Gracious God we come to you in prayer on this international day of peace. We pray for all those in the midst of violence and conflict. Lord, may nations and World Leaders unite to bring peace across our world. In the midst of war and destruction, Lord shine Your light into the darkness. We pray for those whose voices are silenced, for whom hope has disappeared. May we strive for justice so that the voices of all people are heard. God of peace, help us to unite and strive as communities to bring Your justice, love, hope and peace into our world this day and in the days to come. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace we pray, Amen.
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Gracious God, as we move towards the end of another week, we take some time aside of the cares and worries of the last week and reflect upon You. We reflect upon Your majesty, Your greatness and Your unconditional love for us. We reflect upon the wisdom of Your Word as found in Scripture. We reflect upon the gift and witness of Your Son Jesus Christ and the wonder of the resurrection. We reflect upon the power of Your Holy Spirit as it continues to empower, guide and sustain us. And as we pause, and as we reflect . . . we give thanks. Amen.
Gracious God, as the temperatures fall and we see signs of Autumn drawing in, we pray for all those harvesting the land to ensure we have food to eat. We give thanks for all those who cultivate the good land You have given us. We give thanks for all those involved with food production from the fields to the supermarket shelves, but today especially we remember the labours of those gathering in the crops. May we never take their efforts for granted. God of Creation, we thank You for Your gifts to us, help us always to share what we have so that all may benefit from the fruits of Your creation. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Gracious God, this morning we think of all the people who find themselves without employment at this time, compounded by the effects of the virus. We realise this is an issue of great concern and sadness across our nation. Give to those of us struggling financially this day, an assurance of Your presence and Your guiding hand to support and sustain us.We pray that those in positions of authority will use wisdom to do whatever they can to find ways to boost the economy and support businesses in this time of recession. We pray for agencies working to support those most in need and we remember especially all our Foodbanks. As communities Lord, help us to find ways to reach out to the neighbour in need, in our midst. Help us to think outside the box and work out how we can best work together to deal with this situation as the challenges of Covid 19 continue. Give to us wisdom, vision, courage and compassion. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Here’s a simple way of worshipping at home on your own or with your family. This one explores the holy habit of prayer.
- Say you’re going to be a little part of (name your church) church at home today.
- Light a candle and pray:
With the light of this candle, we remember the light of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God, you are here with us now and also with our friends and family in their homes today.
Especially we remember that you are also with… (invite everyone to remember people from church, school, extended family, neighbourhood)
Thank you, Jesus, light for the world. Amen
- Say: Today we’re thinking about prayer: not wish-lists we read out to God, but prayer as the holy habit that connects us with God and with God’s kingdom, like air connects us with life.
Invite everyone to have two minutes to go round your home and bring back to the table one object that says something about prayer. Talk about what everyone brings back. If they fit into any of the sections below, refer back to them.
a teaspoon – in a recipe book, a teaspoon measure is written as TSP – the first letters of Thank you, Sorry and Please.
a heart shaped object reminding us of God’s love
a favourite cuddly toy to represent that God is always with us
- Play some or all of Aretha Franklin’s ‘I say a little prayer for you‘ and talk about what everyone thinks of the way she prays in this song.
- Ask someone to read Luke 11:1-4.
Jesus Teaches About Prayer
11 One time Jesus was praying in a place. When he finished, one of his followers said to him, “John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, please teach us how to pray, too.”
2 Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, we pray that your name will always be kept holy.
We pray that your kingdom will come.
3 Give us the food we need for each day.
4 Forgive us the sins we have done,
because we forgive every person who has done wrong to us.
And do not cause us to be tested.’”
Ask: Why do you think Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray?
- Say: God’s people have prayed in many different ways. Here are a few.
Draw the shape from the photo – on to a piece of paper, give everyone coloured pens and fill it in as you go along, getting everyone’s suggestions of words or pictures to put in each section. If everyone thinks of other ways of praying, such as praying for other people, add more pieces of paper.
- They pray to praise God, just enjoying who God is
- They pray with silence and listen to God
- They pray with words – sometimes prayers created by other people and sometimes prayers straight from their heart
- They pray to say sorry
- They pray to say thank you
- They pray in anger, sadness or frustration
- Say the Lord’s Prayer together, with or without action
- Blow out the candle, changing the light from visible to invisible light
A very long time ago lived a man named Jonah; God had a special job for Jonah, God wanted Jonah to go to the land of Nineveh and to tell the people that their evil ways had broken God’s heart. Jonah didn’t like this special job and so Jonah decided to run away. Jonah got onto a boat that was going in the opposite direction of Nineveh!
While Jonah was on the boat a storm rose up around him and it shook and blew the boat so much that the sailors thought the boat was going to break! Oh no, how scary! Jonah knew that God had sent the storm and so Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the water.
God loved Jonah and so God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Can you imagine being inside of a big fish? It must have been dark, and squishy, and smelled like the ocean! While Jonah was inside of the fish he prayed, and after he was done praying God commanded the fish to spit him up onto shore.
God still wanted Jonah to go to the land of Nineveh, and so Jonah obeyed God. Jonah told the people of Nineveh that their evil ways had broken God’s heart and that God was going to destroy them, and guess what, the people were sorry and the cried for God to forgive them. God loved his people so much that He decided to forgive them, God loved his people so much that he decided he was not going to destroy them.
The Bible says:
10 God saw what the people did. He saw that they stopped doing evil things. So God changed his mind and did not do what he had warned. He did not punish them. (Jonah 3:10, ICB)
God always knows what kind of help we need.
Tell God you are sorry and he will give you a second chance.
Here are some ideas for your children based on the story.
Draw a fish or print out the one below. – Colour in or rip up pieces of tissue paper, scrunch them up and glue them on! The belly of the fish was probably a scary place to be, but god was with Jonah even there!
Have children press their fingers onto a stamp pad & stamp fingers onto paper. Add features such as fins.
Blow bubbles, just like fish do – invite your child to run around and pop them as fast as they can.
Dear Jesus, we love you SO much! We pray that we can learn about how much you love us today. Come into our hearts and fill us with joy. Thank you for taking care of us. Amen
Gracious God, this morning we come to You with praise and thanksgiving for the wonderful world You have created. You have given us all that we need to sustain life, and yet sadly, as issues over single use plastics enters our news forums again, we acknowledge that there are many ways in which we fail to be good stewards of your Earth. Please help each of us to continue to learn how to reduce our carbon footprint. In a world of disposable goods, help us to use resources wisely and prudently as we focus on the sustainability of resources for all people.You have gifted humankind a truly beautiful and awesome home. And so help us to take seriously our guardianship of the gifts You have bestowed upon us. May our call to be stewards govern and guide our daily living. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Gracious God, as we continue to explore how to be Church at the start of the new Methodist Year, we offer before You the words of John Wesley. May they be our prayer. May we do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as ever we can. May our Churches continue to be beacons of hope, love, compassion and assurance for all people in these times. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Gracious God, today marks a beginning for many people in our communities. Children and staff will continue to return to school after many months of disrupted learning. As the Methodist Church begins a new year today, Ministers will start new Church appointments in this difficult working climate of social distancing. And so for all those who today marks a new start, we pray for Your presence, Your strength and Your guidance. And we acknowledge too Lord, that every day is a new beginning for each and every one of us. And so we reflect upon Your steadfast love, Your faithfulness to us and we give thanks. May we continue to place our hope and our trust in You. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Gracious God, at the start of a new week, we place our lives into Your Hands. In the week ahead, whatever the highs, the lows, the challenges, the disappointments, the achievements, the sadnesses and the joys, we place our Trust in You. We are Your people, and so we commit our lives this week in service to You. May You be at the very centre of our being and may we be aware of Your presence, guiding, leading, assuring and encouraging us to be the people You would have us be. In the name of Jesus, our Saviour we pray, Amen.