortar. It is the Body of Christ. It is all of us, honouring God, no matter our circumstance. Any place, any time, any day… We are still the Church!
Scripture to reflect on: Ephesians 2:20-22, Hebrews 10:24-25, Colossians 3:16, Romans 12:5
Week Commencing 30th March 2020
2nd April 2020
Our thanks go Roger Stone, Connexional Minister, for his thoughts on the passage from 2 Timothy, and to a Bishop in the Canadian Anglican Church for the prayer graphic below.
Thoughts on 2 Timothy 1: 1 – 7
Whilst wondering where to read, my Bible fell open at 2 Timothy 1: 1 – 7. I began to read from verse 1 with the intention to read until the Scriptures began to sing to me. I didn’t get past verse 7! In fact these first 7 verses ministered to me so much, that I thought to share it. I hope the following thoughts are a blessing to you also.
There are some Christians that just to be with or, in the same room with, is such a lift and so encouraging that they seem to have a certain magnetism. Folks are drawn to them and the church grows around them. Actually, it’s not magnetism but it is charisma (from God). Paul was at the cutting edge of Gospel ministry and that’s exactly what it was like to be on the same team. A truly charismatic experience that no one would want to end or, put down.
Without doubt this is Paul’s goodbye letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4: 6 – 8). Timothy wasn’t only a team member, he was like a son to the Apostle. More than that, the mantle which Paul was about to take off, was about to be put on by Timothy. Paul began this letter by describing himself and the work God had given him to do. This is not a cordial introduction, there are two good reasons.
The first is to say that this had been God’s appointment from the beginning (not man’s). The second is to state the aim of all Christian ministry. Which is, to get the Gospel out there! For Timothy this was a personalised call to grow onward and upward as soon as he put the mantle on (1 Kings 19:19; 2 Kings 2: 13 & 14).
This wasn’t to be as easy as it sounds. When it’s time to say goodbye it never is easy! One day we will all have to say goodbye to folks we have loved. We don’t know exactly when but what matters is how. Timothy had been tearfully distressed at Paul’s imprisonment (verse 4). Paul longed to see him and encourage him, praying without ceasing for him! Timothy had been under Paul’s wing for a long time. In a relationship where, no matter how gifted the team members are, there is a reluctance to act without leaning upon the head of that team.
Of course, this is only right insofar as preparation and headship goes. Ultimately only Christ Himself is the Head of the Church. That means there are goodbyes to be said (John 3: 29 & 30; Hebrews 7:23). So, if you were in Timothy’s shoes, how would you receive goodbye from your old friend and pick up a mantle like that one?
Like Timothy, you would need to be equipped. With ‘much grace’, ‘great mercy’ and ‘divine peace’; in bucket loads (verse 2). You would also need to be reminded that your access to the Lord is the same as your predecessor’s, including Paul (verse 6). Finally, you would need to be assured that the Holy Spirit you received is one of ‘power’, ‘of love’ and of ‘self control’ (verse 7). These were the same characteristics which Timothy had heard and seen in Paul. Fear is a characteristic of torment (1 John 4:18).
The present crisis and the Coronavirus will come to an end. Are you ready to pick up the mantle which God offers you when that time comes? The church that does will not necessarily be the same shape as the church BEFORE the crisis. In one way, I hope it’s not! This is not lock-down spiritually! This is a time for growth and preparation. It’s now that we need to pray and fill our minds with Holy Scriptures. The shape that we are in after all this should not be determined by the world or, the crisis. The shape we should take should be determined by the Holy Spirit. To have an impact upon the world when this is over.
Points for Prayer…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2 Corinthians 1: 3 & 4)
Welcome to the second of our prayer sheets.
This is a unique opportunity for us to come together as a Connexion of churches to pray for each other and our nation during this difficult time. There is also opportunity for us to share good news stories about God and the opportunities to bring the light of Christ into the darkness of our world today. This is your sheet – please send your prayer requests, as well as your inspiring stories of how you are changing and adapting to the new situations we find ourselves in. Send them to the Resource Centre and we will include them in the coming weeks. As we share together, we can learn from each other and build one another up in the faith. We can also pray more intentionally when we know specific things to pray about.
May God bless you all richly as you continue to love and serve Him.
Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President
As our world walks through the complexities of COVID-19, we’re all faced with unique challenges. But Christ-followers are also presented with a unique invitation to become carriers of hope.
Scripture to reflect on: Psalm 46: 1 & 2
Week Commencing 23rd March 2020
Points for Prayer…
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Internationally, there is a prayer initiative we can all join in with. Started from Mount Athos in Greece, which has 20 Monasteries on the mountain, is the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon your world.” Christians are asked to pray the prayer at their own local time of 10 – 10.15pm each night, so that a never-ending prayer chain is formed around the world.
All of the Churches in our Connexion need prayer during this time of uncertainty: for direction, strength, protection and for unity. Please hold one another up before the Lord at this time.
You may also wish to use this prayer from the Facebook page of the God TV Channel to help you focus your thoughts… GOD TV Channel Prayer
In uncertain times, it’s easy to be consumed by fear, anxiety and hopelessness. But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. As we walk this journey together, let us remember our God is not surprised by any of this. He is sovereign. He is in control. He is great, glorious, gracious and good. May we, without hesitation, find strength and peace in that truth.
Watch the video below and reflect on the passages of scripture that follow and be thankful that our God is with us whatever we face.
Some scriptures to reflect on:
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
- Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
- 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- Isaiah 54:10 – “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.