Monday, 19th October - Sunday, 1st November, 2020

Guy has written our prayer diary again. Now he’s onto CHRISTMAS!

There is a lot of talk in the country at the moment about Christmas - even though the harvest is barely finished! People are asking whether they will be able to meet up with their families, students are wondering whether they will be able to return home, businesses are worrying that their income at Christmas will be greatly decreased this year, and church ministers and congregations are concerned about what they may or may not be able to do. Many are afraid that they will not be able to celebrate Christmas as they would like to. 

This Prayer Diary is devoted to praying that the Lord will inspire us to think ahead to Christmas and to how we, as God’s people, may be able to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus in such a vibrant manner as to remind many of the Reason for the Season and to draw them back to worship the One who alone can save us for ever. 

Monday, 19th October 

‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.’ (Deut. 18: 18) 

“Thank you, Lord, and praise you, that every word which proceeded from your mouth was true – true yesterday, true today and true forever. Thank you that we may utterly rely on your Word, for your Word is a Word of truth. May your Word in us, which has transformed our lives, enrich the lives of all those to whom we will minister at Christmas-time - whether in person or online. May this Christmas be for us and for our people a Christmas like no other.” 

• Thank God that we will be able to use some of the new skills we have learned to run Christmas services online as well as in church. 

• Pray for Hannah as she makes videos for school assemblies.

• Please pray that the remaining funding for the Schools & Families Project would come in. Pray for the 3 or 4 charitable trusts who are considering our applications at the moment. 

Tuesday, 20th 

‘I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand – I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, “You are my people”.’ (Isaiah 51: 16) 

“Praise you, Lord, that you put your word of life into the mouths of your prophets, into the mouth of your Son - our Lord and Saviour - and you have put it into the mouths of your people. We are your people. May we all be empowered by your Spirit to go out into your world and preach peace to all.” 

➢ Pray for both church and nation to learn the lessons God has been teaching us through the pandemic. 

• Thank God that we can care for one another in the church family. 

• Please pray for our town and community at this time when there has been a rise in Covid Cases. Pray for God’s protection. 

• Pray for many to be listening carefully to Ask a Pastor this evening. 

Wednesday, 21st 

‘“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and for ever,” says the LORD.’ (Isaiah 59: 21) 

“Praise you, Lord, that your Word is an everlasting Word. We pray for all those this Christmas who have heard your Word in times past, have stored it away, but failed to act upon it. In these extraordinary days, may many who have heard your Word in the past hear it again, not only through their ears, but in their hearts. May many, this year, fall down before you in repentance and faith and rise up renewed.”

• Pray for our NHS and healthcare professionals - pray for their safety - and that they would use all the skill God has given them 

• Please pray for Wednesday Worshippers – that many will be able to continue to attend and be encouraged by it. 

• Pray as the PCC meet tonight for unity and for wise decisions. 

Thursday, 22nd 

‘The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.’ (Isaiah 11: 2,3) 

“Praise you, Lord Jesus, that the seven-fold Spirit rests upon you and will proceed from you and from the Father to all who call upon you in faith. Empower us all with the power of your Spirit, that we may be strong to do all that must be done – and illuminate our path, that we may see clearly the road which we must follow.” 

• Please pray for Together meeting in St. John’s today. Pray for God’s wisdom for Mary and the team as they plan for the future. 

• Pray for a couple of important deanery meetings this week, including Deanery Synod this evening. 

• Persecuted Church: Yemen – Leaving Islam is illegal there. Praise God that the number of believers is still growing. Pray for peace in Yemen and a future where believers can freely worship God. 

Friday, 23rd 

‘The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.’ (Isaiah 12: 2) 

“Lord Jesus – you are my strength and my song and you have become my salvation. On you alone I rest and rely. You alone can save. 

May I so shine for you in the darkness, that many may see your light and enter into your Kingdom.” 

• Please pray for our local schools, and for the teachers, as they prepare to break up today for half term.

• Pray for the work that the Frydays team are doing to distribute the harvest gifts that were brought to our churches. 

• Pray once again for our church office and all who work there – especially on Friday when there is lots of printing and folding to do! 

Saturday, 24th 

‘With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.’ 

(Isaiah 12: 3) 

“Lord Jesus, at a time when so many look forward to Christmas with apprehension, may we look forward with joy. May we draw water from the wells of salvation contained in your Word. May we be refreshed and renewed thereby. May we guide many who are thirsty to the well from which all who drink will never thirst again.” 

➢ Pray that God’s Word may go forth tomorrow with clarity and with joy – pray for all who are preparing today. 

• Thank God for our church buildings. Pray that we might be able to care for them well and use them wisely. 

• Pray for your neighbours and our town – for a Great Awakening. 

• Pray for anyone thinking about coming to church for the first time tomorrow – pray that God would give them the strength to do it. 

Sunday, 25th 

‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’ (Isaiah 12: 4) 

“O LORD our God, on this day – your day – may we proclaim your Word among the nations and may we exalt your Name. Make us bold to proclaim all that you have done in times gone by and all that you are doing today. Help us to call to mind with gratitude all that you have done in our own lives and to make it known. May precious souls be saved – even today – to your glory.” 

➢ Pray for effective and loving outreach in Christ’s Name into the local community this Christmas and far beyond. 

• Thank God that we can still meet as a church family in our church buildings just now, when it’s not possible to do many other things. 

• Pray that today some who have not yet responded to the gospel message would see our online services and hear the Good News. 

• Please pray for ears that hear and hearts to be open among us all. 

Monday, 26th 

‘Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.’ (Isaiah 12: 5) 

“Lord Jesus, even though we may be forbidden to sing in your Church, may we sing in our hearts, and may our heart-song be heard by those we know and those we love – by family, friends and neighbours. 

And give to us, we pray, a new song which we may sing – of such joy that it may rejoice the hearts and souls of all who hear.” 

• Pray for safety for children and families during this half term break. 

• Please pray tenaciously for our country as restrictions and lockdowns tighten – pray for those who struggled last time and just the thought of it happening again is making them anxious. 

• Please pray for our Alpha course, continuing to meet online on Monday evenings. Pray for all to engage with God’s word. 

Tuesday, 27th 

‘Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.’ (Isaiah 12: 6) 

“O Lord, you are great – and greatly to be praised. May our lives – our thoughts, our words and our actions – sing your praises. May we not be crushed or downcast by all the challenges which face us, but be strengthened to face them with confidence, in the sure knowledge that, through us, you are working your purpose out.” 

• Thank God for the life of Brian Hockley, please pray for his family today as they attend his funeral service in St John’s and his burial. 

• Please pray that many would continue to join in to watch Ask a Pastor – especially those who are considering Christian things. 

• Please pray for our local teachers and especially headteachers – that they may be refreshed by the half term break, after a stressful term. Pray that they would have the strength to guide their schools in the right way and in God’s way. 

Wednesday, 28th 

‘Whoever drinks this water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ (John 4: 14) 

“Today, O Lord, I pray for all those I know who are planning and preparing to celebrate your birth at Christmas. I pray particularly for those who are struggling and are uncertain of what they should do.” 

➢ Pray for an ever-deepening prayer life – in ourselves and within our church family. 

• Thank God that in these uncertain times we can look forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, albeit in maybe a different way than we have done before. 

• Pray for Mark and the staff team as they make provisional plans for the weeks leading up to Christmas. Pray for good ideas! 

• Pray for those we know who are students. Pray for their safety, physical and spiritual. And pray for their plans for Christmas. 

Thursday, 29th 

‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’ 

(John 6: 35) 

“We pray today that even now, even in October, many people in our vicinity may be planning to attend public worship at Christmas-time, whatever form it may take.”

➢ Please pray for people known to you who, you think, may consider coming with you to worship – whether in a church building, in the open air or online. 

➢ And pray that they may not only come to church, but come to Jesus – come to know him truly for themselves. 

• Give thanks that we have been able to keep in touch with each other over the past 6 months, through letters, cards, phone calls and online, even when we haven’t been able to see each other face to face. Pray that we would be able to keep doing this, 

(Why not pray for this and then give someone a ring today.) 

• Please pray that we would have God’s wisdom as a church, as we plan for how things will change over the coming weeks. 

• Persecuted Church: India – Hindu extremists want to rid India of Christians, who face horrific levels of violence. Please pray for protection for believers. Several states have adopted anti-conversion laws which make it extremely difficult for Christians to share their faith. 

Friday, 30th 

‘All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.’ (John 6: 37, 38) 

“Make us, O Lord, obedient to your will, as we plan ahead to celebrate your birth. Let us not go before you – but neither let us lag behind you. May we hear your Voice in all our plans as you say: “This is the Way; walk ye in it.”” 

• Please pray for those who receive food from Clive and the team - pray that they would experience God’s love through this ministry. 

• Please continue to pray for all who work in our office, especially as they answer the phone, etc, and are the first point of contact with the church for many. 

• Please pray for all who are struggling with isolation just now. 

Saturday, 31st 

‘And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.’ 

(John 6: 39) 

“Help us, O Lord, to look ahead beyond Christmas to the great and glorious future which awaits all those who trust in you. Help us to speak of your sure and certain salvation with such confidence that many may be encouraged to look to you, and to you alone. 

Inspire all those who minister to people who are reaching the end of their mortal journey – for whom this may be their last Christmas - to speak to them with truth, with love and with compassion.” 

➢ Pray that the joy of the Lord may be His people’s strength. 

• Let’s, once again, pray for a Great Awakening. 

• Pray for those planning and working on tomorrow’s services. 

• Pray for other local churches – pray as they plan for the coming month and for Christmas that they too would have wisdom to see what will work best for their congregations and areas. 

Sunday, 1st November 

‘For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6: 40) 

“Praise you, O LORD our Father, for sending us your Son. 

And praise you, Lord Jesus, for leaving your throne in heaven to be born in a stable and dwell amongst us for a season. 

Praise you, Holy Spirit, for illuminating the path to life. 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, inspire our worship today.” 

• Thank God that we can continue to join together to worship him. 

• Pray for our local schools as they look forward to returning to school tomorrow - pray for safety and wisdom. 

• Pray for strength and wisdom for our political leaders. Pray that they would look to God as they realise the size of the task ahead.