Prayer

Recently, in our three home groups, we have been looking at The Lord’s Prayer as part of a wider study of Jesus’ ‘Sermon On the Mount’. Jesus ‘gave’ his disciples The Lord’s Prayer when they asked how they should pray.

The Lord's prayer

For many people, the Lord’s Prayer works in a number of different ways. Some use it as a guide around which they can base their prayers, using it’s content as a framework for those prayers. Others have used it as a’ stand-alone’ prayer and, down through the centuries, many folk have prayed The Lord’s Prayer when they don’t know how else to pray or when facing difficulties or even danger. If you have never prayed The Lord’s Prayer, it is reproduced at the bottom of this section.

Two important prayer disciplines are to always remember to thank God for answered prayers. Also, whenever we pray, we should stop and remember how great God is, how much He loves us and for sending Jesus to demonstrate that love. So, before we pray, remember to tell Him how grateful we are.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by your Name

Your Kingdom come, your Will be done, on Earth as  in Heaven

Give us today our daily bread

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours

Now and forever Amen

Things to pray for...

Close to home

Many in our local communities are in need of our prayers. At this time of pandemic, there are some who are considered front-line workers, such as those working for the NHS, plus teachers, policemen, postmen and other delivery staff, bus drivers plus those who keep us supplied with food. When thinking of NHS workers, it is easy to remember our dedicated doctors and nurses but the NHS is a vast organisation which employs many different types of staff. Many years ago, my wife and I both worked for a London hospital, but we worked in the Wages Department, which, despite being an essential department, has never featured in an episode of Casualty!  This goes to show that there are many ‘forgotten’ workers in the NHS, some of whom are very much in the front line. Let’s remember them in our prayers.

Let us pray for our local schools, now that they have returned to their classrooms. Let us pray that our schools will provide safe environments for our pupils, teachers and other staff.

Let us pray for the UK as a whole. Pray that our Government, which is under tremendous pressure at present, will govern wisely and well and that politicians of all parties will care about the communities which they serve. Pray also for our church leaders that, in a time when people are looking for answers (as to why this pandemic happened), reassurance, comfort and hope, God, will give them wisdom in what they say.

The wider community.

It is now ten years since the conflict in Syria began. In that time, around 200,000 people have died. 76% live in poverty, 54% are unemployed and 50% of children are not in school. It is estimated that Syria has regressed by 4 generations.  It is one of those situations which, to us, seems hopeless, in other words, WITHOUT HOPE.

Let us pray for organisations like Open Doors www.opendoorsuk.org which seeks to support Christians both in Syria and in the refugee camps were many have fled. Let us pour out our hearts to God and ask Him to provide the answer.

Open Doors is also seeking to help Christians in Myanmar. Like in Syria, Christians in Myanmar are often caught in the middle between the regime and the majority Muslims who often distrust them. Let us pray  that God will give our Christian brothers and sisters in both nations wisdom that will enable them to reach out with the love of the Lord Jesus to those around them and, that in doing so, will gain the trust of many.

WATER. We tend to take for granted the availability of clean water (to wash our hands frequently during this pandemic, for example). Yet there are many folk who don’t have  such access.  As an example, the Democratic Republic of Congo, is Africa’s most water-rich nation, yet nearly 50% of the population don’t have safe access to clean water. Tear Fund www.tearfund.org work tirelessly around the world trying to bring safe access to clean water to the many who don’t have it. During this pandemic, they are also working delivering emergency aid and food supplies, as well as soap and clean water, to arguably the most forgotten people of all, those displaced people living in refugee camps.