Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey

Prayer for June 2018

 This month in the Romsey and Wellow Gazette there is an article that was written by 5 members of this congregation in an effort to reach out to people in the area who are ‘Feeling Alone’ (this is the title of the article). There are so many people of all ages and from all walks of life who are feeling alone and lacking in friendship. Is there someone near you who would welcome a word from you – perhaps an invitation to join you for a cup of tea and a chat or to join one of the many activities that we have within our church?

As you think about that, will you join with everyone reading this magazine in a prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ who, during that first Good Friday, knew what it was to have no friends around him just when he needed them.

Suffering and deserted Lord, you know what it is like to be left alone in your hour of need and cried from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”. Look with love upon all of those who find themselves alone and grant them the comfort of knowing that you are always with each one of us and you will never desert us.

Also grant, we pray, that those of us who know your presence will watch out for those who need us and take the initiative to share your love with whosoever needs it.

We ask this that we may do your will.

Amen.

Derek Hiscocks

Prayer for May 2018

(prayer for the ‘Say one for me’ initiative) 

Living God, in the Risen Christ Jesus and the Power of the Holy Spirit, you move us to prayer. Jesus taught us to pray in simple, heart-felt words and from the silence of our hearts, as he prayed alone. 

Loving, compassionate God, there are so many people in the world, in our own communities and neighbourhoods, who have such deep concerns and needs, yet feel somehow unable to come to you in prayer, or who consider their faith too weak to pray. 

As the father of the epileptic child exclaimed “I believe, help my lack of belief“ (Mark 9:24) help us when we find it difficult to believe, when faced by dreadful circumstances of life and to hold others in their deep distress, especially as we as local churches go out into the local community to meet people and ask them to share their prayer needs. 

Through this outreach and show of Christ’s compassion, help people to know they are cared for and precious in your eyes, Loving God. So, may we be channels of your peace and healing and all-embracing love. In Jesus’ name. Amen 

Revd Mike

Prayer for April 2018

I remember well the time when at primary school we started learning joined-up writing and my parents bought me my first fountain pen. It was hard work, needing hours of practice and I still remember the ink plots!  This was well before word processors, computers and iPads.

Many years later I was learning Cantonese in the language school in Hong Kong whose study involved writing Chinese characters. I never got very far with them and most of them I have forgotten, but I do remember the importance of the stroke order which had to be memorised.

Many things we forget if we do not practise them. They go into some kind of passive memory. Some things can be recalled and revived, some we lose completely. This kind of thing can happen also in our spiritual lives.

During the Lent Studies this year we have been talking about 'The Rule of Life', based on the Benedictine spirituality, learning what it means in practice to say 'Yes' to God who says 'Yes' to us on a daily basis. This is a life long journey of growing and learning, remembering that the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us grows not because of our own efforts, although our co-operation is needed, but because of us being connected to the true vine, us abiding in Christ as he abides in us.

We might forget the 'stroke order' and make many mistakes, but despite these 'ink blots' God, the vine-grower is faithful and merciful. We can always start again.

We pray with the words of the chorus of the hymn written by Graham Kendrick (Make Way Music 1993), the hymn used in the 'Women's World Day of Prayer' Service this year.

'God of the poor, friend of the weak, give us compassion we pray:
melt our cold hearts, let tears fall like rain;
come, change our love from a spark to a flame.'

Leena Knowles

Prayer for March 2018

These thoughts are written following a very successful 'Community Awareness' Sunday.  Christmas donations had been sent to four local groups involving children and adults.  Representatives and the Town Mayor came to the service and made us aware of the concern and action for people with illness, depression, homelessness and lack of  friendship. 

Coming home, we heard  the news of OXFAM's problems overseas; the effect of sexual misconduct by their employees will have  emphasised how the actions of a small number can effect so many..   It will give impetus  to those who wish to reduce or even remove oversea aid.    Our prayers are for those who are in need in so many ways.

God our Father
All around we see limitation; the struggle of the poor to survive; the exploitation of women. The longing of the unloved.

Lord,
We hear of those who serve the community; those who tend the sick, others who offer guidance and have sympathetic hands. In your name we bless them.

God our Mother
There are women who long for children and children without parents; men without a friendship. The longing of the unloved.

Lord, In Jesus, we see God who healed the sick, liberated the unloved and spoke to the outcast. In your name we bless them.

God, the Holy Spirit   
There are those who fail to see the foreigner as family members. One to oppress or abuse.

Lord, We remember your words, 'Come to me, all who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest'. 

Geoff Prestage

Prayer for February 2018

A PRAYER FOR FEBRUARY

In the early stages of 2018, we bring you Lord our praise and thanks for all your care and guidance throughout 2017.  We pray that we may always be conscious of your presence with us as this year continues to unfold.  We pray that it will be a year when, as a church fellowship and as individuals, we may be drawn closer in our relationship with you and accomplish all that you have for us as we go forward, strong in the strength which you supply through your eternal Son, Amen.

Daphne Purver

Prayer for December 2017

As I am sitting down in front of my computer to write this prayer we have just had out first two frosts, harbingers of colder weather to come.  The days are getting shorter and we can expect slippery roads and pavements but it is not all bad news.  We can also expect large flocks of Brent Geese coming to our shores from Greenland and Scandinavia accompanied by flocks of waders coming from colder climes to over-winter here.  Also we can expect flocks of Fieldfare and Bramblings further inland.  Wonderful sights.  Without winter we would not see these visitors. Also, without winter our appreciation of spring would be so much less. So let us praise and thank the Lord for his marvellous creation. And now our prayer.

Creator God we thank you for this world on which we live, we thank you for the seasons which we can enjoy for what they bring us.  Help us enjoy each season for the sights and joy that it brings.

But Lord we want to bring before you those for whom winter is a time of trial with its cutting winds and treacherous roads and pavements.  We want to pray for those who will be cold because they cannot afford to use heating, for those without sufficient food and those who are living rough. 

Great God be with them and show us how we can help them.

This is a time when we can look forward to Christmas and the birth of Jesus - born in a stable and shortly afterwards fleeing from Herod as a refugee.  Lord we know there are so many refugees stuck in the countries of Europe now that borders have been closed.  For them Christmas Day will be just another day of starvation and illness. 

Great God be with them and show us how we can help them.

We lift into your presence all those who are lonely.  Lord we would be delighted to befriend them. Guide them to us. 

Great God be with them and show us how we can help them.

May we see the face of Christ in all we meet and may they see Christ in our faces and in our actions.      Amen.

                                                                                    Derek Hiscocks

Prayer for November 2017

Great God we thank you for the seasons.  We were grateful to see the new fresh green leaves in Spring and then the magnificence of fully clothed trees in Summer – but that is now past.  As we approach Winter you lift our hearts and our spirits with the beautiful display of the colours of our Autumn trees.  They take our breath away with the yellows and gold, the pinks and reds, the russets and browns. Each year you give us cause for awe and wonder as we ponder your creation.

We feel so happy to be a part of your creation and we recall that you made us in your image with all the other peoples on Earth.  You made us all with the capacity to love – to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love each other – enemies as well as friends.

In that sense of love, we ask your blessings on those for whom Autumn is a time of ferocious winds and deluge of rain – for the people in the Caribbean, for those in Bangladesh, for those in Ireland and Scotland.  They are endeavouring to recover from hurricanes and storms.  May they have courage and strength, food and water and the finance they need to rebuild.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Derek Hiscocks

Prayer for October 2017

Living God, we give thanks for the fruits of the earth to sustain us for daily living and for all that nourishes us in body, mind and spirit.

We give thanks for all that stimulates our minds.

We appreciate good books and for all that can inspire us through Radio and Television.

We give thanks for those called to leadership in the Church, May they heighten our awareness of your Spirit in our daily lives.

In to-day's world there is a great need for your Spirit of love, peace and hope to reign.  Grant your strength to all who work in situations of need.  Use them to bring healing of body, mind and spirit. In their ministry we recognise your Presence. May it renew our belief that nothing in life or death need ever separate us from your love. In the spirit of Jesus Christ we pray.  

Amen

Alan Green

Prayer for September 2017

Do you ever find your thoughts wandering, maybe when having a quiet prayer in the privacy of your home, during the time of worship when listening to a sermon, or praying together with others? However sincere our intentions, this happens.

Let us take comfort from God’s promises in Scripture that the Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (Romans 8.26).

As we return after the summer months to our autumn activities, let us pray that we may be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, remembering what God has done in the past, but also being open to new ideas and new ways of working together.

We pray with the words of Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471).

“Merciful Lord, enlighten me with a clear shining inward light and remove all darkness from my heart. Repress my many wandering thoughts”

Amen

Leena Knowles

 

Prayer for July & August 2017

Avril Bamber's service in June used colours as visual aids for our worship. In our service Avril had words of prayer for rainbow colours but also referred to BLACK, illustrated in many newspapers by the burnt-out shell of the high-rise flats in Kensington. RED can also be a reminder of good and bad; the enveloping flames or the fire engines. Some of us were given a prayer card with coloured ribbons. 

LORD - teach us to pray without words as we reflect the colours that surround us: 

RED - for the love of God all around. 

BLUE – for God's over-arching presence reflected in clear skies and calm seas 

GREEN – the trees and plants of creation that sing God's goodness to us 

GOLDEN YELLOW – in sunshine, in flowers, in precious gifts given in love. 

But also, Lord, we pray for those who have lost family and friends, for those with bleak memories that will not go away. 

RED engines – of the fire brigade 

BLUE uniforms – of the police 

GREEN AND YELLOW – for the gifts of food, clothing, hugs and sympathy that have been offered. 

For guidance and blessing we ask this in the name of Christ our Lord. 

Amen

Geoff Prestage

Notices

  • This Sunday

    Sunday 22 July

    10.30 am    Family Service led by the Minister

      6.30 pm    Evening Service led by the Minister

    Please note during the summer all evening services will be held in the church.

    The week ahead and forthcoming events

    Tuesday 24 July

    9.30 am     Prayer Meeting in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Readings to be used: Psalm 23 and Mark 6: 30-44

    7.30 pm in Abbey Hall Lounge.

    In preparation for leading our morning communion service on Sunday 5 August our Synod Moderator Revd Clare Downing invites you to explore with her the lectionary readings for the day and try to discern how they connect with the life of the church.

    Wednesday 25 July

    1.45 pm Service of thanksgiving and funeral of Sylvia Puffett at Test Valley Crematorium, led by Revd Alan Green

    Next Sunday

    Sunday 29 July

    10.30 am   Family Worship led Stephen Ings

    6.30 pm     Evening Worship led by Angela Bevan

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