Day 11: Tuesday 23rd March 2020 Prayer for Eldership
As a church we believe that the spiritual life of the local church is led by groups of elders
This is a very specific role in the church and as succinctly as I can they have the responsibility for the following:
Over the last year we have been in the process of building an eldership team and a group of our men have been going up once a month to an exploring eldership course in Ambleside.
This course has been around exploring calling, character and gifting and challenging individuals, asking if they feel called to Eldership or not as this involves huge sacrifice, is often stressful, time consuming and a great weighty call.
Over this year we have been meeting together as a group and been discussing lots of things and different topics in the church and hopefully as a group of guys we will continue to do this over the next year while we pray and consider together.
Please pray for this group of guys and our church that God will make all things clear and he will speak to them.
Please pray for love, understanding, friendship and faith to grow in this groups as any Eldership team needs bonding with deep bonds of love!!
Again also please continue to pray for me as I pray, work and guide this process as it still is possibly one of the most important things I do in my present role as singular elder of our church.
Finally, please also pray for me as I lead Community Church Blackburn as its elder. Pray that I am totally reliant on God and faithful to him, heeding the bible and continuing to heed the advice which Andy Parr gave me. “Lean heavily on God, be gentle and humble, seek to be full of grace and love, be merciful and forgiving and you will be God’s man” Andy Parr 25th April 2017
Helpful Bible Verses
1 Timothy 3
This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honourable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
1 Peter 5:1-4
Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be.
Day 10: Monday 23rd March 2020 Prayer for ministry to the poor
Last Saturday, whilst doing Healing on the Streets, I sat down and spent around an hour talking to one of the rough sleeper guys sat outside HSBS bank.
He was a young guy, really personable and I just asked him what his story was and how he’d ended up in the situation. He was really candid, open and honest about himself including his drug habit etc. He was really lovely and let me pray for him however his story went something like this:
From an early age his mum, due to various reasons, had not been able to look after Him and his younger brother and sister had ended up in a neglected situation. His dad had then taken the children and done his best however, his father passed away when he was in his teens, leaving him to be the carer for his brothers and sisters. They had all gone into the care system, but due to grieving, bereavement and other issues struggled to adapt. In fact he was still struggling with grief when I talked to him.
He’d eventually got put into the hostel system where over the years had been beaten up, stolen from and in the process to numb everything started taking various drugs. He told me he preferred to stay on the street rather than go into some of the hostels or rental establishments that were available to him.
Now I agree with personal responsibility and bad life decisions have consequences, but this guy had started from a much tougher set of personal circumstances, in his childhood, than me or most people I know. If I had been dealt his deck of cards in life, I’m sure I would have played a similar hand in fact probably worse!!
When I have come across rough sleepers recently, I haven’t given them money, but I have tried to start spending a small amount of time (which I uniquely have in my situation) and ask them the same question. How did you end up here? All their stories are pretty similar to the one above.
On my travels I’ve also come across Stephen and Trudy Barnes, who have attended CCB a few times. They have an amazing ministry of going around on a Saturday morning from rough sleeper to rough sleeper, making these guys a brew, giving them a butty, but mainly taking the time to talk, pray for them, show real care for them and demonstrate the love of Jesus.
It’s truly amazing to behold!
Please pray for them in this ministry and if you interested in joining or helping them. I can get in contact and I’m sure they would be appreciative.
Recently a church member commented to me that they didn’t think, as a church, we really had a ministry to the poor!
Although I believe we do an amazing job of welcoming and caring for the poor, needy, messy and the stranger into our church. I would tend to agree with their assessment. I am praying for dreams, vision, prophetic direction and a heart within our church for this area of ministry. Please pray for this today as I believe that this should be in the core DNA of any church.
Finally pray other individual who are struggling and poor. The guys on the street are often visible but a lot of poverty happen behind close doors, for many, many reason not only financial.
Please pray for all the people who work in this area both inside the government and the charity sector.
We are all made in the image of God, all loved by the a father and if you’ve been journeying with us through Luke you will know how much compassion Jesus had!!
Helpful Bible Verses
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
1 John 3:17
Then Jesus said to his host . . . When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Day 9: Sunday 22nd March 2020 Prayer for the sick.
As a church we have been preaching our way through the book of Luke. If you’ve read any of the gospels or the New Testament you cannot get around the fact that Jesus went around healing a lot of people!!!
There seems to be something integral to the declaration of the God News of the Kingdom of God and praying for healing.
I believe Jesus healed the sick, I believe that people can be healed through the power and authority of the name of Jesus..
I believe Jesus also heals through modern medicine and there has been a long strong link between the church and the medical and nursing profession historically and today.
Please pray today for anyone in our church or does not attend, who works in the medical profession particularly at this time.
If people have any underlying health issues or are poorly already this can be a more worrying time than normal for them with people being concerned if hospital appointments may be cancelled or they will be able access to care. Please pray for the peace of Jesus for these people.
I can testify that I have seen miraculous immediate healing and also medical miracles when we pray and call on the name of Jesus!
Prayer really works and we regular pray for the sick in our church prayer meetings and the results are amazing!!
Make a list of anyone you know at the moment who is poorly and pray for them over the day.
Also over today please pray for the Healing on the Street Ministry. It is so precious and the impact its has on the town, on the people who regularly receive prayers and church unity is invaluable. In fact we have quite a few people attend at CCB who the direct link has been Healing on the Streets. So God is good!!
Helpful Bible Verses
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.
Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
Day 8: Saturday 21st March 2020 Prayer for the elderly and carers
Over the last few days, I’ve had the privilege of talking to our more mature members of our church and what a joy it has been!!! Due to the coronavirus what we’ve been doing is trying to ensure people are as connected as possible. So we have spent time ringing people trying to get them set up on Whatsapp, Facebook and Zoom, if they are not already.
I never expected IT tech support would be in the job description of church elder!! 😊
Its amazing how God works! Due to the wonders of technology Zoom etc… I suspect people who normally struggle to attend small groups and prayer meetings may now be able to participate, so I’m expecting a bumber turn out on for our prayer meeting on Sunday night between 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Isn’t that exciting!! 😊
We have a great bunch of mature people in our church. They are funny, clever, resilient, caring, encouraging, open to new ideas, humble, positive and most importantly Godly! Our older guys have fantastic faith and love of God and are a great example to us all.
Youngies if you don’t know the oldies you are missing out!!! They’re awesome!!
Pray for them, text them, WhatsApp them or call them at this time, as well as they may feel worried and isolated.
As a church can I encourage you to look out for your more mature neighbours where you live. Knock on their door, introduce yourself (from a Distance!!). Check if they need shopping or a chat!! One of the ways we can show the love of Jesus as Christians is by caring for our elderly and most vulnerable in our locality not just in our church.
Finally please, please pray for our church members who work in the care profession or carers in general. It’s interesting when the nation experiences a crisis like this, it comes to light who and what are the essential services and what is not. With the essential often not always being the best remunerated or honoured in society.
A lot of you may have seen a video an emotional video of a nurse struggling to get hold of food after her shift. If you know or are anyone in a similar situation, please contact us.
I just want to honour all those who care for the elderly you do an amazing, invaluable job and as a church let’s spend a little time today praying and thanking God for them.
Helpful Bible Verses
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.
1 Timothy 5:8
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets. Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Day 7: Friday 20th March 2020 Prayer for the leadership team
Jesus said if you really, really want to be a leader, then you need to be a servant.
We are really blessed by a wonderful group of servant hearted people who make up the leadership team at Community Church Blackburn.
These guys spend hours and hours behind the scenes making everything you see happen at church, happen!. They don’t get paid, they are all extremely busy people outside the church, yet they care enough about Jesus, the church and the furtherance of Kingdom of God to sacrifice their time, energy and prayers.
Let me introduce you to them so you can pray:
Gina Berry: Gina takes care of all the finances, auditing etc. This is a massive, complicated and responsible job which takes hours and hours to work through and sort out. I know I’ve seen her work! Gina is also amazing at making people feel welcome and loved and is one of the most thoughtful individuals I know. Gina often can make you feel happy and loved when you’re feeling sad and does so much behind the scenes pastorally.
Sylvanus Bowlin: Often leads the charge with of our prayer life at CCB. Sylvanus leads and preaches which takes hours and hours to prepare. Sylvanus often sets up the church for Sunday morning (Which is a huge task), leads a Growth Group and provides the home for another Growth Group! Sylvanus and Francine will be the people often last in the building on a Sunday afternoon when everyone else is gone to tidy and lock up. Sylvanus is a real man of God!! You will always know you’ve got a Godly, calm, faith filled wise answer when you’ve talked to him.
Angela Shanks: Angela is the chair of trustees and it’s her responsibility to ensure that CCB complies to the law and charity commission. There’s so much work goes that goes on behind the scenes regarding this and its Angela’s job to often balance, moving out in faith and being wise. Angela leads and preaches, often organising the youth service which is a huge undertaking. Angela leads CCB youth, attends and arranges Newsday and Devoted. Along with many, many other tasks which go on in the background.
Lisa Norcross: Everything you see visually or artistically at CCB will be the work of Lisa. Lisa looks after our noticeboard, builds and maintains our website and social media. Lisa compiles and produces our notice sheets, leaflets and flyers and also does lots of admin work in the background. Lisa also does a lot of ordering for the church to make sure all stocks are maintained etc… Lisa has for many years been leading or involved in or Children’s work (Particularly younger years) Lisa does all these while having the challenge of being married to me!!
Geoff Shanks: Geoff overseas much of the practical operation of the church. Geoff puts together the Rota and serving (which takes hours and hours and sometimes feels like juggling with water!!!). All the IT, overhead, PA equipment used on Sunday has over the years been assembled by Geoff. If any of this break (which it often does) Geoff will be the one fixing it or working out how to make it work!! Geoff looks after the prayer chain and a lot of the communication process we have at CCB. Geoff leads the Youth along with Angela and is involved in all aspects of this. Geoff organises all Devoted and Newday and has the unenviable task of figuring out how to house around 40 people for 4 day/week in a field!! Geoff leads and preaches, which again takes a huge amount of time to prepare. Geoff will often be the person who I will consult with around practical considerations for the church as he has an acute practical and operational wisdom!! (So for example I have been on the phone to him a lot over this week working out what we do around the Covid19 virus)
Andy Berry (New): Andy has just been brought into the leadership team and has for years faithfully led our worship on a Sunday morning. Andy has a gift (along with Gina) of just being in the background and making sure that the most vulnerable in our church are cared for. Often when I visit pastorally, Andy will have proceeded me and whilst he’s there fixed the gate or built a wall!! 😊 There is a great calmness, gentleness and common sense wisdom with Andy which I’m sure will bring balance to members of the leadership team with more fiery passionate temperaments 😊
Pete Smith (New) Pete Smith now leads the worship team. I hope you have noticed the progress 😊 This takes hours and hours of work. Sorting music, picking people up, setting up drum kits on a Sunday doing and preparing worship practices etc…. Pete will often be at church before 9am on a Sunday morning after picking up around 5 people beforehand and be one of the last ones to leaves. Pete also leads one of our Growth Group and I know he puts hours and hours of work (along with Beth) into this. Pete is a great man of prayer and you always know that everything he does, or is involved with will be done prayerful and be soaked in the presence of God.
These are just some of the tasks that these guys do and this is before I start bombarding them with emails, messages and phone calls asking them to attend leadership meetings or thinking and praying about really complicated difficult decisions😊
We are so, so blessed to have these guys as leaders in our church. Remember they are humans; non are professional church leaders and I can vouch for them all they work tirelessly, and they really care 😊
Please pray for them us as team and individually that we will strengthen bonds of love, that we will lead, wisely, gently, servant heartedly and lovingly giving God all the Glory!
It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counsellors there is victory.
1 Timothy 3:8-10
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Day 6: Thursday 19th March 2020 Prayer for Youth
(By Angela Shanks Youth Leader)
We have some wonderful and precious young people in our church. They are growing
up in a complex and challenging environment. We believe that God has big plans for
each one of them and for them as a group. They are already blessing us such a lot at
Please take time to pray for each one of them individually- This is a list of their names:
Dan, Adam, Amy M, Isaac, Ryan, Cerys, Amy N, Abi, Jairus, Isaiah, Ianna, David, Izzy,
Fiona and Rebecca.
Pray that they will strengthen their faith by spending time with God every day.
Pray that they will read and grow to love His word.
Pray that they will pray and grow to trust Him more.
Pray that they will learn more about how to worship Him from the heart.
Pray for their protection from Satan as he tries to distract, divert, waylay, trap and hurt them in various ways.
Pray also for wisdom and courage for their parents and carers as they try to love them and help them navigate this tricky time of life.
Please pray for them as their lives are touched by Coronavirus. They may not be high risk in terms of health risk but what about the GCSEs they have worked so hard for? The Youth Service they have been working so hard on? 7up meetings? And New Day Xtra? And maybe even New Day? Big Christian festivals are a massive source of encouragement, challenge and growth for our youngsters and we need to pray for that God will protect and bless and grow them very specially in other ways if these events are cancelled.
Pray also for those not yet in our youth. They may be friends of our young people or contacts that we have not yet made.
We want more young people to have the opportunity to live with and for Jesus and to know the joy and peace that only He can give.
Pray that our youth are brave and winsome in sharing their faith with their friends and in welcoming new youth in.
3/17/2020 0 Comments
Day 5: Wednesday 18th March 2020 Prayer for Children, families and Children Workers
(By Beth Smith Kids work leaders at CCB)
In church we currently have between 15 and 20 children aged 1-11 years. This is a significant increase to where we were last year and it's fantastic to see so much growth and life in kids work. We’ve have had to change how we do kids work and we are continually adapting and changing what we do to try and make our kids work the best it can be.We have a brilliant team of people who serve faithfully and have a real love for the kids we work with.
As a team we are praying for the children to encounter God in new ways. We want kids work on a Sunday to be a place that kids want to come to, not school, but somewhere exciting and fun. We want every child to have an opportunity to get to know more about their Father in heaven, whether they've been coming to church since they were tiny or it’s their first time visiting. We know that God speaks to kids, we know that he loves them, we know he has a plan and purpose for each of them, we know that what they learn now will stay with them and set them up for the future.
Sunday kids work is not a place to keep the kids occupied so the adults can get on with the important stuff. We want it to be the place where we get to regularly share the gospel, where we get to talk about tough theological questions (kids aren't afraid to ask difficult questions!!), where we can see people stepping out in spiritual gifts for the first time, where we can see seeds sown for the future, where kids can gain a solid foundation, learn that they are fully accepted and loved and begin to walk in the full plans and purposes of God in their lives. It's an exciting place to be!
We also have a toddler group that meets at Bentham Road Surgery on Thursday mornings. This is a place where we hope to meet families for the first time. We aim to build friendships and show them a God who loves and cares for them. The group has struggled a bit since we lost a lot of children to nursery and school after the summer holidays but has recently seen new growth and a deepening of friendships with one or two families who have been coming for a while now.
Please pray for:
What does the Bible say?
1. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
2. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
3. Deuteronomy 4:9-10 “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.”
4. Matthew 19:13-15 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
5. 1 Timothy 4:10-11 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
6. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Day 4: Tuesday 17th March 2020 Prayer for prodigals
One of the saddest things I come across as I meet people is interacting with individuals who at one time would profess to follow Jesus and at one point did go to church and have just gently drifted away.
Often their story goes like this:
I personally have experienced this, I personally have drifted from church and faith and gone into the Wilderness for some time.
However, I strongly, strongly believe it was through the consistent prayers of other Christians, who truly loved me and cared for me, that I was found by Jesus again.
I want to share, what I believe is true
Yes, it is possible to be a Christian without regularly attending church. However, I am convinced that it is highly improbable that your faith is good if existent at all!!
In all my Christian life I have never met a single Christian who did not regular attend church who had a healthy relationship with Jesus.
Yes church is hard work sometimes, yes it doesn’t always function how it should, yes sometimes churches get it wrong, yes sometimes it may feel a bit cheesy where the worship and preaching will not be up to the standard of Hillsong or Bethel. Yes the church probably could be doing more outreach and ministry to the poor.
However the Church is the bride of Christ!!. Jesus loves the Church, Jesus works through a people!!
I am 100% sure that the faith and faithfulness of Christians who regularly attend a church are much, much better than those who do not go.
Being part of a family and people of God, in a geographic location is being part of church.
If you’re reading this and not going to church please, please, please get yourself to one!!! There isn't any perfect ones and if there was you'd spoil it by attending 😊.The church is only made perfect through the blood of Christ!!
If your thinking of stopping going to church for whatever reason, please, please, please keep going and talk to someone about it.
I believe its significant that the writers of the New Testament for example Peter and Paul spent a significant amount of time telling their readers to keep going, keep meeting.
Even the Corinthian church which was arguably one of the most terrible churches ever!! Paul advice was not to stop attending, apart from one guy who he threw out so he would repent and be redeemed! So unless that’s you God wants you to attend church if you are a follower of Jesus. It’s in the bible in lots of places!!! You cannot wiggle out of it!!!
If you’re not convinced by any of the reasons I’ve laid out above read this blog for more 😊 99 Reasons you should go to church this weekend
If you are attending church and you know prodigals, today just bring them to mind, pray for them, why don’t you text them or call them. Ask them to come back. Apologise to them if necessary but primarily show them the love of Jesus.
Pray for the prodigals. God wants them back!!!!
Helpful Bible Verses
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Luke 15: 11-32
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Day 3: Monday 16th March 2020 Prayer for our workplaces
You are most likely reading this eating your cornflakes or your toast, getting ready to go into your place of work, college, school, parenting or volunteer role. Yesterday you might have felt really close to God, maybe church was great!! God is good!!!
You might think God was only interested in all the spiritual stuff going on over the weekend but now you’re about to embark on you normal day to day slog.
That’s not important, Gods not interested in that!!
God is so, so interested in what you do during the day at your work.
God has put you in that place for a reason, there is no one in the world doing what you are doing, where you are doing it at this time or point.
You are uniquely made and uniquely placed, and God is given you the gifts to do the tasks for Him.
It is as important, if not arguably more important to demonstrate the fruit of the spirit in your workplace than it is in church.
Your boss may be terrible!! Your workplace may be terrible but your real boss is God and as Christians we are called to be good employees not for our Glory but for His Glory.
Jesus says pray for your enemies, bless them. Where are you most likely to find people who feel like enemies today?? Often bad bosses or lazy work mates can often feel the closes things to enemies we have.
If work is hard, stressful or tough who do you turn to? Do you pray?
Are you thankful for your work? often its Gods provision and His Grace
Where do you think as Christians our light needs to shine brightest?
Where in your life do you think you are going to have the greatest opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus to real life non-Christians??and I don’t mean bible bashing!!
Work is Good. For people not to work or take park in work like activity is not good for them. In my experience often people who don’t work become depressed or a bit listless because we are designed for it.
God is a working God. God made work (and rest) commissioning humans to work before the fall. However, it was only after the fall where God said thorns are going to start grow in the field. There will be thorns in your workplace. Stuff will frustratingly go wrong and not the way you planned. But that’s part of the fall and the damage of sin. Whichever job you have whatever job you do there will always be frustrations.
Your work is your worship!!! You are worshiping and glorifying God though you work with it being of equal importance as to whatever happens Sunday.
Today pray for yourself ask God to help you to be a better employee just as the bible teaches us to do. So He is glorified
Ask God to give you patience and grace to help you deal with and endure the thorns.
This is really, really, really, really hard but hey what do you think the Holy Spirit it for?
Pray for the prosperity and the wellbeing of your workplaces as well. If your workplace has a bad atmosphere you can be the catalyst for change.
Pray for your work mates. They may be frustrating, annoying and lazy however they are made in the image of God. Loved by Jesus and need His salvation and His Spirit in their life. Show them the Love of Jesus and pray, pray, pray for them and when you pray for them you might learn to love them as well 😊
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
Day 2: Sunday 15th March 2020 Prayer for families
One of Gods greatest blessings are our families. When we read the bible, we see that most of the stories are based around family life. This would lead us to conclude that God often works primarily through and in the context of families and is interested in them.
There are some great examples in the bible of when families are operating well, and often there are many stories of huge disfunction (Abraham, Jacob and David come to mind). However, this never stops God working out his plans or purposes.
Families are important and it’s the primary place where Satan can often get in and cause havoc. Or the primary place where we are going to have to demonstrate the fruits of the spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Love within a family gives so much Glory to God and is a beautiful picture of the Trinity!!
Family is a great blessing but also can be very tough requiring forgiveness and patience😊
Pray for yourselves and your families that there will be more fruits of the spirit in your relationships!
We also want to pray for salvation and healing in our families. Pray for all your family members who are maybe not in a relationship with Jesus or following Him. Pray that they come to faith. Remember the Good news of Jesus is for all. There is no one off limits!!
Pray for ways you can demonstrate the radical love of Jesus to them
Why don’t you ask them to church, or go with them on the next Alpha course or invite them to your small group or finally talk to them about your faith in Jesus and how you love them you don’t want them to miss out.
So get on your knees and pray for fruit and pray for salvation.
Helpful Bible Verses
1 Corinthians 13:8
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
Stephen Norcross is an elder, married to Lisa and living in Blackburn. Stephen works full time for Community Church Blackburn. Stephen studied music at university and uses his musical gifts leading worship. He also has a passion for bible teaching.