Praying for our Christian brothers and sisters
by Rev Jacky Quarmby 5 August 2022
When we read Paul’s letters to the churches that he has established, it is clear that Paul is often on his knees praying for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes he is giving thanks for their faithfulness, at other times, as in this reading, he is praying that Christ will strengthen them through the Holy Spirit.
Taking time to give thanks for our fellow Christians and to pray for their work and ministry is an important way in which we express our oneness in Christ. Every year the Methodist Church produces a Methodist Prayer Handbook, which gives prayers for every day of the month. Each day contains prayers for Methodist churches overseas and Methodist churches in Britain. For example, today on Day 5, we pray for Christians in Cameroon and Nigeria and for the work of churches in the Birmingham District. Every year, there is a theme for the handbook. This coming year the theme is “The Greatest Commandment” and throughout the handbook there will be additional prayers on the theme of loving God and loving one another, that have been written by members of the Methodist Church.
Alongside the daily prayers, there is also a lectionary which sets out a bible reading and psalm for every day of the year. A commentary on the reading set for the day can also be found on the Methodist Church website under the heading “A Word in Time”. We shall be making a link from the Newmount website to “A Word in Time” very shortly.
I have used the Prayer Handbook for many years now and have enjoyed finding out about and praying for the work of different Methodist churches throughout the world and using the lectionary as a structure for daily prayer. The new handbook is published soon and I will be putting in an order at the end of August, as it is used by members of Chellaston and Findern churches. If anyone would like me to order them a copy (it costs £4.15), please email me at email@example.com or let one of the stewards know.
Paul says to the Church in Ephesus (Chapter 1: 15), “Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Let us follow Paul’s example and take the time to pray for our fellow Christians in the weeks and months ahead.
Song: These are the days of Elijah
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Guide and direct your Church, O Lord
That in essentials we may preserve our unity,
In non-essentials we may live in liberty and diversity
And in all things we may exist in love and charity
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(A prayer from the Prayer Handbook, written by Rupertus Meldensius (1582 – 1651))