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 25th May 2020

Points for Prayer

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.”

(1 Chronicles 16:23 – 24, NIV Bible)

The media is full of various ideas of what to do during lockdown – ranging from suggestions for good mental well-being to healthy eating on limited food stores, to exercise and leisure time.  It’s not so full of how to maintain a healthy soul and spirit.  The world remains focussed on self and determined to look to science and improving the economy to lead us forward.

God calls His people to live differently.  We are to ensure that Jesus is reigning in every aspect of our lives and to praise His holy name.  By doing so, we will declare God’s glory and, as we share the many ways God is at work amongst us, we will indeed make known His marvellous deeds.  This is not a time to sit back and do nothing.  Rather it is a time to put into practice all that God has been revealing to us in these past weeks and share the truth with others.  It’s not about self but about God and we look to Him to lead us forward.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Churches

All of the Churches in our Connexion need prayer during this time of uncertainty: for direction, strength, protection and for unity. Please pray as you feel led.

Prayer requests from our churches

South Hylton: Please uphold the family of Betty Anderson in prayer, one of our members, who died this week.  Her husband died only 8 weeks ago and it’s so sad for the family.  She was president of our WA for many years and was a great encouragement to us all.

Lamberhead Green: Would value prayers for Alan and Brenda Calderbank.  Alan has been struggling with his mobility since he recently came out of hospital and has gone into respite to give Brenda a break.  Please hold them and their family in your prayers.

Lowton: Please pray for Sue, Hazel, Stuart and all the Bimson family as they come to terms with their loss of Basil whose funeral took place last week.  Continue to pray for Filomena who is home from hospital awaiting further tests.

President: Please pray for God to continue to call people to take up the unfilled Officer and sub-committee positions.  Please pray for discernment for God’s people to recognise the anointing of God on those He is calling and a willingness on those who are being called to stand and serve.

Stubshaw Cross: Please pray for Mabel Banks, who was taken to hospital a few days ago.

Please continue to pray for:

For all Key Workers and their Families: NHS and Healthcare, Nursery/School Teachers, HGV Drivers, Rail/Bus Workers, Royal Mail, DWP and Government employees, Food/Retail Staff.

Pray for all those who tirelessly seek to help those who are at risk and in need, while in doing so, put themselves at risk.

(Please send details of any staff you know with specific prayer needs.)

From Bill Hampson (Ecumenical Officer)

During ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, we are encouraged to pray for 5 people we know to come to faith in Jesus.  Each day, on the website, there is a reading, a prayer and a ‘Reflection’ by Tom Wright to help.

The website address is: Thy Kingdom Come (there is also a link from our home page).  You can also get it on a phone app.

Prayer from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, USA

God of healing and hope, in Jesus you meet us in our places of pain and fear.

Look with mercy on those who have contracted the new virus, on any who are vulnerable, and on all who feel in danger.

Through this time of global concern, by your holy spirit, bring out the best, not the worst in us.

Make us more aware of our interdependence on each other and of the strength that comes from being one body in you.

Through Christ, our wounded healer.

Amen.

Good News!

A celebration and the wonders of Zoom at Bethel, Newtown

Many congratulations to Vera and Kevan Booth as they celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary on Bank Holiday Monday.

Also, the Bethel leadership team had our first ever Zoom meeting last week, which worked really well!  It was great to be able to see everyone with their much longer hair and suntans!  Where would we be without this technology?  We even managed to connect with Roy and Joan Tague in Australia who went over for a holiday with family but due to the lockdown, weren’t able to return home.  They are hoping to get back in July.  We do thank God for keeping them safe and well.


Week Commencing 18th May 2020

Points for Prayer

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.  Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

(Hebrews 3:17, NIV)

It is hard going now.  Mixed messages are appearing, fear is widespread – not simply of the virus but also of finance, employment, schooling, food and others.

This is the time when we need to root ourselves firmly in God’s Word and His presence.  Not hour long Bible studies but in essential truths – ‘The Lord IS my shepherd’, ‘I will NEVER leave you or forsake you’, ‘Those who TRUST in Him will rise on wings like eagles’, are just some to begin with.  Take hold of them in your mind and allow them to move into your heart.

We are in the process of being transformed – as individuals, as The Church, as a Nation.  This is God’s plan for us.  There is much for us to learn and change.

What does the future hold?  None of us know – but God does and we continue to trust Him day by day.  Nor dependent on our feelings but on the truth of who God is, His love for everyone and His desire that all should hear the Good News of Jesus.  This is our calling and our mission.  Let us not be found wanting in the task that is laid before us but be united in love of God and one another, working together in His Kingdom to bring glory and honour to God.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Churches

All of the Churches in our Connexion need prayer during this time of uncertainty: for direction, strength, protection and for unity.  Please pray as you feel led.

Prayer Requests from our Churches:

Appleton: Please uphold John Noble and his family in your prayers.  John has restarted chemotherapy for cancer after a break of two months.  He has been particularly hit by side effects with this new round of treatment which, although being controlled by further medication, is leaving him particularly drained.  John has shown great fortitude and he and his family are a tremendous witness.  The prayers of the Connexion would be appreciated as John and his family face the current situation.

Atherton: Would value your prayers for Jim and Ann Cheers.  Please keep them and their family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Ramsey: Alan Wrigley, their church treasurer, has recently passed away and Keith will be taking the funeral tomorrow (19th).  Another member, Joyce Crow has also died.  Please hold Keith, his family and the church in your prayers and thoughts at this time.

Lowton: Prayer for Filomena now in hospital with pancreatitis.

For all those who have lost loved ones and are in mourning at this time.

We especially pray for the families of those who have passed away recently.

Please continue to pray for:

For all Key Workers and their Families: NHS and Healthcare, Nursery/School Teachers, HGV Drivers, Rail/Bus Workers, Royal Mail, DWP and Government employees, Food/Retail Staff.

Pray for all those who tirelessly seek to help those who are at risk and in need, while in doing so, put themselves at risk.

 

(Please send details of any staff you know with specific prayer needs)

From Bill Hampson, Ecumencial Officer and Epiphany Trust

You will remember that over the last few years we have joined with Christians throughout the country and around the world to pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ during the period from Ascension Day (which is next Thurs 21st ) to Pentecost Sunday 10 days after.  This year we are asked to pray, in our homes, for others to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

See the Church of England website for further information.

Good News!

From Downall Green (Wigan Circuit)

Over past two months, many prayers have been answered.  The sister of one of our members, who was living in a care home, got COVID-19 and went to hospital.  She has dementia and wouldn’t eat.  As she was deteriorating, she was put on a life plan.  A few days later, she had some ice cream, then started gradually eating little amounts and a week later she tested negative, which meant that her care home would take her back.  She’s now returned, a lot brighter and recuperating.  It’s incredible that there was only a week between being put on end of life to being tested and then going home.

A friend of Lisa’s has breast cancer and was told if she didn’t have an operation before last Monday, it would be too late.  Due to COVID-19, there were problems with this happening.  She had the operation last Monday and it was successful.  She is now waiting to have chemotherapy and then radiotherapy.

Both answers to prayers from our members on our Messenger Group.

Prayer from United Reformed Church (GB)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, NRSV)

As so much is re-shaped by Coronavirus Covid 19, let us pray with:

  • people left unwell, beckoned by death or bereaved.
  • people providing professional health care and advice, looking after loved ones at home or working to create treatments and cures.
  • people shaping the response of nations and neighbourhoods, of commerce and industry, of service & voluntary organisations and of communities of faith.
  • people who are anxious or afraid, alone or isolated.

Living, loving God, we praise you, and through times of peril we lean into you.

You have trodden paths as difficult as ours, revealing there a love that nothing defeats, a love that bears us through.

Even as we strive to behave responsibly, and to care reliably, so we feel after you that in these uncertain times we might trust you are with us, our refuge and strength, and our faith, hope and love might be renewed through Jesus Christ.

Amen.