In this moment
A prayer of new appreciation for the community of the church
Lord of the church,
what a gift you have given us in the body of Christ,
in living stones locally assembled to be a spiritual house.
Sometimes I haven’t seen my congregation that way,
as I have grumbled and complained about my spiritual family,
selfishly looked to my own needs before the interests of others,
and carelessly neglected my need to meet with brothers and sisters,
for their encouragement and mine.
Now I see things more clearly –
valuing little things like the chat before or after worship,
that reminds me that someone else cares;
cherishing the opportunity to raise my voice with others in praise of God,
even if they or I am a little out of tune;
gaining a new sense of awe for the word of God preached,
and the way it challenges and encourages my everyday walk with Jesus;
setting much more store on your invitation to ask, seek and knock in prayer,
now that we have seen you give,
found you answering,
and known doors opened,
during the period of pandemic,
life under lockdown.
Help me not to lose this new found appreciation for the community of my church,
as things begin to return to normal.
Help me not to take for granted those who lead and serve,
but to pray for and support them as they labour in the Lord,
listening, learning and lending a hand where I can.
Help me to express a fresh commitment to the life of my church,
and its living witness to Jesus,
experienced in those ways that show we belong to him,
and to one another.
Chosen and precious cornerstone,
thank you for the people of your choosing,
that make up my congregation,
built together as one,
a holy nation of fellow travellers,
your special possession,
called out of darkness to bear your light.
In Jesus’ name.
Sunday 30 August
- Give thanks for God’s faithfulness, asking that we might praise him for all the ways he provides and protects us in our worship today.
- Pray that those who are struggling in life or faith would know God upholding and strengthening them with his sufficient grace.
Monday 31 August
- Give thanks for the church’s voice in the public square, asking God that he would give wisdom and the right words and ways to seek to bring his influence to bear on an increasingly secular society.
- Pray for a growing recognition of the value and worth of God’s ways in society in general and many individual lives.
Tuesday 1 September
- Give thanks for the creative ways ministry among children has continued during the period of coronavirus lockdown, asking that God would continue to give leaders ways of keeping in touch and sharing God’s love while normal patterns of connection remain disrupted.
- Pray for a growing awareness of God – his presence, love and power – in the lives of children as they continue to navigate daily life and return to school.
Wednesday 2 September
New church year
- Give thanks to God for the beginning of another new church year, asking that it might be one in which our church life is deepened and our witness extended.
- Pray that God would smooth a way through the many obstacles to normal church life that result from ongoing restrictions and social distancing, enabling weekly ministry and mission in his name.
Thursday 3 September
Prism Bible studies
- Give thanks to God for PCI’s new Prism Bible studies which enable congregations and their members to reflect on what God has been teaching them through the period of coronavirus and lockdown.
- Pray that many would use and benefit from the studies and so know their lives and witness further shaped into the image of Christ by the experiences of 2020.
Friday 4 September
Medical progress in the fight against coronavirus
- Give thanks for increased medical and scientific understanding of coronavirus, asking God for continued progress in finding ways to combat its effects.
- Pray particularly for the global search for a vaccine, asking God for rapid progress and a safe and successful outcome.
Saturday 5 September
Digital and distanced resourcing
- Give thanks for the variety of ways PCI has adapted to the need to move many aspects of ministry to a digital platform and work at a distance during the coronavirus and lockdown period.
- Pray for the Council for Congregational Life and Witness as it develops its digital and distanced programme to support congregations throughout the rest of 2020 while much of its normal activity remains curtailed, asking God for creativity and agility.