Prayers for Comfort and Strength

Weekly Message 

4th April

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During this time of uncertainty and the growing need for social distance we hope that you will find comfort and strength in these resources. 

The circuit staff will provide resources for Sunday worship week by week, so that we can all worship together even if we are not in church.

This image by Dave Walker shared on the Church Times is a wonderful representation of the Church right now click here to view.

We would also ask you to please be aware of the work being undertaken by the organisations below: 

Action for Children’s Emergency Coronavirus appeal: www.actionforchildren.org.uk/

The Manchester South Central Foodbank: www.manchestersouthcentral.foodbank.org.uk/

All We Can is an international development and emergency relief organisation who focus on those in greatest need, it is inspired by Christian principles, and is an integral part of the Methodist family. Please visit their website to find out more about the work that they are undertaking www.allwecan.org.uk/

Daily Prayer & Hymn Suggestion 

Thursday 15th April 

Hymn: Wonderful grace   (SofF 1630/CMP 966)

Prayer:

Now that lockdown is easing, Lord, we are beginning to enjoy more freedom, and to really appreciate the many things we had previously taken for granted.  And yet none of this can compare with the freedom we have in you, Lord Jesus, for you have set us free from the power of sin and death, a freedom no-one can take away from us, a freedom that nothing can limit or restrict, and one which is ours to revel in each and every day.  But let us not take this freedom for granted either, Lord, for it is a costly freedom, hard won by your suffering on the Cross and through your Resurrection, a freedom we don’t deserve, granted us entirely out of your love and wonderful grace.  So let us respond with thankfulness and joy for all we have received, and do all we can to share it with others! 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Wednesday 14th April

Hymn: Come, people of the risen King  (SofF 2249)

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that wherever we are, whoever we are, and however we are, we are part of your family, your people, bound together by our faith and by our trust in your promise of new life in and through your Resurrection.  But so often, Lord, we create barriers between ourselves and others, barriers of denomination, of difference, of pride and self-interest, and instead of being one in you, and celebrating our multi-faceted traditions for their breadth and insight, we allow them to come between us and weaken our witness to the truth of all you are – and all you would have us be.  Forgive us, Lord, and keep reminding us who and Whose we are – that we are Easter people, people of our risen King, and to you be all the praise and glory! 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Tuesday 13th April

Hymn: Risen

Prayer:

The fact that you are risen, Lord Jesus, makes all the difference not only for the life to come but for life now. Over a year when many have lost loved ones, and as now together we mourn the loss of one who has made such a contribution to the life of our nation, it’s good to know that you are with us, Lord, in your risen power, the power and presence of your Holy Spirit, surrounding us with your peace, and assuring us that there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from your love.  As we pray for all who are grieving, it is in this promise, and in the hope this gives us both now and in the future, even beyond death, that we find strength and comfort. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

Monday 12th April 

Hymn: Now the green blade rises   (StF 306)

Prayer:

How dark and desolate it must have been for your disciples, Lord Jesus, on that first Good Friday, seeing the One they had placed so much hope in dying on a Cross.  It must have felt as though their whole world had come to an end, and then, when you were raised to life, as you had promised, how even greater must their joy have been!  Help us to remember this, Lord, when we are going through difficult times, when our dreams have been dashed, when the future seems bleak and we are exhausted by all we have gone through.  For your promise is new life, life that has its source and its fulfilment in you, and when we take hold of this we will find new hope. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Sunday 11th April

Hymn:  Jesus is Lord, the cry that echoes through creation  

Prayer:

To claim you as our Lord, Jesus, is more than reciting a creed, or believing in your Resurrection, or even seeing your glory in Creation.  All these things are important and necessary, but to call you ‘Lord’ is to give you authority in our lives, and that isn’t always easy.  We like to do things our way, to exercise our free-will, to make our own decisions and when we sense that these conflict with what you are asking us to do or be it’s sometimes hard to accept this, even though we know that your way is always the best and will always be for our good.  So help us to listen to you more carefully, Jesus, and seek to put you first in our lives, as you did for us. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Saturday 10th April

Hymn:   I know that my Redeemer lives    web (based on StF 303)

Prayer:

We can read all the accounts of your Resurrection appearances, Lord Jesus, we can follow the research of theologians and their reasoning, but what really proves that you are alive and active in the world is the experience of this in our own lives.  For it is when we know your presence with us, when we feel your love surrounding us, when we are aware of your strengthening and upholding of us in times of struggle or fear that all of it becomes real for us, silences our doubts and gives us that inner of peace and joy that we cannot find anywhere else.  Thank you, Lord, for the hope and comfort this brings us, and help us to place our faith ever more firmly in you. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Friday 9th April

Hymn:  An Easter Hallelujah 

Prayer:

There is so much going on in the Good Friday story, Lord Jesus, that we sometimes miss the impact that this had on people who were in one sense ‘outsiders’ – the thief on a cross alongside you, Jesus, who was promised a place in Paradise, the soldiers who gave you a last drink, and even the one who pierced your side.  Your ministry of reconciliation continued to the very end, changing lives, reaching out and causing people to wonder and to worship.  Help us to never underestimate the value of small deeds of kindness and generosity, because in your infinite wisdom you can use these to transform the lives of other people, just as you changed the world that first Easter. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Thursday 8th April

Hymn:  See what a morning   (StF 309/SofF 2020)

Prayer:

How wonderful it must have been to have been present on that first Easter Day.  To meet the risen Jesus as Mary did, to have walked with him to Emmaus, to have been present with the disciples in that room when Jesus came among them – even to have had to wait, full of questions as Thomas did, to have that personal encounter!  And yet you promise us, Lord Jesus, that it can be the same for us, for through your Holy Spirit your voice does indeed ‘spn the years, and we can know you present in the nitty gritty of our daily lives, bringing that same reassurance and hope and peace as you brought to those first disciples.  And it is this, Lord, which keeps us going, together the certainty that in the course of time we shall be raised to live with you in eternity.  What a future, what a promise! 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Wednesday 7th April

Hymn:  He has risen   (StF 302/ SofF 753/CMP 839)

Prayer:

What would it be like if there had been no Resurrection?  If you had died on the Cross, Jesus, your body put in the grave and that had been the end of it – the end of a life well-lived but that was all.  It would mean that for us there was no hope, no future, nothing to really make life worthwhile – no Life in all its fullness, no life after death.  But the glorious news of Easter, lord, is that you did indeed rise from death, and because of this everything is different, for it means that you are with us always.  Whatever we have to face we don’t do this on our own, and even in the darkest place we know that your light and love are supporting and surrounding us.  Thank you, Jesus, for all you have done for us and all you are to us now and for always! 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Tuesday, 6th April

Hymn:   Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son   (StF 313/SofF 551/MP 689)

Prayer:

When we doubt you, Lord Jesus, we only have to look at the empty Cross to know just how much you have done for us through your death and especially your glorious Resurrection.  For there we not only see how much you love us, but how great is the power you promise us through your Holy Spirit, power to live life to the full and to overcome those things that would drag us down and seek to separate us from you.  For with you we can indeed become ‘more than conquerors’, not only knowing victory in our trials and temptations, but with each one growing stronger in our faith and trust, and through this experiencing the joy of growing ever closer to you.   

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Easter Monday

Hymn:   Christ is alive, let Christians sing  (StF 297)

Prayer:

Sometimes we try to limit you, Lord, maybe to certain parts of our lives, to special times of the year such as Christmas or Easter; it could be to the activities in our church that we take part in, or even to a particular day of the week.   Perhaps we do this because it feels ‘safer’, but you cannot be contained, Lord Jesus, because when you rose to life it was, and is, to inhabit all time and space and to be in every place, and not just geographically, but in our own hearts and lives, and for always and for all people through your Holy Spirit.  So please forgive us, Lord, when we try to restrict you in any way, and help us this Easter to open ourselves fully to your life-giving Spirit. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Easter Day

Hymn:  Christ the Lord is risen today  (StF 298/StF 61/MP 76)

Prayer:

Was there ever a morning such as this!  A morning when grief was turned to gladness, and despair to hope; when fear for the future was replaced with an overwhelming sense of excitement of a new beginning, and all that Jesus had promised was found to be true.  It happened so long ago in human terms, Lord Jesus, and yet Easter joy can be celebrated every day of our lives, for resurrection happens every time we give our lives afresh to you, every time we claim a small victory over temptation, even every time we turn to you in repentance and receive your forgiveness.  For your love and your life, which conquered death, is your gift to us, through your Holy Spirit, ready for us to receive when we come to you in faith.  Thank you Lord! 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Good Friday 

Hymn: The power of the cross   (SofF 1988)

Prayer:

For many, Lord Jesus, your Cross is a sign of weakness, of failure, of defeat, but that is because they are looking at it with worldly eyes and worldly values, which place great store on achievement, on domination, and material gain.  But the power you demonstrated on the Cross was the power of love, and the authority you showed was over the destructive forces of sin and death.  And when set alongside the short term accomplishments we so often choose to seek, the victory you won in your Resurrection has no comparison for it is of an eternal nature, of new life which not only begins now but goes on forever even through death itself.  It’s only when we recognise this, Lord that we realise the true nature of all you have done for us, and give you all the glory. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Maundy Thursday

Hymn: What kind of love is this?  StF 286/SofF 1111/MP 750

Prayer:

We’re not good at making sacrifices, Lord.  We find all sorts of reasons to let us off the hook, trying to distract ourselves, and sometimes even pretending that we can distract you, in our efforts to get out of doing the things we don’t want to do.  But when we look at Jesus and all that he was prepared to go through for us, we are ashamed, Lord, and we are forced to ask of ourselves what kind of love we give to you. Help us to learn from his obedience and to put you and your will first in our lives, for only then will we become all you created us to be, and receive the inner peace and fullness of life that Jesus came to bring. 

Amen

Liz Stuart 

 

Please click here for previous daily prayer and hymn suggestions.