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)


Points for Prayer

Week Commencing 3rd August 2020

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9(a), New International Version)

One of my dad’s sayings was ‘You just never know’.  I thought about that last Tuesday evening when the announcement was made that Oldham was going into special lockdown arrangements only to find on Thursday that Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were also now included.  Many people in the North and West of the country are finding it very difficult – especially those who have been shielding – as we now enter the 20th week since the start of lockdown.  Then with the additional mandatory regulations that face masks must be worn in worship for all the country from Saturday 8th August, there is a sense of despair across our communities.  When will it end?

Well, we do have to be realistic in this.  It is not going to end any time soon.  So, what do we do?  Do we sit back and throw our arms in the air and wail?  Do we do our utmost to do as much as we can of what we did before, so we are comforted by routine and familiarity?  Do we give up and bury our head in the sand?  No – we don’t do any of these things.  We are God’s people and our hope is in Him.  That hope is not just for today but for all our tomorrows.  God is still in control.  What we are seeing is a mighty outworking of God’s purposes amongst, not just us, but the whole of the world.

Now is the time for us to stand firm.  We must listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church and that most certainly is not to give up!  However, we will have to change how we communicate and how we worship.  We are entering increasingly unchartered waters and some of that will mean a turbulent time, but God is faithful.  He will carry us through and give us a safe landing.  All we need to do is be obedient to His Word and His call.

We are coming to a time where we will need to turn our back on the former ways of doing things and, together, move forward into the new ways that God will open up for us.  It will not be easy.  The temptation will be to look back, but we must be focused on Christ alone.  Our faith must be in Him and not in ourselves, our traditions, our structures or anything that displaces Christ from the centre of our life and heart.

Praise the Lord for the constant communication that is continuing within our local Fellowships.  Keep this going, it is a lifeline to many and a great encouragement to all.  Ask God to show you how you can share your faith in other ways, among your family, friends and local community.

It is good to be together – and one day we will all meet again.  However, that is not for now.  Now is the time to dig deep into the resources God has given to each one of us.  This is an opportunity to learn afresh how we can worship God day by day where we are, in all we do.  Seek the Lord in His Word, hold fast to the nuggets that are treasure for our daily living.  Praise God for our Ministers and Leaders who are making available through letter post, live stream, texts etc the Word of God for us to feed on.  Encourage them – they too are getting tired.  When lockdown began no-one imagined how long it would last and there has been no let up.  Pray for them, that God will build them up, inspire them and richly bless them.

Of course, none of this can be done in our own strength.  It is only possible by God’s grace.  God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  Consider all that is available for you because of Christ’s death and resurrection and thank God for His goodness.  His grace IS sufficient, and His power will be made perfect in our weakness.  Trust Him.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Connexion

You will have seen the Prayer Sheet is slightly different than usual.  This is because Kathy has had an accident at home and is needing to rest so Dorothy has produced this week’s sheet.  We are trusting that normal service will be resumed next week but, in the meantime, please keep Kathy in your prayers for full healing and restoration.

Continue to pray for direction, strength, protection and for unity for the Churches in our Connexion during this time of uncertainty, especially as they prayerfully consider ways to possibly re-open in the days ahead.

For all our Fellowships as they seek to complete risk assessments and make suitable arrangements for reopening their buildings.

For those who are still shielding that they may be encouraged and filled with hope and energy.

For those who are in fear of being outside their own homes or in crowded areas that they may find rest in Jesus and not be anxious.

For everyone that we may continue to seek God and discover new ways to be church together whilst apart and share these truths with one another.

Annual Meeting Voting – Please pray that all our Fellowships will respond to the Annual Meeting voting form that has been sent today. Pray for Church secretaries and Leaders that they are able to both contact their membership, and register their vote, during these challenging times by the closing date of Monday 31st August.

Prayer requests from our churches

Hope Street: Prayer requested for Brian Edwards – he was admitted to hospital on Friday suffering with kidney problems.  He will be undergoing tests this week.  Please pray for a good diagnosis and treatment.
Lamberhead Green: Brenda Calderbank and family wish to express their thanks for love and prayers during Alan’s illness and subsequent death.  They know that this support has sustained them.  Please continue to pray for them as they grieve the loss.

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.)

Pray for parents of young children, especially those in local lockdowns.  Pray for strength and encouragement as they seek to juggle childcare and employment responsibilities.

Pray for children who are in vulnerable situations, many without sufficient food.  Pray for God’s protection and provision for them.  Ask God to reveal anyways in which we should be involved locally or collectively.

Good News Story

A member of one of our Fellowships is on holiday and sent a message to say that as they were walking along a coastal path on Sunday morning they came across a few people sat on a couple of benches on the path singing worship songs together.  It was lovely to see and hear and confirms you can worship God anywhere at any time!

News

Prayer Sheet

Please keep sending in your prayer requests and good news stories as they are a help in keeping us connected and encouraged.  This week please send emails to the President, Dorothy.


Week Commencing 27th July 2020

Points for Prayer

“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”

(1 Peter 5:7, New International Version)

At the end of this week, there will be great rejoicing as everyone will now be allowed to come out of their homes if they wish.

In the midst of all the government guidance and recent changes in our lifestyles, many people are suffering from stress and anxiety.

The Bible teaches us that the Christian does not need to be in this position.  God loves and cares for His children and He has promised that He will provide all that they need.  So – when the worries begin to form in our mind – we can cast them on to God.  This is far more than handing them over – it is literally throwing them to God.  God wants us to throw all that causes us anxiety onto Him because He wants to replace them with His peace.  We will never experience true peace until we release all that causes us concern.  So today – when ideas come into your mind and you sense the tension rising – throw them over to God, focus on Him and receive His peace.

May God keep you in His perfect peace now and always.

Dorothy Kendrick, Connexional President

Connexion

Continue to pray for direction, strength, protection and for unity for the Churches in our Connexion during this time of uncertainty, especially as they consider ways to possibly re-open in the days ahead.

For all our Fellowships as they seek to complete risk assessments and make suitable arrangements for reopening their buildings.

Please continue to pray for West Camel Methodist Church and their members – pray that they will quickly feel at home with us and that other churches will draw along close and encourage them.

For those who are still shielding and finding the days long and difficult.

For those who are in fear of being outside their own homes or in crowded areas.

For everyone that we may continue to seek God and discover new ways to be church together whilst apart.

Annual Meeting Voting – Please pray that all our Fellowships will respond to the Annual Meeting voting form that has been sent today. Pray for Church secretaries and Leaders that they are able to both contact their membership, and register their vote, during these challenging times by the closing date of Monday 31st August.

Prayer requests from our churches

Bethel, Newtown: Please pray as you feel led for the church as they plan to re-open on Sunday 2nd August for morning worship.

Buckley Street: Janet Stringer has asked us to pray for her friend and her family: her husband has left her and wants to divorce having moved in with another woman.  She is heartbroken.  Please pray that the Lord will heal her heartbreak.

Bethesda, Staple Hill: Thank you to everyone for your prayers for Bob Walker and his family.  Bob’s treatment is going well, and they are more hopeful as time goes on.  Please continue to pray for Bob, Sue, their daughter Jodie and the family in the coming weeks.

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.)

News

Prayer Sheet

As requested in previous weeks, this Prayer Sheet will continue in its present form until, and including, the 27th July.  If you have thoughts or suggestions of how (or if) the sheet should continue, please send these to the Resource Centre.

We have received some positive responses so far, but we would like to hear from as many of our churches as possible regarding this.

Virtually Keswick Convention

The online Convention starts today, Monday 27th July and will run for 5 days until Friday 31 July.

The theme for the convention this year is “Hope” – chosen because at this time of great uncertainty, in the midst of a global pandemic, there is hope in Jesus Christ.

Virtually Keswick Convention is live streamed on their website and you can also watch it on the Keswick Convention YouTube channel

You can ‘catch up’ on YouTube and via the individual Daily Programmes and Events pages on the Virtually Keswick Convention website.