Prayer notes

in the current situation, we are changing our regular Let’s Pray prayer notes to include a Verse, Thought and Prayers for the week.  We trust you will find these helpful and encouraging in these times.

Sunday 5th April 2020

Palm Sunday

Verse for the week:
Why am I so discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again –
My Saviour and my God! {Psalm 42:8 – New Living Translation]

Thought for the week:

COMFORT: One of the dictionary definitions for the word “comfort” is, “a source of consolation or support”. And at times in all of our lives – and for many there has never been a time like now – a source of comfort or support is our greatest need

In the first chapter of his second letter to the Corinthian church, St. Paul wrote:

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” [verses 3-4]

Note what Paul is saying: God is the source of all comfort – He’s the One we should go to when we are in need …… and we are to use what He has given us – a source of consolation or support – to do what we can to comfort others

And Paul isn’t naïve or “other-worldly” in regard to suffering and persecution. He doesn’t say that if we follow Jesus all our troubles will disappear, that life will be a “walk in the park”. Just a few verses later he writes:

“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God …… we have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us” [verses 8-10]

There will be times (for all of us, because we are human) when God’s consolation and support will seem a long way off. Paul was no different, but in the face of all his troubles he had faith – “we have placed our confidence in Him” – and hope – “and He will continue to rescue us”. This was Paul’s comfort, and it drove him ever closer to God, his loving Father. There have been many words written and spoken about how society may change post-virus. Please God there will be a noticable change in attitude from “self-reliance” to “God-reliance”, the ability to see our “neighbour” as God sees them

Paul says one more thing to the Corinthian Christians:

“And you are helping us by praying for us” [Verse 11]

In times like these, can we learn from Paul to:

• Go to “the source of all comfort” for consolation and support; rely on Him more and more; be more God-dependent, while not expecting Him to somehow isolate us from all that’s going on around us?

• Use the comfort we receive to comfort others as they, too face difficult and worrying times?

• Pray for others, asking for consolation and support in their particular circumstances?

• Have faith, keep hope alive, as we trust in our Father’s unchanging, everlasting love?

P.S.

Just recently we have been listening a lot to a group of musicians called CityAlight (they are the worship leaders in St. Pauls, Castlehill Anglican Church in North Sydney, Australia). Why don’t you check out their song, “All My Ways are Known to You” on Alexa, or preferably on YouTube (where you will see the band and the words are also displayed) – hope you enjoy it!

Prayers for the week:

We are all living through dark times just now, but we have hope in Jesus, the Light of the World

So please, this week, will you think of all the people affected by Covid-19 ……

  • Governments and governments agencies
  • NHS staff and ancillary workers in the ambulance service, the fire service and the police
  • Teachers and pupils/students worried about exams and grades and future placements
  • Business owners trying to keep going, and those who fear for their long-term employment
  • Shop keepers struggling to keep up with demand and delivery drivers working so hard to keep the shops supplied
  • Folk who have been infected by the virus, who are in intensive care and fearing for their well-being, and those who are most at risk of being infected
  • Folk who have lost loved ones to the virus
  • Families who have been separated by the virus
  • Churches and other volunteers trying to look after people who can’t cope, even in normal times
  • And not forgetting all those who were suffering or persecuted before the virus struck, and are still suffering and persecuted.

Lord Jesus, will You shine Your light into all these people’s, and our own, lives. And we pray the same for others who have not been specifically mentioned – so that they, and we, may experience the consolation and support, the hope and comfort, and the healing that we all need just now.

Lord Jesus, we pray that soon the virus will be understood, controlled and defeated and that You will use even these dark times so that the Father’s will may be done – all His good intentions for His creation become reality.

Lord, have mercy on us and comfort us, we pray. Amen.