Dec 21 – The theme for this week’s daily prayers is developed by Lynn Jones. Lynn writes the following as an introduction:
Fear! Have you ever hid deep inside a secret fear — spiders, creepy things, COVID 19, not having enough money to buy your kids or loved ones a present — perhaps a secret fear of being beaten or even being in a relationship that is toxic to you? Male or female it makes no difference.
We at this moment are going through a Pandemic such as we have never before been through, the last such one for our nation was the terrible Spanish flu after World War I. Some have reacted well whilst others have not known which way to turn — as for myself, and maybe others, we may be on a journey unknown to us but known to God.
He is the great and mighty God. He has brought light into our darkness through Christ, held, and is still holding, our hands through all our wrong paths and disappointments; He is with us through fears and situations, laughing or crying; Jesus is Immanuel, God with Us – King of kings, the Great and Mighty God. Jesus doesn’t push us away but holds us in His hands whether we are on our own or in a family, cope well when with others or cope best on our own.
We may not have any Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh but we have Us, the family of God here in Telford Elim. It can be hard and not easy but let us be united in one thing – He sends light to lighten our darkness, and Jesus never ever leaves us. Merry Christmas, and may you have a blessed 2021. Lynn
The following are prayers written by Pastor Leslie which accompany Lynn’s introductory section above.
Father, at the heart of John’s Gospel, and his 3 Epistles, is the concept of Your Love expressed through our Lord Jesus. It is Your love that has the power to drive out all unsanctified fear – that is fear which is not rooted in Christ. You commanded Your people to share Your love with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Hallmark of a person who really loves Jesus is that that person, even in the darkest moments, turns to Jesus and knows He really loves them. At the very centre of the lives of Your people are loving, grace-filled hearts.
We pray that each one of us this Christmas will be rooted in Christ overcoming any barriers that prevent Your love to flow through us, and through our church. Your love has the power to overcome the greatest barriers to a quiet, godly and fruitful life.
We pray that our nation will repent of and turn away from fear, unbelief and bitterness. We pray for the establishment of open avenues of interconnectivity which allows Your love to flow throughout our church, in person and online, overflowing out into our communities. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 22 – Lord Jesus, thank You for the seven Discourses in John’s Gospel – these contain questions to You and Your responses; these Discourses reveal Your true nature, and what You are looking for in a people of faith. A people who will believe, love You, and love one another – may Telford Elim be a church that makes disciples who do these three things: believe, love You, and love one another.
Your teaching was based around the seven recorded miracles in John. These demonstrate that Your miracles were both an outworking of Your compassion for the broken, sick, weak, infirmed and disabled, and were signs pointing to who You really were. You wanted people to learn to walk with You in love knowing that You have the power to overcome everything that would hinder them coming to God through You.
In John’s Gospel, there are also seven ‘I AM’ references revealing Your deity: i. I am the Bread of Life (6:35), ii. The Light of the World (8:12), iii. The Gate (10:9), iv. The Good Shepherd (10:11), v. The Resurrection and The Life (11:25-26), vi. The Way, The Truth and The Life (14:6), vii. The Vine (15:5). Each of these statements reveal another facet of Your person and being – You are much greater than we even imagined You to be.
We declare that You are all-powerful, and that Your love is therefore all-powerful able to overcome every fear, anxiety or worry that may trouble us. May Your powerful word give revelation of who You really are, revealing, through us, Your love, grace and truth to our communities. We pray that we will be a church filled with compassion to the hurting, broken, weak, ill and less abled around us. We pray that as a result of Telford Elim, its ministries and people, many will really believe in Christ, love You embracing Your righteousness, and love others. Amen
Dec 23 – Lord Jesus, thank You for the breadth of revelation contained in the four Gospels, of Your life, ministry and purpose. Thank You for the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. These writers’ focus on a historical record of Your ministry intermingled with theological narrative, Your teaching, and the true meaning and nature of Your life woven into the stories of Your journeys and ministry experiences. Thank You for John’s focus on the theological theme of Father’s Love, its impact, and our response to that love – central also in 1 John.
May we not be limited in our appreciation of what is recorded of Your life, ministry and purpose in the four Gospels; may we instead have revelation understanding these Gospels in the context they were written, and what they means for us today in this Christmas season.
As people think of Covid-19, face all the challenges in this dark season of Pandemic and fear, and many find themselves in relationships that are destructive – may they turn to Your word – especially the four Gospels. Your word has the power to overcome the greatest storms of fear, worry or hate. Anoint Telford Elim to minister, in person and online, in such ways so that many develop a great love for Your word and its truth and grace, become Christians, and are taught how to be good- whole-life disciples. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 24 – Lord Jesus, on this Christmas Eve, thank You for Your word, and also for gifted Bible commentators who are able to help us understand Your word. They are wonderful blessings to the Church. As Robert Law pointed out about 1 John, it has three primary themes: Righteousness, Love and Belief.
Lord, these three themes are important building blocks to a successful Christian walk – especially as we consider Lynn’s prayer focus for this week. As we meditate on the major themes of the Righteousness, Father’s Powerful Love in Christ, and command to believe in Christ. Thank You for how John presents these not simply as religious right living, emotionally based love, and an esoteric understandings of belief that is limited to a few faithful people, but as dynamic, transformative, and grace-filled foundations to lives rooted deeply in Christ – central to lives that reveal the full force of His love and saving power.
We proclaim that Your love is not robotic, not an unchanging emotional outreach from a God who is programmed to love without understanding the full implications of that love. No, it is far from that; instead, Your love flows from Your very being because ‘God is Love’ (4:8, 16). Pour out this full, rich love, Lord Jesus, here in and through Telford Elim in person and online, and every church represented by those who pray with us, into the lives of multitudes. Amen
Dec 25 – Father, on this Christmas Day, thank You for our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah Christ is born. Christian’s love because love was born on Christmas day. We love because He first loved us, and came to save us. True Christian love does not flow out because we find people who are worthy of our love – we love because Christ is love and loves us without reservation or limit; it is who we are as Your children seeking to love as You have loved us.
In 1 John, Your love always demands a response: to love You and our fellow believers, means we then have to obey and practice Christ’s teaching. Your Spirit’s life in us exhibits itself in love; we are alive in Christ and therefore we love because Your Spirit is love.
On this Christmas Day – may Telford Elim overflow with Your life transforming love. Bless this morning’s service online. May our church overflow with Christ’s word, life, light, love, righteousness, a believing people impacting our Borough of Telford & Wrekin, our county of Shropshire, and our nation and beyond because of our church, its ministries and people, in person and online. May multitudes of men, women, young adults, young people and children see and experience Your truth and love because we, as a church, are filled with Your word and agape love. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Dec 26 – Father, thank You for agape love. It is most clearly evident in that You sent Your Son to this world to be the Saviour who died on the Cross taking on Himself our guilt, and the punishment that was ours (1 Jn 4:10) – He became the sin-bearer. We proclaim that Jesus still redeems and saves sinners.
On this Boxing Day, we give thanks that Christ died on the Cross, in love, opening a redemptive doorway for all who will believe in Him and love each other (1 Jn 3:23). This is a doorway that makes people right with You, and thus able to stand in Your presence, in and through Christ.
John also writes about ‘perfected’ or ‘fulfilled’ love. Agape love requires a circuit in order to become perfect. You pour Your love into us through Your Son, Spirit and word – we in turn love our brothers and sisters in Christ – our brothers and sisters love You, and so this life-giving flow of love becomes an open and freely flowing circuit of love growing ever richer and more wonderful as it continues transforming the lives of more and more people.
As we consider this, we pray for any who are struggling to believe this – or who feel themselves unworthy to receive such love – or who find themselves unable to love a brother or sister. May there be breakthroughs opening up the avenues for Your love to flow ever more freely here in and through Telford Elim. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Oct 27 – Last Sunday, it was announced that Samuel and Alisha Foentjies will be coming as Next Gen Pastors to our church early in 2021. They requested prayer to find suitable accommodation, to find good jobs to support their work in the church – they will be part-time, and for healing and strength, both have recently had Covid-19. Father, bless them richly, and may they know Your sufficient grace opening a door to the right accommodation here in Telford, the right job, and to full healing and restoration.
Lord, as we think of them both coming to minister in and through our church –we pray that blockages that would prevent them fulfilling their ministries to glorify Christ and reach, engage with and connect with many young adults and young people will be overcome and a new season of fruitfulness entered into. John helpfully describes potential blockages to the circuit of love – which is so important in Your economy: unbelief, unrighteous living, anger or hatred towards a brother or sister in Christ, and unsanctified fear.
It is embracing Your word and love, confessing coldness and hardness of heart, accepting and drawing upon Christ’s grace which releases Your favour and blessing in place of anger or hardness of heart. It is allowing that Perfect Love to flow into us, receiving it, and living in such a way so there is an overflow of agape love that unblocks the soul and releases spiritual life.
It is Christ’s love flowing that expels unsanctified fears. It replaces unbelief with a sure, strong foundation of faith. It breaks down unforgiveness and hardness of heart towards another and replaces it with compassion and genuine loving concern for his or her best.
It also establishes strongholds of righteousness in our lives. Before long we are thinking, living and dwelling in the totality of Your commitment and love towards us in Christ – the most secure place to live in on this earth. Lord, bless Samuel and Alisha, and every young adult, young person and child in our church, and who we are reaching in person and online. May their ministry exceed all expectations as they walk in the Spirit, glorifying Christ, and fully submissive and accountable to You, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen