Our Advent Blessing

Praise the Lord

     Praise the Lord from the heavens

Praise him in the heights above.
       Praise him, all his angels,
Praise him, sun and moon,
       Praise him, all you shining stars.
 Praise him, you highest heavens
       And you waters above the skies.
 Let them praise the name of the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.

       His love endures forever.
 With thanksgiving, in the spirit of St. Andrew,

       We meet around the table to celebrate this advent season.

Come Lord Jesus come.

       Come Lord Jesus come.
Bless this place, bless this food, bless your children near and far, bless our hearts, minds, bodies and souls with your peace, and love and grace and joy.

Come Lord Jesus come.

       Come Lord Jesus Come. Amen

 

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Transformed Lives

If you believe that Jesus lives today, if you believe that he is here, in this place, now in the 21st century, then one way we can put this faith into action is to pray for God’s transformational power to give new life to his children.  Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray for God’s children.  And when you have a story to tell, proclaim it  (see encounter) to the world!

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Isaiah Rumblings

To say that we have been on a roller coaster over the last week would be an understatement.  In final fits of agonised wondering, the prayers for Sunday were revealed on a train journey from Birmingham.  Perhaps they were inspired by the recent UCB reading notes focusing on Isaiah.

Heavenly Father,

 

How our plans have been foiled.  Over the last week, so many of your children have been on seemingly fruitless ventures.  Trains to nowhere, journeys impeded by snow and ice, children happy with glee at school closings, failed technology at every turn, and markets continuing their melt down to unknown levels.  It would seem that man’s hell bent path of folly has finally been called.  So God you have our attention now.  We’re listening.  Take off our blinders that we can see and open our ears that we can hear.  It’s clear that the world isn’t going to fall apart if we don’t make it to our destinations.  All praise and honour and glory and power are yours forever and ever.

 

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Father God, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are your salt and light.  So why is your house here on earth cold and dark?  Why is there dust in the corners?  Why are the walls of our hearts dingy?  Have we all been too busy to honour your true house with joy and praise?  Are we too uninspired to show others the path to your door?  All seeing, all knowing God, you will build your church and your kingdom with or without our help.  Make your home here in this beautiful village.  Come down and seat yourself in the cradle of the Old Man.  Blow the cob webs away from this place with your piercing and powerful light.  Let us rejoice in praise with your choirs of angels each and every day.

 

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

You are shaking our foundations.  Throughout time civilisations have come and gone.  Is ours on the way out?  Capitalism, the great market that is worshipped around the world has been manipulated to the brink of destruction.  The world is bloated by too much debt backed by empty assets which were packaged and sold off by moneychangers whose only care was for the day.  Oh, we’ll survive.  We’ll get through the current mess.  But what will we learn and are we just setting ourselves up for the ultimate meltdown to come? Woe, said the angel.  Babylon has fallen.  Whether this is sooner or later depends on whether we have a change of heart.  Heal our hearts Help us to turn from our wayward ways.  Heal our land.  Walk with us.  We are your people.  You are our God.

 

Merciful loving Father, we pray for your children who are suffering at this minute.  There are many who have lost their jobs.  There are many who have lost their homes.  While our lives have been disrupted by record cold and snow others are suffering from record high temperatures, drought and forest fires.  In the middle of all this chaos, you are with us.  Take us by the hand and lead us to your green pastures.  We are your sheep.  You are our shepherd.  This morning we pray especially for Phyllis, Nancy, Eunice, Pat and Peter.  Pour your warm and precious healing balm on these your loving children.  Renew their strength so they will run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.

 

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Father God to each of us you have allotted a different time.  Though we each have our own time, our time overlaps with millions of other souls in your world.  We who are the living, in the here and now, have a tendency to think that the world will end if we don’t act.  We try to pack as much as possible into a day.  We think that time at rest is time lost.  On this your Sabboth Day, which you created for man, let us listen for you and move with you so we will only move when you say move and only act when you say act and only speak when you say speak.  Lead us together Father God.  One day, there will be no more time on this earth.  One day, we’ll join your great banquet with all time for all time.  What a joyous day that will be when we can hear, well done, good and faithful servant.  Lead us Good Shepherd in our time to your promised land.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

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In Praise of Grace

Today’s service was Harvest Sunday.  Our theme was forgiving our neighbour which was beautifully encapsulated into We reap what we Sow.  To be forgiven, we must forgive.  This is the crux of the matter.   Grace was flowing freely in our service.  In fact, it was totally overwhelming at times.

So that others may be blessed, the following are our Harvest Prayers:

Heavenly Father,

 

The sight of the mist rising slowly against the powder blue sky and deep furrows of the old Man is breathtaking as reflected on the sheet of glass called Coniston Water.  Suddenly the light shines so brightly through the mist that the old oak tree at the bottom of the lake is a picture of illumination, it’s roots firmly planted in the earth but cushioned by the lush dewy green grass inhabited by a flock of sheep.  I am brought quickly back to harvest Sunday.  I see in the tree a perfect object of your creation.  It’s limbs are always in touch with you as they rise up to the heavens above.  All who see it see a part of your glory.  All who look to it see what happens to the wise.  All who look to it see how we could be if we were as balanced as that tree, in perfect harmony with the earth around it and in constant communion with you.  Father God, help us to have our feet firmly planted in your word and keep us in constant communion with you.

 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

As I look to the tree I see a swallow soaring.  I am reminded of a scene of swallows sitting on a wire last evening.  How do they organise themselves so perfectly?  How do they all know exactly what to do?  Those swallows soaring through the heavens are constantly in your care.  Cushioned by soft billowy clouds and helped along by gentle breezes and strong gales, it is by working together as a team that they can manage a journey of thousands of miles not just once but twice a year.  What can your church learn about working together from those swallows.  A strand of three fibers cannot easily be broken.  Let us sow the seeds of respect, encouragement and love for one another.  Bless our talents and use them for your glory as we work together in your kingdom.

 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

As I walked on top of the moorland yesterday, I came upon a sea of glittering diamonds.  As my eye focused on just one of those precious gems, I suddenly saw every colour in the rainbow magnificently glowing in a prism more lovely than any earthly gem.  Reflected light on one drop of water was a show stopping paradise.  Your light is even brighter and more lovely than that beautiful prism.  We are the salt and the light.  When your light shines through us, we can shine your light on the world around us.  When we keep close to you, we are effective.  Shine your light Lord Jesus, shine it brightly that our harvest will be full.

 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Hazel, in her prayers a few weeks ago reminded us that one drop of your blood can wash away the sins of the world since the beginning of time.  Imagine the power of wiping out every sin from all time with just one drop of blood.  It is more than I can understand.  I am overwhelmed.  Imagine what you can do through us in our daily lives if we forgive our brothers as you forgave us.  Keep us strong as we go out from this place sowing the seeds of forgiveness.  Keep this drop of blood flowing in our hearts and minds as we sow your fields and reap your harvest.

 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

When we call to you, we tap into the great power that created the earth and all the heavens.  We have our feet firmly planted in the earth like the old oak tree at the foot of the field.  We have a higher view like the swallows in the sky.  We have the light of the world as the prism of glory in a drop of water.  When we forgive one another, we see the power of a drop of our saviour’s blood in a transformation that exceeds all expectations.  It is awesome.  It is miraculous.  It is our faith.  Silently now, we bring all of our thoughts, needs, and prayers to you.

 

Heavenly Father, heal us, help us, deliver us, renew us, we are your people.  You are our God.  Let us walk with you as we live and work to your glory.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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Standing in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30  “I looked for a man among them who would build up a wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.”

The above passage is from yesterday’s UCB readings. Lately I have been reading the lessons from the NIV verson of the Women’s Devotional Bible published by Zondervan Press which also has 365 devotions for the year.  There was one specifically for the passage shown above and it is so powerful, I would like to share it with you here.

Author:  Kathi Mills

Looking back on my life prior to my conversion in 1974, I realize now there were many intercessors on my behalf.  In addition to my own dear family who prayed for me faithfully, I remember one instance in particular when God burdened the heart of a woman I hardly knew to pray for me.

I was in a hospital, far from home and family, drifting in and out of consciousness.  Several times I became aware of a woman’s voice praying for my salvation, as well as for my physical healing.  At one point I heard a doctor describing my condition as critical, warning that I might not survive.

It was then that I recognized the voice of my intercessor once again as she spoke out in faith, “Doctor, I respect what you say, but I cannot accept it.  I’ve been praying for Kathi and I believe she will not only recover, she will walk out of here and live for God someday!”

Before long, I did walk out of that hospital, returned to work, and learned that it was my boss’s wife (I had only met her twice) who had “stood in the gap” for me.  When I tried to thank her, she responded with a confident smile, “Don’t thank me – thank God!  He has great plans for your life.”

Soon after that I moved away, never to see her again; but five years later when I gave my life to Christ, I remembered her – this faithful woman of God who never saw the results of her prayers for my salvation, but who believed God to answer those prayers in his time.

We often give up too easily on God in our busy lives.  Peter, a few Sundays ago, talked about the bright sunshine that we see when we get high enough in an airplane regardless of how many clouds obscure it from below.  Like the sun, which is ever present, Jesus is always there for us.  It is only we who move away.  Keep on praying and keep on intercessing.  Go to Revelation 8: 1-4 and see how God responds to the prayers of the saints.  God is alive yesterday, today and tomorrow and we are part of his great kingdom not just in the here and now but from all ages to eternity.

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GOD IS WORKING IN THIS PLACE

On Sunday, the headline that China arms destined for Zimbabwe were seeking safe harbor in Mozambique resulted in the following intercessions:

Heavenly Father, We pray for those who work for peace and good government.  This morning we lift up to you Zimbabwe.  The harsh regime of Mugabe has resulted in horrible suffering and loss.  You created each one of us with talents and gifts.  We pray that your good gifts will be put to full use across this land.  Strengthen your children with your revelation to know the way out.  Imbue the international community with wisdom to know how to help this land and its people.  Bind and heal the wounds of malice with your love and light.  Release your children from their bondage.  Let them live life to the full to the praise and glory of your name.   Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Today, the BBC headlines read:

Zimbabe Arms May Return to China

A ship carrying weapons to Zimbabwe is likely to return to China after neighbouring countries refused to unload it, says the foreign ministry.

Thank you Heavenly Father that You hold us in Your hand, that we can come to You, that You hear us, that You heal us, that we can trust in You.  Thank you for the prayers of Your saints who know that we can come to You through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of Your name.  Amen

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PRAYERS FOR PASSION SUNDAY

Heavenly Father,

As I look to the hills, I see that every fiber of your creation is in preparation. Not a molecule is idle. The singular purpose of this exquisite scene has been hard wired into existence. Birds have been greeting the morning with their song for hours. Ripples roll across Coniston Water. A beam of light casts its eye down to a flowering tree. Spring is on the way and there is no time to waste. Does nature know a storm is brewing? There is no chaos of last minute planning, only joyful peace and harmony. You are the light of creation. It knows your love is steadfast. It worships you day and night each and every day. Turn our hearts to your light and set our hearts on fire for you. Let every man who looks to the hills find you. All praise and honour and glory and power are yours forever and ever. Amen!

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Father God,

We pray for your church here and in the world. This spring, open our eyes to see you more clearly. Blow away the dust, pour your light in the dark corners, whisk away all the clutter and fill those clean, white spaces with your spirit. Let no empty promises fill them, let no wasteful acts tarnish them, but move us together in your perfect time to the glory of your name. Father God, make us fighting fit for the work you have prepared in advance for us to do. Let not one of us be left behind. Move us in your peace and love in perfect harmony.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father,

It is awesome to me that this earth, your creation, continues to provide for man thousands of years on from the birth of civilisation. With each day, there are more mouths to feed, there is more extraction of minerals and oil, there is more production, and there is more construction. The old is torn down, the new is replaced. Yet the earth renews itself. New seeds sprout through the death of the old, a spark of genius planted by you gives birth to a revolutionary idea that changes the way we live. We pray that your resources will be redeployed to that which helps from that which harms. Why do we need to waste your valuable resources on weapons of mass destruction when we can transform our way of living to the profit of all creation. Move the world towards a lasting peace, let us love one another, let us look for ways to help rather than ways to harm. We pray for your merciful intervention.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Father God,

The financial infrastructure of global markets is being tested in ways not seen for 80 years. I wonder again when I look out at your creation, when I see people coming and going as before, eating and drinking, travelling, marrying. It is like the days of Noah. We know that in the last days, these markets will be in ruin. We know that in the last days, there will not be any water fit to drink. We know that in the last days, the fish will be dead, and the waters will over flow with blood. Father God, wake up your people. Let us not fritter away the hours you have planned for us. The time to act is now. The time for leadership is now. If we don’t change the way we live, there will not be a future on this planet. Heal us and help us. Turn us to new life!

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord God,

There are souls among us who need your merciful healing touch. You have shown us your divine plan. We see now through a glass darkly that which you choose to reveal of the past and the future. We live in the here and now. Sometimes we do not understand what is happening around us. Father God, we lift up to you this morning Chris, Joanna, Phyllis, Eunice, the children left behind in two very horrific car crashes in Gloucester and Lancashire. This morning Chris is very ill. His liver is giving out. His diabetes is a complication. He has travelled a long road of decline. We long for you to deliver him from this malaise. We long for him to be healed in body, mind and spirit. Awesome, all powerful God, we pray that your glory will be revealed in the lives of these souls that we bring to your throne. Have mercy upon them and deliver them from their infirmities.

Lord graciously hear us. Lord hear us.

Heavenly Father,

The news of the death of those souls in the Goucester and Lancashire car crashes makes us look anew at the world and our lives. We are here by your grace. This morning we pray for those who mourn. Thank you for the love that fills our hearts, for the life that fills our limbs, for the hope that lives within us and your lamp that lights the path before us. Move the mountains that impede our view. Walk beside us these earthly roads, take us by the hand and lead us to your heavenly throne.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Prayer for Out of the Blue

Dear Lord,

Prepare our hearts for this week of mission.  

Let all we do be for your honour.

Deepen our love for you.

Draw many around us to Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s name.

Amen.

Out of the Blue takes place February 10-17, 2008, Please Pray

  1. For the Bishop of Penrith as he plans to lead our Furness Deanery Mission.  Ask God to bless him.
  2. That all our congregations will grasp this special opportunity.
  3. For courage to ask family and friends to the various events planned.
  4. Praise God for the wonder and relevance of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Safe, Sound and Flying

Earlier in the month we were all praying for Ashley, who was travelling to London from Findlay, Ohio on her own.  She planned her entire itinerary and accomplished all her goals.  Angels saw her safely through her journey and to be honest, I am really impressed.
If you want to read of her exploits, go to:

http://ashleydonaldson.blogspot.com

Praise God for his miraculous vision and power.

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Our Prayer List

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galations 6:2 (NIV)

Bless Tom, Michael, Barbara, Jacqui, Donald, Baby Leo, Joanna, Dr. Wood, Connie, Cath, Ted, Janet, Chris, Tim, Jim, Nancy, Eunice, Margaret, Will, Hughey, Anne, Hazel, Lucy, Jackie, Issy, Melissa, John, Michael and Jo Ann with Your healing touch. Please saturate them in Your grace, mercy and peace.

New Additions!

Jo Ann has just had a kidney transplant.  On Christmas day a 19 year old boy died in an accident and donated his organs to help others.  Jo Ann is now going from strength to strength but is very much in need of your prayers. Praise God for this miracle of life.

Michael has been hospitalised for pleurisy and celebrated his 80th birthday on the 16th.  Friends and family are very worried about him.  Please pray for God’s blessing on Michael, his friends and family.

Extra Alert!

Chris and Tim are dealing with forces trying to prevent them from moving according to God’s call.  This is a critical time for them.  Please hold them in your prayers.

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