At this time where we cannot join together in person in our acts of worship, here are some prayers that you can use at home.
If you are able, you could stop at 12 noon each day and spend a few moments to think about and pray for our Emmanuel Church Family and our Brigade Family. It would be a joy to think that at that moment each one of us could be connected in prayer.
Rest assured we are working behind the scenes in these uncertain times to find new ways of keeping us all connected.
We are setting up a dedicated prayer team. If you have any prayer request or need help praying please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively additional prayer resources can be found on the Methodist Church Website here.
Find a quiet and restful space to sit, maybe light a candle or put out your favourite cross, picture or an open Bible to help you to focus. You could begin by reading a Psalm or a piece of scripture, why not start reading through one of the Gospels, a few verses each day
. You could also play a song or a piece of music on a cd or why not sing a verse of your favourite hymn.
Then breathe deeply and begin … God is waiting with great joy to spend time with you!
TIME FOR PRAYERS OF COMPASSION
Think on those thoughts that have been unhelpful to you and others, the things you have done which you should not have done and those things which you should have done but have not. Bring them to God in prayer.
Remember that as we seek forgiveness the Lord is swift to remove those sins from us and we are forgiven. Hallelujah!
PRAYER OF ADORATION
You are the source of all life,
The fount of all wisdom, the wellspring of all grace.
Your days are without end, your loving mercies without number, I depend on you and remember your goodness to me, and to those who have gone before.
Your story has been told in every generation: the Lord Jesus Christ lived among us, full of grace and truth, revealing your tender mercy, he healed the sick, comforted the broken and lost.
In humility he washed the feet of his disciples, calling us to follow his example as one who serves.
You are my God, ahead of me, leading me, guiding me and calling me; you are the Lord God, the all-wise, the all compassionate. And I lift my heart in worship today and for ever. Amen
TIME FOR PRAYERS FOR OTHERS AND FOR OURSELVES
Take time to reflect and pray for the world, which God made and loves.
For those amongst whom you live, your neighbours, your family and friends and for yourself.
For situations in the news today.
Our church family remembering those that are older and more vulnerable at this time and also in particular the following three folk that you have chosen to remember each day.
For those in our Boys' Brigade and Girls' Brigade family, the leaders and the officers too.
For our community groups who can no longer meet and work with vulnerable folk in our church particularly, The AA, The Women’s Centre, The Carers Group and our church charity Christian Community Action
THE LORD’S 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.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
As with all your creation
I offer you the life of this day.
Give me grace to love and serve you to the praise of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
A Reflection by Revd. David Jenkins
PSALM 130 - A Psalm for our times
"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
(New Revised Standard Version)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel from
all its iniquities."
It doesn't take much imagination to link the psalm with our own times.
The whole world is in danger of being stricken by a terrible disease. The actual disease itself, the fear of it, the economic repercussions of it and the isolation and loneliness of trying to avoid it, place us in a situation we've never been in. We can't even see our own families or friends. We can't worship in Church together; we can't act in many of the ways in which we usually choose to spend our time and energy.
We are "in the depths". And it's from the depths that we cry out for meaning, for a voice that will listen.
Our hope has to be bigger than simply being rooted in ourselves or in other people-after all, there are so many limits to our understanding of what we're up against. Perhaps there are limits to our trust, as well, regarding, not only people's competence, but their integrity. So we cry out to God-the Creator and Lover of the world.
When we cry out to God we discover that God is not far from us -God is in the depths too - all the depths of our experience are in God; God is in the very depths of our being. God is not remote and removed but powerfully palpable and present and personal.
According to another Psalm "The understanding of God is beyond measure", and according to this one, "There is forgiveness with you". Understanding and forgiveness go hand in hand. The Roman philosopher Seneca said, "To understand all is to forgive all"-and only God understands all and can forgive all. The God we meet in the depths is the God who is for us, knowing where we are, meeting us in our needs, and helping us through.
The Psalm speaks about waiting and watching and longing. We are in a waiting "lockdown" situation and none of us knows how long this is due to last- for 12 weeks? until schools re-open in September? for the foreseeable future? We just don't know. Another Psalm asks the question, "How long, O Lord?" but this one recognises the necessity of waiting, linking waiting, not with despair, but with hope. Hope is rooted in the character of the God we encounter in the depths of our lives.
God is described by three strong phrases-"there is forgiveness with you"; "with the Lord there is steadfast love" and "with him is great power to redeem".
In the situation we are facing we are not without hope, because, however isolated or lonely we may feel, we are not alone. God is with us.
Becoming aware of God's presence with us makes all the difference.
We are not alone, because, not only are we forgiven and presented with constantly fresh beginnings, not only are we loved with absolute consistency and unfailing commitment, but God has "great power to redeem", to turn situations around for the better, to lift, to improve, to transform.
While our hope is rooted in God and definitely not in ourselves, part of that hope is what God can do through human beings. In this present crisis people have not always acted wisely, selflessly or without panic; and yet we are also seeing courage, skill, unselfish dedication, wisdom and kindness in other people. God can and does work through us, but neither God's actions nor our hope are limited to human achievements.
In this crisis, as with any other, the attentive, forgiving, loving and redeeming God waits and watches with us-and that is the source of the greatest hope we could ever have.