If the Bible is like spiritual ‘food’, praying is the ‘oxygen’!

“Most of all, friends, always rejoice in the Lord! I never tire of saying it: Rejoice! Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.” 

From Paul’s Letter to the Philippians Chapter 4 ( Living Bible)

 

We are using the weekly prayer points from PCI.  We may also add more local prayer topics as appropriate.

Sunday 1st May

Moderator

Please pray for our farmers, who are facing unprecedented rises in their key inputs. Over the past year fertilizer has risen by some 300%, while fuel and feed have increased by c. 200%. The pig sector is suffering particularly at the moment, but all areas of the industry are being hit extremely hard.

Answering God’s invitation to worship

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1.Ask God to help us respond to his invitation to find joy in him as we express our praise in song today.


Monday 2 May

Edwin & Anne Kibathi (global mission workers in London)

Pray for Edwin and Anne as they continue to serve the East African expatriate community in the UK and minister at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa congregation in East London. Pray too for the fellowship groups who meet in Reading and Luton.

South Sudan

Prayfor peace in South Sudan, where there has recently been a surge of violence, including rapes, gang rapes, beheadings, burning civilians alive, and attacks on humanitarian aid workers.  Pray too for the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and its work to promote peace and its humanitarian aid work.


Tuesday 3 May

Eleanor Drysdale (deaconess in Wellington, Ballymena)

Pray for Eleanor as she continues to serve and for the congregation as they begin preparations for organisations resuming in September. Some will need both leaders and helpers. Pray for wisdom and guidance and that people will step up to serve God.

Belvoir (South Belfast)

Pray for Belvoir congregation as they currently explore a potential partnership with Saintfield Road Presbyterian, with the hope of revitalised worship and witness in the Belvoir estate.


Wednesday 4 May

Volker and JinHyeog Glissmann (global mission workers, Southern Africa)

Praise God for the way he has led Volker and JinHyeog over the last few years in their service in Malawi and Southern Africa. Pray especially for the continuation of developing grassroots training in Malawi.

Latvia

Pray for our partners in Latvia, the Evangelical Reformed Church of Latvia and the Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary. Pray for their work and witness, including reaching out to help refugees from Ukraine.


Thursday 5 May

Tom Dowling (Irish mission worker, Kilkenny)

Pray for door-to-door visitation, that the Spirit of God will be at work in the lives of those Tom and others meet. Pray too for outreach Bible studies, taking place both in-person and online, and for the planning of a summer children’s club which will be held in a local community centre.

PCI Church Planting Conference

This Saturday, 7 May, PCI is holding a conference entitled, ‘A time to plant’. Pray that it will be a time of learning and inspiration to those who attend. Pray that more new churches will be planted in Ireland in the coming years, and that each will grow and flourish, for God’s glory.


Friday 6 May

Social Witness

Give thanks for the work and witness of Thompson House in its work with male offenders. Pray for safety for David Farrow, Director and the staff team; for wisdom, patience, love and understanding in dealing with residents and often difficult situations. Give thanks that four residents are taking part in and enjoying a Bible study. Pray that God will open their hearts and give them a desire for Jesus as their Saviour and a willingness to change their path in life.

NI Assembly election

As the election results become known today pray for those who have been elected to servein the NI Assembly, and especially those who will be entering Stormont for the first time, that their decision-making would be characterised by wisdom and compassion. Pray that those who have not been elected, or have lost their seats will quickly get over their disappointment and find new ways to serve their local community.


Saturday 7 May

General Council

Pray for the ongoing work of the Irish Council of Churches whose Executive Committee will be meeting during this incoming week. Remember especially the ICC’s President, Rev Andrew Forster, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe and give thanks for the work of Very Rev Dr Ivan Patterson who recently retired from that role.

Council for Training in Ministry

The annual conference for ministers who are five years post-ordination takes place next Tuesday-Thursday in Assembly Buildings. Pray for the ministers who will gather – for encouragement, fellowship, and for the equipping and enabling of God, that they would be ever-more effective in what the Lord has called them to do.

Sunday 13 March

Moderator

Give thanks for the work of the Task Groups appointed at the last General Assembly, looking at our response to the Covid pandemic. Pray that the learning gleaned in these years will be of long-term help to the church in the future.

Worship: Expecting God’s grace

As we worship today ask God to help us to know his forgiving and sustaining grace, pardoning our sins and providing for all our needs.


Monday 14 March

Ukraine

Pray for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the war. Pray for all directly affected – especially those grieving, the injured and the millions living in constant fear for themselves and / or their loved ones. Pray too for the large Christian community in Ukraine as they continue to worship God and pray for their country.

Edwin and Anne Kibathi (global mission workers in the UK)

Pray for the Presbyterian Church of East Africa congregations / fellowship groups in the UK and that more people will return to in-person services and meetings.


Tuesday 15 March

Philip Whelton (Irish Mission Worker in Arklow)

Give thanks that the weekly children and youth clubs are up and running again, and pray that they can continue to build on the relationships already established with the parents and children. Pray for the congregation’s plans for events around Easter week.

Great Victoria Street, Belfast

The congregation has entered into a licence agreement with Windsor to share their building. Pray as they start a journey into team ministry and look for ways to work together building God’s kingdom in south Belfast.


Wednesday 16 March

Ukraine

Pray for those who have fled Ukraine or have been displaced within the country. Pray they will find safety and receive the humanitarian and medical assistance they need, both now and in the months ahead. Pray for all trying to get aid to those in need including Christian Aid, Tearfund and Hungarian Reformed Church Aid.

Peter and Valerie Lockwood (global mission workers, Nepal)

Pray for Peter and Valerie as they continue to be involved in deputation speaking during their final home assignment.


Thursday 17 March

Rev Gary Aitcheson (prison chaplain)

Pray for Gary’s part-time work as a prison chaplain in Magilligan. Pray for guidance as he offers pastoral support and shares the gospel with people in prison.

Irvinestown, Pettigo and Tempo (Co Fermanagh)

Give thanks that the brothers and sisters in the three congregations are living in harmony with one another (Romans 12). Pray for quiet progress in personal assurance of salvation (2 Corinthians 13) and light bearing (Matthew 5) in north Fermanagh.


Friday 18 March

Social Witness

Pray for Cathy Mullin, the Taking Care administrator, as she deals with enquiries and liaises with congregational designated persons to discuss training and Access NI checks amongst other queries. Pray also for youth groups and organisations restarting as restrictions have eased, for the safety and well-being of the children and young people attending.

Domestic violence and abuse

Consultations on strategies to address domestic abuse and violence against women and girls close next week. Pray for all who are trapped in a cycle of domestic abuse, and pray that they will find the courage to seek help and protection for themselves and their children. Pray that our churches will be a safe place for those who are hurting, and can help provide appropriate support to victims.


Saturday 19 March

General Council

Pray for ministers of PCI who have retired, that they will find continuing opportunities to serve their Lord, but also for refreshment in their lives where the urgency of work may be less demanding.

Council for Training in Ministry

On Thursday 24 March, training for ministers in ‘Facilitating Difficult Conversations’ is scheduled to take place in First Omagh, led by the Conciliation Panel. Pray for the ministers and trainers involved, that this will further equip ministers as they lead and pastor in Christ’s Church.

Sunday 6 March

Moderator

Following on from the Moderator’s letter sent to all churches last Sunday, please continue to pray that the conflict in the Ukraine would not spread further, that those who have lost loved ones will be comforted, and those who find themselves without homes would be led to places of welcome and shelter. Pray for the Christian churches in Ukraine, for their endurance, protection and faithful witness in the face of this time of trial.

Worship: Expecting God’s presence

As we worship today ask God to help us to come expecting to meet with him and seeking his face.


Monday 7 March

Ukraine

Pray for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the war. Pray for a de-escalation of the tensions between countries. Pray for all affected, especially the grieving, the injured, and those whose homes have been destroyed. Pray for people sheltering in fear, those fighting for freedom and those protesting for peace.

Ukraine

Remember especially the large Christian community in Ukraine. Pray that they will know the Lord is with them in these difficult days and turn to him for their strength. Pray too that they will be a witness to others.


Tuesday 8 March

Forces chaplains

Pray for our forces chaplains as they provide pastoral care and support to members of the armed forces and lead services of worship and prayers.

Forces

Remember all who serve in the armed forces. Pray for their protection and safety, and that they will put their hope and trust in the Lord. Remember also their families from whom many are separated for long periods of time.


Wednesday 9 March

Refugees / Displaced

Pray for the millions of people around the world who are refugees or displaced. Pray especially for those who have recently fled due to the war in Ukraine. Pray they will find safety, shelter, water and food. Pray they will receive both emergency humanitarian aid and the longer term help they need.

Aid Agencies

Pray for aid agencies and governments trying to help refugees and displaced people, especially in Eastern Europe including for our partner church’s ‘Hungarian Reformed Church Aid’ as it seeks to provide humanitarian assistance to those fleeing Ukraine and to people still living in Ukraine.


Thursday 10 March

Healthcare chaplains

Pray for protection, strength, stamina and encouragement for hospital staff and PCI healthcare chaplains who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic. For those in hospital, pray for healing, and pray for patients and their families to seek strength, comfort and peace in Christ.

Rural Chaplain

Pray for Kenny Hanna, PCI Rural Chaplain as he seeks opportunities to help farmers and families with mental health needs. Pray for the ‘Look After Yourself’ event at Markethill livestock market on 12 March.


Friday 11 March

Social Witness

Please pray for the Council’s Business and Finance Panel as it considers how best to use resources available for its work. Pray that the Panel will be blessed with wisdom in the decisions it makes, with courage to face the challenges ahead and with compassion for the many people who depend on this ministry.

Cost of living

Pray for those who are feeling pressure due to the rising cost of living. Give thanks for organisations like CAP, Storehouse and the Trussell Trust seeking to help people in times of need. Pray for politicians and decision makers as they try to find ways to mitigate the impact in the short and longer term.


Saturday 12 March

General Council

Pray for young people in schools whose educational pathways have been disrupted – especially for those facing significant examinations and/or assessments this year. Pray that they will know the peace of God in challenging times. Pray also for the work of all educators as they try to resume a normal curriculum and encourage all those for whom they are responsible.

Council for Training in Ministry

Pray for ministers from other churches who are in the process of transferring to become eligible for a call to a PCI congregation: Mariann Gilicze (Hungary); Tagle Aguiar (Cuba); Elsye McCroskery (Indonesia); Trevor Kane and Mark Haugh, both originally from Northern Ireland.

Sunday 13th February

Moderator

With the nomination by presbyteries of Rev John Kirkpatrick as Moderator Designate, pray for him as he prepares to take up office in June. Pray for the remaining months in office for David Bruce as he prepares to hand over.

Worship: Declaring God’s praise

‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’1 Peter 2:9. Ask God for a spirit of praise among his people in worship today.


Monday 14 February

Afghanistan

Pray for the people of Afghanistan, especially those struggling to afford enough food and other basic necessities. Pray for those in need to get the emergency humanitarian assistance they require. Pray too for our partners Christian Aid Ireland and Tearfund as they seek to get aid to all those in need.

Persecuted Church

Pray for protection for the minority Christian communities in Afghanistan and in other countries, for protection and justice and that they will know the Lord is with them in difficult times.


Tuesday 15 February

Heidi England (deaconess in Railway Street, Lisburn)

Give thanks for the ladies who ‘meet’ fortnightly on Zoom to study God’s Word. Pray that our learning will ignite in us a passion for deeper worship and wholehearted service.

Douglas (Co Tyrone)

Give thanks for the Sunday School which is going well. Pray for the congregation as they plan to elect new elders in the coming months. Pray that members will be prayerful and wise as they vote.


Wednesday 16 February

Russia / Ukraine

Pray for the tensions between Russia and Ukraine to de-escalate, for an end to the unrest in eastern Ukraine and for peace. Pray for the Christian communities in both countries and in particular our partners: the St Petersburg Christian University and the Hungarian Reformed Church in Transcarpathia.

Diane Cusick (global mission worker, Zambia)

Pray for Diane and the CCAP Synod of Zambia leadership team as they work together seeking God’s help in how to push the early childhood programme forward.


Thursday 17 February

Rev Keith Hibbert (chaplain, Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry)

Pray for Keith as he continues to provide pastoral care to patients, families and hospital staff.

Drogheda (Co Meath)

As restrictions ease, pray for Rev Damien Burke, the congregation, the eldership team and the committee’s continued growth in the knowledge and love of Christ, and that they will make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead for sharing the gospel.


Friday 18 February

Social Witness

Willow Brook is a supporting housing scheme for people with a learning disability; while Topley Court supports those with a physical disability. Pray for Liz Wilson, the manager, as she ensures tenants are encouraged to live as independently as possible, with appropriate support from staff.

PCI Press Officer

Mark Smith is PCI’s Press Officer, supporting the work and mission of the church through media engagement and providing advice and support to colleagues, congregations and presbyteries. Pray for wisdom, grace and creativity; and that God would be glorified through his work.


Saturday 19 February

General Council

Pray for Governments in London, Belfast and Dublin. Give thanks for a process of selecting political leaders which gives ordinary people like us, a say. Pray for governance which will honour God and his word, in an era of many competing voices.

Council for Training in Ministry

The Linkage Commission meets on Tuesday 22 February. Pray for the Commission and its convener, James Livingstone, as it seeks to allocate resources (ministers, additional pastoral personnel, auxiliary ministers) across PCI at a time when the number of available ministers is low and falling.

 

Prayer in Changing Circumstances

Lord, as things move and change around me, I hold onto the One Who does not change and seek again Your guidance and help.

When I’m happy and upbeat,

grant me wisdom and gratitude and keep me from sin.

When I’m feeling strong and capable,

keep me humble and gentle, give me perspective, may I never lose compassion for others in need.

But when everything seems suddenly threatened,

remind me our ultimate destiny is assured and bright in resurrection and the sweet wholeness of eternal life, all things made new in Your love.  Galvanise my heart and mind and soul meanwhile for this time of trial!

When I feel weak,

may I find strength from beyond myself and the assurance Your grace really is enough.  Reassure me I will find all the help I need.

When I’m afraid,

help me know my Protector is near and that the worst trauma will pass, the most painful suffering will end.  Grant me courage to keep following and do what’s right.

When I am broken-hearted,

save me from bitterness or resentment.  Help me to trust for light in the dark and peace in the storm.  Through my tears may I still see cause for praise and thanks.

When I’m lonely,

help me look to Your cross which You endured alone for me.  Thank You for saving us like this, in sorrow and deep vulnerability.  Help me reach out and find healing in Your wounds.

Help me, and those dear to me, today

For I trust in You.

Amen

 

New Year Prayer

‘Almighty God, our Father in heaven,

We bow before You, confessing our sins and the sins of our people in this generation.

We ask that in Your righteous judgement of Your earth you will remember mercy.

For Jesus’ sake Who gave Himself as the perfect offering of atonement, in Jesus’ name Who intercedes for us at Your right hand, hear the prayers of Your people worldwide tonight.

Pierce and flood our darkness once more with Your powerful light, the beautiful light of Jesus, full of grace and truth.

Build Your kingdom again in this place and in every country and people, for the whole earth belongs to You.

Turn the hearts of people away from everything wicked and corrupt, from all pride and foolishness and the idols we make for ourselves.  Kindle in us a love like no other, a thankful devotion, a joy-filled love for You and for righteousness.

Revive Your Church to call on Your name in prayer and serve in all goodness and love.  Add to Your people more from every tribe and tongue, then come Lord Jesus in glory, bring evil to an end and make all things new.

We pray today for governments and leaders around the world, that You would instil in them conscience, integrity and courage to legislate what is good and right to benefit everyone.  We pray for citizens and populations delivered from greed to share all You provide with humility and compassion.

We pray for those with responsibility for policies concerning the environment and healthcare.  Give to them reverence for creation, for each and every life.  Grant them wisdom and discernment in putting in place systems to bring protection and healing.

We pray for ourselves in the coming year, that our minds will be open to constant renewal by the inspiration of Your Word and our hearts will be open like our Master’s to a world lost in confusion and pain.

‘Restore us O Lord God Almighty; make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.’ (Psalm 80)

In Jesus’ name we pray

Amen’