General Assembly of The Church of Scotland 2013
This Assembly could be a defining moment in the life of our National Church. It is therefore important that we all uphold The Moderator and the Commissioners in prayer.
Please pray that God's Holy Spirit will be present in Power and Authority during the conduct of the Business of the Assembly; and that He will inspire and lead in the various debates. Please also pray that individual Commissioners will respond to God's leading and outline their respective contributions with Christian Love and Charity.
Pray that this Assembly will be a witness to this nation of Scotland and its people that The Church of Jesus Christ is alive, relevant and seeks to bring Honour and Glory to His precious Name.
Please pray for all the young people who attend that their eyes may be opened and their hearts and minds touched by a fresh understanding of Jesus' love for them.
Please pray that Rebecca and Emma receive the support and encouragement they need to persevere in this work and that their courage and faithfulness be rewarded in seeing other young people transformed by accepting Jesus into their lives. Amen
Let us pray for America
Lord, we pray that the land of America, that influences so much of what takes place in the world, is drenched by your Spirit and filled to overflowing with your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
DON'T JUST STAND THERE PRAY SOMETHING
The above is the title of a book on prayer written by Ronald Dunn and it is a quote that we all would do well to read, digest and reflect upon. There is power in prayer, it is something which Jesus himself continually engaged in and if we follow his example in our Christian life we will increasingly come to know and recognise the will and purpose of God.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14a
Praying for our World
Pray for the situation in Afghanistan and areas of our world experiencing conflict.
Pray for all who would seek to fulfil their agendas and desires by violent and evil means.
Pray for our servicemen and women that they might be kept safe while on active duty. Pray also for their families at home and abroad.
Pray for the continent of Africa.
Pray for the countries where Aids and HIV are prevalent.
Pray for all who would seek to be an influence in our world for good.
Pray for aid agencies that their efforts will result in aid reaching the folks who need it.
Praying for our own land
Pray giving thanks to God for our heritage of Christian witness and service.
Pray for our national Church that it might once again put its trust and faith in God and his promises. Pray for the Church of Scotland that it demonstrates to the people of Scotland through word and deed that God's Word is its defining guide and standard.
Pray that there will goodwill and tolerance between different faith groups in Scotland and with those who have no faith.
Pray for our politicians, that they will lead with justice, integrity and are duly mindful of God’s will and purpose in all matters.
Pray for Christians in our land who seek to influence whilst carrying out their normal day to day activities, in business, schools, universities and colleges.
Pray for people who would seek to diminish our Christian heritage that they might change their attitude.
Praying for the Church
Pray for the world wide church, especially our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith.
Pray that ministers and preachers up and down Scotland will faithfully preach the Gospel of Christ.
Pray giving thanks to God for our own minister and his faithful preaching of the Word.
Pray for Kenneth, Alison and the children that they will be kept safe and well.
Pray for our older members, that they will not feel forgotten.
Pray for those who have concerns about their own health, or the health of someone they love.
Pray for the young people in our midst, that they will feel valued and involved.
Pray for all of the Freeland Church family.
Pray that we as individuals will seek to honour God, and respond when Jesus calls us.
Pray that we as individuals and as a Church will reach out to our community in the love of Jesus.
Pray that we will continue to care and to grow in Christ and begin with God’s help to transform our church and our community.
BIBLE VERSES FOR THE NEW YEAR
Why not begin the New Year meditating on these encouraging Bible verses chosen to inspire a fresh new walk with God and a deeper commitment to living the Christian faith:
New Birth - A Living Hope - 1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Hope for the Future - Jeremiah 29:11
'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'.
Forgetting the Past -Philippians 3:13-14
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Learning from Past Mistakes - Hebrews 12:10-11
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Wait on the Lord - Psalm 37:7
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
- Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
God's Timing is Perfect - Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Each New Day is Special - Lamentations 3:22-24
The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’
Verses selected from About.com
SHOULD WE BE PRAYING FOR THE RETURN OF THE JEDI?
At our Christmas Eve service we read the familiar passage from Luke's Gospel:
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
In the 2001 census in Scotland over 65% of respondents recorded their religion as 'Christian'. This would suggest that any claim Scotland might make to being a Christian country could be justified.
However, caution must always be exercised when analysing statistics. Of those 65%, over 2 million (42.4%) claimed to be members of the Church of Scotland - a figure much higher than the Kirk's own records show!
Furthermore, whether genuinely or motivated by mischief, an additional 14, 052 people in Scotland claimed their religion to be 'Jedi'! Perhaps our prayer in 2012 should include a prayer for the 'return of the Jedi 'to the fold of Christianity!
At the close of his talk on Christmas Eve Kenneth, our minister, challenged us all to consider how we each would answer the question What is your religion? Would the lives we lead, the way we deal with one another justify our giving the answer 'I am a Christian'?^
Christmas is a season when many people who do not normally worship God find themselves in church, singing carols, watching re-enactments of the Nativity story and experiencing something of the true spirit of Christmas that contrasts so vividly with the frenzy of shopping, eating and partying that is otherwise going on around them.
As Christians may we be alert for the presence of 'strangers' in our midst so that we may be ready to offer a welcome and an encouragement to return to worship after the Christmas season is past.
Let us pray that we truly recognise 'Immanuel' -God with us - and keep this very Christ at the centre of our lives throughout the year - not just at Christmas.
Let us pray for the courage to rise to the challenge of discipleship and to speak and behave and work so that the light of the Gospel shines in us and into the lives of others.
Let us pray that we grasp every opportunity that comes along to reflect the love and grace of Jesus in our dealings with one another so that others may say, without irony, 'See how these Christians love one another!'
Let us pray that, as a new year begins, we will each adopt a new resolution to follow Jesus more nearly and to love Him more dearly every day of 2012. Amen
Prayer Is The Breath of the Soul
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20.
Perhaps there is no other passage in the whole Bible which throws greater light upon prayer than this one does. It seems that this is the key that opens the door into the holy and blessed realm of prayer.
To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts.
This teaches us that first of all it is not our prayer that moves the Lord Jesus. It is Jesus who moves us to pray. He knocks! Thereby he makes known his desire to come in to us. As a result our prayers are always a result of Jesus knocking at the door of our hearts.
This truth throws new light on the old prophetic passages: Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
Before we even begin to pray, Jesus graciously makes known to us what gift he has decided to impart to us. He knocks in order to move us to prayer to open the door and accept the gift which he has already appointed to for us.
To pray is to open our hearts to Jesus. He after all is all that we sinners need both for time and eternity. He was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 R.V.
This gives us the biblical view of the purpose of prayer, its place and significance in the divine dispensation of salvation. Jesus once said: without me you can do nothing. John 15:5. Jesus knew how literally true these words are, how entirely helpless we are without him. But at the same time he also said: ask and it shall be given you; all that we need and more besides.
He never grew tired of inviting, prompting, encouraging, exhorting, even commanding us to pray. The many and varied admonitions to pray in the Bible shed remarkable light upon prayer. They show us that prayer is the heart-throb in the life of the saved person.
In view of all of this LET US PRAY; and let us keep on praying until something happens.
Pray for our Church and its people.
Pray for Kenneth Gray and his family.
Pray that the potential within our Church family will be realised in terms of faith, commitment and gifting.
Pray for a renewed vision for us and our National Church and for God to send revival.
Pray for our witness in our village.
Pray for our neighbouring churches that they will receive God’s blessing.
Pray for our world and its people.
Pray for Scotland that we will see God move in a mighty way in our land resulting in our people turning back to God and Biblical truths.
Pray for our Queen and her family; and the government and our leaders.
Pray that God will move in our own hearts and minds sifting and removing all that is not holy.
Pray that we will open the door when we hear Christ knock.
Pray for those known and unknown to us who have concerns about health, wealth, finance, employment advancing years or spiritual matters.
PRAYER – THE POWER RESOURCE WHEN DEALING WITH CONFLICT
On Wednesday evening, 5th October 2011, the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley held its first PRAYER EVENT of the new session in the Cornerstone Centre, Bishopton. Fewer than half of the 51 congregations which make up the Presbytery were represented which, though disappointing, was seemingly a typical turnout. Interestingly, all but 3 of the attendees were women – what does this indicate about the prayer life of local congregations?
After some opening prayers, and praise led by our own Dougie Adam on guitar, Rev. Daniel Manastireanu, minister of Bishopton Parish Church gave a talk entitled “Unity.”
He began by reading John 17: 20-26 and highlighted the following verses as a context for his talk;
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Daniel went on to describe typical strategies adopted in the secular world to try and resolve conflicts. These usually try to reconcile differences via compromise and negotiation. He believes that in the spiritual world, the world of Christian witness, a different kind of unity is demanded of us – one that ‘recognizes diversity, lives with it, owns it and acknowledges differences’ .
He described the natural human response to conflict as either ‘fight or flight’ When we find ourselves at odds with other people we often either engage in vociferous, even violent argument (fight) or else we walk away and refuse to have any more to do with the other person (flight). The Christian, Daniel believes, should seek opportunities for personal growth in conflict situations. This requires an honest appraisal of one’s motivations, one’s attitudes and culture, one’s learned behaviours - in short a robust self awareness. Then one should appraise those of the opposing person as far as we are able and seek some deeper understanding of how he has come to hold the views he does.
Finding common ground can be the basis on which to build but, unlike in the secular world, it is necessary to seek what might be called the ‘highest common denominator’ rather than the lowest common denominator that might threaten the integrity of the Gospel or compromise Christian standards.
Daniel’s talk provoked a lively Q & A session which concluded that unity among people is predicated on unity with the Lord, both personally and collectively as a church. Harmonious relationships with others – whether inside or outside the church- depend on harmony with God. The grace to deal with conflict flows from the Holy Spirit. PRAYER is the powerhouse for change and should always be the starting point in every difficult situation and the end point when thanking God for his gracious mercies.
The evening concluded with further discussion and prayer in small groups followed by a final praise item. V de B
Worship & Confession
Psalm 34:1-10This was a prayer which David prayed when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech; it is also an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
But it is also worship and reminds us of our responsibility and need to worship God and stay close to him at all times. Let us remember that as we come before God to pray.
Prayer & God's Love
Ephesians 3:14-21Charles Wesley in his great hymn Love Divine wrote these words: Finish then thy new creation: Pure and spotless let us be; let us see thy great salvation, perfectly restored in thee. Changed from glory into Glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love and praise.
We all need time to be alone with God, but we also need to be together with other people, whether in small groups or Sunday worship. It is in the coming together of God's people that God is glorified. This is what Paul is praying for, the Church 'that we may experience the depths of God's love'.
As Paul used this prayer to ask God to reveal more of his love to his church, let us pray for the church and its mission here in Bridge of Weir and beyond; remembering the final words in our reading.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.
Thinking of Others
1 Timothy 2:1-4Part of the discipline of prayer is to think of others. Personal prayer can become very inward looking if we are not careful; even casting our burdens onto the Lord can in practice become a means of reminding ourselves of the problems we face
We can end up drowning ourselves in sorrow rather than being lifted up in faith. Paul urges us to pray for all people. Paul is concerned with God and his glory and his kingdom, putting his agenda above our own. Of course his agenda includes our needs too and he wants us to bring them to him as well.
But it is crucial that we spend time praying about the persecuted in the world; the sick; non-believers; those trapped by unemployment or financial hardship; young people; old people; leaders; teachers; each other.
Do you need someone to pray for you: Request PrayerYou can view our Log of prayer requests and topics here
Let us know when you are joining us in prayer here Offering Prayers
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