Prayer for Boris and others like him

Intensive care unit similar to St Thomas’ ICU where Boris Johnson is being treated. Image credit: The Times

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.

May it be to Your glory alone. Amen.

“Remain united and resolute” – HM The Queen

Her Majesty, speaking on Sunday night, April 6, from Windsor Castle. Image credit: The Telegraph

“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).

Faith on the front line

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

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AtymJ1HyLQ14hv4KQEylJJBm2uvEmQ?e=h2Red1

Shared with permission.

A heartwarming hymn

‘It Is Well With My Soul’ performed by a cellphone choir

Nashville Studio Singers Community – during lockdown

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.

A prayer of Serapion

Serapion (d. 360) was Bishop of Thmuis

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.

Copyright © 2020 Adapted from With God Daily, Skye Jethani

Some Bible verses about who gives us security

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear…   Psalm 112:6-8



“The very moment I call to You for a Father’s help
 the tide of battle turns and my enemies flee.
This one thing I know: God is on my side!”   Psalm 56:9



Your Country Needs You!


Positives from this virus is that so many of us have realised how we can help one another and how we all have an important role to play in maintaining the spirit of unity of neighbourliness.

Roger Knight, in Madley, who posts a regular Thought every Wednesday, writes:


I recall reading that prisoners of war in Japanese concentration camps could withstand almost anything physically, despite cruelty and malnutrition, but once their mood collapsed they withdrew and, turning faces to the wall, could die within three days.


We, however, have no need to feel imprisoned as our PM has grasped that going walking and cycling is excellent for maintaining the wellbeing of both minds and bodies, together with contact by phone and email and social media with other people.


God always wants unity — unity with Him, unity with others and unity within ourselves. Positives from this virus is that so many of us have realised how we can help one another and how we all have an important role to play in maintaining the spirit of unity of neighbourliness. We are all needed in some way by others, to keep up our spirits at a challenging time. Even the most housebound and older members of society can pass on experiences of the past when we pulled together — our country needs you and us all.


The hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king [or Prime Minister?] and his officials ordered, following the word of the Lord.    2 Chronicles 30:12.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.   Psalm 131:1


Our Lord is at work

“I will cause anxiety, fear, and panic. I will cause the churches to lock their doors. I will cause Christians not to worship together on Sunday….

Writing on his Facebook page, Fr. Jerome Zeiler, priest at St Patrick’s, Columbus, Ohio, USA offers a perspective in dialogue, about the ways Satan sows fear and animosity, but Jesus shows people His way of love and trust, during this time of physical distancing:

SATAN


“I will cause anxiety, fear, and panic. I will cause the churches to lock their doors. I will cause Christians not to worship together on Sunday. I will cause the sacraments not to be given or received. I will cause fights to break out at the grocery stores and on social media and inside the home. I will cause greater animosity between nations. I will cause turmoil inside and out.”


JESUS


“I will restore the family. I will bring husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters closer together. I will greatly strengthen the communal life of religious brothers and sisters. I will greatly strengthen the spiritual lives of my priests. I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table and to the refectory. I will help my children slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not on what is of this world. I will deepen my children’s faith in me. I will renew their prayer life. I will deepen their love for me and for one another.”


Locked But Still Open


They may have locked my church, and shut God’s house today


But they cannot close my faith; they can’t take that away


God is not just in that building, He is always and everywhere


In the sky, a flower in birdsong, in a Lamb and in the very air


No one can cancel Him, my heart’s open, not undone


For I know that He is with us, each and everyone


The building provided sanctuary, a calm and quiet place


For me to gather thoughts and this troubled world to face


So in the great outdoors, in the wind, the rain and sun


I lift my face to heaven and speak to the Almighty One


I pray for all my friends and loved ones, for Him to give them strength

And courage to endure this time for however long the length


I pray for all those I do not know, in this world to us He gave


And that I should keep my faith in Him though these times are very grave!


Credit: Peter Wilson, churchwarden of St Peter’s, Pudleston (in the AONB east of Leominster in between the Tenbury and Bromyard main roads).

A blessing we can speak out


If you are used to a minister leading a prayer, or simply asking God to meet your needs (supplication) or ‘standing in the gap’ for another (intercession), this is another, rather different, way to express words of faith.

This is not asking, but using the spiritual authority we have, as children of God* to bring change in the heavenlies which then filters down as change on earth. As those who have believed in Jesus as the sinless Saviour who has secured forgiveness for us by doing for us what we could never do for ourselves, and having trusted Him with our lives and chosen Him to be our Lord – we have spiritual authority. We are part of the royal priesthood* that belongs to the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ – and we know Him!

When you are friends with the ‘top person’, you can see things happen – and blessing is the best and safest way to go about this because “we bless” gives God plenty of scope to do it His way, and not ours.
We can do this, to great effect!

*See Bible study below

Image credit: Hereford Times

Lord, we thank You for new life in Jesus and the reassurance that in Him we are given righteousness through His sinless sacrifice. And authority in prayer: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 2 Cor. 5:21, James 5:16.


We bless our community with Your peace, awareness of Your love, and protection from illness. At this time of restriction and also anxiety, we bless families and children, those struggling to work in difficult circumstances, people at home and especially those on their own.


We bless doctors, nurses, paramedics and all ‘on the front line’ of health care, with wisdom, strength and protection for themselves and their families. We bless those who have developed Covid-19 symptoms with a healthy immune response and unusually rapid recovery.


We bless those who are giving national leadership with heaven’s guidance, and unity across the political landscape.


And we bless this country with a spiritual awakening, to rise up and pray in a new awareness of Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.



Here’s a great Bible study on believers as children of God, and belonging to the royal priesthood of Jesus: John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9-10.