Claire is taking a break this week so there will be not Facebook Live this week. Today’s notes have been prepared by Mandy Dixon:
On 23 July Lectio365 (Prayer App) remembered Susanna Wesley, (who died on that day in 1742), as a hero of prayer. Hearing about her life she was simply a hero of everything! Mother of two famous sons, John and Charles, she had 8 other children and also 9 more that sadly died. As well as caring for her family, the household and helping at church, she home schooled her 10 children from the age of 5, including the girls and taught Greek and
Susanna regularly prayed in a corner of her kitchen pulling her apron over her head for privacy. It was her “Do not Disturb Notice” to the family.
Find your quiet place…!
Sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Enjoy being with God. Turn your thoughts to Him. Give thanks and offer praise.
Listen to “Be thou my Vision” – the first flavour of Celtic Worship today.
The early Celtic Christians prayed the “Caim” or encircling prayer. The “Caim” involves simply drawing a circle around yourself or another person physically or in your imagination. Doing this reminds us of the constant companionship and protection of God.
In recent months surprising moments of fear or upset have, sometimes momentarily, appeared like a dark trapdoor opening up underfoot. My children’s problems (never mind that they are adults) or the word “ventilator” have been triggers. I choose in moments like that to not drop down the trap door but turn to God who holds out a steady hand.
Making a physical response to bind up the fear and receive in exchange peace and protection helps reinforce the prayer.
David Adam (one time vicar of St Marys, Lindisfarne) wrote this prayer in the Celtic style:
Say this prayer and “draw the circles” before heading into your day:
Circle me O God
Keep hope within
Circle me O God
Keep peace within
Keep turmoil out.
Circle me O God
Keep calm within
Keep storms without.
Circle me O God
Keep strength within
Keep weakness out.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you”.Isaiah 26:3
Read Acts 12 – Prison Break! Peter’s chains were broken and “the church earnestly prayed”
Earnestly.. “serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous:
showing depth and sincerity of feeling:”
Let’s ask God for CHAINS to be broken.
Chains of ill health – particularly chronic illness. Many sufferers have multiple symptoms and they feel trapped in a cycle that they can’t break out of.
Pray to break the daily patterns of helplessness it can bring.
Name specifically someone you know or who has recently asked the church to pray.
Pray for Restored Hope and for bodies (as I heard someone else pray recently) “to remember health”
Pray for an end to the devastation of the Covid Virus.
Chains of Slavery and trafficking. Pray for freedom for those enslaved and an end of this being tolerated in society.
Chains of circumstances Is there someone we know who needs the intervention of God to re-shape their circumstances? Is there a situation that needs unblocking, transforming?
- Job loss, poverty trap, downturn in finances
- Relationship breakdown
- Loneliness and feeling unconnected – family/friends/church family/work
- Family stresses – particularly in respect of our “Grown-up” children
John 8:38 “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.”
The owner of a small business in Dorset read how, on the beaches of Portland, the Romans carved shallow pools into the rocks on the shoreline. Once the tide receded the sun warmed them and the water evaporated, leaving pure salt crystals to be collected. Salt had great value back then. So now this little company do the same (only they sell it to places like Harrods in fancy glass bottles!).
We could dwell on what has evaporated from our pre-lockdown life (without negating the severity and cost involved). Let’s reflect instead on what remains – What has crystallised?
Take a moment to ask God to bring to mind any recalibrating or refining that has happened in your life. Think over what this means in terms of your priorities.
1 Peter 1:7 (Message) – “…pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure, genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine…”
- Give thanks for who God is. Thank Him for the answers to prayer, for refining our relationship with Him in this “Pause”- that isn’t really a Pause anymore but a whole scene change.
- Pray for our Church Leaders who are stewarding changes to church life at every level. Ask God to give the strategies and wisdom needed when it seems all plans, for the time being, have to be written in pencil.
- Pray for the Church Nationally and Worldwide to re-shape, re-group to meet the needs of post-Covid society with the Gospel. Help give understanding of what this looks like.
- Pray for our Government and Politicians and for those in positions of power and influence to make godly decisions that will build and heal the UK. Pray that the marginalised of society will not be left behind. Pray that the the voice of the Church, with Kingdom solutions available is heard and Kingdom wisdom is sought out.