PRAYER

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

Colossians 4:3

September

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name

Our Father, dear Father of us all, we have in you the best Father we could ever imagine. You protect us and shelter us, you see in us potential and help us to strive towards it. You surprise us with joy. When we wade through the waters of grief and suffering we find you there walking beside us. You have given us a wonderful picture of your love a father running to welcome home his prodigal son. We confess we too have been prodigal. We also have squandered our inheritance. We have used up the earth’s precious resources with little thought for future generations, or for the Father whose gifts we are consuming. Forgive us for our selfishness which has left us unsatisfied, and help us to champion the rights of our brothers and sisters. Surprise us with the joy that comes from living for you, hallowing your name, through our care for the planet and all of its people. Amen.

Thy kingdom come

To enter your kingdom, dear Father, you tell us to become like children. Children who run and skip and dance, children who laugh and chatter and sing, children full of bright hope and potential, children whose eyes are full of wonder. We pray for the kingdom of justice and joy, here on earth as it is in heaven, where every little child will be cherished. We pray for ourselves, that we may possess those childlike qualities that are valued in your kingdom.

Renew in us a childlike sense of adventure, that we may be willing to take risks in our thinking and learn fresh truths from you. Fill us with childlike joy that we can, each day, experience more of the life of your kingdom. Amen

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

For the earth: for bluebell woods, for cliff top paths, for sheltered bays, for country lanes, for the dawn of day, for evening calm, for moonlight on water, for misty mountains, for autumn woods and winter trees, dear Lord, we thank you. For rainforests’ riches, for wide-open spaces, for tropical islands, for strange rock formations, for migrating flocks, for birds in our gardens, for pink coral reefs and shimmering fishes, dear Lord, we thank you. You: the generous landlord, the architect, the builder and the owner of the earth, our wonderful home: have allowed us to live here as your guests. We are ashamed that we have damaged your creation, by taking too much and by caring too little. Teach us to live in harmony with the planet and with all of its people. Prompt us to repair the damage we have done. The beauty of the earth is only matched by the beauty of Jesus. May more and more of that beauty be seen in us as we strive to do thy will on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.

 

Give us this day our daily bread

Dear Lord, you have given us oceans teeming with fish; trees, laden with fruit, prairies thick with golden corn wonderful bounty in a wonderful world. We do not ask for what we already have. Help us to pray this prayer for those who have daily anxiety for their daily food, who know what it is to go hungry to bed; who long to see their children enjoy a good meal. Come and answer this prayer through us. Help us to demand less for ourselves. Give us grateful and generous hearts. Help us to demand more for our sisters and brothers. Give us a constant hunger and thirst to see good prevail. Give us the grace to work for what we pray for. Amen

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

When you walked this earth, dear Lord, many people came to you to seek their healing. Others were brought to you by friends and family. So we take by the hand and gently lead to you all those we are concerned about, who are so much in need of your healing touch. As you were moved with compassion at the sight of a leper move us with the same compassion. As you stretched your hand to him in love prompt us to stretch out our hands in love. As you brought him healing, move us by our efforts and our generosity to bring healing to many. As you helped him to go back to his community, may we help those who have been outcasts of society. We long for the world to be delivered from poverty. May we work with you, dear Lord, to hasten that glorious day. Amen.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

We pray for the world’s poor who live under corrupt government whose policies keep a few in great luxury and keep the rest in poverty. Thine is the kingdom. We pray for the world’s poor who do not benefit from the wealth beneath their feet because powerful international companies grow rich from mining, manufacturing and trade, but do not pay fair wages or care for their workers’ welfare. Thine is the power. We pray for all the world’s poor whose governments invest in grandiose building schemes; who spend massive amounts on armaments; who entertain dignitaries in lavish style but whose people scavenge on rubbish tips. Thine is the glory. We celebrate: the kingship that was proclaimed on the cross, the power that was demonstrated on the cross, the glory that shone out from the cross. We rejoice that right at the heart of the universe is love and that amazing love has triumphed over all that is evil. Draw us more and more into that wonderful, all powerful, all glorious, everlasting love. Amen.

AUGUST:

www.gatewaytrustcounselling.co.uk

Who we are:

We’re a self-referring, not for profit, self-funded, affordable, counselling service with rooms in St James’ church who have been open now since September 2018.

We offer quality counselling to people in the Ribble Valley and beyond and since we are completely independent have no constrains in terms of types of counselling or number of sessions.

All our counsellors are fully qualified and donate their services for free. There are 10 counsellors at present, three of whom are students, qualified to work with the public and completing the final part of their training with us. Others are retired and offering their huge experience, while others are working as counsellors in private practice but want to give their time to Gateway.

We are also blessed to have several volunteers who welcome our clients, brew up and clean up so that our clients and counsellors are warmly looked after.

Our one paid role is the manager, Ali Groves, who is both clinical and operational manager.

As a Christian based organisation, we offer a Christian counsellor to those who request it but otherwise offer secular counselling to our clients.

Since we are self-funding, we rely on regular financial support from The Lancaster Foundation and from wonderful individuals who give regularly. We also ask our clients to make affordable donations for their sessions so that we can pay for ongoing costs.

Prayer needs:

1. More staff in the form of counsellors and welcomers.

a. Our profile is growing in the Valley in the health services, businesses and social services and we are seeing a growth in enquiries. This means that we have a waiting list and are always looking for fully trained counsellors to join our staff.

b. As the counselling staff grows so we also need a growing number of welcomers who come to look after the clients and counsellors and undertake a small amount of admin jobs or massage taking.

2. For a new trustee to partner with us and support our manager. A counsellor or someone trained in that field would be ideal.

3. For our doctors and other signposting services to make good use of us

4. That our name would become better know within the group of people who use Foodbank and CAP and that

5. they would feel ready to use our service.

6. For our clients as they work with us to improve their mental health and live life more freely.

7. For our staff as they work so hard to serve and help their clients.

8. For our students that we serve them well and that they get the experience and support that will give them a strong foundation for their future careers.

9. That God will be honoured in our service and be a real witness for those on our staff who are not yet in love with Him.

THANK YOU!!! If you want to know more either call on the number at the top or email me at: gatewaytrust18@gmail.com

Ali Groves

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Past Themes:

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JULY:

Power and Control, and Prayer for the Ukraine.

Power and control are in all of us. We have the power to direct our actions and we have the control to harness or resist that power.

In thinking about Ukraine, we are confronted on the one hand with the power and control of those who have created the conflicts and, on the other, with the power and control of those fleeing the war. Power and control over others versus power and control over selves. Power and control for use or misuse.

God gave us all power and control in our motivation and our free will but often it is easier to let ourselves become overwhelmed by feelings of impotence. Far away from the Ukraine, affected only by our emotional response and our reaction to the impact of the war on us personally, power and control seem weak and irrelevant. Distance and indifference have fuelled a self-interested west. Insularity and division has given tyrannical leaders the belief they can act with impunity. Feelings of impotence shield us from accepting responsibility, yet we are all partly to blame by the way we live our lives.

We know of great stories of people who achieved against the odds – survival as with Ernest Shackleton and the 1914 Antarctica expedition, or Joe Simpson, a mountaineer, who after an accident descending from a mountain in the Peruvian Andes crawled for four days, back to his base camp, with a serious leg break and without food or water. And there are those like Mother Teresa, Malala and (the lesser known) Samara Levy who have directed their power and control at supporting the poor in Calcutta, the education of girls in Pakistan and the victims of the war in Syria.

Proper use of power and control comes through God via prayer but we don’t always recognise it. Most frequently, we pray for God to intervene, but what kind of wisdom would there be in a God that bailed us out of every situation that we ourselves are at least partly responsible for creating in the first place? The Church Father, Athanasius (ca 298–373) said: “God became man that man might become God”. Athanasius recognised that the essence of God is in all of us. Prayer harnesses that essence.

The news headlines have changed as our problems increase and self-interest kicks in. Ukraine is losing the war, we are hearing reports of problems of Ukrainian families in conflict with their hosts, and people are starting to turn their attention elsewhere. Self-interest is the part of the human condition that Jesus came to counter. We have free will but often it feels limited. Living the life Jesus expected of us isn’t easy and without God’s grace, the power of free will can come to naught. The stories above give testimony to the strength of power and control within us. Prayer enables us to project that same power for the benefit of others. That is what God commands us to do.

Prayer can give us discernment and wisdom too. It can open our minds to realities and possibilities for directing power and control towards God’s will. Let us understand and support, in whatever way we can, all those fleeing, not just the Ukraine but Afghanistan, Syria and all the other places we have perhaps forgotten already - Venezuela, South Sudan, Myanmar and many more. Through God and prayer, let us release the power we might never dream we have, the power that will come in different ways to different people. Let us learn from the discernment and wisdom how we can personally direct our power and control. There are ways for all of us and though we may feel we cannot do what others do, we can all do something, if only to support those who are able to do what we cannot.

 

A prayer request for Ukraine

 

On 25th June the war in Ukraine entered its fifth month. In the previous 24 hours, Russia launched over fifty missiles from the territory of Belarus, the Black Sea, and the occupied territories. It was the first time that the air raid was performed from the territory of Belarus. Russia keeps trying to get Belarus to join the war on Ukraine openly. The two nations have been conducting joint army training at the Ukrainian border. Please pray this conflict will not widen.

Let us remind ourselves that the Lord is in control. We may not know what awaits us, but we can be sure He will not let us down.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.

(Psalm 121)

 

Please also pray for the Love Clitheroe Barbecue on 9th July:

 

• 3000 fliers went home last weekend with every primary aged child in Clitheroe. Please pray these are received well.

• Please pray for the stage programme in its final planning: that the gospel will be central to the programme and will be well-received by all.

• Please pray for the weather

JUNE:

This month we continue to pray for Ukraine.

 

"What did you feel when you killed my husband?"

"Fear."

"Are you sorry for the crime you committed?"

"Yes. I admit my guilt. I understand you will never be able to forgive me, but I ask for your forgiveness."

"Why did you come to our land? What were you going to do here?"

"There was an order for us to go... and for me to shoot."

"Do you know about the "duty to disobey”?" (Permission to disobey palpably illegal orders.)

"Yes. I admit my guilt and am ready to bear the punishment."

 

These words were spoken a court hearing by the first Russian soldier to go on trial for war crimes committed in Ukraine. He is only 21 years old. He killed an unarmed civilian and has been sentenced to life in prison.

 

The need to pray is as urgent as ever.

Here are some scriptures to encourage us in our prayers:

 

Psalms 24:1

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,

the world, and all who live in it;

 

Proverbs 21:1

In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water

that he channels toward all who please him.

 

1 Timothy 2:1

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving 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.

 

Here are some recent prayer requests from Ira Kapitonova, a Christian living in Ukraine:

 

Please, pray for people in the temporarily occupied territories (Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv regions). Pray for protection and God's mercy over them.

 

Please, keep praying for Moldova. Russia still wants to use occupied Transnistria as a platform for further attacks on Ukraine's south, namely Odessa.

 

Pray for the people who lost their jobs because of war and are trying to make ends meet. Most people either didn't have any savings or have already used them up.

 

Please, pray for wisdom in handling shortages. Fuel shortage is a big problem in Ukraine. It's either impossible to find gas or diesel, or the prices are double from pre-war times. The salt shortage is becoming a new problem because the largest salt production plant is in the active war zone now

MAY:

Blessed Lord acquainted with grief and suffering as you were bruised, maimed and slaughtered, hear our prayer for those persecuted by the power of corrupted regimes.

Hear the cry for freedom and social justice from your good children who are imprisoned for their love of the ordinary people:

· For the release of the human rights lawyer Mohamed Baker falsely accused and imprisoned in Egypt.

· For the release of teenager Mikita Zalatarou imprisoned at 16 in Belarus for protesting election results without proper legal representation and physically abused now held in solitary confinement.

· For Imoleayo Adeyeun Michael facing prison in Nigeria for protesting against Police violence.

· For Amal Fathy a leading women’s right’s activist jailed in Egypt for posting a Facebook video criticising the government’s failure to protect women from sexual harassment.

· For the international community’s approach to the growing Apartheid type policies in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories that result in home demolitions and evictions for so many Palestinian people and families.

· For the rights of women in Afghanistan

The crisis of the invasion of Ukraine embodies so much that is wrong in the world and so we continue to pray:

· For all those who have given so generously in offering to give practical support to Ukrainian refugees.

· For those of us who are not able to give practicable support let us pray that we may support those who can.

· In giving to the poor let us pray that we come to understand that in giving we only give back what is already theirs.

· Let us pray to understand better the link between our own actions and their far-reaching impact on those less fortunate than others.

· Let us pray that we recognise our collective responsibility in fuelling the conflicts and divisions in our society and across the world, through the way we live our lives,

through self-interest and through not crying out against the injustices we see all around us.

LORD IN YOUR MERCY HEAR OUR PRAYER

April 2022: PRAYER FOR UKRAINE AND ALL THE COUNTRIES IN CONFLICT

In Resident Strangers, A Philosophy of Migration, Donatella di Cesare tries to unravel how the land that God created for all has become the property of a few, and how Nations have put up borders that keep people in and keep people out. Ethically, morally, we have no more right to own land, or to live somewhere, than anyone else.

John Locke tried to make sense of what intuitively felt right, but for which there was no obvious basis in logic or philosophy. He came up with a solution that has become widely accepted, if deeply flawed, and the route to where we are now, “….every man has a property in his own person: this nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.”

This thinking goes deep and leaves us with a feeling of entitlement to everything we own even though its provenance is lost in the mists of time. Perhaps this is the root of all sin, structural sin as Pope Francis has termed it, a failure to acknowledge the impact of what we have taken but can never truly own. God gave us stewardship. He did not give us possession.

Bob Dylan’s Chimes of Freedom flashed for, “Those condemned to drift or else be held from drifting”. Those words of Bob Dylan written in the early 1960s ring true now more than ever. Today there are an estimated 80 million displaced persons in the world.

What is happening in the Ukraine is less about a despot seeking power than what Pope Francis has termed the “globalisation of indifference”.

The response to the Ukraine crisis has been overwhelming with prayer, donations and offers to house Ukrainian refugees. But is it enough? Can it ever be enough until we realise that God acts through us? We are His power. We must do more than respond piecemeal to each new conflict and its consequences. We must pray for understanding and discernment, to recognise the part we play, to recognise our complicity in living lives that impact indirectly and unknowingly on everything that happens in the world.

Let us pray for all those who have given so generously in offering to give practical support to Ukrainian refugees

For those of us who are not able to give practicable support let us pray that we may support those who can

In giving to the poor let us pray that we come to understand that in giving we only give back what is already theirs

Let us pray to understand better the link between our own actions and their far-reaching impact on those less fortunate than others.

Let us pray that we recognise our collective responsibility in fuelling the conflicts and divisions in our society and across the world, through the way we live our lives, through self-interest and through not crying out against the injustices we see all around us.