Daily Meditations by Sam MacDonald on the Lord’s Prayer using extracts on biblical themes by the late Selwyn Hughes in his booklet, ‘Every Day with Jesus.’ Prayer points by Ann MacDonald.
The Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, forever. Amen
Monday 1st June
Matthew 6: 9 Pray then like this; ‘Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.’
The Lord’s prayer was a result of the early disciples asking their teacher Jesus, to help them to pray in a manner acceptable to how He guided them. We must remember that they had been called by Jesus from their workplaces and had no training, but they were blessed because they had the most wonderful teacher. He didn’t just give them words of prayer; He gave them a pattern which they could use to cover all aspects of life and its needs. Firstly, He told them to identify who they were praying to. Secondly, where the Holy One was to be found. Thirdly, how they were to approach their Lord in reverence. Fourthly, they must pray that God’s Kingdom would be established on earth in the same way as it is in Heaven. Fifthly, they must plead for our food each day, for God is the supplier of all good things. Sixthly, they must pray for our sins to be forgiven, and that when people work against our plans to follow God’s ways, we will happily forgive them too. Seventhly, that they would be guarded against the evil schemes of our enemy Satan and his power of temptation, and lastly, acknowledge that God reigns in His Kingdom with all power and Glory.
Give thanks for all members of the National Health Service and Social Care services who have gone far beyond what their occupation would expect from them during this pandemic. How can we properly thank people who have replaced family members and spent the last hours with our loved ones as they passed from this life? Holding the hand of an infected patient knowing the danger that action might cause, and yet letting compassion outweigh their fears. Help us to pray for those who have lost family members in the last few months whether from Coronavirus or other conditions, that their pain would be eased by the comfort that only the Lord can give.
Tuesday 2nd June
Matthew 6: 7 Don’t recite the same prayer over and over as the heathens do.
In many churches this prayer is usually recited by the congregation at the end of the first prayer and much spiritual pleasure can be enjoyed as our worship and praise is brought before the Lord as a dedication. In some people’s thoughts, the words alone is frowned on as it may be construed as a babbling of many words. The great preacher, Selwyn Hughes, said prayer should be viewed as taking departure on a journey rather than arriving, for our arrival will only come when we are saved and are assured that we will one day reach our Heavenly home. As I have said before, the Lord’s prayer is a pattern on which we build our prayers, the bones on which we put flesh, as we plead for guidance from our Lord and give thanks for how we are being led along the narrow path that will bring us to His peace. Another well-known preacher, C.H. Spurgeon said that, ‘if we only recited the Lord’s prayer and considered we had prayed, that was total foolishness.’
Give thanks for Captain Tom Moore and wonderful characters like him who have shown courage and tenacity during lock down to raise funds for the NHS and other worthwhile causes. We pray that all the acts of good will and courage, which have been so evident during lock down would continue as we come out of this situation. May there have been a real change in people’s hearts to look out for the vulnerable in society and continue to be there to serve our neighbours, like the good Samaritan in the Bible parable.
Wednesday 3rd June
Luke 11: 9 So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
The opening words of this prayer which our Lord gave to His disciples, are of great importance for they identify who we are to direct our prayers towards. We call on our Father not on my Father. Instead of our faith being ‘my’ centred, it is based on calling ‘our’ Heavenly Father. This guards us from starting off our prayers in a wrong way, for as in all of life if we start wrong, we will stay wrong. So, the emphasis of building a prayer must always be on renouncing self and concentrating on others who are in any kind of need. It may be thought as a form of self-surrender, surrendering our thoughts to God Who alone can deal with what may be troubling us. If we truly bring our prayers before the Lord our Maker, He will uncover the whole of His Kingdom to guide us on how to truly pray in the same way Jesus taught His disciples.
Give thanks that so far, we are free to worship the One true God in this country. We aren’t in fear of our lives that we could be attacked, maimed, or killed. Help us Lord to pray for our brothers and sisters for whom that situation is a reality, that God would protect those in these areas of cruel persecution. We need to stand side by side with these people, praying for their safety and that they would have courage to continue to stand firm for Christ. We give thanks that although Church doesn’t meet as before, we can still worship online and we acknowledge the progress in technology allowing people to worship as a church without walls.
Thursday 4th June
John 1: 12 To all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to be called children of God.
The second word used is Father. This is the most common word used by Christians when we address God, so our prayers must always begin by recognising God as our Father. But this brings into question whether God is the father of all people and it may be argued that He is, since He has created them all and we can be classed as being in the family of God, but it is clear from John 8:44 that Jesus did not regard all people as belonging to God. when He told the Jewish leaders that they belonged to their father, the devil. However, God is also the Father of those who believe that He sent His dear Son Jesus to earth in human form to suffer the punishment of crucifixion so that God’s wrath for sin could be appeased. Therefore, those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died to take away our sins are members of God’s special saved family, and we pray many would confess and be saved.
Give thanks for Christina, Cathey and Louise from Bear Necessities who have been helping villagers in Orizari in Bulgaria where people travelled many miles seeking medical help, often returning to the village no better as they couldn’t afford the fees at the clinic. Bear Necessities have enabled a clinic to be set up in Orizari itself and funds allow everyone to receive the care they require. Pray for the ‘Bears’ that they will be able to continue to raise funds for this cause and for those in Orizari that they will see the love of Jesus in the improvements they see in their lives. (see more on their Facebook page)
Friday 5th June
1 John 2:13 I write to you because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
As we considered yesterday that God is Father in two aspects, created and spiritual, let us look at which of these was Jesus speaking to when He taught them the Lord’s prayer. Since He was teaching His disciples, it was obviously to spiritual believers, to those are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. To fully understand the nature of our Heavenly Father, we must accept that as we speak to Him, He listens earnestly and thus shows that He is a personal being, He knows that our troubles and woes are those which afflict man. He can guide us along right paths which He has already set for us, just as a good dad would pay heed to what his child would say. When we pray let us keep in our minds that we are coming to God in the same way as a child asks of his father when he wants some guidance.
Give thanks for advances in science that have enabled reliable testing for Covid-19 and for the ongoing work to understand Coronavirus and design drugs to treat virus victims, and vaccines to protect against it. We pray that the source of the virus would be thoroughly investigated and measures put in place to ensure no other outbreak could be possible. We also pray for those who devote their time and intelligence into trying to understand so many diseases which affect and afflict humankind, may they be encouraged by breakthroughs but remain true to medical ethics.
Saturday 6th June
John 14: 9 Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.
It is so sad that many people when they utter the word father, have thoughts of neglect and abuse and our prayer would be that they would learn the joy of forgiveness to those who have abused them, learning the ways of Jesus, and coming to accept that the Father they now have, is not only their Heavenly Father but is now truly the dearest Friend they could ever have. Let us who know our Lord make sure that when we are praying to our Father in heaven, we see Him in a positive manner, for if we don’t, we cannot expect, that our prayer will be heard. We pray for God’s guidance in the manner we approach Him so that we will reach out with childlike faith, in the sure reliance of His unfailing love.
Give thanks for those who led us to know Jesus as the way, truth and life and encouraged us to surrender our lives to Him. Wouldn’t it be good for us right now to remember these folk with thanks, whether they have already passed into God’s presence or can still be thanked personally, by phone e-mail or letter? Today let us pray for one person we know who needs to have God’s peace descending on their hectic pointless lives. Lord we need Your Spirit every moment to enable us to live the life You have given us, and forgive us when we let You down.
Sunday 7th June
Isaiah 40: 26 Lift your eyes and look, who created all these.
As we spoke yesterday of God being both Father and Friend, we note how Jesus when He had taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11, went on to speak of how true friends act towards each other. They are pleased to help one another out of difficult situations, and we should act in similar ways. Now we can turn to look at the second phrase of this wonderful prayer, ‘Who art in heaven.’ Having introduced us to whom we must address our prayers, we can now concentrate on where God is to be found, and this second phrase tells us where our God is. This makes it clear to us that the focus of our prayers must be on God, not on our needs and wants, for He is the creator of all things on earth.
Give thanks for the Elders ability to meet with each other for prayer on Sunday mornings via Zoom and for the ladies Easties group which has been such a means of support and encouragement during lock down. We have been especially refreshed by the daily prayers shared via WhatsApp by those who might not have the bravery to pray aloud in public. We pray for those who are frightened, those who are lonely and isolated. This time when it has not been possible to pop in to see a friend has hopefully made us more aware of our fundamental need for each other. We would ask that we would never take for granted family, friends, and neighbours.
Monday 8th June
Isaiah 26: 3 Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.
When we bring our prayers to God, we must take care that we do not immediately speak of our cares and wants and petitions, before giving God our praise and thanks for all He has done for us. We should realise that our anxiety and need for help to deal with things is the result of our imagination, how often our minds are drawn to think how bad worries have the potential to become much worse, because we allow our imagination free rein to grow. So, let us pray that we do not allow our thoughts to stray in our imagination, into building these matters of concern into self-centred evils, which distract our prayers from humbly asking God to calm our anxiety and answer in accordance with His will and purpose. Pray earnestly and leave it with God, you cannot assist Him.
Give thanks for the young people who have grown up in the East church over the years and for the families who faithfully took them to church, Boys’ and Girls’ brigade and who encouraged them to continue to worship as they left home for work and college. Pray for the few young people we still have in church that they would be cherished. Lord we ask forgiveness when we have let our young people down and not included them in our services properly. Help us to adapt how we worship and praise, to encourage young people (and us all). As Your people, we pray that You will help us to be open to change, allowing youth worship services and to hand over tasks to the young, those tasks which are normally performed by adults now and as church worship returns to normal.
Tuesday 9th June
Psalm 19: 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Another way that we can see God as being in Heaven, is to see Him elevated to the highest, far above everything that He has created. We are so used to viewing life on earth like how man looks at it and fail to appreciate that God’s ways are far above anything we can imagine. In presenting our prayers, we must speak of what concerns us and problems that are bothering us and then leave it all to His guidance, for His solutions will far exceed any of our possible answers. We are told to focus on God to whom we are presenting our pleas, before bringing our needs to God, just as Jesus did in the Lord’s Prayer, for it was only by the 5th phrase that He asked for the supply of our daily food. Before that He had asked that God’s Name would be glorified, that His Kingdom would come on earth and God’s will would take priority over all He had created.
Give thanks for the unexpected peace we have enjoyed lately without road and air traffic, the ability to listen to birdsong, and time without work to be able to read, sleep and relax. We pray that things would not return to normal, but that a new normal would emerge where we would consider what is important and review our needs and how we treat our planet. We would earnestly pray that world leaders would take this time to review all their policies and safeguard the important things in life and not be led by finance and personal egos.
Wednesday 10th June
Isaiah 6:1 I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up.
In the way Jesus taught us through the Lord’s Prayer, it is clear that our priorities should always be, God first and then our life on earth, where we can have access to the resources beyond those we have here on earth. We pray that we may ever come before the Lord in an attitude of belief in His sufficiency, so that all our prayers will follow His teachings in true humility, as we bring our concerns to the only One who is able to help. It is as we approach God in this right perspective that we can be sure that our prayers will be heard and answered in God’s time and in His manner. Let us take guidance from Isaiah chapter 6 where Isaiah saw the Lord, ‘High and lifted up’ and was only then able to correctly understand the true meaning of the vision going on around him.
Give thanks for the work in Kenya directed by Christian Aid. Due to drought caused by global warming, crops have failed again and again and families are struggling to make a living from their land. Christian Aid has enabled sand dams to be built to give resilience in times when the rains fail. Pray for those in power that they will recognise the damage that we are doing to God’s creation and be wise in making decisions to halt global warming and the pollution choking our oceans. Help us to think about our actions daily and be willing to make changes to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.
Thursday 11th June
Psalm 92: 5 How great are Your works, O Lord, how profound Your thoughts.
We are gradually realising that until we accept that the God, to whom we are praying, can achieve things far above all we can ever comprehend or imagine. The reason why our view of our personal problems seems greater than we could ever deal with, is that we have not considered God as all powerful, ever present, high and lifted up, yet merciful to everyone who calls on Him. We will soon come to know that our problems will be easier to deal with if we have brought them to our Lord for advice and guidance. We pray that in God’s mercy, He will teach us to gaze at Him and His great power before we glance at our own circumstances, for only then we will be able to grasp that God is able to quieten our concerns.
Give thanks for those on the front line who have served us so amazingly allowing resources to be distributed throughout the land supplying shops and delivering orders to people unable to get out to obtain supplies. Those who have continue to drive buses and taxis, and posties delivering our mail, to name only a few, they have potentially risked their health. We pray for those who have become sick whilst at work and to those who have paid the ultimate price in performing their duty, we ask that the Lord would be a healer and that He would be a comfort to families missing a loved one taken unexpectedly.
Friday 12th June
Psalm 19: 1 The Heavens declare the Glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
We have been told that as we come to offer our prayers to God, we should focus on His great majesty, for the more our gaze falls on Him the better we will appreciate the wonders of His creation. Therefore, let us look for ways by which we may view the vastness of the universe, that has been formed by our Great God. Among the stars, our planet Earth is like a speck of dust or a grain of sand, but each one has been given its own position in space and its own specific movement, thus guarding it against collision and destruction. When we view the earth in this way, why would we ever doubt that the Maker of heaven and earth, would fail to provide all our needs. He has the ability to guide us along the narrow path to His Kingdom in Heaven.
Give thanks for those who have faithfully proclaimed the gospel throughout our time of vacancy. As they prepare Your Word may they be aware of God directing their thoughts and we pray that Satan would be prevented from any influence in their preparation times. Lord when You give us opportunities to speak Your word to others or show them Your kindness by a deed or action, please give us courage to do what needs to be done with grace, and give us the words and the wisdom to know what to say and sometimes when to say it. We continue to pray for those serving on the Nominating Committee that they wouldn’t be discouraged, but grant them patience and directing to the person You would have serve the East as teaching elder. Do we need to question ourselves as to the length of the vacancy and perhaps our lack of prayer on this subject?
Saturday 13th June
Psalm 62: 11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard, that You, O God are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving.
Now we can bring our prayers to God, reflecting on His unchanging sufficiency and in our sound belief that God is able to supply all our needs, for His resources will never run dry, nor will they ever become depleted. Let us be sure that we do not rush into our prayers seeking to satisfy our needs from God’s storehouses, without first of all, calling on Him to make sure that our spiritual contemplation rests on His greatness and glorious majesty. Then we will feel a sense of increased power and strength in our praying because we are doing so, in the right order, and just as Jesus taught His disciples with the Lord’s Prayer. It has been said ‘We kneel to pray- how weak! – We rise – now filled with power!’
Give thanks for the work of Scottish Christian Alliance who work with homeless people in the ARCH resettlement centre and Scatter flats in Glasgow. We pray for the many organisations who try to help people who, for whatever reason, find themselves without a place to call home. Lord let them know that even although it feels like they are without hope and love that You know each and every one of us. May we have compassion to ‘see’ these people as they sit on the street and sleep in dangerous places and give whatever we can to charities who provide food and shelter for the homeless and for those who try to provide long term solutions to enable all to have a roof over their heads. We ask that as lock down is slackened, those who have been rehomed would be able to keep their new adobe and not be abandoned by society as before.
Sunday 14th June
John 14: 13 I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring Glory to the Father.
We now consider the next phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, which is ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’. The first obvious question which needs to be answered is, what does it mean for something to be hallowed? It is to treat it with reverence, as sacred and holy. This is not what we can seek to apply to God, for He cannot be improved, since He is God eternal, from everlasting to everlasting and the Creator of heaven and earth. His ways know no end and we must treat Him with full respect by acknowledging His superiority over everything He has created. So, as we bring our prayers to God may we always model them on the prayer which He have given us and, ensure that our opening petition is to our God and not for our wants.
Give thanks for the seasons, for the glory of spring blending into summer, the sun warming the ground and the abundance of life and beauty around us, and most of all we thank you for eyes to see the splendour of God’s creation. Let us pray for those who have to live in isolation due to Covid-19 that they wouldn’t be afraid to be on their own. May we be burdened to continuously remember to keep in contact with people on their own and learn to demonstrate Christ’s love for us in the way we support others now and constantly. Play for the safety of Care workers as they visit people in their homes, that they would feel safe and be able to continue in the vital service they provide.
Monday 15th June
Exodus 34: 6. I am the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.
We consider now at what goes through our minds as we hallow God’s Name. In ancient times a person’s name was meant as a definition of their character, so when we address God in our prayers, we are given many attributes of God’s character to honour His great Name, such as His compassion, long-suffering, faithfulness, mercy etc. and by using these in our praise to God we can give Him the honour which He is due. We must be sure that the Glory of God always takes precedence over all other aspects of prayer, for when we honour God’s Name, we show that we regard our Lord as worthy of praise. He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, and He will lead us along the paths that will lead us to our eternal home with Him.
Give thanks for teachers and support workers in educations who have risen to the challenge of keeping school going when it has not been possible for all children to go to school. Give thanks for innovative ways to maintain some form of normality in children’s lives when things have been so abnormal. We pray for patience and wisdom for those who are home schooling their children, that this time would be a blessing for families in the long run. We would especially pray for children with autism and similar disorders that the loss of vital routine would not cause those children to become too distressed.
Tuesday 16th June
Exodus 3: 14, 15. This is what you are to say, ‘I AM’ has sent me to you. This is my Name for ever, the Name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
We now look at the names by which God is addressed as we read our Bibles, such as the one which Moses was told in today’s verses, ‘I am Who I am’ , from which the Hebrew word ‘Yahweh’ is derived, and Yahweh was used to form the English language word ‘Jehovah’. The ancient Israelites viewed God with such sacredness that they would not utter His Name and instead by removal of the vowels and mixing with other Hebrew words, they came up with another word of address ‘Adonai’. It seems they were hallowing the words of His Name instead of the character of God, and so when Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to honour His Name, He was instructing us to give thanks and honour God’s love and mercy, compassion and holiness. That must be the case as we open our hearts to our Lord in prayer.
Give thanks for those who have isolated themselves from their own families in order to look after people in care homes. It is hard to comprehend the love and dedication they show to the residents who become a ‘second family’ and are loved as much as a real family, may they understand the rare quality they have displayed and the relief they have provided for the families of these residents when they cannot visit and perhaps have only been able to talk to loved ones through a window. Lord we ask that sore hearts would turn to You and find the calm only You can give. We pray particularly for all suffering from dementia, understanding life is a challenge at the best of times for those with this condition without the added worry as to why their family no longer visit.
Wednesday 17th June
Matthew 26:39. My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as You will.
Today’s verse was part of the earnest prayers which Jesus addressed to His heavenly Father as He faced the cruelty and agony He was about to suffer on the cross. Not only was He to be beaten and abused by His enemies, but in order to satisfy the great plan of redemption which was to allow sin to be forgiven and forgotten by God, He was to be forsaken by His Father. So, He brought His anguish to His dear Father on 3 occasions whilst in Gethsemane but then obediently accepted that the way of the cross had to be endured. When we pray to our all-powerful God, we must accept His answer whenever it comes. It is no use thinking that God will always answer our requests, if we fail to enquire from God what solution might be in accordance with His will for us.
Give thanks for those in government who have shown genuine leadership during this difficult time. We would call upon the Lord to lead politicians all over the world, that they would be aware where power comes from and that they are nothing although many of their egos would say otherwise. We ask that all political parties and all nations would strive to work for the good of all their people. May we learn from this pandemic that we are all in life together and that we must look after everyone, not the rich, not the famous, but everyone.
Thursday 18th June
John 14: 31. The world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Some people mistakenly think that they should honour God first when they pray, in order to appeal to God’s vanity by offering Him honour and praise, but this is incorrect as God only wants our prayers to allow our thoughts to be concentrated on Him. We must learn to admire and respect the character of God so that our own character will become more and more like His. However, for this to happen, it is essential that we do not rush into our prayers, but give time to contemplate the majesty and holiness of the Lord whom we adore, and then we will learn to enjoy the peace which our God wants us to have from Him. We must learn that the more of our time we give to Him, the more He will give eternity to us.
Give thanks for those who have celebrated new lives coming into their families recently and pray that they would have precious time to welcome their son or daughter and form that special lifelong bond with their child. We also pray for those who have longed to become parents but life has not offered that opportunity that they would be able to accept that situation and focus on what God would replace that sadness with. Additionally, let us pray for those who have tragically lost a child at birth or through childhood accident or illness, that the empty space in life would always be cherished, and that God would enfold sore hearts in His loving protective arms.
Friday 19th June
John 17: 11. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name.
Now it is essential that when we approach our God, we do so by giving Him the highest veneration. It is so sad when we hear Him referred to as ‘the man upstairs’, ‘the Boss upstairs’ or other light-hearted terms. When people talk of God in such a way, they do Him an injustice for their image of the Lord is demeaned and unworthy. We note when Jesus taught that we opened the Lord’s Prayer with ‘Our Father’, He quickly followed with the phrase, ‘hallowed be Thy Name’, that is, ‘may your Name be held in reverence.’ Let us pray that we would rejoice as we gain the familiarity and joy of knowing God, but be ever conscious of His holiness, reverence, mercy, and justice.
Give thanks for the many ways in which we are able to communicate with each other and how many people have been willing to embrace new technology during lock down. We are so grateful to be able to worship online with preachers from many churches and we give thanks that there is nothing on earth that will prevent God’s Word from reaching out to those who so need to know Him. We pray that as lock down is relaxed that people will want to physically come to church and we sincerely pray that every church family would welcome new people warmly and have worship fit for our King but open to new and old believers, young and old, modern and traditional so that we reflect what heaven will be like in our earthly worship.
Saturday 20th June
Psalm 34: 3. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His Name together.
What a lovely verse begins today’s meditations. It encourages us to praise our God with joy in our hearts. We need to concentrate our thoughts on what Jesus has taught us when He walked on our earth, and which are recorded only in Holy Scripture. In Psalm 102: 15 we read that, ‘ The heathen shall fear the Name of the Lord’ but we are also told that it was not just the letters of the Name, ‘Yahweh’ that they feared, but it was the power of God Himself that terrified them. How often they had come with great armies to destroy the Lord’s forces and were defeated because of His power. When we come to God in prayer, we must get our priorities right by following His teaching as it is paraphrased in the Lord’s Prayer.
Give thanks for the CD ministry of the East Church and many others as it connects the gospel to those who are unable to access website or internet-based worship. We need to be grateful for the large number of people who have come forward to request a CD and the ways that this had led to extra contact with people who have been a bit lonely. Help us to be quick to pick up the phone and talk to people, maybe read a passage of scripture with them , have a little prayer and although it might feel a bit foolish, sing together to God is praise via the phone or laptop. God will use all things to His glory.
Sunday 21st June
Matthew 6: 33. But seek ye first His Kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well.
We come to consider the words of the next phrase which Jesus gave in the Lord’s prayer which reads ‘Thy Kingdom come’. As He taught us to open our prayers expressing our admiration for God’s character, His next priority is that God’s Kingdom will be established on earth in the same pattern as in heaven. Our text today tells us to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, and following that, we are promised that we will receive all other things freely. It is sad that few churches have really gripped the idea of what His Kingdom is really like, a place where there is no sorrow nor sadness and where we will dwell in perfect harmony with our dear Lord. The best place to receive a vision of the peace that awaits a true believer is by reading the last 2 chapters of the book of Revelations.
Give thanks for the peace we have in the UK and for those who help keep that peace. We pray for the upholding and protection of police and military forces at all times but particularly when at present they help in running the testing stations throughout this land. Lord be with those in the laboratories carrying out levels of testing they have never experienced before that they would be sustained in mind and energy to complete the work with the accuracy expected of all biomedical scientist and assistants. We pray that the supply of testing kits and personal protective equipment would be readily available wherever and whenever it is needed.
Monday 22nd June
Mark 1: 14. Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
When God had completed the work of creation on earth, there was no need to improve it, since all His works were perfect, we were just told to take care of it and we must beg forgiveness that we are failing to do so. It should not surprise us that when Jesus set out on His ministry, the first message He had for those who came to hear Him was the good news of the Kingdom of God. We are told that there are 3 persons in the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and these 3 are one. The Holy Spirit has not been mentioned so far in our meditations, but we bring Him into our thoughts now, because just as He is seldom a prominent part of our worship, so mention of the Kingdom of God is equally lacking from our praise and He is always in our hearts to guide us.
Give thanks for Queen Elizabeth, for the lifelong commitment she has given this country. We thank You for her courage in leading with her faith in God in times when many regard such faith as politically incorrect. We pray for the media that they would use the power they have to make or destroy personal lives only for good. We pray for our Church which has largely turned itself to the world and away from the true and unmoveable Word of scripture. Lord may they, and we turn back from the ways we have strayed to and beg forgiveness for allowing Satan to twist minds and overcome the truths which You have laid out for our good and for Your glory.
Tuesday 23rd June
John 18: 36. Jesus said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world’.
What then is the Kingdom of God that we are asked to pray for? Quite plainly, it is the reign of God in His power and sovereignty. We must keep in mind of course that He is in 3 persons, and knowing that, for the believer, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, Luke 17: 21. In the phrase we are studying, ‘Thy Kingdom come’, we are asking God to let His Kingdom be established over all the earth, especially where His ways are resisted. In this way, it is clear that our prayers might accomplish another great purpose, that of transporting the good news over all the world, using the bridge of prayer to overcome sin and evil and destroy the powers of Satan. We thank God that He considers our prayers worthy of helping in the task of ushering in His Kingdom. It is not easy to think of our humble prayers being so effective, but when we add to them the power of our God, it is astounding what the Lord can do.
Give thanks for those who have recovered for illness and operations and those who have been frightened about possible diagnoses and have been given good news or news of hope. We thank You for the ever-increasing medical knowledge and expertise available to us in the western world and we pray that this level of care would be rolled out to the whole world. We pray for the many charities and bodies who work to improve third world health regimes and ask that you would lay this on our hearts so that we would support prayerfully and financially as we are able.
Wednesday 24th June
Revelation 11: 15. The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.
We must now look at the way we live in this modern age, for that way will not satisfy the longing that is in our hearts, if we do not consider the ways of God to be pre-eminent in our plans. The Chinese have a saying that, ‘In a broken nest there are no whole eggs’. If we look at the world as the nest, it has been broken by sin which has split the unity of God’s Kingdom, can we wonder why so few plan their days with any thoughts of guidance from our Lord. There is such a lack of morals in family life and in all aspects of the ways we live, that we see break up in marriages and in families, cruelty and abuse rife against the unprotected and the poorest in our society. May we be forgiven for allowing such wickedness to become the normal in our daily life- styles.
Give thanks for those many businesses who have changed their way of working during this crisis to enable their workforce to keep employment and to provide services in a different way, We think of butchers, bakers, grocers etc. providing online and phone ordering and direct door to door delivery, making life so much more pleasant. We pray today for those who struggle without work, not knowing how bills will be paid in the future. We pray for those working from home in the new working regime they find themselves in and we pray for those who have to go to work and fear the journey to the city by train or bus, Lord let Your calm surround them all.
Thursday 25th June
1 Corinthians 15: 24. The end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has destroyed all dominion.
When people plan their lives these days, they insist that by using the ways of world as their guide, they will be secure in all aspects of their lives, but when Jesus taught His disciples to focus on His coming Kingdom, He was telling us to open up our prayers from a position of His strength, so we can always remain confident that our prayers for the coming of His kingdom will be answered. However, we are sure that no man-made empires will prevail, all their power will come to nought, as seen in the times of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome and in modern days, Nazi Germany and so many dictators in Africa. When we have such great confidence in the power of prayer as it was taught by Jesus, may our hearts leap with continued joy when we are assured of God’s success.
Give thanks for the way that lock down showed us the damage the industries are submitting our planet to. We read that in Nepal you can see views of the Himalayas that have not been visible for over 30 years because of air pollution. Heavenly Father we ask forgiveness for the selfish ways that precious resources have been used to benefit the fortunate few and yet cause misery to the quality of life in populated areas. We pray for forgiveness and courage to look at different ways of living which benefit all in society.
Friday 26th June
John 12: 31. Now is time for Judgement on this world, now the Prince of this world will be driven out.
Although we have been talking about the Kingdom of God and its coming, there is another kingdom here on earth established by Satan, who rose in rebellion to form the rule of evil, which those who preferred the easy ways available from all manner of earthly ways, and over which there was no antidote, until Jesus came to win the battle of redemption over Satan, sin and death. As we stand with the choice between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God, we are grateful that we have been given a most powerful weapon in the battle between good and evil, and that weapon is prayer. Every time we ask that Thy Kingdom will come, we reaffirm the triumph of God’s victory over Satan, by Jesus’s suffering as He completed His work of salvation on the cross.
Give thanks for those retired people, and newly qualified nurses and doctors who have come out of retirement or joined the NHS to help during the pandemic. We give thanks for their bravery in going into a situation they would never be prepared for. We give praise for those who have diversified into a field out with their sphere of expertise to help where help was needed most. We pray for all the exhausted people as this crisis passes that they will be able to rest and recover and that those who have been inside during this time will gladly take up the reigns of work again.
Saturday 27th June
Daniel 4: 34. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His Kingdom endures from generation to generation.
As we have considered that when we pray that God’s Kingdom would be established, our attitude towards God should make us better equipped to pray with sincerity for other matters. Just as a mariner in ancient times would get his bearings from the stars, before he set out on a voyage, so we must get our minds focussed on our loving Father, before we begin our earnest prayers for His guidance. It is heartening to read that this Kingdom, which has been the subject of our meditations in these past days has no end, it is everlasting and we pray for that day when all those who truly believe will be ushered into His new Jerusalem. It is our wish that our thoughts should be concentrated towards God, that every part of our thinking, our being and our prayers, would be guided by Him.
Today let’s give thanks for things that perhaps we easily take for granted. We got out of a comfortable bed, have running water to wash in, food to eat by simply going to the cupboards and fridge and so on. So today let us pray for those who worldwide have been sleeping in the open, on streets and in danger. For those working on festering rubbish tips to find plastic to recycle so that they might get some food to eat. Lord forgive our world for allowing such inequality. May we think each time we use convenience products or treat ourselves to take away or junk food how lucky we are, and perhaps use the time spent in lock down to take a fresh look at using what we need, and take time to find ways to give to those who have nothing in comparison.
Sunday 28th June
Psalm 103: 20. Praise the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding.
We now come to consider the next phrase in the Lord’s prayer, ‘Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven’. How do God’s servants in heaven ensure that they obey what God commands? Well, it becomes clear that they obey in 3 ways. First, they do not question what they are asked to do, so they proceed in total obedience. Next, they do it with urgent speed, for they are always keen to complete any command given, so that they will be ready for the next order. Thirdly, it is done completely, for His angels do not omit the tiniest part of what they have been ordered to do and always make sure nothing has been forgotten in their haste. May we ever look forward to the day when the will of God is done on earth, as it is done in Heaven.
Give thanks for family and friends, and during this strange time when we have been unable to meet and embrace we have been made more aware of how precious love and relationships really are, help us never to take this fundamental human emotion for granted. We pray for those who live on their own, who perhaps do not have any family or those whose family live far away. Help them to reach out and request help, and make us receptive to people’s needs. Can we think about someone near where we live who we could befriend and be available to help pass time with, even if they are not easy to get to know?
Monday 29th June
Romans 5: 6. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Here we are introduced into the great plan of God to defeat the power of evil which Satan has set in motion to gain control of God’s Kingdom. This plan involved sending His only Son Jesus to earth to live a sinless life and to suffer and die a cruel death on the cross. He paid the full penalty for sin, and for that we had to pay nothing. So, we understand that in heaven, these angels are kept busy doing the works that God has bidden them to carry out, and as our will submits to the will of God, our prayers become like those of His disciples after Jesus had taught them how to pray. The resulting end to our obedience in following the will of God fully and completely, is that our prayers will be heard by our Lord and we will be given peace and contentment in all aspects of our lives.
Give thanks for those who have managed to break free from addiction to drink, drugs, sex, and gambling, and pray each day that there but for the grace of God we all could all be gripped by similar dependencies. We pray for those organisations like Christians rehabs UK and Alcoholics Anonymous, just for example, who attempt to help and support so many people who try to fill the empty space in their lives with anything but the only thing that will help-God’s love. As a Church pray that we would never become a ‘holy huddle’ but reach out and embrace the unloved in the world and with kindness, lead them to Christ.
Tuesday 30th June
Hosea 8: 12. I wrote for them many things out of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.
There is another way that is worth full consideration, that when we come to think of how our lives have been changed when we learn to obey God’s laws, and find that the more we are in obeying God, the better will be our actions towards the rest of mankind. When we might think that by holding fast, and making sure that our lives are always in agreement with the will of God, we will be losing our touch with the ways of the world, then fear not, for God has ordained that He made us so that we should worship Him and He in turn would guide us and love us. When we read God’s laws in our bibles, our hearts are filled with thanks that He has led us and guided us along paths which will lead us to our heavenly home, if we will but confess our belief in our creator God.
Give thanks for those working in pharmacies in hospitals and in the community who have been under tremendous pressure to dispense prescriptions during the pandemic and ensuring that these are delivered to many vulnerable people who have been staying indoors but who rely on medication for a good quality of life. We pray for their delivery drivers, and many other delivery drivers who have supported people, making sure that they have not had to venture out and put themselves in potential danger from Covid-19. We pray the God would use this time to teach us to rely on Him more, and discern the direction He has for us individually and as a Church of His people.