Prayer for change
The Prayer for Change is printed simultaneously in the magazines of St Andrew’s URC, Lidgett Park Methodist Church and St Edmund’s.
An estimated 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year, poisoning food chains and damaging ecosystems. In June, the Marine Conservation Society invited people to take the Plastic Challenge to see how long they could go plastic free to help save our oceans and marine life. Could you give up plastic?
Father, we thank you for the new awareness, among many people, of the need to care for and heal your world. Show us, we pray, the actions we each can take to play our part in the healing process, to lead by example and to be prepared to give reasons for what we do. Green Christian
A prayer for Rachel
Rachel, our Church Missionary Society Link, asks us to pray for her
“Please take time to pray for me as I continue to put my call into action.
Please pray for peace in Pakistan and for the country’s leaders.
Please pray for the schools in which I work and for the teachers and children.
Pray for the bishop and the Diocese as they seek to be a witness to the Christian faith.
Please pray for my spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.”
A Morning prayer
Lord as I rise today, I thank you for Blessing me to see another wonderful day.
I understand Lord that I did not wake up by my power, or by my alarm clock.
It is by your Grace, I have been given another day in this world.
I am thankful that no matter what I face, you will never give me more than I can handle.
And you will never leave me or forsake me
Please help me to strengthen my faith
So I can walk in your light and feel the warmth of your love
In your name I humbly pray.
July’s message from Rev Nigel
On the 22nd of March, I was stunned when I heard about the terrorist attack that took place near the Palace of Westminster, 5 dead and 49 injured (4 critical). Thoughts and prayers abounded, the heartache and pain for all those involved and connected is beyond description. Like many of us, I have friends and family in London and my thoughts immediately turned to their safety.
We (The Wright family) had a trip to London planned for half term, a place I enjoy being in, whether work or play. Should we still go?
On the 22nd of May, the horror of the bomb attack at Manchester Arena brought so many of us to tears and grief – 22 dead and 119 injured (23 critical). The heartache and pain too much for too many!
We went to London in half term week, in faith, and felt very safe with all the security measures in place and were very grateful for wonderful London hospitality and that incredible “London Spirit” in the face of adversity.
We were home on the 2nd of June and on the 3rd of June we were horrified to hear of another attack on London Bridge, this time eight dead and at least 48 injured (21 critical). Again the frantic scramble to make sure our friends and family were ok!
In and amongst all this horror (in all three of these situations) was the emergency services, community services, churches, chapels, mosques, synagogues and temples, businesses and the wonderful wider public. So much love, care, kindness and generosity. The professional media broadcasting acts of courage and compassion.
The Archbishop of Canterbury responded in a radio interview (LBC) after the London Bridge attack:
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke to Andrew Pierce to give his reaction to the “terrible events of last night”, the London Bridge terror attack.
He said: “Tragically we’re becoming familiar with the profound horror and grief.”
He added: “I’m a Londoner, it’s no more than a mile or so from where we live, and we were just utterly grieved by what we heard.”
The Archbishop went on: “I’ve just come out of an absolutely packed service…where that sense of…standing with the people in London, and grief, was tangible.
“It was the most extraordinary atmosphere, but also resilience and determination. I think that reflects the reality of London. London is just showing why it is the world’s greatest city, with generosity, and with open hearts, and courage.”
The Archbishop told Andrew Pierce: “The only way that we can show what we’re made of is going on. We take sensible precautions.
“The terrorists want to divide us, they want to make us hate one another. They want to change our way of life.”
He added that the UK should concentrate in tackling the causes of extremism.
Justin Welby went on: “We must go on being profoundly and deeply hospitable…we mustn’t turn against people because of their faith or their category, but we must turn against people who seek to divide and destroy us.”
Andrew asked the Archbishop whether he fears there may be a backlash against the Muslim community.
He replied: “I am anxious about that, yes, that there would be a backlash against the Islamic community.
“Anyone who thinks of that, saying anything insulting on the tube or on the bus, or in the street, let alone attacking a mosque, or something like that, or anyone, they need to remember that if they do that, the terrorists give them a triple cheer.
“Because they’re doing exactly what the terrorists want them to do.”
And then literally as I was writing this, the Grenfell Tower block fire!! Horror and devastation beyond comprehension. So much pain and suffering, so much loss and grief. So much seen and experienced that will create deep wounds psychologically and emotionally, for a very long time.
The Queen responded in both word and deed:
“My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital.
“Prince Philip and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers who put their own lives at risk to save others.
“It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event.”
In a passage from the bible, is a moving depiction of love that ends with:
“…and these three remain, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.”
And it is with faith, hope and love that we work through these troubled times. I hope you will join me in prayer and practical action in support of all those who have lost loved ones, who have suffered and in many cases, will continue to suffer as a result of so many atrocities.
With love in Christ
Sermons are not about one person telling everyone else what they should believe or do. Rather, they are a time to reflect together on the scriptures and our lives and see what God may be saying to us through them. Sermons are like meals. Most meals just help us to keep alive and every now and then we are treated to a feast. Well most sermons are about feeding us spiritually. Every now and then, one of them will really speak to us – move us, challenge us, inspire us, or help us to see things in a new light. Hopefully you will find something helpful in a sermon that you hear at St. Edmund’s.
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