A Praying Church

“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” John 1:29

We are open for private prayer. The church is a peaceful place and is there for you to take a few moments from our busy lives for thought and prayer. Come and enjoy the beauty of holiness.
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Our prayers this week:

We’re praying for Beirut this week, for the people who have lost their lives and the people who have been wounded, lost their homes, their livelihood and their families. We pray that the relief effort is guided by wisdom and not polluted by corruption. We pray that the city, already beleaguered with financial difficulties, refugees and covid-19, may find new life and may be given the chance to rebuild and to strengthen its government in the ways of wisdom and justice for its future.
If you are able to give, the recommendation is to give via the Red Cross or an existing UK charity. As a church we collect every year and follow the work of Christian Aid. This is the link to their emergency Beirut appeal:
https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/lebanon-crisis-appeal

Please do not forget the people of Beirut, please remember them in your prayers and do what you practically can for the people there.

We are also praying for our church. As someone said recently, the way we do church has gone backwards, to the times when we were a passive congregation who received but were not empowered to give.
However we can work for good every day as the people of Christ. We are liberated from the olden days when people came to church to gain a place in heaven, we know that we are assured of redemption through our faith in the redemptive power of Christ.
In the gospel for this Sunday we heard about the disciples who were ‘sore afraid’ when their boat was seized by a tempest, whipped by the winds and the waves.
When Jesus saw them, distressed and afraid in the middle of this life-threatening storm, he reaches out to them and says “Take heart; it is I; do not be afraid”.

‘Do not be afraid’ or ‘Fear not’ is one of the most common commands or assurances in the Bible.
Isn’t this because the Father, who created us, knows us and our failings and our fears? He sends Jesus to teach as well as to redeem. To teach us not to be afraid but to trust in him. To teach us not to cling to our old unhelpful behaviours and fears but to step out onto the water and walk in confidence. And what he teaches is that we can rest in his authority: when we believe, when we worship him, when we rejoice in his teaching, when we live out his teaching in our lives.

Church, the building, is important to many people, but what lockdown has taught us is that we can worship him, rejoice in his teaching and live out his teaching every day in our lives.
We all need good teaching to enlighten the Gospel and the Old Testament for us, and we need the community of each other to encourage each other along the way but we aren’t just dependent on a building or a minister.
We are dependent on God’s holy and life-giving word and on modelling ourselves on what Jesus loved and what he hated. On responding to his commands, his teaching and his assurances.
We are dependent on each other. We are ministers to each other.

We don’t just ‘go to church’. We are the church.

Where can you find sustenance and joy this week:

Here’s a list of where the Bible tells us ‘Do not be afraid’
http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/HaveNoFear.htm

We hope that you enjoy Dave and his beloved dog Jarvis’s prayers as much as we do. They featured in our Facebook posts of Sunday night compline published each Sunday around nine o’clock.
https://www.anordinaryoffice.co.uk/jarvis-s-prayer

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Rest in peace:

We remember in our prayers the souls gathered home to You, loving Father.
“Thou with Christ and Christ with me
And so together still are we.
We give them back to You,
dear Lord, who gave them to us.
Yet as You do not lose them in giving
So we have not lost them by their return
Not as the world gives do You give
O Lover of Souls.
What You gave You do not take away
For what is ours is ours always, if we are Yours
And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only an horizon
And an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight
Lift us, Strong Son of God, that we may see farther.”

Remembering particularly all those dear to us who we have loved and lost – their names are written in Your heart and their souls are jewels on Your crown in heaven.

Prayer Resources week by week:

Southwark Cathedral has put together some lovely prayer resources including our favourite Pray as You Go – take a look and see if anything appeals for your daily prayer.
https://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/worship-and-music/worship/online-prayer-and-devotional-resources/