Reflections2020-08-14T10:01:07+01:00

Reflections

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Mark 12:31        ESV
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Gracious God, as the Government launch their National Disability Strategy, we pray that it will make a difference to those living with disability in any form. We pray that improvements will be made in regards to the availability of accessible housing, support for children with special educational needs, and employment opportunities. Lord Jesus, You taught us to tear down boundaries and to campaign for equality and respect for all people. Help us to build communities that are inclusive, where all are made to feel welcome and all are valued. We pray especially for anyone for whom today will be a struggle or a challenge because of their current living situation. So too, we pray for all athletes preparing to travel to Tokyo for the Paralympic games in August, who will inspire and encourage us with their dedication, skill and courage. Lord God, inspire and encourage us to promote unity and equality today and in the days to come, so that all people may know they are truly loved by You. Amen.

Previous Reflections

John 14:27

‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid’.

Gracious God, the story was read in our Churches yesterday, of how the disciples of Jesus, caught in a ferocious storm whilst sailing across a lake, cried out in fear for their lives as the storm raged. And in the midst of the situation, Jesus commanded the storm to be quiet and the sea to be calm and peace was restored. As the story is retold, we are reminded of the sense of peace that comes from being in a relationship with Jesus,Your Son. At the start of a new week, we acknowledge that there may be times in the week ahead when we, or those whom we care about, feel that we are battling through a storm, that there are moments when our sense of peace is disturbed. And so we thank You that in those moments we can turn to Jesus, that we can share our concerns knowing that He is with us and walks alongside us to bring us His peace. May our hearts and minds be filled with the assurance of His presence with us, now and in the days to come. In His name we pray, Amen

Psalm 121:1-2

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Thessalonians 5:11
‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as in fact you are doing’.

Gracious God, as our thoughts turn to the health of all people this Thursday morning, we pray for all those still in a cycle of waiting; for our nation as we wait for all restrictions to be lifted, for those waiting for medical treatment delayed by the pressures of the pandemic, for those waiting to re-open their businesses or return to work, for those waiting for their vaccinations, for those waiting to feel confident enough to return to mixing with others in society, for young people awaiting exam results, for Churches waiting to re-commence their face to face activities and so so many other situations people find themselves in. Lord God, waiting is difficult, it can make us feel vulnerable and insecure. And so, in our waiting, help us to put our trust and hope in You. Help us to walk alongside one another with compassion and understanding for each others needs, and as we wait, give us courage, give us strength, give us hope and surround us with Your Love. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Matthew 25:35

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’

Gracious God, as World Refugee Week is marked this week, we reflect upon this years theme, ‘We cannot walk alone’. During the pandemic, we have all experienced feelings of isolation and loneliness, but for those who find themselves resident in a land that is not their homeland, exclusion and segregation are felt most acutely. And so we pray for all Refugees. We lift into Your presence all those who are escaping persecution, conflict or natural disasters and pray for their protection and comfort. Lord God, we give thanks for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us to reach out to those who find themselves on the fringes of society, and encouraged us to cross boundaries and build communities rooted in compassion, empathy and welcome. And so, may integration and inclusivity be at the heart of our relationships, as we extend open arms and hands of friendship to those in need. May their voices be heard. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

1 Chronicles 16:34

“Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his faithful love endures forever.”

Gracious God, as we celebrated the work and service of Methodist Homes for the Aged yesterday, we lift all those before You who work or are residents in Care and Nursing Homes. We appreciate that staff are still coming to terms with the devastating impact Covid 19 had upon their communities, and the loss of residents to the virus is still acutely felt. And so we give thanks for the dedication of Staff, who continue to rebuild communities and ensure the welfare of all those in their care. So too, we acknowledge the grief experienced by families, and those who are still under restrictions in relation to visiting loved ones. We give thanks for the love of families and friends and pray that You will continue to support and sustain relationships. Finally, Lord God, we lift before You all residents. May all residents feel the assurance and security of being cared for and may Your presence and Your love be felt in every home. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Gracious God, as the weekend approaches we give thanks for the sunshine of the past week. It has been a week in which we have corporately shared hope and disappointments; disappointments that restrictions may not be lifted as soon as we would wish and the advisory of travel restrictions once more. But so too, we have witnessed the hope of vaccinations promised to countries in need, and potential steps forward in moves to reverse the damage we have done to our planet. We pray that You will continue to guide all those in authority who will make decisions that will affect us all, over the weekend. In these deeply challenging times, may judgements be made with integrity, wisdom and honour. Lord God, we continue to put our trust in You, knowing that You journey with us, knowing that the guiding, healing power of Your Holy Spirit continues to sweep across our world, and giving thanks for Your love and Your grace. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Romans 12:10 – New Century Version

‘Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honour than you want for yourselves’.

Gracious God, this morning we pray for the preparations for the G7 summit. We pray that conversations and communications between all leaders will be conducted with integrity and wisdom so that the decisions made will benefit all nations, not just those represented. May Your presence be felt in every conversation and every relationship forged. As our thoughts turn once more to the NHS on this Thursday morning, we give thanks once more for the impact the Covid vaccination is making in fighting the virus. We give thanks for all those involved with the logistics of administering the vaccine. Lord God, we appreciate the privileged position we are in, and that many people across our world do not have access to a vaccination yet and so, as we return our thoughts to the G7 summit, we pray that leaders of richer countries will formulate policies that ensure all people, from all nations have access to a vaccination programme. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Psalm 96:11-12

‘Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy’.

Gracious God, as we marked World Oceans Day yesterday, we give thanks for the beauty of all our waterways; canals, rivers, streams and lakes. We marvel at the wonder of renewal in creation, for the joy of  ducklings, cygnets and moorhens, voles, otters and beavers, and all creatures that live beside our wetlands. We praise you for the beauty of wild flowers, for flora and fauna, for trees and shrubs that grow along pathways, creating carpets of colour and diversity. In the beauty of Your creation we are reminded of Your majesty, Your power and Your presence in our world and so we take a moment to reflect and give thanks and praise. Amen.

“Let the sea roar and all that fills it!” Ps. 96.11

Gracious God, as World Oceans Day is celebrated today, we give thanks for the vast expanses of water that cover much of our planet Earth, producing the water of life and the oxygen that we need for life to exist. We celebrate and marvel at the millions of species of animals and plant life that live within the depths of the oceans, an undersea world of beauty, diversity and mystery. We give thanks for the joy of sailing, fishing, paddling and watching waves ebb and flow. We pray for all those who rely on the sea for their livelihoods. Sadly, we know that we have polluted our oceans and damaged the eco-systems within it. Lord God, help us to care for our oceans and seas so that they might be restored to health and truly reflect the wonder of the amazing undersea world You have created for us. For the beauty of Your creation we give thanks. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Gracious God, as a new week begins, we thank you that You are our awesome God. You are the creator of everything. The stars twinkle and light up our night sky because You placed them there. The sun and the moon shine down brightly on us because You made them. You made sandy beaches that we can walk on barefoot to watch waves tumbling in seas and oceans. You made mountains that we can scramble to the top of to see the vastness of the fields and valleys you have created. You have made trees and flowers that change in colour and appearance to give us a world of variety and delight. You have made creatures of every shape, size colour and pattern, of the sea, of the sky, of the land. And You have made us, each of us unique and individually precious to You. And so, we come before You this morning to praise You for the wonderful world You have created because You are our awesome God. We pray that You will encourage, empower and inspire us to nurture and protect the beautiful world You have entrusted to us. May we never take the beauty and wonder of our natural world for granted, and may we never cease to give praise and thanks to You, today and every day, Amen  

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Colossians 1:16 ESV

‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him’.

Gracious God, as NASA celebrate 100 days of photos taken on the planet Mars, we reflect upon the awesomeness of Your creative power as our Creator God. We marvel at how You flung planets and stars into space to create a universe of beauty and mystery beyond our comprehension. And into that universe You created planet Earth and we give thanks that you crafted the potential for life and growth, that You provided the energy for a flower to bud, a butterfly to flap its wings and oceans to rumble with the tides. For the gift of life, we give You thanks. Lord God, we thank You that Your creative power extended beyond the gift of life, for so too, You gave the potential for love and compassion, for hope and joy to exist within our world. And You gave us the gift of Your grace, Your unending love for us. And so, as we look up to the skies and see the vastness of all You have created, we gaze in awe and wonder and give thanks. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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Deuteronomy 31:6     ESV

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Gracious God, as the school holidays continue we pray for the children and young people in our communities today. As our year 11’s have ended their formal schooling, we pray that You will be with them as they await results in the summer, after what has been a very difficult and disrupted educational journey for them.  Creator God, we are grateful for the sunshine and pray that families will enjoy a time of recuperation and relaxation before the new term begins. Lord God, we know that there are mental health issues amongst our children and young people as a result of their experiences of the pandemic, and so we pray for healing and support for all those troubled at this time. May we as communities continue to find ways to protect the mental health of our younger generation, and may we support families so that they may move into the next stage of the pandemic with a sense of opportunity and hope for the future. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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Psalm 18:28    New Living Translation
‘You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.’

Gracious God of Creation, on this Bank Holiday Monday we give thanks for the gift of the Sun which rises and sets as each new day dawns. We praise You for this fireball that radiates heat and light into our world, gives warmth to our oceans and seas, provides energy for the growth of plants, and oxygen to maintain life on Earth. Lord God, as human beings we know that we each need to feel ‘sunshine’ in our lives, the sunshine that comes from being loved, from being valued, from being accepted for who we are. Help us to be assured of Your love for us and help us to radiate warmth and light into the dark places of people lives, so that all may feel the presence of Your hope and Your compassion surrounding them this day, and in the days to come. In the name of Jesus, the Light of our World, we pray, Amen.