Monday, 18th - Sunday, 31st January, 2021
Guy has written our prayer diary for us, once again...
As we go through these days of Epiphany, so we are drawn to the story of the Wise Men, travelling from afar in search of the King of the Jews. They were not put off by the height of the mountains they had to climb, the width of the rivers they had to cross or the great distance they had to cover. Resolutely and determinedly, they journeyed on until they reached their goal. As we face so many difficulties in conveying the Good News of Jesus to people in our generation, may the story of the Wise Men inspire us.
Monday, 18th January 2021
‘All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1: 23)
“O Lord, our God, we thank and praise you that you sent your Son into the world to be ‘God with us’. We thank you that this is who the wise men travelled to find. May we rejoice that we can know him.”
➢ Pray for all whom you know, especially the elderly and the sick, who are facing this third lockdown with dread.
• • Thank God for our NHS and the staff in it, who are often working in difficult circumstances.
• • In these days when we are not able to meet for public worship, pray that we will be prayerful at home - that our private pleas may rise to God’s throne of grace and may be speedily answered.
• • Pray for the Searchlights team as it meets on Zoom this afternoon. Pray that all the children (and adults) will be able to join in easily and nothing would distract as God’s Word is taught.
‘After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem’
(Matthew 2: 1)
“How we thank you and praise you today, O Lord, our God, that the Good News which is in Jesus was not reserved for the Jews alone but was for Jews and Gentiles alike – for all people, for all nations, for all time. Please bless all those who will, this year, come from afar in search of the Truth. May they overcome all obstacles in their path and meet with your Son, our Lord.”
• • Thank God for our church family and the way that we can support each other at this time. Pray that we would keep supporting!
• • Pray for your neighbours and our town – for a Great Awakening.
• • Pray for many to join in Early Morning Prayers (9am) and to watch Ask a Pastor (7.30pm) – both on our YouTube channel today.
‘and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”’ (Matthew 2: 2)
“Praise you, O Lord, for the inspiring questions which people who are seeking after Truth ask. We pray that, in this coming year, many of those we know will be prompted to ask questions about the Lord Jesus, and we pray that you will graciously give us wise and loving answers.”
• • Pray that God’s peace and love may abound.
• • Please pray for our Wednesday Worshippers. Pray that the small group gathering in person would be kept safe and benefit form being there. And remember too the larger group watching on YouTube. Pray that our Wed congregation would be able to stay in touch with each other and learn together through these weeks.
• Please take a moment to pray for ourselves and each other.
‘When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.’ (Matthew 2: 3)
“We realize, O Lord, that you have the power to disturb and to challenge those in authority. We pray that you will continue to do that amongst those who hold positions of authority in our land. Speak to them, we pray, and lead them into paths of righteousness.”
➢ Please pray for our nation in these very difficult Covid afflicted days. Pray especially for our Prime Minister, for his advisers and for our Health Secretary and his advisers. Pray that the Lord may give wisdom to all his people in hospitals and Care Homes. May he give them strength, wisdom and patience.
• • Please pray for those who rely on the generosity and support of others. Pray for our Frydays team, as they try to help those in difficult situations, showing God’s love in practical ways.
• • Please pray for the mental health of our NHS workers who are having to deal with life and death situations on a daily basis.
• • Persecuted Church: World Watch news – Last Wednesday Open Doors World Watch List was launched. This usually happens in Parliament, but this year was held digitally. Please pray that many MP’s watched it and will want to do something about the human rights abuse suffered by many in the persecuted church.
‘When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.’ (Matthew 2: 4)
“Give us wisdom, O Lord, to be able to distinguish between those who are genuine seekers after truth, and those who are intent on disrupting your work in our churches and communities. Make us vigilant, we pray.”
• • Please pray for those who once again are separated from their loved ones and those they care for. Pray that ways to keep in touch will be found.
• • Pray for those who are struggling to cope with the current situation and whose mental health is frail. Pray especially for anyone you know who is in this situation.
Please pray for the work of the church office today as the Newsletter is put together and sent out. Pray for those who deliver and receive it – and the CDs too. Pray that these things would help many keep in touch and be encouraged at this time. • Thank God for our families, our friends and all who support us.
‘“In Bethlehem, in Judaea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written…”’ (Matthew 2: 5)
"O Lord, we are aware that those in religious authority know in their heads where you were due to be born, but it is so often distant strangers who actually go to Bethlehem, seeking after you with their hearts. We pray for those who are called to high office in the Church of England and pray that they may seek after you with all their heart.”
• • Pray for those key workers who continue to support, care and provide vital services, even when this puts them in danger.
• • Pray for those preparing, filming and putting together our YouTube services and meetings. Pray that they would have good ideas, patience and perseverance. Pray that the technology would work!
‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;”’ (Matthew 2: 6)
“Thank you, and praise you, O Lord, for this glorious prophecy from your servant, Micah. Thank you for the inspiration which it has been to so many, down through the ages. Thank you, so much, for blessing humble, lowly Bethlehem with the birth of your beloved Son.”
➢ Please pray that all our faithful and heart-felt prayers today, whether offered at home or in our church building (at private prayer), may be heard by the Lord and speedily answered.
• • Pray for our children’s Sunday Club and its leaders, as it meets online before the morning service.
• • Please pray for all watching our YouTube services today and those who listen on CD. Pray that, even though it isn’t the same as joining together face-to-face, many will still learn of God’s love, want to praise him, and be encouraged in their faith.
• • Pray for our Zoom Tea & Coffee today, and for all the other ways that we are trying to keep in touch with each other at this time.
‘“…for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”’ (Mathew 2: 6)
“Praise you, Lord Jesus, for your birth at Bethlehem, city of David. Praise you, that you are both ruler and shepherd of your people. Lead us, we pray, into this New Year, with its challenges and opportunities. Lead us in paths of righteousness, for your Name’s sake.”
• • Thank God for giving us a new day – another day that we can know his presence with us, whatever it may hold for us.
• • Pray that the Lord’s people here may be greatly encouraged – pray that this would be true even through the present difficult time.
• • Pray, once again, for Searchlights online – for good attendance and good listening, especially when the Bible is being taught.
‘Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.’ (Matthew 2: 7)
“Give us, O Lord, wisdom to discern between what is true and what is false. Help us to be able to tell the difference between what is authentic and what is fake. And, whenever we encounter things which are wrong, give us the courage to declare them so.”
• • Thank God that he has power over nations and governments. Pray for all in our country who make important decisions today.
• • Pray that many may feel called to a deeper prayer life at this time.
• • Please pray that many in our community would think deeply about the Good News of Jesus at this time. Pray that some would find their way to Ask a Pastor each week and find God’s answers there.
‘He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go, and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”’ (Matthew 2: 8)
“We pray today, O Lord, against the forces of wickedness, which stand against your Gospel in our nation. Whenever and wherever we encounter them, give us the courage of Joshua to stand against them and to know that we stand with you.”
• • Pray for all who are unwell, facing treatment or waiting for medical results at this time. Pray for God’s healing and strength.
• • Please pray for our Wednesday Worshippers as they continue to meet - pray for safety. Pray that some new people will start to join at this time as the service is also on YouTube.
• • Pray for Ignite, our Youth Group, meeting online at this time (7pm).
‘After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them, until it stopped over the place where the child was.’ (Matthew 2: 9)
“Praise you, O Lord, that by the shining of a star you led the Wise Men to the Saviour’s cradle. In this coming year may we, and all your people in this land, be as bright stars, shining in the darkness, and leading many to Christ.”
• • Pray for an ever-deepening love for the Lord and for his Word. And pray that day by day we may live out what we learn there.
• • Pray that many would find today’s Thursday Thought useful.
• • Persecuted Church: Good News for Sudan – Praise God that Sudanese Christian and Muslim leaders have signed a declaration to work together on promoting religious freedom in a country that has been ruled by oppressive Islamic law for three decades.
‘When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.’ (Matt. 2: 10)
‘Fill us, O Lord, we pray, with joy. May we overflow with joy whenever we think of you, who lead us in the Way to everlasting life. May we learn to be joyful in all circumstances – in success and in failure, in wealth and in need, in times of ease and in times of stress. And may your joy in us overflow to your glory.’
➢ Pray that many in our town may be inspired to search the Scriptures as they seek to know the Lord.
• • Please pray for yourself, that you might know the best way to help, pray for and to provide support to those who need it.
• • Pray for our church office and all who serve there – pray that as the phone is answered and emails sent God’s love would be clear.
• • Ask for God’s blessing on new ways of praying together, eg Zoom.
‘On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.’ (Matthew 2: 11)
“Thank you for all those we know who have bowed down and worshipped you, presenting you with gifts of great significance. Thank you for all those faithful ones in our fellowships, particularly those who came to worship you from far distant lands. Bless your faithful ones throughout the world and as they lay their gifts at your feet, embrace them with your love.”
➢ Pray for the many people in our nation who are not at peace Pray that many such may seek the Lord and find his peace.
• • Pray for those who cannot visit family members in Care Homes; pray for those whose businesses are under threat; pray for those recently made redundant; pray for those who are desperately lonely. Pray that many in our community would look to God.
• • Please continue to pray for a deep sense of unity and purpose within our church family. Pray that we would work to maintain this always.
• • Pray for other local churches – pray for Mark at Kirby and Great Holland, Peter at Walton, and David at St Paul’s, at this time when we have shared in some of their ministry. Pray that God would give them the inspiration, wisdom and strength to lead their churches in His way in these challenging times.
‘And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.’
(Matthew 2: 12)
“In this coming year, O Lord, guide and guard us, both sleeping and waking. Be our constant Companion and Guide. Do not forsake us, but walk with us, every step of the unseen Way, until we come at last to the place where we should be.”
➢ Pray that the many online services taking place today from churches across the country may be a source of great comfort and solace to the faithful.
• • Thank God for our church family, as we join online to praise God and to learn from him today.
• • Please pray for our Family Time on YouTube today (4pm) – pray that many children (and adults too) would join in, enjoy it and learn from God’s word, through the stories that we read there.
• • Pray for all those who are suffering during the lockdown. Pray especially for those who find themselves locked together with those who would abuse or disrespect them.