House of Prayer

I just received the May newsletter from Faith Church in Findlay, OH.  The lead article, by Pastor Michael Martin, talks about the importance of prayer and I’ve copied it here, straight from the Pastor’s Desk.

Every once in a while I sit down and evaluate my spiritual progress. During that time I often find there is something I need to correct. It is usually something important, but I have let it slip. I found one of those areas for myself this week, and I wanted to write about it because I think it can apply to the church’s ministry too: Prayer. I know, we all pray individually. We also read prayers together in worship. I suspect though, if we are honest, very few of us would confess to feeling we are good at prayer and pray enough.

Jesus covered every need and reason to pray in the words recorded in Matthew 7:7; Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. If there is a need in life we need but ask. He assures us that when we do, it is given. Sometimes there is something we don’t understand. In such a case we are invited to seek. For some reason, the necessity of seeking becomes part of the answer. I have been told before that we shouldn’t ask God why? It seems to me though that in the invitation to seek there is also the invitation to ask why. Sometimes, we don’t necessarily need anything and we don’t have any questions, but we feel the need to be in the presence of our Savior. We want to feel his warm embrace and hear his encouraging words. In these times Jesus bids us to knock. When we knock the door is opened and we are welcomed in.

I do need to increase the duration and the quality of my prayers. I feel the Lord is asking us as a church to increase our prayer life together. As he cleared the temple Jesus quoted God’s words from the Old Testament, My house will be called a house of prayer. We pray, but are we a house of prayer?

I am going to concentrate on this subject in my articles this summer. It will be the focus of a few sermons as well. I also plan to put it into action. I would like to start by having a designated time we could come together and pray for the church and each other. When our worship time changes to 9:30 in June, I plan to go into the sanctuary or a side room at 9:00 to pray. My goal is to pray for 15 minutes and then go out to fellowship before we worship. You are welcome to join me. Do you have a suggestion for a better time, one that would work better for you? Let me know. I will already be praying for you, but I would love to pray with you.

If you cannot join in one of the times of corporate prayer, I ask that you pray on your own. Pray for me. Pray for the church. Pray for your needs. Pray for your friends, your family and your enemies. Spend time with the Lord. Send him a knee mail. Just pray.

FAITH WALK, a message from Michael Martin

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1


NISCU Funding

NISCU is an organisation which has operated in the North West for about 25 years. They go into schools and bring the good news of Christ to children and youth in both primary and secondary schools.

Matt Rich, who works with secondary schools for NISCU, has been sending out letters to all the Furness area churches about funding their Furness operations. Some of the larger churches, which previously supported the charity, now employ their own youth workers. Most areas and schools are not blessed with these resources and the NISCU is able to fill the gap here as well as supercharge those areas which already have access to youth workers.

The charity (246661 previously) has recently changed its name and number so if you look up the number above, you’ll be able to learn something about their operations.  The outstanding need of the Furness team, if covered solely by the Furness Anglican community, is equivalent to £62 per church per month.  Matt is going to look into getting an interactive programme to tally fundraising to date.  June 6th is the decision date for planning their future spend.

Let’s pray together about the work of NISCU and lift it and the children whose lives are being changed to God in prayer.  Father God, glorify your name in this place.  Amen.


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.



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.


Elephants Never Forget

It has just been reported that Senator Edward Kennedy is to have surgery for a malignant brain tumor followed by chemotherapy.  In a statement, the senator committed himself to doing everything in his power to get Barack Obama elected President following his treatment.  To say that the senator is optimistic would be an understatement.  With elections looming in November, that is a swift positive recovery.  Whatever one thinks about the election or the candidates, I want to pray for Teddy and his entire family but especially Caroline who must be on her knees night and day praying for this man who is so close to her.

My heart goes out to Caroline especially.  What a sad story for a child to lose a Father so publicly and then her Father’s brother and then her Brother and her Mother. Of course this has all made Caroline a strong woman and a fighter.  Such trials as this, one wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Accompanying the statement about Senator Kennedy’s treatment was the obligatory reference to Chappaquiddick.  This was a sad chapter in his life which took place almost 40 years ago.  No matter what he has achieved since, no matter what wonderful things he has done, he is always dragged down by reference to this moment.

What is it about this world that constantly wants to tear down everyone and everything?  We’re imperfect creatures and we make mistakes.  No one is immuned.  There that’s it.  So what’s the big deal and what’s the story and why can’t elephants ever forget?

As Christians we have Freedom in Christ.  We have an advocate in heaven.  The dragging down of sin is finished with the blood of Jesus on the Cross.  We can move on.  If only the world would get the message, we would all be transformed.

Heavenly Father, bless Senator Kennedy, his family and friends.  Hold him in your hand.  You aren’t finished with him on this earth.  Use him to your glory, especially during this trial.  Pour your healing light and love on his body, mind and soul and make those elephants forget.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Prayer for the meeting at St Andrew’s Church, Coniston on Wednesday 2 April 2008

Will all this wood soon be obsolete?Father God
Tomorrow evening we meet in St Andrew’s Church to discuss the physical changes which are proposed for our beloved building.

FIRST may we remember we are in Your house, may we behave with respect and acknowledgement of Your love and understanding.

May we behave with respect to each other regardless of status and listen with patience to differing points of view.

May we understand the reasons for these suggested changes whether we are in favour or not at the end of the meeting.

May we discuss the pros and cons of the changes without rancour and with understanding – remembering that feelings not just facts have a place in our lives.

May we ever strive to encourage and welcome all to come to St Andrew’s whatever their agenda and needs.

May we never forget those faithful worshippers who have found support and succour through their attendance at our church, coming weekly to have their faith is strengthened and renewed, and who have in turn given their support through financial aid, their work in and for St Andrews, and their prayers.

We are all Your children – help us to prioritise with maturity, insight, common sense and wisdom.



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.


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.


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.

A Vision for Coniston

Heavenly Father,

We lift up to You Coniston, our village – the mountains, the lake, the inhabitants, the tourists, the holiday homes, the families, the children, the businesses and all the good folks who want to make it better.  Your plans are bigger and better than any one of us can envisage.

Take off our blinders.  Let us see clearly and anew with Your eyes.  Show us the way to move forward for the future.  Bless the meeting of the Parish Council this evening.  Everyone there will have an idea of how to make Coniston better.  Everyone there will be thinking they know the best way.  Help us to learn to work together in Your love and light.  Together, we can accomplish anything.  Light our path and set a lamp on our feet.  Revive us with Your vision.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Holiday Blessings!

Venetian Glamour
Venetian Glamour


It’s the time of year when many of God’s children are feeling at the end of their ropes.  Gifted with talents and blessings and a call to serve, they’ve been working on overdrive for far too long.  We may be saved by grace but armed with the incredible joy of salvation and the love of Christ, we are off to the races.

So………this is for God’s children. Back to square one. In Genesis 1 we read that after every act of creation, ‘God saw that it was good.’  There is a lesson here for God’s children.  God sees that what you do is very good and you should take pleasure in this knowledge. It may be that no-one else in the world seems to acknowledge the wonderful work you are doing but God does and God says that it is good.

The next lesson is another one that we have completely lost.  On the seventh day God rested.  Here we go again, having totally lost all sense of balance and harmony, we have pretended that we can keep going until that holiday.  Christ took time out regularly for communion with his Father and we need to do likewise.  Holidays are wonderful but if we are so burnt out by not paying attention to the plan that God had for us from the beginning, that holiday will not be nearly as refreshing as it could be.

This is a prayer for refreshment for all God’s children but particularly for those we know and love who are on or preparing to go on holiday.

  • Mark, our Priest in Charge and his family, Elaine, Naomi, Nathaniel and Caleb who having spent a week of ‘holiday’ at home are now fleeing for their ‘refreshment’.
  • Smileangel who is off to China to visit her son and capture true life scenes on camera.
  • Mike, Melanie, Ben and Stepanie from Ohio who are in Europe at this very minute celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with the trip of a lifetime.

These are but a few of the souls we would like to bless at this time.  Please pray for all your loved ones, family and friends and brothers and sisters in Christ for holiday blessings and refreshment.  If you would like to add others to this list, please write your comments below.  Last updated 12 August 2007