Let’s get talking
1 Peter 3:15
Are we prepared, alert and ready to talk about Jesus? Are we living in a way that stirs people to ask us for the reason for the hope that we have? Together as God’s people, today and every day we have God-given opportunities to share our faith. How can we live intentionally to make the most of every opportunity?
Lord, thank you that out of your great love for us, you sent your son, Jesus, who in turns sends us. Help us look for opportunities today to share our faith, using our words to communicate the greatest love story ever known. Open our eyes to these opportunities, that we may give the reason for the hope that we have.
HOPE's Youth Director
Becoming welcoming churches
Acts 2: 46-47
In Acts we are told the church enjoyed the favour of all the people. What reputation does your church have – Austere? Cliquey? Unreal? Judgemental? Or is it seen as warm and welcoming to everyone in your community? Is it a place that shows God’s goodness? God’s mercy is wonderful – it can reach anyone – let it fill our hearts.
Lord, fill our church with mercy. May it be a home for the prodigals; a sanctuary for the lonely, the angry, and the outcast. You loved the tax collectors, prostitutes and Roman officers. You let the children come when the disciples blocked them. Help us see people with your loving eyes. Make us bringers of mercy, goodness and kindness. Amen.
World Prayer Centre
Teach me your ways - Lent
Psalm 25: 1, 2, 4
Walk into any book shop at an airport or station and you will discover a wide range of books offering advice on how to be a better person. The Psalms provide us with some ancient and well-attested wisdom. We are invited to put our trust in God and ask him to be our teacher, for all of life. And this is what we are called to model to the world.
Lord, conscious of all the sources of advice that available to me, help me this day to put my trust in you. Show me what it means to be your child and how I should model this to those in my neighbourhood. Thank you that you are wholly committed to my wellbeing. Your ways are loving
and faithful. Amen.
The Millennial Generation
Psalm 33:11; 20-22
18-35 year olds have been dubbed the missing generation. They have left the church building and aren't fitting into traditional structures. But the Talking Jesus research (www.talkingjesus.org) tells us that they are very open to having conversations about Jesus. Let’s pray for fresh outpouring of the grace of God on this vital generation that they may know God's dream for this world and all he has purposed for them.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:11; 20-22).
What I have I give to you
Peter and John could not bypass need. They had been called by Jesus Christ and filled by his Spirit. Moved with compassion for the beggar, they gave what they had. They had Jesus. They boldly stepped out in faith in Jesus’ name. In the face of need, is knowing Jesus the motivation for all we are doing, and are we confident to share him with others?
Wonderful Saviour, author of compassion, fill us with the language of mercy. Never let our love grow cold and in the face of need may we always be so close to you that we can say ‘What I have I give to you.’ Lord let us always be filled by you; excited by you and living for your kingdom coming. Amen.
Reconciliation in families
This passage invites husbands and wives to love and respect each other, laying down their lives for each other. When this is our aim, we go a long way to providing the role model that our children need to be witnesses to the love of Christ, encouraging them rather than ‘exasperating’ them, and building the kingdom of God as a family.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus you commanded us to love you, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. May this love begin in our homes, bringing healing where there is brokenness, understanding where there is frustration, joy where there is sadness and hope where there is despair. May we lay down our lives, as Jesus did, for our families and for those in need. Amen
Father Simon Penhalagan
Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism
Luke 15: 11-24
Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son who rejected his father and left home. But his father waited for him and welcomed him home with a party! Many of us know prodigals. Let’s commit to pray for them to come home; that they might ‘come to their senses’ and realise their loving heavenly Father is waiting to welcome them back.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your generous love and grace to us. We bring before you the prodigals we know. We ask for you to have mercy - on us and on them. We pray that they may hear your call to come home. Give us open hearts and open homes to welcome them back. Amen
World Prayer Centre
Hope for prisoners
Lives can be changed for good in prison. Praise God for all who work in prisons. Pray for protection for prison officers and their families; for all involved in the Prison HOPE initiative to link churches, prison chaplains and organisations involved with prisoners, former prisoners and their families. Consider: how could your church pray for and link with the local prison. Find out more about Prison Hope at www.prisonhope.org.uk
Gracious Lord, who told us to look for you in the isolated and the excluded, bless, we pray, the efforts of Prison Hope to stir up your Church. Give us wisdom to restore the fallen, encourage the fainthearted, welcome the stranger, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favour – even the redemption of our debt through your grace and mercy. Amen.
Bishop James Langstaff
Bishop to Prisons
20 January 2017
John 17: 22-23
HOPE unites the church across denominations, race, culture and customs. An unprecedented number of churches are committed to mission in 2018. The dream is to grow the church by 10 per cent. Thank God for churches working together. Pray that Christians will show God’s reconciling love and peace. Consider meeting to pray with other churches in your area.
Almighty God and Father, we praise you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. We join with him praying ‘your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’. Help us to work with Christians from other churches to make Jesus known in this place in 2018, so that lives will be transformed by God’s redeeming love. We pray in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen
Revd Yemi Adedeji
Redeemed Christian Church of God
13 January 2017
Pray for five
We discovered in the Talking Jesus research (www.talkingjesus.org) that one in five of the people we talk to about Jesus wants to know more. So join us as we each pray for five of our friends or family members who don’t know Jesus. You could set an alarm on your phone to remind you each day to pray for your five. Pray that you are given opportunities to share about Jesus with them and that they come to follow Jesus for themselves.
Lord Jesus, Please lead (name your 5) …….. to know, love and follow you.
Use me to show them your love and to tell them about you. Amen
Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf
Church of England
6 January 2017
Jesus for all
Because of Jesus we can have the free gift of eternal life with him. Give thanks for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Pray that churches will work together using both words and actions to make Jesus known. Consider how churches in your area can work together to plan a rhythm of mission through 2018, especially at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.
Heavenly Father, we long to see lives in our villages, towns and cities transformed by your love. We pray that churches will catch the vision to reach out with words and action to make Jesus known. Rekindle passion for evangelism in this area. Help us to find creative ways to connect with people in our community so they find Jesus for themselves.
HOPE’s Executive Director