Image by Aaron Burden

Prayer Diary

October 2020

The last six months have brought for all of us some new, maybe difficult, maybe very testing experiences. I like the start of Psalm 130 in the Message translation: given the subtitle “A Pilgrim Song” it reads: “Help, God – the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help!” A more familiar translation reads: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.”

Each week this month, we will be looking at some of Jesus’ teaching about facing the challenge of being his disciples.

 

October 1st – 7th    Jesus’ first prediction of his death

Mark 8:27-33

The first disciples were thrilled to be part of this new Jesus movement, and maybe you too can remember your early excitement of being a Christian. And yet now, Jesus paints a very different, a very sombre picture, of the way ahead for himself. He does say that he would rise again, but only after a very difficult period. Use your daily prayer time this week looking back to your own Christian beginnings, thanking God for those who guided and supported you, and also remember before God those whom you can guide on their own spiritual journeys – family, friends, colleagues etc.

 

In Trinity this week:
Thank God that we are able, albeit in a rather limited way, to meet together, and ask God to guide you to work out how you can show your concern for your fellow members.

October 8th – 14th   Jesus’ second prediction of his death

Mark 9:30-32

The first disciples would have heard, but maybe largely forgotten Jesus’ first prediction after the excitement of Jesus’ Transfiguration, and healings etc., so now he tells them again, they don’t understand, but are afraid to ask!

Can you remember when you were a few weeks into “lockdown”, grateful for peoples’ offers of help, missing friends and family, wondering “How long?” Holy Week and Easter had come and gone with no meetings together. We were grateful for what David and others had provided “on line”, and Zooming had been fun. But it wasn’t the same.


In Trinity this week:

Begin each day giving thanks for sleep and rest, and offer yourself to God for him to use you, your time, your resources – phone, email, and where appropriate calling in person, to offer help to those who might welcome it.

 

October 15th – 21st  Jesus’ third prediction of his death

Mark 10:32-34

This is rather extraordinary; Mark records that some were astonished, some were afraid, and then after Jesus’ third warning, we have this seemingly inappropriate request from James and John!

Jesus uses these both to warn them of hard times to come, and also to emphasise the absolute priority of selfless service. This is what discipleship really means. And in all the changes and strangeness of these Autumn days – beautiful colours, shorter days, mists and mellow fruitfulness, maybe God is saying to us: “Don’t worry about yourselves, I am looking after you, your task is to serve.”


In Trinity this week:

Reflect on the fact that most of what most of us “do” as Church members can’t be “done” at the moment. Maybe, rather than our Christian service being so often “keeping the show on the road”, as someone put it, we should look for ways to let our light shine and be purifying and refreshing salt in our wider communities.

 

October 22nd – 31st   Jesus’ Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus’ suffering had come and gone; he had risen, spent time with them, and was now about to leave them, having also left them a promise that the Holy Spirit would soon be with them – for EVER.

Psalm 130 in The Message continues:

Listen to my cries for mercy.

I pray to God – my life a prayer –

And wait for what he’ll say and do.

My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,

Waiting and watching till morning

Waiting and watching till morning…

In Trinity this week:

Disciples are those who trust and wait.

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