Thaxted Day of Prayer

Saturday, 14th November 2020,

9.00am-5.00pm

We invite our whole community to join us in prayers for Thaxted, for our community and surrounding area, and all those impacted by Covid 19 – the lonely, the unwell, those who have lost jobs, homes, businesses, our local schools, our doctors and nurses, those fearful for the future, and the list goes on ….. 

Having chosen your 15-minute timeslot, or multiple slots, or perhaps you are just finding some quiet time during the day, below is some guidance /ideas you might find helpful - scroll down to see these headings:

Settling Into Prayer - some ideas to help you get started.

Prayers and bible readings to help you - links to prayers provided by different churches

Prayer Requests - specific requests received for prayer for today.

Our neighbours and communities need love, hope, peace and an eternal perspective and we can offer this in abundance, in the name of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:18).  We want to call all our local churches to prayer and provide you with some words and ideas to help because we believe in the power of our collective prayers and actions at this time. 

 

Settling into Prayer

Find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Jesus said, ‘when you pray, go into your room and shut the door.’ If you can’t find peace in your home, then maybe praying while walking or in the car (eyes open!) would be easier for you.

Surround yourself with whatever helps you to concentrate. Flowers, pictures/ icons, a cross, music, a candle.

Get comfortable – you don’t have to kneel down unless it helps you to pray. Jesus probably stood up to pray, at least in public worship.

Quietening exercises. We need to be able to still ourselves and focus on God. Evan Pilkington, in his wonderful little book ‘Learning to Pray’ suggests using the phrase from Psalm 46 (verse 10), ‘Be still and know that I am God’. First, say ‘be still’ to your body, relax your muscles, let your breathing become slower and deeper. Then say ‘be still’ to your mind, until your mind begins to quieten down. Finally, say ‘be still’ to your spirit ‘to you deep down, until you begin to let go and sink peacefully into the silence.’ Then continue with the verse, taking it slowly. ‘Be still and know’. Karl Barth ‘To know God means to stand in awe of him and to be still in the presence of him who dwelleth in light unapproachable.’

‘Be still and know that I ...’ Which person of God are you focussing on today? Father, Son or Holy Spirit? ‘Direct your prayer to that particular ‘person’ of God.’ ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Breathe in the love of God. Breathe out all your worries and concerns, give them to God. Breathe in the love of God.

A Quietening Prayer

Make your heart empty, waiting in stillness.

Banish your busy thoughts out from your mind; return to quiet.

Take into your calmness the presence of God, overflowing with love, stilling all fear, safeguard from all danger.

Rest in God’s peacefulness. (Lao Tzu 570 – 490BC)

Good preparation of ourselves for prayer is essential – it isn’t wasted time. Tom Pym said ‘We shouldn’t rush at prayer. If one has five minutes for prayer, two minutes of it should be used in preparation; if fifteen minutes are available for prayer, then the first four may be used in preparation.’

 

Prayers and bible readings to help you

Prayer suggestions from the Baptist Union - click here to download Word document

Prayer suggestions from the Church of England - click here to download their pdf Prayer Book

Prayer suggestions from the United Reformed Church - click here to go to their website.

Prayer suggestions from the Roman Catholic Church - click here to go to their website.

 

Prayer requests received:

Our NHS - our doctors, nurses, health-care assistants and all ancillary staff

for normal hospital and health issues to be treated promptly

for our families' and other people's physical and mental health, and wellbeing

those who are elderly, suffering with dementia, or alzheimers and unable to understand what is going on

to be thankful for what we do have, and to remain positive

those who are lonely, isolated, or struggling financially

those with family far away who they are unable to visit / see

our local businesses, their staff, our market, and the community within Thaxted and surrounding villages

for a reliable vaccine, and the ability for this to be distributed quickly throughout the world

for the end to COVID-19 

for wisdom for our politicians and leaders in government