Call to pray for our nation and world

A PATTERN FOR AN HOUR OF PRAYER: 3pm-4pm, PALM SUNDAY 2020

This is a long post, but please feel free to use this pattern for prayer as we pray together in our homes from 3pm-4pm this afternoon. There's also some information for our children to get involved.

In the last 10 minutes of this special hour of prayer, we are encouraging everyone to humbly kneel as we cry out together to our Heavenly Father for His mercy and His help from heaven at this time of crisis and great need in our land and in the world.

2 Chronicles 7:14
“...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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

🙏PREPARATION: CALMING OUR HEARTS TO PRAY

Read: Psalm 46:10

'Be still and know that I am God.'

Prompts to pray:

* Ask God to quieten your mind, help you focus on him and open your heart to him in prayer.
* Pray acknowledging your trust that God is in control of all things.
* For children: Put your hands together. Close your eyes. Be quiet and get ready to talk to God.

******

🙏PRAYER: CONNECTING WITH ALL GOD'S PEOPLE ACROSS IRELAND IN ANSWERING THE CALL TO PRAY

Read or say together: The words of the Lord’s Prayer

'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.'

Prompts to pray:

* Give thanks for the gift of prayer to a heavenly Father who hears and answers.
* Choose a line from the Lord’s Prayer that particularly struck you as you read. Turn it into a prayer for our present circumstances.
* For children: Thank God that we can pray as part of his big family. Ask God to give us all we need each day.

******

🙏PRAISE: CENTRING OUR THOUGHTS ON GOD AS COMFORTER AND HIS WORK IN US AND THROUGH US

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

'3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.'

Prompts to pray:

* Praise God as our great comforter in all our troubles.
* Pray that God’s comfort might flow through us to those most in need - those who are ill, self-isolating, vulnerable, anxious, alone.
* For children: Thank God for your house in which you can stay home and keep safe. Pray for other boys and girls who have a sick family member at home or in hospital.

******

🙏 PARABLE: CALLING US TO NEIGHBOURLINESS AND COMMUNITY

Read: Luke 10: 25-37

'25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

26 ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’

27 He answered, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.”’

28 ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

30 In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”

36 ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’

37 The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’

Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’'

Prompts to pray:

* Thank God for an increasing spirit of neighbourliness in local communities.
* Pray for frontline health workers as they treat those suffering from the Coronavirus.
* Pray for the global medical science community as they work together to combat and overcome the effects of the virus.
* Pray that in our concern for our own situations we might not pass by others in need.
* For children: Ask God to help you listen to your parents, do what they ask, share with others and be kind while you are inside more than usual.

******

🙏 PROMISE: CREATING PEACE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST

Read: John 16:33

'Jesus said, ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’'

Prompts to pray:

* Ask God that among the many messages we hear in the media, we would hold on to what he has told us in his Word the Bible.
* Thank God for Jesus’ victory which overcomes all that stands against us in life and the world.
* Pray that many across the island of Ireland would realise the fragility of life and seek peace in Jesus.
* For children: Ask God to help you not be afraid and to trust Jesus to keep you safe.

******

🙏PARTING: COMMITTING ONE ANOTHER TO THE LORD'S KEEPING

Read: Numbers 6:24-26

'24 ‘The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace.’

Prompts to pray:

* Entrust family, friends, neighbours and congregational members to God’s blessing and keeping in these days.
* Ask God that he would show favour and grace to the people of Ireland in the coming days.
* Ask that many might experience God’s face turned towards them in their circumstances and find their peace in him.
* For children: Pray for parents, grandparents, family, friends and neighbours that God will keep them safe and well.

******

🙏CLOSING PRAYER:

As we come to the end of this special time of prayer, why not kneel (if you can) or sit together, and pray out loud or silently, the following prayer:

Heavenly Father,
We pray for all those on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus.
For doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all medical staff, especially those we know (name any known to you).
For all those working in essential services (name those known to you).
For those who are sick, those who have been bereaved and those living alone who may be afraid (name those known to you).
And for all of us,
That we may know the peace of God that passes all understanding
(name family and close friends).
Lord God help us to hear and to heed your voice as you lead and guide us daily.
God Almighty enable us to know your presence and your power in our lives that we would see you at work more and more as each day passes.
We cry out to you asking you to intervene and halt the spread of this virus.
We ask for your wisdom and enabling for all involved in research to find a vaccine.
We pray for a new wind of your Holy Spirit to blow across this island with healing and hope, repentance and faith towards you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, leading to the salvation of many.
In your love and mercy, we pray that you would bless us with a new awareness of your presence with us, your love towards us, your kindness and care for us and for all those for whom Jesus lived and died.
May we and may many respond to you with all our hearts in love and faith.
We pray this in and through the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.
Amen

🙏 CHRIST: OUR HOPE IN LIFE AND DEATH

As a sign of hope and trust in the Lord, why not make a cross and stick it on one of your windows for the wider world to see as we journey towards Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Christ is our hope in life and death!

KEEP IN TOUCH...

As you finish this time of prayer, if you want to talk about anything you've experienced during this prayer time, or if you would like prayed for over the phone, please get in touch with Mark on 07736 769 744 or send us a Private Message to the St Andrew's Facebook page or email Prayer@StAndrewsBangor.org.uk. Every blessing!