Prayers for Comfort and Strength

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

Daily Prayer & Hymn Suggestion

Saturday 25th May 

Hymn: Less like me

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it’s so much easier to ‘talk the talk’ than to ‘walk the walk’!  We want to be more like you, to follow your example in the way we live and love – to show those gifts of the Holy Spirit, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and so on in the way we respond to others, in the way we deal with the situations we face, but you know, better than we do, how often we fail.  As we look back on the past week we are aware of times when we could have spoken, acted more lovingly, when we could have made a difference for good. So today, Lord, we ask for the help and guidance of your Holy Spirit, that we may learn from you and be enabled to respond with your compassion and understanding. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Friday 24th May 

Hymn: O thou who camest from above  (StF 564/H&P 745/SofF 451/MP 525)

Prayer:

Lord God, as we remember how on this day you reached out and touched John Wesley with the fire of your Holy Spirit so that he knew his ‘heart strangely warmed’, so today we pray that you would touch each one of us and rekindle that fire within us.  For each of us has gifts which you have given us for the building of your church, but without the inspiration, the in-breathing, of the Holy Spirit those gifts can lay unexplored, unused and dormant.  We need that power, that courage, that enthusiasm of your Spirit to bring new things to birth which will revitalise us as individuals and as your church – that will make us relevant in our day and age.  So, Lord God, we pray that you will ‘still stir up your gifts in us’, to your praise and glory. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Thursday 23rd May

Hymn: Spirit of God, unseen as the wind    (StF 394)

Prayer:

What a difference the coming of the Holy Spirit made to those early disciples of Jesus, Lord God.  They were changed from frightened, timid men, hiding in fear behind locked doors, to bold proclaimers of the gospel, able to face persecution, suffering and even death on account of their faith.  We need that strength, that exuberance, that courage, that resilience today, Lord.  We might not have to face opposition or physical pain, though we know there are places where many do, but we may have to put up with ridicule or disbelief, especially when the choices we make because of our faith mean we stand out from the crowd.  So our prayer today, Lord, is that you give us a fresh infilling of your Holy Spirit, so that we will speak boldly of what we believe, to your glory. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Wednesday 22nd May 

Hymn: Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost  (StF 379/H&P 301/MP 198)

Prayer:

It’s not easy to love, is it Lord.  Loving is costly, after all it cost you the suffering and death of Jesus, along with all the pain over centuries of seeing your people, the people you had brought into being, nurtured and cherished, turn away from you.  Perhaps it’s because we confuse the word ‘love’ with ‘like’ – and, let’s face it, we can be very choosey who we decide to like!  The problem is, Lord, when it comes to love we don’t actually have a choice – Jesus said we have to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’, and He didn’t mean just the people next door, He meant everyone.  And actually that’s how you love us – all the time, even when we’re not very lovable.  So today, Lord, help us to love and to grow in love – to seek the best for everyone we meet, and in so doing show them something of your nature, of your great love. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Tuesday 21st May 

Hymn: Holy Spirit, living breath of God    (SofF 1850)

Prayer:

If we want to really know you, Lord God, to be truly alive, we need your Holy Spirit to breathe that new life into us, to renew us and to make us whole.  This is the ‘life in all its fullness’ that Jesus came to bring, life made possible through His death and Resurrection, life with new meaning, new purpose, new direction and a new destination.  As we face the challenges of daily life today, both personally and globally, we need this life, Lord, so help us to be open to your Holy Spirit, to invite Him into our hearts, into our inmost being, to assure us of your presence, of your love, and to make us truly yours. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Monday 20th May 

Hymn: Build your kingdom here

Prayer:

Lord God, your kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and we pray continually for its coming and for ‘your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven’, but this also needs to start with us!  If our world is to change we need to put our prayers and our words into action, to build your kingdom here through the way we live, by the example we set, by speaking out and living out our faith, and, most of all, by building on the foundation you have already laid in Jesus Christ.  But also, we know that we cannot do this in our own strength, and so today we claim that promised power of your Holy Spirit so that we, your church, your people may be made brave and bold, and your kingdom may grow and flourish, to your praise and glory. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Sunday 19th May 

Hymn: Holy Spirit we welcome you    (StF 385/SofF 188/MP 241)

Prayer:

What an experience it must have been!  Rushing wind and flames of fire and power such as those disciples had never experienced before – the power to communicate, the courage to speak out – so what has changed?  For you, Holy Spirit, are still among us, still empowering us, still enabling us, still sending us out to witness to Jesus, but somehow we seem to have lost that fire, that enthusiasm, that driving wind that would force us out of our safe spaces to reach out with the good news Jesus came to bring.  Today let it be different, Lord, and let us welcome your Holy Spirit not only into our Worship, but into our hearts and minds and lives, allowing you to take control of our words and actions, that we might speak with assurance and relevance to those who need to know the hope and the love of Jesus. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Saturday 18th May

Hymn: O Church of Christ

Prayer:

When the world around us feels increasingly unstable, and the conflict and aggression in so many countries is threatening and causing fear and untold suffering, we turn to you, our almighty ever-living, ever-loving God, and pray for healing and peace.  While world leaders in their pride and arrogance strut about and make claims to power, we know that real authority lies with you, Lord; they will come and go, but you, Lord God, will always be there.  All history is actually your story, and in your story life and love and goodness will always have the final word.  So whatever disturbs our peace today, Lord, in the world or in our own lives, we lay it before you now, as we put our hope and trust in you.  

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Friday 17th May 

Hymn: Praise the Lord, he never changes

Prayer:

Never-changing God, you are the same yesterday, today and forever, the same creative, faithful, loving, never-giving up-on us God;  your goodness, your generosity, your kindness and compassion never come to an end, and you are always reaching out to us before we ever come to you.  In our high-speed world, where it is often those who are less able, less ‘connected’, who get left behind, we know you are always there for us, ‘wirelessly’ available at all times, in all places, whatever our need.  And in this unbroken relationship, unaffected by storms or high winds or heavy rain, through your Holy Spirit, you give us a strong signal of your love for us, together with the strength and guidance to live today and to face the future with confidence.  Thank you, Lord! 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Thursday 16th May 

Hymn: I need thee every hour   (StF 467/H&P 524/MP 288)

Prayer:

Yes, Lord, the world needs you, we need you, not only now and then when things go wrong, but in every part of our lives, our every waking, breathing moment.  The trouble is we don’t always recognise this.  We make our plans, we arrange our activities, we fill our diaries for this week, this month, this year and maybe beyond, and somehow this makes us feel secure – though in our heart of hearts we know this is not really so.  Sometimes we even attach the phrase ‘God willing’, maybe as a sort of insurance policy – or is it more of a get out clause if things go wrong?  But the fact is, Lord, whatever today or the future holds you are with us and you are our true security, the One who holds us and helps us all the time, and especially when things fall apart.  So today let’s simply acknowledge our need of you, Lord, and allow you to take charge!  

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Wednesday 15th May 

Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you   (StF 611/SofF 54)

Prayer:

In the middle of Christian Aid week, Lord God, we think of all those all over the world who are living in poverty, in fear, in the midst of conflict, who are dealing with the effects of climate change and natural disaster, and so much more.  We want to reach out to them, Lord, but in the face of so much suffering we feel helpless and useless – and that it’s all too big for us to handle, and that what we can give is but a drop in the ocean of need.  And yet whatever we offer, small though it may seem, will make a bigger difference than we might ever imagine, and not least because in seeking to serve others we are actually serving you.  So inspire us to be generous, Lord, and open our eyes and our hands to see and respond in ways that give glory to you. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Tuesday 14th May 

Hymn: Lord, I lift your name on high     (StF 332/SofF 897/CMP 881)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, it is as we remember all you have done for us that we want to give our all for you, to not only sing your praises but to make you Lord of our lives.  For you gave up everything for us, coming to earth to live a life of poverty and suffering, even dying, and all of it so that we might receive freedom from sin and discover life with new purpose and hope and fulfilment.  Was it worth it, Lord?  Worth all the pain, the anguish, the feeling of abandonment by God?  Judged by worldly standards the answer would have to be ‘no’, but you did all this totally out of love, love for the world, love for each one of us, and because of this we can be certain that love and life will always have the final word.  And so, whatever today holds, may all we say and do ‘lift your name on high’ as we place our trust in you. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Monday 13th May 

Hymn: Every giant will fall  

Prayer:

All of us have ‘giants’ in our lives, Lord God – those fears that come to haunt us in the middle of the night, those problems that loom large and we can’t find an answer to, maybe habits that we struggle to overcome, things that threaten to overwhelm us, that we simply haven’t the strength or the resources to deal with or to overcome.  But that’s where you come in, Lord, for you have that power and, what’s more amazing, you give it to us freely in the Person of your Holy Spirit.  Lord, this week when we feel weak or worn down, when we are facing seemingly insurmountable odds, help us to call on you, to rest in your love and to trust in your promise to be with us everywhere and always giving us the strength and the courage we need. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Sunday 12th May 

Hymn: Crown him with many crowns  (StF 347)

Prayer:

You came into our world, Lord Jesus, in your ministry bringing light and healing; through your death and Resurrection bringing new life and hope, forever sealing our relationship with God with forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.  And now, Lord, today we celebrate your Ascension, your returning to the glory that is rightly yours, the culmination of all you came to do and to be.  But that is not all, for you still bear the wounds of suffering on those hands that reached out to touch and comfort, on those feet that walked the dusty roads of earth.  And because of this, Lord, though you are not with us in physical form, yet we know you are always present in every part of our lives, understanding what it means to be a human being, and through your Holy Spirit, reaching out to us in love. And for this, and so much more, we thank you and bring our praise and worship. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Saturday 11th May 

Hymn: Creation sings the Father’s song    (SofF 2255)

Prayer:

Lord God, as we look at your amazing, awe-inspiring Creation and see the way it reveals your beauty, your glory, your power and wisdom, we cannot help but be filled with wonder and also with hope, for it tells us so much about what lies at the heart of our Father God.  That if you can bring such order out of chaos, such vibrant new life out of deadness and dormancy, such colour and joy out of greyness and dreariness, then, Lord, you can do this in us and in our world.  That conflict and calamity will never have the final word because you are always working to bring goodness out of every situation, and though we may not see this at present, as in the promise of springtime, new shoots of hope will emerge which will grow and bear fruit in your time.  So help us to be patient, Lord, and to keep looking for those signs that you are at work in your world – and to join in! 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Friday 10th May 

Hymn: Until you do

Prayer:

Lord God, there are so many things going on in the world which are beyond our understanding, and to which we cannot find the answers.  How is it, Lord, that there is so much suffering, so much aggression, so much greed, so much dis-satisfaction, so much poverty?  The questions are endless, and we feel so helpless.  And then we remember that in Jesus you came into our world, and that as a human being Jesus was not protected from any of its ills, and in that we find hope and reassurance.  That in your great love and in your great power you will act once again to bring an end to all evil and suffering – and that in this in-between time you are with us, giving us the strength and the will to live and act in ways that show your love and bring your message of hope and new life to those around us.  Help us to do this today, Lord. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Thursday 9th May 

Hymn: O let the Son of God enfold you  (SofF 419/MP 502)

Prayer:

Why is it, Lord, that we so often try to get through life relying on our own resources, our own strength, on what we can do, what we can achieve, when all you really ask of us is that we put our trust in you. You see, Jesus, there seems to be something in us that wants to prove ourselves, and that’s not always only in our ordinary everyday lives – it can happen in our church life too!  We make our plans, create our activities, and they don’t always work out as we hoped, and perhaps it’s because we hadn’t wholeheartedly and prayerfully looked to you for guidance.  So maybe today we need to simply rest in your love, Lord – to let it fill us and refresh us and heal us – and through this be more ready to rely on your wisdom and strength in all that lies ahead. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Wednesday 8th May 

Hymn: Dance again

Prayer:

Life simply isn’t fair, Lord God.  Some people seem to sail through life without a care in the world while others cop the lot, one problem after another! But I know what you’re saying, Lord – that’s where faith in you comes in – for in you we are never alone in our suffering, in our grief, in our struggle to make sense of what is going on in our lives.  In fact, it’s when we turn to you in our want and in our weakness that we often discover our faith growing stronger, and find that we are more able to cope – that we even have more reason to offer you our thanks and our praise, not for what we are going through, but because of what you are doing in us and through us.  So today we want to give you glory, Lord, and to lift you up even as you lift us up. 

Amen!

Liz Stuart

 

Tuesday 7th May 

Hymn: Hungry  (SofF 1292)

Prayer:

‘Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you’, Lord God, for however much we try to fill our lives with all those things that the world offers us, there is always that empty ‘God-shaped’ space that you alone can satisfy.  For only you can give us real hope, real peace – the hope and the peace that remain strong and resilient even when all else seems to be letting us down and causing us to feel anxious and insecure.  So today, Lord, we put all that troubles us in your loving hands, trusting that you know our needs, and that, even when we cannot see the way ahead, you are always patiently and constantly working for our blessing and for our good. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Monday 6th May 

Hymn: I know who holds tomorrow

Prayer:

Sometimes we can allow fear of what the future holds to spoil life and affect our well-being today.  We are anxious about the state of the world with all the current conflict and instability; we worry about what might lie ‘round the corner’ concerning our health as we grow older, and maybe whether we have enough put by for that ‘rainy day.’  And of course we can’t ignore these things and pretend they don’t exist, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture; that you, Lord God – the One who brought all things into being and in your good time will bring all things to an end – you are in control.  Remind us that because we know you, and because you love us, and because you hold all our tomorrows in your hand, we can safely entrust the future to you.  And in that promise, Lord, may we find peace and security today. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Sunday 5th May 

Hymn: O love of God, how strong and true   (H&P 42/MP 514)

Prayer:

We use the  word’ love’ in so many different ways, but none of them comes anywhere near to the love you have for us, Lord God.  For yours is a love that is strong and yet tender; that is both compassionate and yet sometimes challenging; it’s a love which is sacrificial, that was willing to let go of life in order that we might have life; a love which has been there since the dawn of time and yet which we experience in new ways each and every day.  And it’s a love which is unconditional, which never gives up on us, which keeps on loving us however many times we fail you and let you down.  As we worship you today, Lord, fill our whole being with your love, and then let it spill out into the places and the people you send us to this week. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Saturday 4th May 

Hymn: We seek your kingdom

Prayer:

As we come to the end of another week, Lord Jesus, we examine ourselves as to how we have enabled your kingdom to grow and become real to those around us through our words, our actions and the way we have lived, and if we are honest we have to confess that sometimes we have let you down.  That other people have not seen you in us, have not experienced your love through us, and have not been aware of our faith in you, or seen the difference it has made to our lives.  We ask you to forgive us, Lord, and in your love and goodness and grace to put the past behind us and enable us to start again.  Strengthen us, Lord, by your Holy Spirit, that in the new week that lies before us we may have the courage to tell both your story and ours in ways that will build your kingdom and give glory to you. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Friday 3rd May 

Hymn: The anchor holds

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, you never pretended life would be easy, that faith in you would be like some sort of guarantee or insurance policy, protecting us from all the ups and downs of life, and we only have to look at the life of Jesus and the way He suffered to see the reality of that.  And over the course of our lives there probably have been, and may well be, hard times for each of us, times when through illness, through bereavement, through all sorts of other challenges, we feel at the end of our tether and wonder how we are going to cope.  It’s at times like these that we become aware of you holding us safe, Lord, anchoring us in your love, and giving us the strength we need.  We thank you, Lord, and today we affirm our trust in you. 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Thursday 2nd May 

Hymn: How deep the Father’s love for us     (SofF 780/CMP 988)

Prayer:

We can never measure the depth of your love for us, Lord God, and perhaps that is just how it should be.  For were we able to calculate this, we might begin to wonder whether there were some situations, some circumstances, some areas into which your love might not reach – some misdemeanour that we might commit that was beyond the scope of your love – but because we know that your love is deep, is limitless, we can be absolutely sure this is not so.  For love that could endure the pain, the agony of suffering that you went through as Jesus died on the Cross can only be all inclusive, be immeasurable, and we thank you for this from the bottom of our hearts! 

Amen

Liz Stuart

 

Wednesday 1st May 

Hymn: Mercies (New every morning)

Prayer:

‘New every morning’, Lord!  How lovely to wake up at the beginning of a new day, a new month, and know that whatever happened yesterday, last week, last year is in the past and forgiven, and that today, now, we can start again with a whole 24 hours ahead of us to live as best we can to your glory.  Yes, there will probably be slips and slides along the way when we will find ourselves saying and maybe doing things that are not quite as they should be, and those thoughts that lead us astray or down a negative path.  But now, in the freshness of this new day, we commit ourselves to your loving care, Lord, knowing you will be with us and that we can trust your Holy Spirit to guide us. 

Amen

Liz Stuart