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MCT Prayers 12.7.21

Hello everyone

Last Week  was the 69th Week of our Prayer sheet. We have prayed in earnest about the Covid 19 pandemic and its effect on all the Nations and peoples of our world. Alongside we have sought to find ways of deepening our relationship with God.

The government leaders are relaxing the rules that follow lockdown seeking a new norm, whatever that might be it seems a good time to end the weekly distribution, but I urge you to continue praying with the same fervour, that we have enjoyed together over the last 70 weeks.

This ‘Issue no 70 “will be our final MCT Monday Prayer Sheet but it is hoped that we might continue praying daily for our world and our own nation in how we deal with the pandemic.

This prayer sheet No 70 contains what might be an aid for us to continue to pray, allowing the scriptures and the Holy Spirit to teach us more about prayer.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE ABOUT PRAYER? WHICH VERSE INSPIRES YOU TO A DEEPER LIFE OF PRAYER?

Prayer is not just about asking God for things you need or desire. It is about establishing a relationship with Him built on faith and trust in Him. God knows the desires of your heart long before you even think to ask, but he still loves to hear from you—whether you’re asking for guidance or giving thanks—because it draws you closer to him. The Bible is full of people who were led to pray for a multitude of things we still pray about today: fear, anger, worry. That’s why the Bible is chock-full of verses for those dark days when you’re questioning just how effective prayer really is. These Bible verses will help motivate you to get down on your knees and communicate with the Lord.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  

Mark 11:2

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:7

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:5

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Luke 11:9

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Matthew 6:7

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
Luke 18:1-8

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Psalm 141:2

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
James 5:13-14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Psalm 50:15

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
Matthew 18:19-20

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!”

Psalm 4:1

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.”

Psalm 39:12

“But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”

Psalm 66:19

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”

Psalm 69:13

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.”

Mark 11:24

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Romans 8:26

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Philippians 4:5-7

‘The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 4:2

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

17Hebrews 5:7

KEEP –SAFE —— KEEP PRAYING

Peter

MCT Prayers wb 28.6.21

Hello everyone

SILENCE 2 —  DISCOVERING & EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Sometimes we conceal our relationship with God in prayer because we are afraid that others in the church or house group are closer than we are, that someone may be further ahead. But once we have turned and are seeking a relationship with God in silence, then we most certainly will find a need for someone to talk with.

Real confrontation with love of Jesus demands the sharing the of the experience.  It is through sharing that we realise that all of us, even the best, are babes in the wood.  The new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cotteral, confesses to be a novice when it comes to prayer. (Novice is a learner – always something new inspired by the Holy Spirit).   

The Disciples would see Jesus taking His leave from them for His Quiet Time with His Father. Luke records in his gospel (Luke 11) how one day Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His Disciples sought Jesus out and asked Him “Lord teach us to Pray just as John taught his Disciples”.

So it is that we have the teaching about Prayer. Jesus said,

“This is how you should Pray”.

“Father may your name be kept holy,

May your Kingdom come soon. 

Give us each day the food we need, and

forgive us our sin, as we forgive those

who sin against us, and don’t lead us into temptation.”

Some versions read and keep us from being tested.

Teaching them more about prayer, Jesus uses a story which graphically speaks about the relationship between friends.

Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.” And suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.     

 Jesus recommends persistence in Prayer. –

The scripture below and the one following are widely used to help seekers to find their relationship with both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

“Keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.. — This scripture encourages persistence in our prayers.

This scripture is an argument for the acceptance of the Holy Spirit into our lives.

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

THIS WEEK PRAY IN SILENCE IN THE WAY JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES – GOD FIRST – US SECOND

ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LEAD YOU INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD OUR FATHER – LISTEN FOR HIS VOICE 

BE PERSISTENT IN PRAYER. START WITH YOURSELF – THINK OF THE NEEDS OF THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU

Keep Safe  Keep Praying

Peter

MCT Prayers w/b 21.6.21

Hello Everyone

SILENCE : DISCOVERING & EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

The idea of linking silence with prayer may sound like an out-and- out contradiction to many Christians. We are accustomed to thinking of the familiar forms of prayer that people use when they join to worship or ask God for something. These forms almost follow a lead given in the past. They are shaped by words set down in the Bible, particularly the psalms, or by other poetry and by the liturgy. They can vary from the words that come spontaneously in the simplest service to the most elaborate prayers that have grown up around the Eucharist and other Sacraments and may be used in private devotions. Of course, there is no question about the value and importance of this way of turning to God, but it is not the only prayer we need.

There is another, equally important way of praying in which a person becomes silent and tries to listen, instead of speaking.

My wife Christine and I made a covenant to hear the Bible in a year. We listen to a part of a Psalm or part of the Book of Proverbs followed by a reading from the New Testament and a longer reading from the Old Testament all read to us by David Suchet. It takes about twenty or so minutes per day. As you might imagine there are catch-up days.  It’s better to learn how to be disciplined with the daily readings.

Having someone read to you tests out your listening skills. You will remember Jesus and his disciples who kept falling asleep at the most difficult time in his ministry. You probably like me will know how difficult it is to be silent and to concentrate for longer than a few minutes without the rush of unwanted thoughts. So, when we pray using Lectio 365 we pray “As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God”. 

To read whole passages of Scripture at once has the advantage over just selecting what you prefer to hear or use. So, you have to deal with the turbulence and bloodshed in the OT.

The children of Israel had their prophets who listened to Yahweh and passed on instruction to God’s own people. The big question for us today is – where do we see or hear the words of God from the lips of those who are in a relationship with both God and His people.

Silence in prayer is a discipline in which the more we pray the deeper our relationship with God, through the Holy Spirit, becomes and the more likely we are to know and experience His presence with us.

THIS WEEK PRAY WITHOUT SPEAKING – JUST WORK AT BEING COMFORTABLE & FOCUS ON JESUS FOR A WHILE, LISTENING AND GETTING TO KNOW HIS VOICE.

KEEP SAFE – KEEP PRAYING            Peter

MCT Prayers w/b 14/6/21

Hello Everyone

Over the past months, many articles have been written, numerous television programmes made, all around the subject of the Coronavirus Pandemic and this coming Friday there is a TV programme called ‘A Pandemic Poem – Where Did The World Go?’   This is based around a Poem written by Poet Laureate -Simon Armitage, a Colne Valley man who many of us will have heard of.  

These are some of his thoughts about his Pandemic Poem 

‘There is a message to be learnt about taking things easy and being patient and trusting the Earth and maybe coming through this slightly slower and wiser – given that one thing that’s accelerated the problem is our hectic lives and our proximities and the frantic ways we go about things.    Poetry is by definition consoling because it often asks us just to focus and think and be contemplative.’

To learn more of his thoughts – Friday evening 9.0pm

The following  poem is written by Gary Clayton a member of Hayes Lane Baptist Church.

As we read it, we ask that God will help us to focus on what is said

In the year of plague, in the year of COVID,
Like seeking our Daily Bread day-by-day,
Each day we looked to God to provide,
Each day we looked to God, to survive.
Each day we shopped to live, not lived to shop.

In the year of grace, in the year of COVID,
We didn’t ‘Give up church’ for Lent, 
But learned to ‘do’ church differently, 
Discovered that buildings close and meetings end,
But the Church – the Body, not the building, goes on.

In the year of contact, in the year of COVID,
Email, phone, letters, Skype, Zoom, 
Messenger, WhatsApp, Microsoft Meetings, 
These manmade messengers came into their own,
Carrying our voices, words, thoughts and prayers 
To the homes of those – like us – forced to endure, 
Stay at home, or sally forth briefly,
Hoping against hope that all would be well.

In the year of trial, in the year of COVID,
Some comfort ate, and some got fit,
Some went for a walk – or a run.
Some sofa-surfed on crisp-strewn couches,
Some grew their hair, while others grew apart.

In the year of fear, in the year of COVID,
We saw far fewer cars, and even less people,
Covered our noses and concealed our mouths. 
Felt dread when we coughed, 
Our eyes watered, or we felt unwell. 

In the year, in the year, in the year 2020,
We lost friends. Lost family. Lost contact,
But gained something too.
But when the time’s ended,
And when the plague, the epidemic, the pandemic,
The outbreak ends – will we have learned? 
Will we have changed? 
Or will we just… go back to normal? 

Let us continue to pray that God will give wisdom to each one of us, to the churches, to our nation and to the world that we can all learn from the experience of this pandemic and that we can go into the future seeing things in a new way and much more from God’s perspective.

KEEP SAFE, KEEP PRAYING

Peter

MCT Prayers wb 7.6.21

Hello everyone.

Unconditional Acceptance   –   Pete Greig –  leading a short reflection on the App – Lectio 365       

This week I am consciously making space for the Holy Spirit to challenge my lifestyle… … and shape my attitude towards the great biblical priority of hospitality.

Pause

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach
A prayer from the fifth century AD by Augustine of Hippo:
Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you…
Let the love of you grow every day more and more in me,
that my joy may be full in you.*

Rejoice and Reflect
I choose to rejoice today in the place God has planted me in, and the faith he has planted in me, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 52:
I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.

Psalm 52:8-9

Pause and pray

Today’s reading opens a new vista, calling me to cultivate an equally accommodating attitude towards my brothers and sisters in Christ….
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Romans 15:5-7
In this beautiful benediction, the apostle Paul prays that my attitude towards other Christians would be as accepting as Christ’s attitude towards me. This is an extraordinarily low bar!
Our unity is not to be based on believing precisely the same things; that would make us a sect; nor on behaving in precisely the same ways; that would make us a cult; but rather on belonging to the same Father through the unconditional acceptance of his son Jesus Christ: that is what makes us a family.
As Nicky Gumbel says, ‘I used to look at other types of Christians and ask “What’s wrong with them?” But these days I ask “What’s right with them?”  What can I learn from them? What do they have that I need?’
Why is it that I sometimes have more grace for non-Christians than I do for my brothers and sisters in Christ? Thinking now of a Christian who annoys me, I ask You Lord to give me eyes to see them the way You see them, and an ability to accept them the way You do too.

Pause and pray
I thank God now for a church or a denomination other than my own, asking the Father to bless them, and enjoying the smile on His face as I do so. These days I ask “What’s right with them?”  What can I learn from them? What do they have that I need?’

Yield
As I return to the passage, I open my ears to hear Your Word, and my heart to yield to Your will once again.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Romans 15:5-7
It’s easy to miss the two key hinge phrases in this passage: ‘so that’ and ‘in order to’. Paul prays for unity ‘so that’ with one mind and voice we may glorify God and ‘in order to’ bring him praise.
Whenever we acknowledge that there are indeed other rooms in the House of God, and other branches in his family tree, the result is praise and glory to the Lord. As the apostle John puts it, ‘If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.’

(1 John 4:12)

Pause and pray


Yielding Prayer
Father, I give my front door key to You. My house is Your home.
 Bring whoever You want, whenever You want into my private space this week.
Jesus, I relinquish my schedule to You. My days are in Your hands.
 Help me to welcome interruptions this week as gifts from You.
Spirit, I surrender my possessions to You. All my stuff belongs to You.
 Help me this week to ‘share with the Lord’s people who are in need.’ (Rom. 12:13)

Yielding Promise
And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me speaks to me saying:
Trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to me, and I will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Closing Prayer
Father, help me to live this day to the full,
 being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,
 being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost,
 proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.
Amen.

* Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, ed. J. Manning Potts, 1953

KEEP SAFE – KEEP PRAYING      

Peter



MCT Prayers 31st May

Hello Everyone

Over a year ago we began to feel and experience the impact of the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic. The pandemic might be unique in our experience, but it is not unique in history. It comes with a hard impact on life, worship and community. Very quickly we were drawn together to pray for ourselves and peoples of every faith and nation of our world. Lockdown offered us an opportunity to read the scriptures afresh, seeing through the lens of those writers and poets who lived lives very different from ours but conscious of their mortality and the fragility of life.

And people stayed at home

And read books > And they rested >And did exercises > And made art and played >

And learnt new ways of being > And stopped and listened >More deeply >

Someone meditated > someone prayed > Someone met their shadow >

And people began to think differently > And people healed >

And in the absence of people who > Lived in ignorant ways > Dangerous > meaningless and heartless >

The earth also began to heal > And when the danger ended > and People found themselves >

They grieved for the dead > And made new choices > And dreamed of new visions >

And created new ways of living > And completely healed the earth > Just as they were healed.

This is supposed to have been written by Kathleen O’Mara in 1869 for the then pandemic of typhus then reprinted for the Spanish influenza of 1920, the outbreak of which killed more people than the entire losses of the First World War!

Presently

We are living with the variants of the virus and at the same time trying to get to something like normal in commerce, business. and communal living.

In the many and various circles of life, people are accepting that we are entering a journey towards a new normal. New because change has already set in and will continue to change and develop. We need to ask the Question what will the New World look like and what might it be like for each of us ?

When this is all over

Lord, when this is over, may we never again take for granted:

The handshake with a stranger,

Full shelves at the store,

Conversations with neighbours,

A crowded theatre,

The taste of Communion,

A routine check up,

The school rush each morning,

Coffee with a friend,

The stadium roaring,

Each deep breath,

A boring Tuesday,

Life itself.

Lord when this ends may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were able to be, we hoped to be and may we stay this way – better for each other because of the worst.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO PLEAD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR OURSELVES– BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY TO PRAY FOR THOSE IN THE POORER NATIONS.   OUR OWN HEALING IS DEPENDENT ON JUSTICE AND THE SUPORT EXTENDED TO THESE NATIONS.                                      

KEEP SAFE – KEEP PRAYING

 Peter

MCT Prayers w/b 24th May

Hello everyone

RENEW US BY YOUR SPIRIT – MAY 24

WEEK  4 —  1—SILENCE  —The other side of words

When we do come to God. Or when we return to God. Or when we receive Holy Communion and hold that broken piece of bread in our hands. Or when we hear a passage from scripture that moves us. Or when we see in each other a love that holds and sustains us. And when we know we are loved, the only real response is silence.

There is a place beyond words, where the heart rests in peace, in the knowledge of being known and loved.

Not all of us experience such love in our lives. Some of us have been very damaged by life’s injustices. But the love we receive from Jesus, the love that is from God, is secure. It is waiting for us the other side of words. We only need to turn.

PRAYER

Loving God, our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. Hold me, for the storms are raging and the waves crash over. Be my rest and my security. And even though human touch and human love is so beautiful and so longed for, help me to know today that it comes from you and, like everything that is good and beautiful, will return to you in the silence of your eternal and never changing love. Be with me as I hold myself and hold others in your embrace.

2  PENTECOST

Receive the Holy Spirit.  In the Bible there are two accounts of how God gives us the Holy Spirit. First, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, today’s celebration. But in John’s gospel, on Easter day itself, with the disciples locked away like so many of us have spent the last year locked away, Jesus breathes on them and gives them the Spirit. (see John 20.22)

Both stories have important things to say, but this year, with all the challenges we face, and knowing what lockdown has done to us and how many of us have slipped from the practice of our faith, I am holding onto a picture of Jesus coming to each of us and breathing his life and goodness into us. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he says. “My spirit of peace.” And then He sends us into the world: praying for others and serving them in the name of Christ.

PRAYER

Overflowing God, breathe the spirt of Jesus into me and into all those who long for peace, especially those who have drifted from your way, got stuck in their faith, or who have not yet found a way to believe. You believe in them. Renew them by your Spirt. And today may your Church be filled with joy.

READING

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5.1-5)

3 FINALLY

If you have worked your way through these thoughts and prayers over the last four weeks and made some notes about how you feel about God and how you make sense of life, and if the promises of God that we receive in Jesus are even beginning to make you wonder whether there is more to life than the things you see around you, and more to hope for than the fleeting promises of the world, then the best way of knowing and following Jesus is in the company of his Church. We’re not perfect. Far from it. We are also followers in the way, working out how best to live this life and trusting in God, knowing how much we need God’s love and forgiveness to keep us going. We are not an organisation looking for new members. We are a company of travellers and explorers who are very glad to have new people help us. We have things to share with you, but you also have things to share with us. Together, we can travel God’s way.  And for those of us  who are members of a  church community  let us continue to pray for the work of God’s church both locally, nationally and worldwide.

Keep safe.  Keep Praying

Peter

MCT Prayers wb 17.5.21

Hello everyone

WEEK  3

1  HELP–Send your Holy Spirit

In order to live the way of life we see in Jesus, we need help. We can’t do it on our own. We can’t manage in our own strength. Who can we help today by our prayers and example?

As the Church waits to celebrate the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, let’s remember that Jesus calls the Spirit ‘helper’.

God knows we can’t manage on our own. Of course, we can’t. After all, we are made for community with God and with each other. Jesus makes this possible by uniting our humanity with God in his own person. The Spirit is the spirit of Jesus, helping us become like Jesus and uniting us to God. All we need to do is let go of the pride that puts self-first and cuts us off from God, and in the end from everyone else as well. Overcoming God, make me new in the Spirit of Jesus so that I can truly become the person I am meant to be. And today may your Spirt help me help others, especially those who have drifted from your way, or who find it impossible to believe, or who are trapped by fear and guilt. Set us free, God. Set me free to be myself. Free to help others.

PRAYER

Overcoming God, make me new in the Spirit of Jesus so that I can truly become the person I am meant to be. And today may your Spirt help me help others, especially those who have drifted from your way, or who find it impossible to believe, or who are trapped by fear and guilt. Set me free, God. Set me free to be myself God, make me new in the Spirit of Jesus so that I can truly become the person I am meant to be. And today may your Spirt help me help others, especially those who have drifted from your way, or who find it impossible to believe, or who are trapped by fear and guilt. Set me free, God. Set me free to be myself. Free to help others.

READINGS

Jesus said, “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (John 14. 25-26)  

Jesus said, “ This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.   You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15. 12-14)

2–  Adore — Ambassadors for Love

The greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is love. We are most like Jesus when we love and adore each other, and when we love and adore the world.

Love is not just romantic love. It is the complete self-giving that we see in Jesus. This is the love the world needs if we are to navigate a way though the huge challenges we face.

Following Jesus, returning to the life of his Church, means being part of this great love affair. We become God’s agents of change, God’s ambassadors for love in the world.

However small or fragile your faith is, most of us have strong feelings of love. They are from God. Use this love to change the world. One heart at a time.

PRAYER

Quickening God, fan the embers of my little faith. Help me see that the love I feel for those I love is from you. It shows me that you are real, that you are love itself. Be my friend. And today, draw me back into the fellowship of your church and help others, who also long for love and acceptance, to find it in Jesus, the one who lays down his life for his friends.

3– CELEBRATE –Give us our daily bread

On the night before he died, Jesus had a meal with his friends. Breaking bread and sharing wine, he said they were his body and blood. He was giving them a way of understanding what his death and resurrection would mean. He was also giving us, for all time, a way of being nourished by his risen life.

It is hard to be a Christian on your own. You cut yourself off from this food and drink. And because faith is not a private thing, but a way of life lived in community, then we need to nurture this life in celebration with each other. This is what the church is: the bunch of men and women who know how much they need each other and need God. Join us. We need you.

PRAYER

Bountiful God, feed me with the bread of heaven, and give me today the things I need for today and save me from wanting more than my share. There are so many people who are hungry for love and thirsting for peace. Help me to help others find their place at your table.

READING

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10. 16-17)

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4. V 11)

KEEP SAFE

 – KEEP ON PRAYING 

Peter

PS  In earnest prayer pray for Bolton and India in the grip of variant strains of the Covid Virus.

Pray for or own country as it relaxes the guidelines in selected areas of our life together.

We ask that people will exercise due caution and keep the world around them safe.

MCT prayers 10.5.21

Hello everyone

RENEW US BY YOUR SPIRIT — MAY 10

WEEK 2   –1 SORRY –Turning around

Jesus begins his ministry with the word repent (see Mark 1.15) It means turn around. You’re going in the wrong direction. Re-orientate your life.

The whole world needs to hear this message. Whether it is the way we treat each other or the way we treat the planet, we are going in the wrong direction. No one seriously disputes this. The world has to change. But who has the answers? Who do we follow?

Jesus says, follow me and you will be walking in the light (see John 8.12). Jesus gives us a way of inhabiting the world and living with each other that is, truly, the world’s best hope.

It begins by turning around. By following him. The Christian faith is a way for everyone.

PRAYER

Steadfast God, redirect my life and redirect the life of the world. Help us to live in peace with each other and with the planet. And today help me to tread lightly on the earth, praying for others that we may all find for ourselves the way of being human that God shows us in Jesus. Give me the chance to start again. To turn around

2 –OFFER — A new heaven and a new earth

The offer of the Christian faith is the offer of abundant life (see John 10.10). Not a life lived somewhere else, but this life lived to the full; this life lived in the way God intends.

Some people have never really heard this offer. They thought the Christian faith was just a private thing with God, a way of getting to heaven. But God doesn’t just promise life after death, but heaven come down to earth, a better and more fulfilled life now. It starts by turning around. We see ourselves in right relationship with God. That God is the source of life. That we are the ones who have received the gift of life. Acknowledging this, our hearts overflow with thanksgiving. We start to live differently. We follow the way of Jesus. We pray that this way of life will be found by everyone.

PRAYER

Generous God, pour your abundant life into my heart. Help me to live differently. And today may others see and receive this offer of life through me.

Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favour and good repute in the sight of God and of people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3.3-6)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone.

(1 Timothy 2.)

3–Make your life a prayer

What then should we pray for?

Paul sets the bar of expectation very high. We should pray for everyone. We should pray all the time.

I see it this way. Make your life a prayer. Make your life an offering. Ask God that your life and your prayers, your words and your actions, might make a difference in the world. To follow in the way of Jesus means living a Jesus shaped life, so that all the good things that we see in him can also be seen in us, at least in part.

In this way our following Jesus is more than attending services, or even believing certain things. It is a way of life. A way that makes a difference for us and for the world.

PRAYER

Transforming God, make me more like Jesus. And because I know my life is not like that, show me Jesus today. And change my prayer from asking things for myself to asking you what you would like for me, so that my life can be part of your story. And help me to pray for others, that they may know Christ for themselves.

SEEP SAFE – KEEP PRAYING —–

Peter

Prayer course

God on Mute: a 5 week course on Unanswered Prayer lead by Pete Greig.

We are starting the Course on Thursday 13th May 2021 at 8.00pm. 

The Sessions

The Prayer Course II is split into five sessions:

I’ll send out a Zoom link nearer the time. Don’t worry if you didn’t join the Prayer Course. Let’s learn together.

Nigel Priestley