“A Prayer Of Preparation”

A short but beautiful prayer to share with you this evening. Hope you can join with me in saying amen to this!

Father, it’s my desire to have the same mindset as William Featherstone who, following his conversion at the young age of 16, penned these words of …

“A Prayer Of Preparation”

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Pray for your Pastor – Sunday Suggestion

Today’s Sunday Suggestion may seem an obvious one, but your pastor/minister/vicar needs your prayer support! I am not a pastor, but have been in church leadership for many years, and let me tell you it is no easy task! You know the phrase, “You can’t please everyone all of the time…”? Well that is sadly apt for church leaders!

If you have a faithful pastor or group of leaders over your church, then you ought to be eternally grateful. I know so many church leaders who have worked themselves sick for the sake of their flock, and now more than ever, pastors and leaders need our help and support.

The Bible encourages us to pray for those in authority over us. Scriptures such as Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2 direct us to pray for kings and ruling governments, and I do not think it a stretch to include those in church leadership over us also.

A passage I return to when thinking of my own leaders is found in Exodus:

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exodus 17:10-13 (NIV)

Now your pastor may not be facing a physical battle as the Israelites were (although I bet it feels like that sometimes!) but they need just as much support. Can you be an Aaron or a Hur for them, come alongside and hold up their hands for a time?

How can you pray for them right now? If you are not sure, why not ask them, or send them an email?

Most leaders or pastors would probably like the following to be prayed over them:

  • Prayers for strength, energy and good sleeping patterns
  • Prayers for protection for them and their family; physically, mentally and spiritually
  • Prayers for wisdom and discernment
  • Prayers to help them manage their workload and prioritise
  • Prayers for their own relationship with Jesus
  • Prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their life and ministry

The list could go on and on. If you have other good ideas of how to pray for church leaders, do share them below.

One final suggestion – you might like to set aside a specific day or time to pray for them each week. If your life is like mine, then it can get rather hectic at times. Set a reminder or put a weekly appointment in your diary or calendar so it does not get missed.

Your pastor will be ever thankful for your prayers and support!

Word Count

WordPress helpfully keeps a total of the words you have written on your blog each year. Although we are only about a week into 2022, I am reliably informed that I have written nearly 4500 words so far.

This is good for me to know, because I really do want to make good progress on some unfinished books I am writing this year.

One project has around 10,000 words written, and another approximately 17,000 words completed.

Knowing that I’ve already written 4500 words on the blog this year, helps me to believe that it may even be possible to complete both projects in the coming 12 months!

why am I telling you this? Simply for accountability!

I want to try to post regular updates on how the books are progressing, as a way of keeping myself honest! Do pull me up dear reader, if I do not do this!

I also ask for your prayers, and that my writing would be fruitful. Please ask the Lord to help me complete these projects this year, but more importantly that they will be a vehicle for him to bless those who read them.

Word count is not the best way to measure the quality of a book… But in this stage of the project, it sure does help me keep track!

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers!

This Sunday at Church: Encourage the Prayer Warriors around you

For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Encourage the Prayer Warriors around you.   Tonight I read Alan’s “2022 : Prayer Warriors Still Required.” I …

This Sunday at Church: Encourage the Prayer Warriors around you

A Stirring to Pray – (Best of 2021)

Continuing my “best of “series, it seems appropriate to share this post on prayer as it goes right alongside my earlier post this morning.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Have a very blessed 2022!

-

During the height of the lockdown in the UK, where we were only allowed out for short periods of exercise, I began to fairly regularly record prayer videos which I put out here on the blog and on my Facebook page. You can see an example here, if you’re interested. I really love to pray…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/06/12/a-stirring-to-pray/

New Year Prayers

We find ourselves at another New Year’s Eve! Where does the time go?

If I have mentioned this before on the blog, then I do apologise! There is a church near me who likes to pray in the new year. They hold a gathering in the evening, and begin a late night service together so that the congregation can be praying as the clock strikes twelve. I think this is a wonderful practice, and a great way to start 2022 off in the right way.

Jesus often prayed through the night, such as:

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Luke 6:12

I too want to start 2022 off in prayer. Due to other commitments, I cannot guarantee that I’ll actually be praying when the stroke of midnight comes, but I do want to spend some time today with the Lord.

For at least part of my prayers, I want this verse from the psalms to be a focus:

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 42:8

Every day this new year, let the Lord’s love be directed towards us, and may He sing over us in the night. May we each be rooted and grounded in His love which endures forever! Let us rejoice in His forgiveness, and joy that comes from knowing He remembers our sins no more!

I know that not everyone will be starting this new year in a state of joy, and many face trials of various kinds. So, how can I pray for you? What is happening in your life and how can I lift these things to our gracious God?

There are numerous ways to get in touch with me and let me know your prayer requests or praise reports. Simply comment below if easiest, and others can join in praying also. If your request is more private, please use the Contact form.

As ever, I consider it a tremendous privilege to pray for you. I believe in the power of prayer, and believe that God is ever active and responsive to the calls of His people.

In years gone by, my family and I have kept a “blessing jar” where we note down the blessings that have come to us throughout the year. We jot down anything from promotions at work, to special times of worship, to new friends made. Then, on New Year’s Eve, we go through them and remind ourselves of the goodness of God.

What do you have to be thankful for this year? There were no doubt many problems that you faced, and many you overcame. What has God done for you this year that you could thank Him for? As well as your prayer requests, I’d be glad to offer up a word of thanks to Him too. We are a family, and as God blesses you, I rejoice in that too!

Whatever you are doing this New Year’s Eve, be it a big party or a quiet time alone at home, take a moment to thank Jesus for the year gone by and say a word of prayer for the year to come.

May God richly bless you and those you love in the next twelve months!

Dec 29 All creation praises You!

Father, how does the earth praise You? When I hear recorded sounds of whales in the deep oceans sing, are they praising You?  When I hear the melodic…

Dec 29 All creation praises You!

Harvest Hits

For some reason, this post from harvest time has attracted a lot of views during Advent…!

No idea why, praise the Lord anyway! If you fancy a Harvey’s message during this Christmas season, then I hope you enjoy it!

andy-brown.org/2021/09/26/harvest/

Advent Sunday

It was my pleasure to speak at our church is online service this morning on the first Sunday in Advent.

Unfortunately, a few technical hitches meant we lost the last few minutes of the message and if it appears that I lost my way in the middle… that’s because somebody walked into the room during the recording!

I hope you enjoy it anyway!

This Sunday at Church: Pray for the 340 Million Global Christians in Harm’s Way

This is an excellent series of posts which are released every single Sunday. This one goes right alongside the post I shared yesterday about prayer.

Do have a read, and join us in praying for persecuted Christians across the globe.

For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Pray for the 340 Million Global Christians in Harm’s Way. According to an article it says:  But a quick scan …

This Sunday at Church: Pray for the 340 Million Global Christians in Harm’s Way

Inseparable

To be honest, I have been mulling this post over for a couple of days. It is not controversial in any way, it is just that I have struggled to articulate what God has shown me. It is not some huge revelation either, simply that God met me where I was at, and through His Word spoke directly into my situation. Has such a thing ever happened to you? I’m sure it has…

A few days ago I wrote a post entitled Ask and Believe – linked here – where I prayed about something and the answer came. In an entirely opposite way, I prayed for something else and unfortunately the exact opposite happened. It did not shake my faith or anything so grand, as I am slowly learning to trust in God’s will for my life. The unanswered prayer led me to a choice I did not want to have to make, and neither could I put it off. I have since been anxious that I made the wrong decision.

In those moments of fear and worry, I was directed to read the following Bible verses. The comfort they brought is really the intangible substance I am struggling to describe. Perhaps it is best to simply let the words speak for themselves.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

Paul was entirely convinced, that is – fully persuaded – that nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus. I was not convinced, based on my initial feelings, until God so gently reminded me of this truth.

The things that Paul lists here are heavy hitters. Death, demons, the powers of hell – none of these things will ever be able to remove us from God’s love.

I have been reading these verses over and over, and letting them minister to me. There is nothing – simply nothing – in all creation that can pull us away from the gravity of God’s love. We are inseparable.

When our prayers do not get the answer we wanted, or when we face times of great difficulty, it can be all too easy to start to doubt God’s love. Yet in Christ and what He did at the cross, there is an immovable, unchanging, eternal testimony of that love.

God’s love does not equal instant access to a 100% prayer record, nor a complete trouble-free existence, but it does mean that no matter what happens, He will be right there with you in the thick of it. He is trustworthy. You can fully rely on Him. That love gives you an assurance that when you one day stand before Him, there will be nothing that separates you from His presence. When we put our trust in Christ, receiving that love and submitting to Him, our sins are washed away and our place with Him is irrevocable.

I needed that assurance this week. Perhaps you will need it today? Put Romans 8 before your eyes, read it aloud and trust that you cannot be separated from His unfailing love.

No created thing can come between you and God’s love when you are fully committed to Christ. There is but One who is not created, and that is God Himself. You are anchored and fixed in that love. Draw on that truth this day and always.

Quick update

I hope this blog post finds you well?

I just wanted to post a quick update on why I have been so quiet on the blog these last few days. I am pleased to say that all is well, and actually just taking a few days off of work to spend time with family.

Life, as ever, has been rather hectic of late! I saw an opportunity to take a few days rest, and grabbed it with both hands!

How often do you take time to rest and relax? when you have a strong work ethic, or even a works mentality, it can be very difficult to switch off and relax for a while. Every single one of us needs to stop and rest at times however.

Let us not forget that even our wonderful God, who is infinite in power, took time to rest at the end of creation. This was not because he was tired, but simply because he wanted to enjoy the fruits of his labour.

Likewise, he built a specific command in the 10 Commandments for us to take time each week to just rest in his presence.

Perhaps it is not possible for you to take an entire day each week just to rest. But the principle remains, that each of us should take time to re-energise so that we might continue to serve him with gladness.

Whether we work in a secular job, ministry or at home, too many of us burn out because we do not stop often enough. Don’t let that be you dear reader!

Let’s pray:

Father God, we thank you for your loving grace and mercy towards us who believe. Thank you that you are the one who gives us the strength we need for each and every day.

For all who are weary, I pray that you may give them strength and rest.

Help us not to be so busy that we ceased to be fruitful.

As we lift up our voices in prayer and praise, may our strength be renewed.

We worship you, loving father! thank you for your enduring love. Thank you that you walk with us through our everyday lives.

Thank you for the times when you carious, when our strength is gone.

In the mighty and glorious name of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen