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  • Debbie Thrower

Heartwarming words for January's chills

Updated: Jan 11


Anna Chaplain Lead for Wales, the Revd Sally Rees, shares pastoral resources for this renewed period of lockdown:


In times of trouble, it is a good idea to go back to familiar and comforting words – both for ourselves and for the people we are supporting pastorally. So, for the next couple of weeks, I thought we would look at the words of the Lord's Prayer together (from Matthew 6:5–14, concentrating on verses 9–13) taking a line each day.


In these very strange and difficult times where we cannot meet, comfort or touch those who we love and care about, let's hold on to the power of prayer, and 'hold in prayer' the lives of those we cannot see. Prayer is a privilege and NOT EVER a small thing. In this way we can still be part of God's Kingdom and His work in and with our loved ones.


Verse: Matthew 6:9a

This, then is how you should pray, 'Our Father in heaven'.


Thought

Jesus taught his disciples to come to His 'Daddy' and talk to him

WE have a loving heavenly father who longs as a Daddy does to hear the cries, moans and requests of his children. As our Father is in heaven, he knows the beginning and end of all things and he is not restricted by time and space and so can be near each one of us and those we love and care about at the same time. He can hear our prayers and we can leave our loved ones safely in His hands and care. In these difficult times I have found holding a Holding Cross and quietly naming those who I am concerned about very helpful.


Prayer

Father, thank you for your love for us.

Jesus, thank you that you have made a way for us to pray directly to the Father, just as a child would come to his/her Daddy.

Holy Spirit, thank you that you enable us to use the right words as we come to pray.

Thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that you, who brought this world into being, care about each one of us individually.

Thank you that we can hold our loved ones before you today, knowing that you are with them and will minister to them

We name.... before you today

Hold, heal and protect as each one needs, we pray

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer



Hymn (Dave Bilbrough)

Abba Father, Let me be

Yours and your alone

May my will for ever be

Evermore Your own

Never let my heart grow cold

never let me go.


Abba Father, Let me be

Yours and yours alone.

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Verse: Matthew 6:9b

Hallowed be thy name


Thought

Although God is our Father we must remember that his name is always Hallowed or Holy. HIs works are always Holy as is His Kingdom. He is our good and loving God and he is always worthy of honour and praise, no matter what our situation or how we are feeling.


Prayer

Our Father who is good and gracious and always Holy

We praise you now for your love for us and your concern for our world

As we bring our prayers to you today, help us to pray in accordance with your Holy purposes and will.


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer



Hymn (anonymous)

Holy, holy holy is the Lord

Holy is the Lord God almighty

Who was, and is and is to come

Holy, holy holy is the Lord.

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Verse Matthew 6:10a

Your Kingdom Come


Thought

We pray for His Kingdom, which is different from ours.

God doesn't need our prayers because it is His Kingdom

but our prayers are the means by which we become partakers of His Kingdom

God's Kingdom looks different from ours

In praying for His kingdom, we focus on God's call to 'act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly' (Micah 6: 8) for both ourselves and our world.

What a privilege!


Prayer

Our Father, in heaven

hallowed be your name

Your Kingdom come

Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of sharing in the work of your kingdom

Give us opportunities to see where you are building your kingdom here, today

and help us to focus our prayers on these, as well as our requests.


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer


Hymn (Rend Collective)

Build your kingdom here

Let the darkness fear

Show your mighty hand

Heal our streets and land

Set your church on fire

Win this nation back

Change the atmosphere

Build your kingdom here, we pray


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Verse: Matthew 6:10b

YOUR will be done.


Thought

When we come to God it is so easy to come to him with OUR will in mind.

We need to come to him content that God knows us as our Father and that He knows best. This is a lot harder than it may seem. To give over our ‘will’ to God is to submit to his.


Prayer

Our Father, in heaven

Hallowed be your name

Your kingdom come

Your will be done

As we come before you today

help us to give ourselves completely to you

so that we may know your loving purposes for our lives

and in so doing reflect your glory.


Lord in your Mercy, Hear our prayer


Hymn (Edwin Hatch)

Breathe on me breath of God

Fill me with life anew

that I may love what thou dost love

And do what thou dost do

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Verse Matthew 6:10b

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven


Thought

Thinking of what heaven is like may be challenging but we do know that heaven is where God is King and where His will is done

So, we pray ‘Thy will be done’ not as something passive that we have to submit to, but as an active and real attitude, set towards making the will of God be present and real on earth as well.

We also know that God’s kingdom is peaceable, reconciling and healing, focusing on others’ needs.

So, let’s pray that we can actively ask God the King of our lives today, and to use us to be part of God’s kingdom on earth.


Prayer

Weaver (By Ruth Burgess – Great prayers from the Iona Community)

O weaver, shuttling the thread of glory

through the pattern of our days.

Come, bed us down

into a cloth of earth and heaven

Come clothe us with joy


Hymn (from, prayer of St Francis)

Make me a channel of your peace

Where there is hatred let me bring your love

Where there is injury, your pardon Lord

And where there’s doubt, true faith in you


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Verse Mathew 6:11

'Give us today our daily bread'


Thought

The Lord's prayer now turns from God to ourselves. We need to learn from this pattern so that our prayers always focus on God's name and Kingdom first. WE can now bring our needs to him, bread being the most basic need, but also symbolic of all our needs.


God's provision is one day at a time. We can ask for today and trust Him for tomorrow. However, as the prayer is for US - ' if we are truly praying this prayer, we can never simply pray for food only for ourselves,

We must pray for the needs of the whole world, where millions go hungry and many starve.' (Tom Wright)


Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy name

Thy Kingdom come,

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread


Thank you that you give us the bread that we need, each day

Help us to trust you one day at a time, knowing that you know what we need in every way.

Help us always to be concerned for others needs as well as our own


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer


Hymn (verse 3 of Seek ye first the kingdom of God by Karen Lafferty)

Man shall not live by bread alone,

But by every word

That proceeds from the mouth of God

Hallelu, Hallelujah!


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Verse: Matthew 6:12

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.


Thought:

Martin Luther King Jnr said ' Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude'

Forgiveness is not easy but is possible with God's help. If we are able to forgive others, we show that we are able both to forgive ourselves and to receive our heavenly Father’s forgiveness and peace, and be grateful for it.


Prayer

Our Father in heaven

Hallowed be thy name

Thy Kingdom come

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven

Give us today our daily bread

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors

Thank you, heavenly Father that through Jesus you have already forgiven our wrongdoings

Even the things we find difficult to forgive ourselves for.

Help us continually to work at forgiving those who have caused us pain and hurt

And to know your peace, love and wholeness in both receiving and giving forgiveness


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer