There are many different types of prayer. There are some websites and apps below which you may wish to try to develop your prayer life, and which you may find helpful while we are unable to meet as a congregation.
THY KINGDOM COME – May 21st – 31st
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus.
During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:
- Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ
- Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus
- Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness
Care for those you are praying for, pray for those you are caring for.
During these difficult and trying times, we believe that now more than
ever, presents an incredible opportunity for the Church worldwide, to
unite in prayer so that our family, friends and neighbours will come to know the love and peace of Jesus Christ for themselves. One of our Key themes for Thy Kingdom Come is prayer and care. As we are praying for those we love to come to know the hope and love of Christ we also are encouraging all to see how they can show God’s love towards them. By caring for them. Here are 5 ideas on how we can care and love those we know, even when we are socially distanced:
1. Keep up contact. Make a phone call, send an email, letter or card saying that you
are praying for them at this time.
2. Keep an eye out for the anniversaries of life events. Make that phone call to let people know you care.
3. Send a small gift or book purchased on line, maybe insert life words etc.
4. Serve where you can in delivering groceries or medications.
5. Make sure the people you pray for know how much you value them by whatever means you can find.
The Prayer Course
In autumn 2019 our sermon series followed the prayer course which is presented by Pete Grieg of the 24/7 payer movement. It is a great general guide to different types of prayer.
Ignatian prayer is a way of praying which sometimes involves imagining yourself in a Bible story and having an encounter with Jesus.
The take time website has some excellent meditations of different lengths which you may like to try. There is a charge on this website after an initial free trial.
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)
UCB produce a great daily devotional which is recommend by our church. It is a helpful reflection on a very short daily Bible reading which helps readers to apply Biblical truths to their everyday lives. Click on the link below to read or listen to the UCB ‘Word for Today’ They are free to use.
Pause/Pray is a free series of Bible reflections, available as a podcast or download. They include original music, guided prayers and themes related to daily life. A new one is available each fortnight. To stream or download the episodes or subscribe to the podcast go to iTunes or your regular podcast app.https://www.engageworship.org/pausepray
Three Minute Retreat
Do you feel that it’s hard to find time for prayer?
Even a short time spent in prayer can help you to refocus and to connect with God. Rev’d Sue and Reader Diane recommend this website which offers a guided 3 minute retreat. There’s a time to pause, a short reading, two questions to get you thinking and a little prayer. You can get it as an app for different types of mobile phone too.
May’s Prayer Letter from Wendy
It is easy to miss the good advice about prayer given to us in Scripture. Recently, one phrase jumped out at me. It doesn’t require great learning to be able to grasp its meaning. It is practicable, sensible and so beneficial, if we will but heed it. The advice comes from the lips of David who found himself in days of uncertainty and trouble. Tis led him to reflect on God. “Trust in Him at all times, you peoples, pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8.
God does not want us to struggle with our feelings and our emotions by keeping them to ourselves He knows what is exactly in our hearts, so it is no surprise to Him when we begin to pour out our hearts in His Presence as we pray. In fact it is such a privilege for us to be able to do so.
David underlines this fact in verse 5. “My soul” (the depths of my being), “wait only on go and silently submit to Him, for my hope and expectation are from Him.” The Hebrew word translated as “silently” daman incorporates the meaning ‘be silent’ ‘be immovable.” “Wait” is not there in the original text. So, David is literally saying: ‘”My soul be silent, be immovable in God alone.” Just remain quietly fixed on God alone. Hope and expectation will be received from Him. He knows. He cares.
The same phrase occurs in psalm 42:6. “I pour out my soul”, or “heart.” The Hebrew word for “pour out” means to pour out a liquid from its container until nothing is left, not even a drop. It has been completely drained. It is helpful to reflect on the thinking of Albert Barnes. “There is no desire He cannot gratify, not a trouble in which He cannot relieve us, not a danger in which he cannot defend us. And in like manner there is not a spiritual want in which He will not feel a deep interest, nor a danger to our souls from which he will not be ready to deliver us. Much more freely than to any earthly parent – to a father, or even a mother – May we make mention of our troubles, little or great, before God.”
As we pray, let us not hold back from pouring out to God our father, all of our emotions our burdens our fears our pains our sorrows. He is the only One whom we may trust implicitly, the only One who is dependable. We can rely on Him to give us ease, peace, confidence and hope. Jeremiah, the priest and prophet called by God, endured much suffering as he delivered God’s word to his own people in Judah, and sometimes other nations, wrote in Lamentations 2:19 “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches: Pour out your heart like water.” Pour out your heart. Hold nothing back. Be completely honest before God.
Jesus was able to do that as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the last and darkest night of His life. He tried to tell His three closest friends why he was going forward to pray. “I am deeply grieved, even to death.” Mark 14.34. They were not able to comprehend the depth of His anguish and distress, so they failed to keep watch. There is no doubt that God knew his Son’s innermost stirrings, for as Solomon wisely stated in his prayer for the dedication of the Temple;”For only you know what is in the heart of man.” 1 Kings 8:39.
We have the added assurance that we can pour out our heart to Christ. He is just as ready to listen. Certainty comes from when the stranger, (the Risen Christ) caught up with Cleopas and his wife as they were walking towards their village of Emmaus. Their hopes had been severely shattered. Their sorrow was outwardly manifest; their inner fears were mounting by the minute. The stranger asked them what they were discussing with each other. Cleopas answered, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place in these days”
When the stranger queried “What things” Cleopas poured out his heart, without any restraint, to the One journeying alongside them, who made Himself know in the breaking of the bread as he shared an evening meal in their home. Having poured out their hearts they realised that they had been filled with peace and His presence.
Glory to God!
June Prayer Thought From Rev’d Wendy Williams
The Government direction, Stay Safe’, given during the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, was more than advice. It was also a warning to preserve one’s personal life and the lives of others by preventing transmission through isolation and social distancing. Safety is a basic human need. We need protection from the moment of birth as we enter the world; and security and well-being in the present.
God’s people have always known where they could go for safety. David confirms this in many of the Psalms which he wrote in times of great trouble. His enemies were attacking him. His life was often at stake. He acknowledges his plight when he calls out to God. “Rescue me, O Lord,from all evil men,protect me from men of violence.” Psalm 140:1 This was a short and specific prayer, one of many such examples in the Psalms.
Psalm 16 begins with David’s prayer and his request to God. It is helpful to read the translation from several versions.
- NRSV Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
- CCV Protect me, O Lord God! I run to you for safety.
- AmpV Keep me safe, O God, for in You I have found refuge, and in You do I put my trust and hide myself.
- MSG Keep me safe, O God. I’ve run for dear life to you.
David was feeling so vulnerable. Where could he find safety? There was only One to whom he could turn in his turmoil. It was to his God. The word he uses for God is the Hebrew Elohim, God the Creator, God the Almighty. El stands for God in His power and strength. So David recognising God’s greatness and majesty, reaches out crying ‘Lord I need You.’ This is a cry of desperation, and also a confession that God is his safety. Jon Piper brings out the force of David’s prayer as he rephrased it. “I turn to you for safety above all other ways of being safe. You are the safest refuge for me.” No longer are his fears in control. He is residing in God’s care, assured of His oversight and presence.
What can we learn from Psalm 16 and David about prayer?
Firstly, He wants us to rely on God’s ability to protect us whatever our circumstances. Secondly, he wants us to trust God to keep us safe. “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge”. Like David we pray, Keep me safe, O God, for I find hope in You. Thirdly, God’s protection is always available and active for us as His followers. Proof of this is found in David’s words of assurance given to him from God and noted especially in Psalm 91:14-15. “I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them I will be with them in trouble I will rescue them and honour them.”
May we daily give thanks for being sheltered in the safety of Christ’s presence, for our lives are: “hidden in Christ through God.” Colossians 3:3
Our Diocesan Prayer.
Heavenly Father, we embrace Your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses and to grow leaders. Give us the eyes to see Your vision, ears to hear the prompting of Your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. AMEN
This Prayer Page
At All Saints’ Appley Bridge, we believe that earnest, thoughtful, regular and honest prayer is the key to our individual and collective relationship with our wonderful Creator, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you want to share a prayer or prayers on this page, do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts. If there is a situation that you wish to bring before God and would like us to be mindful of as a Church family, share it with us. We want to share together what we want to say to Him.