This week, the prayers are written by Denise Gore – edited by Pastor Leslie. The first four days of our prayers focus on: Preparing for a new ‘normal’ church life in a post-lockdown context. As we recognise that health and social restrictions will continue to impact us all for a long time to come, we need to prayerfully consider God’s intention for how we do church going forward, both corporately and individually.
June 1 – Psalm 84:5, NIV, ‘How blessed is the man whose strength is in You; whose heart is set on pilgrimage.’
Here David refers to the blessedness of those whose strength is in the Lord – who are restless till they come to Jerusalem. In a sense, we could say that they are on the path that leads to God having a godly discontent with this world and the distance they are away from God. Hence they are on pilgrimage continually travelling the path towards Him and their ultimate rest.
During this unprecedented time, there is a lot of documented evidence showing that there has been a dramatic increase in people turning to faith amid all the uncertainty and despair. Father, thank You that, though You are the King of the Nations, we can, through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus, approach Your throne of grace in prayer and with boldness.
We pray for our Church Leaders as they plan for a new ‘normal,’ leaving behind the old and forming the new in order to pastor and shepherd Your people. May they be led by the Holy Spirit as they serve Christ, and co-labour with the Spirit in creating a church whereby, through its ministries in person and online, Your Kingdom’s power, love and grace comes into the lives of many in new and exciting ways. Anoint the Leadership Team in order to equip and release everyone in church with the strength to use their spiritual gifts to encourage faith, and make them bold witnesses for You Lord Jesus. May we all see and seize every opportunity, during these unprecedented times, to respond in ways that bring all glory to You. Father, send Your Holy Spirit to bring repentance and faith to the lost. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
June 2 – Jeremiah 1:10, NIV, ‘See, today I appoint you over the nations and Kingdoms to uproot out and tear down, and to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.’
In this verse God tells Jeremiah of the purpose for his prophetic ministry – he is commissioned to predict destruction and restoration. He is to be a prophet who speaks primarily about the moral and spiritual state of people. This verse also speaks to us today telling us that God has a purpose for our lives, that He still commissions His people to challenge the moral and spiritual state of the people of the world. It also speaks prophetically to us saying that there is a certain amount of moral and spiritual rubbish to be removed before the church can be properly repaired spiritually and reformed morally according to God’s word.
Father, thank You that when You formed us You knew what purposes You had for us, and You anoint us with Your Holy Spirit to help us fulfil those purposes. Help our church leaders, and all associated with our church, to walk in victory and not be defeated. As we plan for the journey ahead post-Lockdown – grant wisdom, discernment and clarity concerning Your will and the way ahead.
As we consider doing things differently in light of the new circumstances we find ourselves in, thank You for the security we have in Christ. Thank You also for Your unfailing love – we know that You will build Your Church so the gates of hell will not prevail preventing us from rescuing many souls from sin and spiritual death. Take away all things that hinder, and replace them with a renewed vigour so, with the mind of Jesus ruling our thoughts, we can serve You and fulfil Your calling individually and corporately. Father, let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done through Telford Elim. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
June 3 – Hebrews 13:8, NIV, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’
This statement of fact is a profound promise that gives us security in the Author of our salvation. Lord Jesus, thank You that You remain the same forever, and that Your grace and truth are everlasting. In this ever changing world we live in, You are the constant, the Saviour of our souls, in whom we have salvation and the promise of eternal life. In this knowledge, and with the power of Your Holy Spirit, help us to share Your life-changing message with those who are living in fear, despair and isolation.
Whilst we cannot meet in person, help us to develop our online ministry so we can effectively share who You are and let people know that Your goodness, mercy and grace are certain and unchanging. You came to seek and save the lost, the hurting, those in despair, those that don’t yet acknowledge their need of You – You desire that none of them perish. The Gospel is the revelation of the mystery of Your salvation. May many respond in repentance and faith to the church’s proclamation of it.
Help us to pastorally care for and minister to those who are grieving, those who are alone, the isolated, fearful and overwhelmed. Empower and equip us to support and enable them to face the uncertainty of the days ahead, and the ongoing changes to society as we know it, with faith, resilience and hope in Your grace and love. Thank You that You are the only constant, our healer and provider, and by Your stripes we are healed. Amen.
June 4 – Hebrews 11:6, NIV, ‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.’
We please God when we live by faith and not by sight, when we don’t let our circumstances take us over. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Father, thank You that Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and that Your word tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank You that as we earnestly seek You, Your grace, in Christ, is sufficient to face any situation.
As we prepare for the lifting of some of the restrictions that are placed on us, albeit slowly, we look to You in faith to provide all we need to do things differently. We want to spread the Gospel far and wide, and are reaching people we would not normally have reached by being online. Help us to follow up those who are local to us and disciple them effectively, to be clear on what this will look like; and for those further afield, to connect them to a church family local to where they are, or with us online if that is the only way they can find fellowship.
Thank You for all those in the church who have stepped out in faith and are doing things they never thought they could. Yet, we know, we can do all things through You Lord Jesus. We pray for Your protection on those who minister online, and their families, as they seek to follow Your call and do Your will. May more and more people step into all You have for them, whether this be upfront in person, online, or behind the scenes. Help us to live lives that are pleasing to You Lord as we earnestly seek You, and trust in Your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The next three days of prayer focus on Forgiveness: As we enter a new season, let us do so knowing we are forgiven for all our sins, faults and failings by our merciful Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ. We often need to remind ourselves of the command to forgive as we have been forgiven.
June 5 – Daniel 9:9, NIV, ‘The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him’
Mercy by definition is, “Compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” In the New Testament, it means that God chooses to help us in our helpless state by offering us salvation in Christ, including the mercy of forgiving our sins and giving us eternal life.
Father, as we enter into a new season, we thank You that You are gracious and merciful to us. We give You thanks and praise for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the ultimate price for our sins on the cross, shedding His blood so that we can be forgiven and have eternal life. Thank You that everyday is a new beginning and we do not need to carry disappointment, guilt, anger and bitterness in our hearts; we can come to you Jesus, confess our sin, be forgiven and cleansed from sin’s evil effects in our lives.
Father, help us to move in Your strength, with a new deeper understanding of what it really means to be forgiven and to forgive. You are perfect and Holy, and yet, in Your mercy and grace, You offer us the free gift of forgiveness in Christ. Help us to walk in this freedom and do unto others as You have done for us. Forgive our rebellion and renew our hearts by Your Spirit, word and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
June 6 – 1 John 1:9, NIV, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’
We are justified by faith, so when we ask for forgiveness, we aren’t adding anything to what Jesus has already done for us – we are saved, but we are restoring the fellowship and nearness of our relationship – we often lose our peace when we sin. If we sin repeatedly, we stop walking in the light and darkness begins to invade our lives through that area of sin. We are saved but not walking in fellowship with God’s Spirit.
Father, thank You that all our sins, past and present, are already forgiven through Jesus’ atonement for our sin – and a way is made to deal with our future sins which gives us great hope for tomorrow – in spite of our weakness and ability to still get it wrong. Help us to understand that we can be free from the guilt and shame of sin, and any physical, emotional and spiritual affects, when we fully confess them to You with open hearts and faith in Your readiness to forgive because of Jesus. Help us to keep short accounts and regularly confess our sins to You so we can experience You mercy and compassion – Your healing and cleansing power. If it is a deep and persistent area of sin – thank You for those words in James 5:16, which says to confess our faults one to another and pray for each other to be made whole. There is power in confessing to a wise, mature brother or sister in Christ.
Thank You that when we first come to Christ, powerless over our sinful natures, He saves and changes our hearts so we are able to come into Your presence justified and without fear. Help us overcome our earthly desires, so we can move forward forgiven and restored in Christ, free to do Your will. Help us to also then forgive others as You forgive us – to keep short accounts and respect other people’s different views and outlook on life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
June 7 – Colossians 3:13 MSG, ‘Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.’
Unforgiveness more often than not leads us to respond in ways that are not pleasing to God, and invariably not in the same, merciful way God deals with us; He shows love, compassion and grace. Father, thank You that You have promised You will remember our sins no more; help us to always be ready to forgive others without holding grudges or reminding people of their faults and failings. Help us to let go of any past hurts, to love as Jesus loves, and to find the compassion that comes from true forgiveness. Thank You that our emotions don’t have to control our actions; and, regardless of how we feel, we can choose to forgive and accept forgiveness.
Teach us how to share the love of Jesus with all those we come in contact with, as you would – to be loving, patient, kind and even tempered. When we fail to do this, help us to be quick to seek forgiveness and to forgive. Lead us to a place where we also can forgive ourselves freeing us from all anger, bitterness, hate and unforgiveness. May we be open to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit to bring to light any areas of unforgiveness and deal with what is revealed in accordance with Your word. Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen