26 April 2020
*If you have children, you will find a children's video and activities on today's bible passage at the bottom of this page.
Hello, Ellen here
As this ‘lockdown’ continues, everyday I am so thankful that I have a faith. As Christians we can stand and rejoice, trusting in the ‘Finished’ work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are confident that we are saved by grace, and led, strengthened and empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Awesome!
This first song – Jesus Hope of the Nations, has become something of an anthem for me. Most days it pops into my head – He is the HOPE living in us, The ROCK, in whom we TRUST.
Jesus, You are the nations' only hope.
Lord, we pray for all those searching for answers today. Soften and open up their hearts to Your Holy Spirit's prompting. Give them every opportunity to meet with you.
Everything we need is found in Christ. He wants the best for you. Trust him, wait and watch as he answers your prayers.
Today's prayers are led by Margaret:
Psalm 62: 5-7
I wait quietly before God
for my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.
Heavenly Father, we thank you, and praise you, that in these ever shifting, uncertain times we can be sure that you remain the same. No matter how difficult and challenging our lives may seem at the moment we thank you that we can trust in your constant love and faithfulness.
For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues for ever.
Help us, Lord, to hold on to your truth when life looks uncertain. Thank you for being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and grant us hope, strength and mercy in these times of need. We have so much for which to be grateful even during times of suffering.
We thank you, Father, for all those who work in our NHS and in the caring profession as they put their own safety at risk in order to care for others. Please strengthen them physically, emotionally and spiritually as they do their job and we pray that they will have the protective equipment they need to do this safely. Bless them and their families and may they know your protection and peace. We pray too that supplies of testing kits would reach those who need them and that a vaccine will be developed soon.
Lord, we pray that you will be in the midst of all families during this time of lockdown. Where children are home from school, parents are not going out to work, and finances are tight, there is much pressure and tension. Please bring calmness to anxious hearts, peacefulness to angry minds, kindness within strained relationships, forgiveness for mistakes, patience for shortcomings, and hope for better days ahead.
Father, we hold before you all those who are struggling with illness, bereavement and anxiety about loved ones. We place these people under your care and humbly pray that the sick find healing, the bereaved find comfort and the anxious find peace.
We thank you that you know exactly how we feel right now as we battle with uncertainties. We know that we are not alone and whilst we isolate ourselves and keep our distances, you are never far from us. You are our wise and true God. Fill us with peace, joy and strength and help us to rest in the truth of who you are - our wonderful and loving God who never changes.
Prayer is the ‘POWERHOUSE’ of the church, and of the individual. We can struggle sometimes, knowing what to say or ask – but as we ‘groan’ before the Father, we know that his spirit within us intercedes for us (Romans 8: 26-27) and we are thankful.
Now, Lord, as we listen to Keith’s message – inspire and encourage us. Move us forward in our understanding and knowledge of you and your kingdom.
For your glory Lord we pray.
This week we begin a new sermon series on the book of Acts. It is the amazing story of how the Church grew from a small group of frightened believers based in Jerusalem, into an empire-wide movement of people who committed their lives to Jesus! We are part of this ongoing story. Keith starts us off by preaching from Acts 1: 1-11.
Ephesians 2: 19-22 (The Message)
He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day – a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
We are all Gods people, chosen to be part of His plan to reach the world. Ask and “you will receive power”, to witness in love and by faith to the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have invited our members to share testimonies of ways that God has met with them, or acted significantly in their lives, or used them to open up God's reality to others. You will find the first of these testimonies here
The power of God’s kingdom is in the heart of all believers through the presence of the Holy Spirit – don’t doubt it! – believe it – run with it – it’s true!
Ephesians 3: 20-21
And now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen
God bless you all!
Update on Anne Keen's mum
After an extremely worrying time on Wednesday afternoon when Mum was put back on the lung machine to help her breathe, I was told that should the situation change they would ring me. My mum rang me herself at 7pm to tell me her dinner wasn’t very nice as it was cold - she was off the breathing machine and up and chatting! As you can understand, that was a huge relief. My mum is amazing but my God is awesome. Thank you so much for all your prayers my fantastic church family, life would be miserable without you lot in it.
Love and blessings,
Update on Carl and David
On a previous prayer request we asked for you to keep in mind Vicky's son Carl who had the corona virus and her husband David as he was treated for his cancer. Vicky has asked that we pass on her thanks to all, as Carl is recovering well and David, who had several tests on Thursday has been given the report that all the results have a high positive. She particularly wanted to add thanks for Robin's men's group who have been praying for David's cancer. Vicky sends heart felt thanks for all the prayers and support offered as she feels it is a wonderful blessing, thanks be to God!
Update on Debbie
Please could we continue to pray for Debbie who is out of hospital and recovering at home, she is very weak and her family are caring for her (from Lynda).
This week we sent out an invitation to the church to prayerfully consider a story you might share from your own experience of God that might encourage others in their faith. There is no more powerful way of sharing the gospel than telling your own story of what God's done for you! If you missed that email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Mandy will get that to you.
Many of our members pray for Christians around the world who are experiencing significant levels of persecution. Open Doors have some very good resources for all members of the family to assist and be inspired by Christians who essentially always have to live in lockdown because of the threat that their faith poses to their families and lives.
God fills us with his Holy Spirit so that we will have the courage and the words to be able to tell other people about him. Here is a picture to print, colour in and stick on your wall so you can remember this each day when you climb out of bed: