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Prayer is a gift of God. "Gift" is a good word to describe prayer, because praying is not something we can do of ourselves. Prayer is a gift God must give and God gives that gift generously, without consideration of our worthiness or our unworthiness. Sinners as well as saints can pray. In fact, every human being is able to pray.

Prayer should be a very important part of all our lives. It provides a way to move through life with peace in our hearts. Prayer is a tool, which we use to build our awareness of God within us and to bring ourselves closer to Him. And it is this awareness of God's presence that keeps us centred.

Prayer provides us with the means to thank God for all that he does for us, to praise Him, to confess where we have gone wrong and to ask Him for help. The great thing is that God already knows what is in our hearts and minds so we can be honest with God, and say exactly how we feel, or even just sit in silence.

Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, the glory,
Are yours for ever and ever.
Amen.

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:19-20

If you would like somebody to pray for you and your situation or maybe for somebody else, who is struggling with their health or some other misfortune, please email a prayer request to us and we will pray for you at our Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting. All communications will be kept in confidence and we will not reply to you unless you specifically ask.

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Thy Kingdom Come 2017

"We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nation and in our world, by responding to his call and to find a deep unity of purpose in Prayer" - Archbishop Justin Welby

Listen to the Archbishop here talk about the Wave of Prayer during Pentecost. Put the dates in your diary (25th May - 4th June 2017) and watch our website for how St. Mary's will be praying!
Introducing Friday Focus

Churches across the UK are preparing for mission together in 2018 to make Jesus known.  Friday Focus 2017 provides the opportunity for us to pray where we are, and unite across our nations on Fridays (whenever possible) supporting all ongoing mission across the UK and preparing the way for HOPE 2018.

Many Christian denominations, agencies and churches are already part of HOPE 2018 (www.hopetogether.org.uk) There are many local and national initiatives being planned to make Jesus known to people in our villages, towns and cities during 2018. The aim is to see the entire church mobilised to work together for a year of mission, so that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared in words and action. The dream is to see 10 percent church growth in these next two years. But without prayer and seeking the empowering of the Holy Spirit, our work will not be as fruitful.
Each week Friday Focus takes a different theme: supporting national initiatives of prayer and mission; key seasons in the church’s calendar; the different people groups highlighted in the Talking Jesus report (www.talkingjesus.org); the people we know and meet; the communities we are part of, and the places where we live.

Leaders from denominations, mission and prayer organisations and networks are writing the reflections based on a Bible passage, and there will also be a written prayer to accompany each theme.  You can use Prayer Focus for private prayer or in church services and prayer meetings.

Colossians 4 verses 2-3 sums up what we long to see from this year of praying together. We want to see every individual and church devoting itself to prayer – being watchful and thankful. We want everyone to be asking God to open the doors for mission opportunities and asking for clarity as we talk about Jesus. We want to encourage each other to make the most of every opportunity, to give the reason for the hope we have, with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Do join in – and be part of the answer! Download the prayers from www.hopetogether.org.uk/prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Colossians 4: 2-3
March 3         Teach me your ways - Lent
Walk into any book shop at an airport or station and you will discover a wide range of books offering advice on how to be a better person. The Psalms provide us with some ancient and well-attested wisdom. We are invited to put our trust in God and ask him to be our teacher, for all of life. And this is what we are called to model to the world.

Lord, conscious of all the sources of advice that available to me, help me this day to put my trust in you. Show me what it means to be your child and how I should model this to those in my neighbourhood. Thank you that you are wholly committed to my wellbeing. Your ways are loving and faithful. Amen.
Paul Wooley, Bible Society
 
March 10      Becoming welcoming churches
In Acts we are told the church enjoyed the favour of all the people. What reputation does your church have – Austere? Cliquey? Unreal? Judgemental? Or is it seen as warm and welcoming to everyone in your community? Is it a place that shows God’s goodness? God’s mercy is wonderful – it can reach anyone – let it fill our hearts.

Lord, fill our church with mercy. May it be a home for the prodigals; a sanctuary for the lonely, the angry, and the outcast. You loved the tax collectors, prostitutes and Roman officers. You let the children come when the disciples blocked them. Help us see people with your loving eyes. Make us bringers of mercy, goodness and kindness. Amen.
Steve Botham, World Prayer Centre
 
 
March 17       Let’s get talking
Are we prepared, alert and ready to talk about Jesus? Are we living in a way that stirs people to ask us for the reason for the hope that we have? Together as God’s people, today and every day we have God-given opportunities to share our faith. How can we live intentionally to make the most of every opportunity?
 
Lord, thank you that out of your great love for us, you sent your son, Jesus, who in turns sends us. Help us look for opportunities today to share our faith, using our words to communicate the greatest love story ever known. Open our eyes to these opportunities, that we may give the reason for the hope that we have.
Phil Timson, HOPE Youth Director
 
 
March 24       Pray for Five: our neighbours  
Loving your neighbours begins with sacrificing time to pray for them. Bringing five neighbours before God regularly, praying for them to become Christians, will lead to people getting to know Jesus for themselves. Neighbourhood Prayer Network can testify that this has already happened on a number of streets across the UK. Will you join many others praying for their neighbours?
 
Father, we pray for (five names of neighbours), to have a life transforming encounter with you and to come to know you personally. Present opportunities for us to get to know our neighbours and to help them in times of need. Help us to live sacrificial lives, filled with love, that will point people towards you. Amen.
Rebekah Brettle, Neighbourhood Prayer Network
 
 
March 31       Unity in prayer and mission
The Apostle Paul refers to himself and his brothers and sisters in Christ as ‘co-workers’ with God. If the business of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ is a task, then the team to accomplish that task is the Church, and if that team doesn’t pull together, then the job won’t get done. Today, we pray for the Church across the British Isles, that we will work together with great effectiveness to complete the task of sharing Jesus with every man, woman and child in this land.

Father God, pour out your Spirit on this wonderfully diverse task-force that is your Church. Where our strength is failing, energise us; where distractions are taking our minds off the work in hand, refocus us; where communication has broken down, reconnect us; and fit us to work together to complete this sacred task of making Jesus known. Amen.
Lyndall Bywater, Salvation Army
 
April 7                        Praying for our children
In the UK last year, more than 200,000 children and young people visited a creative prayer space in their school, and many of them tried praying for the first time in their lives. ‘It was fun,’ wrote one 10-year-old in the feedback book just before she left, ‘And I now see God everywhere I look. God has spoken to me.’ Unless we become like little children…

Jesus, lay your hands of blessing on the children and young people that we know, on the children and young people in our local schools, on the children and young people in need around the world. May they see you everywhere they look. May they hear you speaking to them. May they know your deep love for them. Amen.
Phil Togwell, Prayerspaces in Schools

April 14         Good Friday
As Jesus died on the cross, the thirty-foot curtain in the temple, which separated the ordinary people from the very presence of God, was torn in two. It’s a beautiful picture of God the Father saying ‘the way to Me is now open’. He is no longer residing in a stone temple but in our hearts if we invite Him in.
 
Oh God, today we thank you for the cross. I pray that not just today but every day the cross will be before us and that others will be aware of your presence in us more and more. Please use me to share the glorious message of the cross to a world that needs it so much.
Andy Hawthorne, The Message Trust

April 21         Pray for five work colleagues
Our workplaces provide a unique opportunity to build relationships with non-believers. Daily, they see the difference our faith makes to how we work, the way we relate, our resilience under pressure, and our attitude to success or failure. We need God’s wisdom and timing to ‘Talk Jesus’ to our colleagues. So, like Paul, let’s ask for both words and courage.

Heavenly Father, thank you for our work and for those we meet through it. We pray for those in authority in our workplaces. Help us to witness to you through the way we work and relate to our colleagues. We ask for your guidance as to when to speak, what to say, and when to stay silent.
Bev Shepherd, LICC PrayerWorks

April 28         Blessing our communities
God has given you and me the privilege and responsibility of blessing people, communities and land in the name of Jesus, not interceding (although we must do that as well) but speaking out directly. This is powerful when done as part of every day life. Where this biblical practice is being recovered salvation and community transformation are taking place.
‘I/we bless you (name your community/street/town/village/city) in the name of Jesus that the revelation of the gospel, and the fruit of the Kingdom, might fall upon you. I/we bless you in Jesus’ name that your eyes might be open to recognise the Father’s passionate love for you, and that you might be free to respond’.
Roy Godwin, The Ffald y Brenin Trust Ltd

Page was last altered on 17 March 2017

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