Numbers 6:22-27 NIV The LORD said to Moses:“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:”The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” ‘ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Lord God, to know You is to know Your Your goodness and generosity to us – Your desire to bless. And so in humility we call down Your blessing on our community.
We pray Your blessing on our village, its shops and businesses, homes and gardens, farms, crops and livestock, workshops, suppliers and factory. Bless them and prosper them together.
We remember before You hairdressers, dentists, doctors, carers and all whose calling involves close contact with others. Bless them and prosper them together.
We bring before you our returning schools and teachers, children and parents, Bless them and prosper them together.
We raise to You both those working to create a safe school experience, and those who need a return to the discipline and work of learning. Bless them and prosper them together.
We submit to You the spiritual lives and spiritual awareness of our wide and diverse community. We ask for and participate in Your blessing on each one, young and old, professing faith and not, in the working in hearts of Your Holy Spirit.
May we all become more aware of Your love, Your purpose – and Your Son. May we as a community find ourselves turning to You and coming to know You – discovering the greatest blessing. Amen
“We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
“The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave His followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this.”
The resurrection of Jesus is about Him being with us in life – the meaning of the name Immanuel.
Jesus appeared, first to an outsider among the disciples, Mary of Magdala, not the one with the best CV, but the one who felt most forgiven and accepted.
Jesus came back to life, to give us life and life in abundance, in Him. Where all the news is about lock down, and terrible mortality rates, He is saying to us: “Look UP! I AM the Way, the reality and the life.”
What is God saying, in this pandemic?
Jesus proved, by being seen as a flesh-and-blood person following His resurrection (not a ghost), that there is life after death.
This pandemic is a prompting to all of us to turn to God! Is God calling you to take the step whereby you will come to know Him personally, receive His assurance that you are forgiven and have an eternal life with Him? Do you want to be be empowered to live, pray and know His peace, even in difficult times such as these?
Please stay at home, while danger prowls around you, Don’t leave your house, except in case of need; Please stay indoors, for your sake and for others’, Keep to the rules, in thought and word and deed. Please stay inside, until this war is over, Speak on the phone, while social groups are banned; And don’t forget, we’re all in this together, You’re not alone — support is close at hand.
Please stay at home, secure in your safe haven, Enjoy the day, and don’t forget to smile; And in the evening, rest in quiet contentedness, Remember this — it’s only for a while. May God protect you through the hours of darkness, And keep you safe from lurking fears within; And bring you through the night of doubt and wakefulness, Until you see the next new day begin.
We cannot tell how long our isolation, How many moons will pass while we endure; We wait in hope for signs of consolation, An end to feeling anxious and unsure. But this we know — it will not last for ever, The time will come when all will be revealed; When friends can meet, and we can be together, And all our loneliness and hurts are healed.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord… who will never fail you… never abandon you.” Psalm 27:14 and Hebrews 13:5
Lord God, You are good, always working Your good purposes out above and beyond the difficulties that are confronting us. You tell us that a grain of faith is effective against a difficulty that seems the size of a mountain. So we come before You today on behalf of all in cash flow difficulty while their businesses are on hold or restricted.
We bless with Your blessing our neighbourhood businesses, our friends’ businesses, the businesses we rely on and that serve our community.
We say with them, that “Yours is the greatness… because everything in heaven and earth is Yours… wealth and honour come from You… In Your hands are strength to give strength.”
We bless with Your strength our small businesses and those who serve through them.We bless them with different ways of operating, and new sources of income, known to You if not yet known to us.
May they, together with everyone, be prompted to turn to You and acknowledge You as helper and provider: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord…“
On earth we are constantly hearing bad news, but we choose to tune in to heaven’s channel, because Your word to us always brings good news of Your good intentions, and we choose to be influenced by what You are saying.
Loving Father, we come to you to stand in the gap for Boris, our Prime Minister, to intercede for his return to health and leadership. We join in praying to break the grip of corona infection over him. We see the hand of the author of sin and sickness and discouragement.
We respond asserting the victory of Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for us in death as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin, then rose again in new life and eternal authority as King of kings and Lord of lords, also our High Priest, interceding for us at the side of the Father.
We remember prayerfully before You that your plan and purpose is salvation in spirit and in soul — and in body. With that salvation purpose, we bless the Prime Minister, together with others who are suffering the same illness, with Your gift of life and renewal and freedom.
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.” This message from Her Majesty speaks to every context, and every ‘tribe’, within the UK and beyond.
People of declared Christian faith will hear in this message from The Queen, also a person of declared and unswerving Christian faith, that we need to remain united and resolute before God – spiritually and prayerfully.
Praise: For the might and majesty, dominion and power of God Almighty. He may have allowed this severe test under His sovereign power, but He is turning to good, what the enemy intended for harm. He is over this! There is no uncertainty in heaven!
Thanksgiving: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”…”We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Worship: You are our God and we are Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, the flock under Your care. (from Psalm 95:7)
Intercession: O God our Father, heal our land! Physically, from epidemic sickness. Spiritually, from the sickness of unbelief and our rejection of You. We recall the promise of Scripture, in King Solomon’s words, that “if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Blessing: In Your name, Lord Jesus, as those called by Your name, we bless our families, neighbours, friends, those who serve us and those who are there to care for us with expertise if we need it. May they know Your peace, Your protection, Your love for them – and hope in You, the confidence of knowing that ‘You have got this’. We bless our village or local community with a turning to God at this time, a re-kindling of forgotten faith, re-awakening of trust in Him, a new sense of the power of being united in prayer and purpose as those who on earth prayerfully agree together and with heaven (Matthew 18:19).
Elaine Bilbao is a health care nursing assistant who has volunteered for shifts in the Covid ward at the Country Hospital. As we know, the NHS strictly forbids any sharing of faith – but hear Elaine’s amazing story of just ‘being herself’.
Watch Elaine talk about her Christian faith on the ward, here
‘It Is Well With My Soul’ performed by a cellphone choir
This arrangement of a ‘cellphone choir’, skilfully mixed, is essential viewing – and an encouraging message. It may raise a tear, or a smile, or both. It will be remembered long after the current curfew.
We ask for your help, Father of Christ, Lord of all that is, Creator of all the created, Maker of all that is made; we stretch out clean hands to You and lay bare our minds before You.
Have mercy [on Weobley], we pray; spare us [especially during this present epidemic], be kind to us, improve us; fill us with virtue, faith, and knowledge.
Look at us, Lord; we bring our weaknesses for you to see. Be kind and merciful to all of us; have pity on this people of Yours and show them your favour, make them equitable, temperate and pure.
Send the Holy Spirit into our minds, I beg you, and grant that we may learn to understand the holy scriptures He inspired. May we interpret them correctly and fittingly, for the benefit of all. through Your only Son, Jesus Christ.
Through Him may glory and power be Yours, now and age after age. Amen.