Mon 14th to Sun 20th May 2018
Thought for the week
WE HAVE A SPECIAL THOUGHT & PRAYERS ABOUT THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Brother Andrew the founder of Open Doors says ‘Our prayers can go where we cannot. There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray’.
Thinking of the persecuted church, let us focus our prayers this week on North Korea. The capital city Pyongyang was known as the Jerusalem of the East in 1907. There was a great revival and hundreds of churches were started. Move on 111 years to today and North Korea is the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. Anyone who is even suspected of following Jesus can face imprisonment, torture or even death. Between 50,000 & 70,000 North Korean Christians are imprisoned in labour camps.
We need to be faithful in prayer for our Brothers & Sisters in Christ who suffer for their faith. In 1 Corinthians ch.12 St. Paul writes that we are all part of the Body of Christ - ’If one part suffers, every part suffers with it’.
In Psalm 23v4 King David tells us, ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me’. Hoo Woo, a North Korean Christian, says ‘Psalm 23 is a road map for my life. Every day in the prison camp I used to meditate on this Psalm. I may have been in prison, but I experienced God’s peace despite the circumstances. Even though I was in the valley of the deep darkness I feared no evil. God comforted me.’
Smuggling aid and bibles into the darkness of North Korea has become increasingly dangerous. Despite that, Simon the Open Doors Co-ordinator, says ‘we will never abandon the North Korean church - God has called us to do this work’. And we can be sure that God has not abandoned his faithful people either - ‘I will protect him for he acknowledges my name’ (Psalm 91v14). Mary
· Pray for the protection, courage and the power of the Holy Spirit for Simon from Open Doors and all the field workers in North Korea.
· Pray for the 3rd Pastoral Care Training day and those attending.
· Pray for James & Wendy Foord at their Renew of Vows in St. John’s.
· “Lord, help us to keep praying for our persecuted brothers & sisters”.
· Pray for a good turnout at Tea Time Church in the AEH this afternoon.
· Please continue to pray for our new vicar, that the right person has read the advert and feels God calling him to our parish.
Mon 21st May to Sun 27th May
On Sunday we were looking at the Holy Spirit’s gifts for all who trust in Christ (1 Corinthians 12 and Acts 2:1-21). Before His Ascension, Jesus told the disciples “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. The disciples waited in Jerusalem and on the day of Pentecost they were filled with the Holy Spirit – and it was dramatic, with a sound like the blowing of a violent wind, and a sight, what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. The disciples were filled with the Spirit and transformed. People from many nations heard them; they said, “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” In the power of the Spirit, Peter then preaches to the crowd, explaining God’s promise, who Jesus was, how he had died and that God had raised him from the dead, and that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
In writing to the Corinthian church, a church that was very gifted, Paul writes that the gifts of the Spirit are given not for oneself, but for everyone else: “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” He also says that love should be our aim as we use the Spirit's gifts, and that we should earnestly desire those spiritual gifts that build up others the most.
So, this Pentecost season, let's have confidence in the Holy Spirit's power to transform and empower us to declare the Good News about Jesus. And let's think about using whatever gifts we are given to lovingly serve and build up others and our church. Robin
· Think about the gifts that God has given to others – give thanks for them and pray that all the gifts will be used to bring glory to Jesus.
· We pray for CAP & Street Pastors at Stan & Mary’s: pray we would keep praying!
· Pray for the churches in Uganda that Alan, Shirley & Caroline visited last year.
· Pray for a servant heart - that we will be willing to use our gifts for the common good.
· Please pray for all involved in the pastoral care in our church.
· Please pray for wisdom about ways to reach out to those teenagers that are part of the Frydays team.
· Pray that all the gifts of members within the church will help us be one body, working in unity.
· Pray for Robin & his Team as they hold a service at St. Clements Court.
· Pray for a great awakening - let’s think of our friends and neighbours.
· Pray for a clear proclamation that Jesus is Lord, and pray for the Spirit to convict of sin, and righteousness and judgement.
· Please pray for Together - that some new people would join in.
· Persecuted Church: Vietnam - that the light of Christ will shine through those being pressured to return to their family’s Buddhism.
· Pray that we will be humble about our gifts – recognising that they are given to us by God.
· Pray for safety for school children as they start their half term break.
· Pray for those in the Legerton Drive area to have open hearts & minds.
· Pray for any who feel on the edge or not needed by the church - that they will be enfolded and valued as part of the body.
· Please pray for our coffee morning - to reach out into the community.
· Pray for Joshua and Louise as they get married in St. John’s today.
· Pray for an outward focus to our gifts that they will be used to reach out to others & bless them, so that we will be good witnesses for Jesus.
· Pray for continued harmony and unity in our Church as we are still in vacancy, & pray that we work together to do what needs to be done.
· New Vicar: pray that God is at work preparing the right man for the job.