The cost of a call to care

Image credit: YouVersion

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NLT

More than 300 NHS front-liners have died in the epidemic, together with an unknown number for carers working outside the Health Service.

In this month, Lord, with its a national holidays, when those called to care for others will be on shift as usual, we thank You for the dedication and generosity of those who put the needs of others first.

And especially we thank You for those who have paid the highest price by putting their lives at risk, a risk that has resulted in loss for them and their families and friends.

May their example speak to a selfish world. May we be inspired by the selfless example of those who did their work in the knowledge that it was not safe.

Thank You for those who have proved to be people of real integrity in putting others first, laying down their priorities and even lives, and leading by example.

May we rise to their ideal, and grow in selflessness as we seek to follow You, Jesus, and Your sacrifice for us. Amen.

How to pray

You don’t need a long face to approach God.    Image credit: Ian Greig

Introduction

What stops you from talking to God regularly? What stops you from talking to anyone regularly — or alternatively, gets you talking?

It’s about the relationship and how you feel about yourself and the other person.

If you lack confidence and feel you are just an ‘ordinary’ person and you meet someone with a title and position and a grand house to go with it, you might think, “Better not to say anything unless I am spoken to”.

If you have had some ups and downs in life… downs, definitely… and you don’t feel you would be on a holy God’s list of people He would like to hear from, you will feel — rightly or wrongly — that there is a barrier.

Actually, it’s a barrier God has taken away. And God does want to hear from you and talk to you.

The short answer is, because of Jesus. He has done for you what none of us could ever do — made the relationship right again. No barrier.

This completely changes prayer — from what might have felt like a dutiful recitation, to a conversation within a relationship.

And you can say your own prayers. As you would when talking to a friend, someone who understands you. It’s not a school composition. It’s you, talking to Your spiritual Father.

One of the most radical teachings Jesus gave to His disciples was about how you start: “When you pray, say, ‘Father…1

Jews were used to memorised, recited, formal prayers. Unfortunately we have fallen back on that idea… but Jesus encourages us to be real and to express ourselves, while giving us pointers — an outline, in fact — of what it is good to include.

Can we trust our own prayers? Will they be ‘correct’? It’s not a duty, defined by prayers in a book, and following a prescribed order, but a conversation that comes out of a relationship – and the Holy Spirit has a particular role in helping us to pray. He will bring the right words and He will vary that with different people. We are all individuals, all loved by God for who we are.

The foundational prayer, the starting point really, is the prayer to ask Jesus into your heart. From that point all, all becomes much more clear – and possible!

Becoming comfortable with prayer takes a bit of practice. But if we want to grow in our faith, it’s important that we’re able to have honest conversations with God who is above all, relational..

If you’re not sure what to pray about, we’re going to follow up with five examples of daily prayers which all relate to the master ‘prayer outline’ Jesus taught His disciples when they asked Him for some prayer coaching. These are suggested prayers you can use as they stand, or as a starting point for your own prayer following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Luke 11:2 []

The Walker’s Prayer

“Jesus, You are the Gate, the Way to God…”       Image credit: Ian Greig

PRAYER

Loving Saviour, be in our hearts today.

Living Saviour, be in and around our community today.

Be our companion as we walk the paths and fields of life

As You are the Way to God, show us Your way from among the many ways

As You are the Gate, open for us to find our way into Your kingdom life

As You are the Life, bless each home, farm, family and lonely person
with Your love, health and spiritual life

to the glory of God our Father.

Prayer for wisdom

Weobley steeple draws us to look upwards. Image credit: Ian Greig

Verse

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Suggested prayer

Father God, we come to You on behalf of researchers everywhere whom You have blessed with medical, biochemical and genetic understanding.

We thank You for the progress they have made in finding ways to cure and to prevent infection in the present coronavirus epidemic – but we humbly go further. We ask You for a mighty breakthrough

Lord God, all wisdom and knowledge resides in You, and has its source in You. Ours is so inadequate when seen from Your perspective. And the answer we desperately need is an answer that is known in heaven.

We are sorry for placing more reliance on our discoveries and methods than on asking You. We are sorry for our lack of faith to believe You and trust You for the answers. We come before You now and ask for Your revelation to flow in a new way, to the astonishment of researchers experiencing Your goodness and greatness as perhaps never before.

We thank You for Your Son, Jesus, by whom we can come into Your presence and ask You for what we could never earn or deserve. You are always about Your work of salvation – may this wisdom be our salvation now.

To Your honour and glory alone we pray this. Amen.

For a short video and article explaining the teaching behind this prayer, visit this associated website or watch the video

Psalm 4 prayer

“Break through this oppressive darkness…”   Image credit: Ian Greig

Introduction

We pray as those who have had something taken from us — our sin and condemnation, at the Cross.

And something given to us — new life and relationship with God enabled by the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost.

We come as those who are dependent, unable to save ourselves or improve our prospects by our own actions.

But we come as those filled with joy: confident we are chosen, redeemed, loved and accepted — whatever happens, we have the joy of knowing we belong.


Verse

May we never forget that the LORD works wonders for every one of His devoted lovers. And this is how I know He will answer my every prayer. Psalm 4:3

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Philippians 4:6

Prayer

Lord, I come to You in gratitude as the One who has always been my champion and my defender.
Whenever I have been under pressure, You have been there to release me.
And it’s like that again. I need more of Your kindness!

How can I ask this, of You? My right exists only because of our relationship, because You treat me so much better than I deserve.

I know I can put my trust in You: and because of who You are, You will hear me and answer.
Now, whatever I see reported, whatever concerns I overhear from others, I can live unafraid.
I don’t have to be pulled in different directions, or assailed by doubts and worries.

I come to You, not just in desperation, but in joy and confidence, because through Jesus I am united with You.

Let the light that comes from Your smile and Your favour, break through this oppressive darkness and reveal to us a different view.

Knowing that You have this. Amen.

You are truth

“…Experiencing Your goodness again today.” Image credit: Ian Greig

Lead me by Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in You.

Psalm 25:5

PRAYER

Lord, I look to You again today and trust You – You are faithful and merciful.

I seek Your wisdom again today,
for all wisdom begins with You and leads to You.

I put my trust in You today as the One who saves – worldwide and near to me, there is a lot of saving needed.

Teach me Your lesson for today. Show me Your salvation in an unexpected way today.

Grow my expectation of experiencing Your goodness afresh today. Amen.

Deity combined with humanity

Prayer of the Day

A prayer in the Celtic tradition of Iona, Northumbria and Ffald-y-Brenin


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.1

Lord, as You were in the original creation, we praise You for what You have made.

As You were in our world and among us, we praise You for Your human understanding.

As You went to the Cross to suffer torment and bear our sins for us, we praise You for Your selfless obedience.

As You preside, seated next to the Father in the heavenly places, we humbly submit our prayers through You.

And as we anticipate Your glorious, joyful return, we prepare for You.

Amen.

  1. Genesis 1:1 []

Celtic prayer honouring God

Prayer of the Day

Power of all powers, we worship You
Light of all lights, we worship You
Life of all lives, we worship You

Maker of all creatures, we honour You
Friend of all creatures, we honour You
Force of all creatures, we honour You

Love before time, we adore You
Love in dark times, we adore You
Love in the present time, we adore You

Ray Simpson


© Ray Simpson, Prayers of Love and Peace 2005 Kevin Mayhew Ltd
Ray Simpson is co-founder of the Community of Aidan and Hilda based on Lindisfarne.

Verse and prayer: “Do good”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Romans 12:21 NLT


Prayer

Father God, everything about You is good.

You are always doing good, and You look on us with love and patience.

You always have time. You are full of generosity in every way.

Fill us with Your Spirit and Your love, to join with what You are doing.

And let Your good, coming through us, conquer the evil behind today’s troubles – and give glory to You.

Through Jesus we pray. Amen.


For a ‘three-minute thought ‘ and a post giving some background to this prayer, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com

Link to post

Thanksgiving for ‘the revival of kindness’

“Wearing uncomfortable protective kit…”    Image credit: Press Association

VERSE AND Prayer of the day

Lord, You bless those who do what is right; You protect them like a soldier’s shield.
Psalm 5:12 New Century Version

Father God we are so grateful for those who are putting the needs of others far above their comfort or safety.

We think of doctors and nurses and care assistants in over-busy wards, wearing uncomfortable protective kit,
working shifts of 12 hours
often with additional handover time.

We stand with them in their emotional drain —
being responsible for very sick patients
and talking to their families.

We thank you for GPs, community nurses and pharmacists,
all working with increased pressures and risks.

We thank you for dedicated carers
looking after our most vulnerable folk in care homes.

We thank You, too, for all who continue to supply our needs
in shops and filling stations and all places of service,
at risk to themselves.

As we thank You for them, we surround them with Your blessing — may “Your beauty and love chase after them every day”.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
Psalm 23:6 The Message


Thought for the Day with Bible teaching on this theme