top of page

PRAYER

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Colossians 4:3

May 2024

2024 Facebook Header 1.jpg

THY KINGDOM COME

Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) is a global ecumenical prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. This year it’s taking place from 9th – 19th May and we’d love to encourage you to get involved!

Since it began in May 2016, God has grown TKC into a movement which unites more than a million Christians in prayer, in nearly 90% of countries worldwide, across 85 different denominations and traditions - so that friends and family, neighbours and colleagues might come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Every person, household and church are encouraged to pray during the 11 days in their own way, and it is the hope and prayer that those who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and His love for the world, will hear it for themselves and respond and follow Him.

Specifically, TKC invites each and every Christian across the globe to pray that God’s Spirit might work in the lives of 5 people who have not responded with their ‘Yes’ to God’s call.

Archbishop Justin Welby writes;

“In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities."

So how can you get involved?

Well, there are lots of fantastic age appropriate resources available for free on the TKC website (www.thykingdomcome.global) that will help you to pray during these eleven days, so do check these out. Plus, we’d love to encourage you to think, ‘who are the 5 people I’m praying for to come to know Jesus?’ Could you make a list and commit to praying for these every day throughout Thy Kingdom Come?

Locally, Turret House of Prayer will be leading a prayer walk along the River Ribble on Saturday 18th May as part of ‘Pray for Lancashire’ – a regional initiative encouraging churches to prayer walk the canals and rivers of Lancashire. For more info and to sign up for the prayer walk visit: www.meetup.com/pray-for-lancashire

Finally, on Sunday 19th May, St Lukes Church in Blackburn will be hosting a youth prayer and worship night called WAVES as part of Thy Kingdom Come.

This will be a big celebration of the birth of the church and our unity across Lancashire and young people are invited from all across the region. Doors open at 4:30pm, for a 4:45pm start, and there will be worship, challenges, talks, prayer and lots of different spaces for your young people to engage in. During the after-hours time there will be laser tag, games consoles and a pizza van! The event is free and will finish at 7pm. Please follow this link to book your young person on, https://welcometostlukes.churchsuite.com/events/u9nl8lzn

So, let’s join together in these different activities by praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’; asking that our friends, families, neighbours, and this generation, would come to know the transforming love and power of Jesus Christ

April  2024

Shamina Begum.png

Shamima Begum is my neighbour

 

Somebody once said that, ‘politics without charity isn’t politics” to encourage Christian and Faith comment on Government action.  Indeed, Faith bodies have increasingly come to reflect that there is a role of them in advocating for social justice.  In “Let us Dream” by Pope Francis,  written in collaboration with his biographer, Austen Ivereigh we have, “We need a politics that can integrate and dialogue with the poor, the excluded, and the vulnerable”.

Shamima Begum is someone that even the Faith communities are reluctant to speak out for, yet, in the Gospels writings we have, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John: 8.7).  In 2019 the Bishops of S Albans, Chichester and Chester did speak out in favour of bringing Shamima back to England.  Now,  five years later Shamima remains in a detention camp in Syria. 

Taken from a recent Guardian article:

Five years after Shamima Begum expressed her hope of returning to the UK, she is no closer to her wish being fulfilled. As with the earlier decision by the special immigration appeals commission (Siac), the court of appeal acknowledged that Begum, now 24, may have been “influenced and manipulated” and “the likelihood that she was a child victim of others who wished to exploit her for sexual or extremist reasons”.  For similar reasons, the argument by her lawyers that she was de facto stateless at the time of the decision – she had dual UK/Bangladeshi citizenship but could not go to Bangladesh – and so revoking her UK citizenship was unlawful was also rejected. “Despite knowing that she had nowhere else to go we decided to deprive her of her British citizenship on grounds that to do so was conducive to the public good and in the interests of national security. 

Katherine Cornett, head of unlawful detentions at Reprieve, described the case as a political problem with a political solution.  Having repatriated just two adults and 15 or so children since the end of the ground war against IS more than four years ago, the UK is an outlier. For instance, among its allies, France has repatriated more than 160 children and more than 50 women, while Germany has taken back almost 100 women and children, with the likes of Canada and Australia also allowing their citizens to return.  In 2021, the US said that as well as being “the best option from a security standpoint, repatriation is also simply the right thing to do”.

While prosecuting crimes committed on a foreign battlefield is not easy, the former director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald KC, previously told MPs and peers that this was something that Britain should be able to do where appropriate. He also criticised the failure to repatriate people who were “victims themselves” and the use of citizenship stripping, a controversial tool which only the UK and Bahrain frequently employ. Last year, Jonathan Hall, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said that the UK must allow greater repatriation of British nationals held in Syria and also predicted little security risk in allowing the return of Begum. He too has said it will ultimately be a political decision.

In the culture of the modern world it is unsurprising that people are unsympathetic to Shamima.  What she subscribed to is beyond words in human depravity.  As Christians,  we too are inclined to be unsympathetic , yet in all instances where we experience internal conflict, or we are challenged by the views of others, the answer can be found in the Gospels.  The Gospels go back to first principles and reject any logic or intuition derived from the culture of the modern world, a world gone wrong.

The simple message in the Golden Rule (love thy neighbour) allows no exceptions.  If we asked WWJD (What would Jesus do) in the case of Shamima the answer is clear.  Jesus would forgive her.  .  What should follow forgiveness may be problematic but WWJD has to be the starting point of decision making.  Banishment to indefinite exclusion is not of the changed world Jesus came to create. 

Through his grace Jesus gives us the strength to change not only ourselves, but also to evangelise and create a world of love and forgiveness,  to continue his work of changing the world.  We could be forgiven for thinking the reverse has happened and the world has changed the Church, the Church God created to evangelise. 

Evangelisation isn’t proselytising , it is about living the life of Jesus and through our actions,  promulgating his message of love and forgiveness.  In proclaiming love and forgiveness, even for Shamima, we are promoting the message of Jesus and carrying out his command to evangelise.  Evangelising is difficult.  It sticks in the throat sometimes, and particularly when we encounter those who reject that view that “neighbour” is everyone. 

“Neighbour” excludes no-one.

Let us pray that:

We can forgive, even those who wrong us deeply, or who are guilty of the worst things we can imagine.

In forgiving we seek to accept that we can never understand what drives others to do what we would never do ourselves

In forgiving, we turn to prevention and healing rather than retribution. 

And in that same spirit we forgive ourselves and seek our own healing

Charis 3.jpg
Charis logo.png
Charis 4.png

March 2024

Mel Welch and Mandy Hunter, founders of Charis Ministries Africa, have been working alongside Mozambican Christians since 2007 and Ethiopian partners since 2020. They long to see lives changed through transforming mission. When in the UK they are based at Clitheroe House of Prayer.

 

In their recent February Update they write:

 

We believe compassion to the poor is true righteousness and that in God's kingdom justice is central, we are believing God for an abundance of provision that we can use to bring food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, homes to the homeless and hope to the despairing where the poorest of the poor continue to struggle daily with basic needs. We will be visiting Ethiopia and Mozambique this year to bring encouragement, oversight and teaching.

 

In Mozambique we are preparing for a Life Centre to be established as an intercultural, interdenominational place of anointed worship, prayer and training for transforming mission. A place where Jesus is at the centre of everything, and we welcome teachers and trainers from around the globe to share their biblical knowledge and spiritual understanding among the poorly resourced. Once the national association (in process!) is registered we will move forward with the building.

 

We have had news this week from Bandua, Mozambique, that many people are hungry, because the crops are dying due to pitiful rainfall. Many people are afraid that their crops will completely fail, and they have no other source of food. Charis has been asked for help to provide many food kits. Bandua remains an area of real poverty where whole communities struggle to survive. Charis recently provided two of our local volunteers in Bandua with micro-loans - Joaquim to rear cows and Maparrari for a large farm (with a bike). 

 

Elizabeth (co-ordinator of Charis ministries in Ethiopia) continues to visit the poorest of the poor in Nekemte bringing them food, clothes, medical care, encouragement, and prayer. There is an ongoing conflict there, which is bringing much suffering: shops are closing, transport is difficult to find, prices have rocketed and many are fleeing the area. The other week, three children on our pastoral list fled the shooting in their area and have not been seen since. It is believed they are now in a refugee camp outside Nekemte. 

 

Mel and Mandy have asked us to pray:

 

•   That the registration of the national association will happen soon. Give thanks that Charis has already had two bible teachers offering to come this year - one from the UK and one from India. 

•   That we will equip, envision, and prepare disciples to become transformers of people and communities by the power of Gods Spirit.

•   For a maturing and strengthening of our faith; a deepening of our love for God and each other; and an increase in our compassion for the weak and vulnerable among the poorest of the poor.

•   For God's abundance so that we can respond in mercy to the situation in Bandua. Mozambique and continue to reach out the poorest of the poor in Nekemte, Ethiopia.

•   For the missing children and their family in Ethiopia, and for peace and reconciliation in that land.

 

 

We can also praise God!

 

A family of six in a village near Vilanculos were living in extreme poverty when the team visited recently. They now have a new house, new pans, mats and water buckets! And 3 more houses for the poorest of the poor have been built in the past few weeks bringing transformation and hope. Thank God Charis has been able to equip twenty-two schoolkids at the start of a new year in Mozambique.

 

You can find out more about Charis ministries at https://www.charisafrica.com/

February 2024

For the lonely and especially the bereaved

In the Acute Medical Unit of Blackburn Hospital on Christmas Eve, the corridors were lined with beds and people looking as if they were not long for this world. That part of the hospital was crowded with doctors and nurses, a sense of urgency pervading, whilst in the Acute Stroke Unit, where the patients were also very poorly, there was a sense of calm, a sense of hope too.

Elsewhere in the hospital the corridors were quiet, the reception desk, café and shop closed, almost peaceful, but many of the visitors still coming and going felt no peace. Unless people tell us, we never know how they feel. Bereavement and loneliness rarely show on the faces of those around us. Loneliness by definition is something people bear on their own. For the elderly when there are fewer and fewer loved ones left, death loses its sting, but for some that release is a long time coming.

One woman wrote in the preface to her memories, “She reached his grave, and kneeling beside the headstone gently and lovingly removed the flowers from the previous week, replacing them with the ones she had brought. She was glad no-one was near to see her lips move, hear the murmured words. If only they could reach him. Perhaps they did. Who is to know? At last she rose from her knees and having thrown the faded flowers on to the dump not far from the entrance to the cemetery, walked briskly back the way she had come. She did not feel sad. Why should she? He was at peace and there could be but little time left for her before she was laid to rest beside him. In the meantime there was still work for her to do and she had locked away in her heart a store of wonderful happy memories”.

It was another 15 years before her own death came and in her handbag were a few of the many letters he had written to her nearly 50 years earlier. Her memories and the thought of an eventual reunion must have brought much solace over all those years.

In a world where everybody seems to be enjoying themselves, buying new things, browsing the shops, filling the restaurants and aeroplanes, it is easy to forget the lost and the lonely, many in our midst but many also partly or fully housebound. We forget too, the ones who lost loved ones prematurely, young lives taken in their prime, leaving a gap that can never be filled. When we visit the graves of our lost relatives there is often a peace that comes with a feeling that they had lived their lives to a completion and went when their time had come. But one sees the graves of those whose time had not come, who were taken early. It is those that wrench at our hearts most, with the momentarily realisation that death can be so cruel to those left behind.

It has always been so. In the little graveyard at Eyam, during the plague of 1665, a woman buried her entire family and after WWII there were so many women whose loved ones never returned from the trenches, war widows, or young women never now to marry. It still goes on with conflicts across the globe but it is near to home too that loneliness exists in quiet solitude and where it is so easy for the majority to lose sight of the many lonely and bereaved people in our own neighbourhood.

Bereavement is a process of gradual adjustment, and an adjustment that comes with a slow acceptance of loss, and letting go gradually. Letting go gradually means allowing the past to pervade the present with memories, reminders and shared experiences. For many the best time following death is the funeral and a good wake when the departed person is all but there, a virtual reality and

perhaps even more. Loneliness comes later when people expect adjustment and don’t understand that the need for continuing talk and company is an essential part of that adjustment. We must never forget that people never forget and that listening and accompaniment, is an essential Christian duty as well as an act of great love.

Anniversaries are times when loss is experienced the most, but loss and loneliness can come without bereavement. The need for affiliation is natural if not universal. Its absence comes as people become isolated, marginalised, forgotten, features increasingly prevalent in the modern world where community fragments or ceases to exist at all. It is a symptom of the consumerism and hedonism that comes with the affluence of some and the deprivation of others. In a sense we are complicit in this society of ours where loneliness is locked away behind closed doors or hidden in plain sight on inscrutable faces. The signals are there. We must remain alert to them.

For the bereaved the words attributed to Bede Jarratt can bring comfort.

We seem to give them back to thee, O God, who gavest them first to us. Yet as thou didst not lose them in giving, so do we not lose them by their return. Not as the world giveth, givest thou, O Lover of souls. What thou givest, thou takest not away, for what is thine is ours also if we are thine. And life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to thyself that we may know ourselves to be nearer to our loved ones who are with thee. And while thou dost prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where thou are we may be also for evermore.

For the rest of us, our mission is to bring comfort and love, and as we move into the second month of a New Year let us remember the lonely and especially the bereaved. Let us pray that we might make a special effort to keep them, not just in our thoughts and prayers, but in our actions too.

January 2024

It would be simplistic, to only pray about subjects that affect Eco Church, Global Warming and the environment, but we have to be realistic. Caring for God’s earth also encompasses people as well as flora and fauna. This prayer letter therefore needs to cover a much broader canvas, including how our government addresses the environment. Because whatever we do as individuals, we still need a sympathetic government and ministers to enact effective environmental legislation.

 

UK general elections – are where all 650 MPs are elected to the House of Commons - have to be held no more than five years apart. The next election is therefore due by January 2025.

Experts predict the Prime Minister will go to the polls sooner than that. An autumn 2024 date has been suggested. Labour insiders believe Mr Sunak will call a May election. My guess is that Rishi Sunak will go to the polls when he thinks he can best win. Who knows when that will be?

 

What better time to consider this broader canvas, than at the beginning of this new year?

 

The Next General Election. Lord, before the next General Election we pray you will guide us to be informed, equipped and encouraged. May churches in every UK constituency be inspired to build relationships with candidates and host hustings and other events in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

The Environment - pray for the environment to be higher on the political agenda. For instance to bring back lost wildlife, to end river pollution, to fund wildlife-friendly farming, to green our communities and tackle the Climate Emergency (ideas from Jenny Bennion, Lancs Wildlife Trust).

 

A New Constituency. The Boundary Commission have recommended that Clitheroe and the Whalley area be included in a new Pendle and Clitheroe Constituency instead of Ribble Valley. Give thanks that the matter has been fully implemented before the next General Election.

Prospective Candidates for the Pendle and Clitheroe Constituency – we pray that You will raise up men and women of wisdom, honesty and courage as prospective candidates. We pray that they will apply Christian values in all their decisions. Give us wisdom to choose the best one.

Practical Involvement. God Our Saviour, your Word urges ‘petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving to be made for all people – for kings, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ Please help us to put our prayers into action with practical and political involvement, as You guide us by your wisdom. Amen.

 

COP28 (Conference of the Parties) took place in Dubai from 30th November to 12th December. The hosts were the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, we must give thanks for the beneficial results and pray that all the members, especially the UK government, will live up to their promises.

 

Closer to home – Trinity Eco Community Garden, give thanks for all the people who have volunteered to help set up and work in this garden. Bless, enthuse and empower them. Pray that funding for the “garden” will be forthcoming. Pray for the groups who may be involved like Natural England, the Ribble Rivers Trust and others. Pray for the Eco Group members involved in bringing the project to fruition, that they will have the necessary skills and wisdom needed.

 

“Dear God, thank you for the beautiful world you have given us and for the animals that make us smile. Lord, help us save our planet. Amen”

(Prayer from the ‘The Earth is the Lord’s’, Methodist Prayer Handbook, 2020/2021, by Ava, pupil, St Andrew’s Methodist Primary School, Manchester.)

 

Archie Whymark, Trinity Climate Action Champion

December 2023

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice

and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke? - Isaiah 58:6

 

Nine in ten people forced to use a food bank are facing extreme poverty, unable to afford the basics or put food on the table. The Trussell Trust supports more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide nutritionally - balanced emergency food to people in crisis, who have been referred to a food bank, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face.

 

Ribble Valley foodbank is run in partnership with local churches, through the Ribble Valley Gateway Trust. Last year it distributed three day’s food to 1560 people in crisis need in the Ribble Valley. Our foodbank was initiated by local Christians, and has centres, in Clitheroe and Longridge. 75 volunteers are  involved in the project. Through the Olive Branch Cafe (at Trinity Church) Foodbank helps people connect with Government and Local Authority agencies to try and find long term solutions for underlying needs.

 

Please pray for:

 

•    People in crisis who need to use a food bank

Thousands of people need to use the food banks each week. Pray that each person would feel valued and cared for, as well as receiving the food and support they need. Pray that they will be well supported to access any other services and activities that would help address some of the causes of their crisis.

 

•    Food bank staff and volunteers

Food banks in the Trussell Trust network are supported by close to 30,000 volunteers. Thank God for the dedication and compassion they show as they welcome and serve people experiencing acute poverty. Pray that God would strengthen them, protect them, energise them, and use them to impact lives with love, kindness, and compassion.

 

•    A future without the need for food banks

Pray for the fulfillment of the Trussell Trust vision for a future without the need for food banks. Ask that God would inspire individuals, organisations, and communities to get involved in making this

a reality. Pray for creative ideas and fruitful partnerships, and that we would see churches, individuals, communities, businesses, politicians, and public servants coming together to build a hunger free future where no one goes hungry.

 

•    The trustees of the Ribble Valley Gateway Trust as they seek to support the Ribble Valley Foodbank in meeting the needs of people facing extreme poverty.

 

Loving God,

Thank you for your love and kindness.

You are a God of mercy, justice, and compassion, and yet we acknowledge that these qualities are not always reflected in our lives, in our community, and in our society.

Help us to respond to suffering, poverty, and hunger in ways that usher in your kingdom:

to see people as you see them,

to share your loving-kindness in the darkest situations, to challenge injustices that trap people in poverty, to build a future that sets people free,

so that everyone can share in the fullness of life that Christ offers to us all.

Amen.

Foodbank.tif

November 2023:

Pray for the strength to be a neighbour to Palestine and Israel

We must all be wondering what our response as Christians should be to what is currently happening in Israel. As each new conflict comes to the fore, the others lessen in our awareness – Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq. As Christian Action Research Education (CARE) say, “It is remarkable how quickly we settle into a new acceptance of how things are. War has ravaged Ukraine now for more than a year and yet now we barely speak of it. And within a fortnight, we have just grown accustomed to daily headlines of bombings, deaths and violence dominating the BBC news feed.” We are barely aware of all the other conflicts - 45 armed conflicts are currently taking place throughout the Middle East and North Africa. There are 100 million displaced people in the world with 50% in, or from, Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

Human rights are a major concern in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. There are currently over 40 million slaves in the world including an estimated 186,000 in the UK.

In response the attack of Hamas from Gaza there is talk of a “just war”, the right of a country to “defend itself” and of a “proportional” response.

What would Jesus say about Gaza and Israel, and what do the Gospels say? The phrase ‘just war ’does not appear within Scripture, but the concept was developed by Augustine and developed more by Thomas Aquinas. Yet history tells us that any just war comes with a big price. When the British moved out of what is now Israel, in 1948, the Arabs attacked from all the surrounding countries, but were pushed back by the Israelis in an unexpected show of defence. The Arabs tried again and again, particularly in the defeat and humiliation after the 6 day war in 1967. To hate defeat and seek redress is in human nature.

It is worth reflecting on the story of Troy in Greek mythology. How do you end a conflict which has lasted for generations? How can people co-exist who have spent their lives fearing, fighting and even killing one another? How do you break the cycle of violence, rather than merely seeking revenge? The tale of the Trojan War is one of the earliest and deepest stories ever told, as the combined armies of Greece took on the might of the city of Troy. The Trojan prince, Hector kills in battle the cousin of Achilles, Patroclus. The next day Achilles hunts Hector down and takes his revenge. Hector’s cousin asks Achilles, “You lost your cousin. Now you have taken mine. When does it end?” Achilles ’response provides an insight into human nature: “It never ends.”

And yet it could end if only we heeded the Gospels and the words of Jesus.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Mathew 22, 37-40

Paul reduces it to just one commandment, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5.14

Paul understands that loving God is the same as loving neighbour. We cannot do one without the other. There are those who say they don’t believe in God, yet seem to show love and kindness greater than ourselves. It is impossible to not believe in God and we now speak of agnostics rather than atheists. God is incomprehensible, ineffable. People who profess to be unbelievers, may love God but by another name, another concept, something undefinable, such is God.

To grasp something of the essence of God, recall that St. Athanasius said, “"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God”. He understood that the divine essence pervades us all, that God is within us. Pope Francis goes so far as to say, and no doubt he wasn’t the first to say it, that God is in every speck of dust. And in this world, God acts from within us. This is captured in an interesting definition of petitionary prayer, from the Vatican to Catholic bishops, sent recently. Most of you won’t recognise it. “We must believe in the efficacy of intercessory prayer, which is not about bending God’s will to ours. Rather, intercession is about asking the Lord to enlighten our hearts with the power of his life-giving Spirit so that we might discern and do his will. ‘To intercede ’also means to assume responsibility, to declare before God our participation and our involvement.

And so, with respect to what is happening in the Middle East God does not expect us to ask Him to fix it, He asks that we use His power through ourselves to fix it. He came to Earth to show us how to fix it, to fix it by living the life of Christ and doing in all circumstances what He did, and would do were He here now.

But we don’t do we? Sister Margaret Atkins, Canoness of St Augustine in the community at Boarbank Hall, Cumbria reminds us of Pope Francis ’words in speaking of the “globalisation of indifference” and “structural sin”. She speaks of the pressures within the world leading to structural sin – consumerism and hedonism

Jesus did not cry out for vengeance against the man who betrayed him, the disciples who abandoned him, or the soldiers who crucified him. Instead, he loved them all. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus speak of anything but love and forgiveness. Jesus came with that message to change the world. And so it must be with us. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. And how do we do that? Often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi are the words, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.”

We will not change the world by exerting a right to defend ourselves, by “just” wars, or by “proportional” responses to aggression. It is clear that those things have never worked and never will. We must first accept our personal complicity in structural sin and pray for the strength to change ourselves and advocate for change in others.

We must act out peace and advocate for peace. We must pray for peace with a personal commitment to back it up in whatever we can, understanding that in praying for peace, we are praying that we ourselves can acknowledge our leanings to consumerism and hedonism, that we can acknowledge our personal complicity in all that follows from structural sin, that in this way we can

all make our own individual contribution to alleviating unfairness and injustice in the world, and that we can show others how they can do likewise.

But what does that actually mean? Be aware – don’t shy away from knowing because it sickens you, live more simply in the knowledge that we are living on the backs of those less fortunate than ourselves, but be aware that we don’t give to the poor, we only give back to them what is already theirs, advocate for Church and Government to speak the language of peace and justice, wear a white poppy, pray and remember that prayer includes acceptance of responsibility in allowing God to act through us. Pray for the strength to do the things we can do all the things that are in our power to do. Pray that little by little we can do more each day to change ourselves and make our contribution to changing the world.

Lord and Lover of Souls, when will the violence end?

When will difference cease to justify murder and war?

When will your creation be at peace?

 

Our sin nailed Your beauty to a cross,

Our fixed views, prejudice, greed and blindness tries to hold You there

Blessed Christ we take hold of You now as your people kill and maim

 

Blessed Christ we lift you down that You might in turn hold us up high

To see beyond the limits of our sight and our fallen world,

To see the kingdom of heaven within each one of us and let it reign

 

Help us each be who you want us to be and so strike back against war and derision

Help us draw closer to You every day as a step toward peace

Help us love our neighbour as ourself and see you in all things.

 

Lover of souls, save us from ourselves

We cannot change the world but You can change us

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

 

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

October

Salvation Army Centre (Clitheroe)

The SA Army centre in Clitheroe is open every day offering support and services to many vulnerable people across the town and beyond. Brenda and Elizabeth run the centre. They have a number of prayer requests:

 

• Sunday Church. Please pray that we will be able to help people who come to us to a better lifestyle, and that our patience, love and care will point them to Jesus. Please pray also that we will be given wisdom regarding how to help in the best way.

 

• The SA continue to open our doors weekly for a free lunch. This has led to other kinds of practical help in the Name of Jesus. Please give thanks to our Lord for those who have come along side to give us practical support, which enables us to meet the need.

 

• Music Programme. The SA in Clitheroe have recently began a new music programme for people with disabilities. Please pray that the contacts we make with those who attend, with Carers, and with family members will have a spiritual impact.

 

• Dementia Friendly Friendship Group We would appreciate prayers for our Dementia Friendly Friendship group, in conjunction with Burnley Football Welfare Department. So far it is quite a small group. We are aware that there are lonely people in Clitheroe who could benefit from this venture. Please pray that new people will come in to benefit from the company and the happy atmosphere.

 

• Prayer Meeting Our Prayer Meeting is growing. Please give thanks to God for Noel, who leads the Prayer meeting and includes the new-comers in a gentle, thoughtful way, encouraging them to read out written prayers.

 

• Addictions We continue to work with people who have addictions, and messy lives. Due to the unpredictable nature of their lives, this can be quite stressful. Please pray for strength and patience for both of us.

 

• Food Poverty We also continue our work with fuel poverty, and emergency food parcels when Food Bank is closed. Please pray that the recipients of food from Food Bank and us, will recognise it is prompted by the love of the Lord within us.

Picture 1.png
bottom of page