Prayer For Today HEART Aug/Sep/Oct 2010
Prayer for Today is a quarterly prayer magazine. It contains real life testimonies, feature articles and initiatives on local, national and global issues that affect our community, nation and world. It also has a pull-out prayer section to encourage and equip you to pray and act by showing the love of Jesus.
Encouraging you to pray for change aug/sept/oct 10 Your donation will help print the next issue heart Is the focus of this issue, featuring: the journey every heart must take: Healing and building the heart GOD’S HEART IN A HURTING WORLD: Visiting Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake PRACTISING THE PRESENCE OF GOD: Is the Western church missing the point? DAILY PRAYERS – NEW PULL-OUT SECTION Praying for issues that affect our nation PLUS: Micah Challenge, More Than Gold, National Day of Prayer about Abortion, Day of Prayer for Peace in Jerusalem, Praying for the Healthcare sector, real life testimonies and resources UNITED CHRISTIAN BROADCASTERS ucb.co.uk working with prayerforum.org and care.org.uk Editorial Board: James Aladiran Celia Bowring Editorial Coordinator: Lyndall Bywater Natasha Ruddock Margaret Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org Alistair Cole Ian Cole Design: Share Creative email@example.com Jane Holloway Rachel Kerry Deb Lawes Jonathan Oloyede Chrissie Wilkinson Editor: Carl Brettle firstname.lastname@example.org The Team intro Thank you for all the positive feedback from our first edition, even the volcanic ash couldn’t stop us. It’s great to see the second edition out and active. The focus of this issue is the heart. You’ll notice a big change this quarter, in that we have moved the daily prayers to the middle of the publication. This will allow you to more easily pull out and use the prayer section together with The Word for Today. We have moved the UCB2GO shop section to the back. You will see that some of the resources are well discounted so check them out – keep praying. God Bless, With our compliments UCB produce this magazine prayer resource, free of charge, through the generosity of our supporters. As a gift to the body of Christ, UCB gives permission to churches and Christian organisations to copy up to a maximum of 52 daily excerpts per year. Excerpts must acknowledge Prayer for Today as the source, give the UCB address and advertise that free issues of the magazine are available for the UK and Republic of Ireland. Prayer Forum Website All articles and daily prayers will be featured on the Prayer Forum of the British Isles & Ireland website. Prayer Forum’s aim is to connect Christians across the British Isles & Ireland, encourage them about what God is doing and equip them to prayer effectively. Register online: www.prayerforum.org. Carl Brettle - Editor Acknowledgements Prayer contributors: 24-7 Prayer UK – www.uk.24-7prayer.com Birmingham Christian Centre – www.birminghamcc.co.uk CARE prayer guide www.care.org.uk Chaplaincy Plus www.chaplaincyplus.org.uk Day of Prayer for Peace in Jerusalem www.daytopray.com Healthcare Christian Fellowship Micah Challenge www.micahchallenge.org.uk Revival media – www.revivalmedia.org World Prayer Centre www.worldprayer.org.uk On the cover 4 The journey every heart must take – Healing and building the heart 14 Practising the Presence of God – Is the Western Church missing the point? aug / sept / oct 2010 ucb.co.uk 8 God’s heart in a hurting world – Visiting Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake in the middle 25 Daily prayer pull-out section Features 2 What prayer means to… 6 Real life testimony 12 A challenge to pray for those 42 Birmingham – The Heart of England 45 Global Day of Prayer 2010 feedback 47 Street Pastors praying for God 18 The 2012 Games – 49 Day of Prayer for the Peace 20 How to Pray: 51 A heart wrenching decision 53 Praying for the Healthcare sector caught in global poverty a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for UK churches Lord Transform my Heart 23 Real life testimony 24 What’s happening at UCB? 41 Creative prayer to bless our nation! of Jerusalem 55 Review 64 The Final Word… contents what prayer means to... Margaret Marrow, Team coordinator UCB prayerline W ith prayer it is easy to get lost and become discouraged whilst trying to find a good approach which works for you. God made each of us to be totally unique. For myself, I have discovered the main issue is that unless we are praying in line with Godâ€™s will and heart for any particular purpose or person, our prayers remain just words and are largely ineffective. 2 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Some years ago whilst at a Bible college, the Head asked us all to pray for a much loved biblical teacher who was in charge of the study material for the college. He had been diagnosed with cancer and everyone was in faith for a healing miracle, which the church had witnessed many times for others who had visited the church asking for prayer ministry. We were woken in the early hours to intercede for this Godly man but I found that I simply had no peace in asking for healing for him. I struggled, trying my best to align myself to what I believed to be a very necessary and worthy call to prayer. Try as I might, I could find no peace and I began to feel guilty that I must lack the necessary faith for such a miracle. I began to feel a real sense of failure, since most of my fellow students were believing for total healing. Over the next few days, as we continued to intercede, during the main church service I heard the words, â€œIt is finished.â€? Shortly after this our much loved teacher entered into Glory. I realised that the witness of the Holy Spirit in me and the words I heard were showing me that this manâ€™s work was now at an end, it was completed and time to go to his eternal reward. The Holy Spirit had graciously shown me something very important: that above all else we need to hear what God is saying about the issue we bring before Him in order to know how to best pray into it. I had been trying to pray in a certain way because it seemed the good thing to do, but in fact it had not been at all. Had I realised this earlier, I could have been more productive in praying for a smoother transition for our dear brother and for strength for his family at the time of parting. Can your your church church become become aa UCB UCB Prayerline Prayerline Satellite? Satellite? Once we hear from God concerning any issue, the prayer takes on a supernatural power because we are then in agreement with Him and are assisting in the work of bringing about His will on earth. The key is to listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit and to be guided by Him, especially when praying for others. The scriptures tell us that He will lead us in all truth and that is never more necessary than when we pray. UCB is looking for Churches to volunteer UCB is looking forPrayerline ChurchesSatellite, to volunteer to set up a UCB to to set up a UCB Prayerline Satellite, pray with callers and help them to knowto prayinwith callers and them know that everything Godhelp is there forto them. that in everything God is there for them. Can your Church volunteer? Can your Church volunteer? For more information on becoming For more information on becoming a UCB Prayerline Satellite call the a UCBTeam Prayerline Satellite callor the Prayerline on 01782 764938 Prayerline Team on 01782 764938 email email@example.com email firstname.lastname@example.org feature The journey every heart must take Mark Ryan I live on a building site at the moment and I love it! I have moved to a new house where some of the other houses are not yet built. I don’t know what I like the most between the newness of my home or looking out every day and seeing the progress of the homes being built all around me. My home situation reminds me of my life in God: some things are finished and brand new and other 4 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday things are a work in progress. A wise way to approach the matters of the heart is to see that God has made a ‘brand new’ statement over it, while still seeing there are deeper works of progress that God wants to achieve with us. At times when our hearts are broken or troubled, we need to look at the completed work of how God has already rescued and filled our hearts. As we want to press into our destiny, we need to invite God to take us on the journey of building a healthy heart so that we can walk in what he has purposed for us. Before building the heart in health, it is important to realise that a healing work is often required. The healing of the heart often centres around three areas; the heart often needs healing from a ‘crystallizing event’ that has so blocked our progress that we need to get God’s mind and care on the event, so that we can learn to live through it. It’s not that we ‘get over our crystallizing events’ but that God helps us to learn to let these events be part of who we are and how we live life to serve others. The second area of healing in the heart often centres around unhealthy soul ties to a person or situation, which are often mistaken for the source of life and security. The heart is healed from these unhealthy ties as we recognise where healthy sources of love come from and what real destiny and purpose is. Thirdly, the heart is often damaged by stronghold beliefs that ‘…set themselves up against the knowledge of God...’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). These thought systems are demolished as we come to realise a liberating truth that changes our world-view and our self-view. People with a ‘thought stronghold’ need to discover and immerse themselves into a life changing truth that changes their thinking and direction. The truth of the ‘Father heart’ of God or the ‘unconditional love of Jesus’ are key truths to bathe the ‘unhealed heart’ in. Healing is one thing, as vital as it is, but health is another. It is health we need to build for. We do not get a ‘one-time healing of the heart’. We have seasons in our lives where we get clarity on our direction and in these times we need to build firm building blocks of health so that our hearts are right and we can move into the purposes for which we were created. In the next issue… Mark will share the building blocks of how to have a healthy heart. You can join in prayer for transformed hearts on page 26. Mark Ryan is the senior minister of Birmingham Christian Centre, an Elim church in Birmingham city centre. For more details visit www.birminghamcc.co.uk. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 5 Testimony I thought I was a Christian and was brought up as a ‘Child of God’. I did the prayer thing every night and went to church every weekend, but I knew somewhere in my heart that I just wasn’t into it. I loved attention from boys and acting on my impure thoughts, gossiping about girls, being rude, disrespectful and acting in ways that I knew weren’t right. One day a friend told me that he had become a ‘born again Christian’. I rolled my eyes and said “is that so?” and he told me I should try it. He said “If a plane was about to crash and I handed you a parachute, wouldn’t you grab it without thinking? As your friend I’m helping you receive salvation. If you want to crash and burn then jump 6 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday without a parachute but if you want to live life to the fullest then repent and give your life to Christ. Let Jesus be your parachute!” We spoke for an hour and slowly the spirit of God entered me and I felt a sudden urge to ask for forgiveness and another chance. I wasn’t the Child of God that I thought I was, and the girl I should be. I realised that He is such an awesome God! He loved me so much that He gave me a second chance! Ever since, I’ve been a lot happier and literally full of energy. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. What’s the use in ignoring His love when it’s right there for you to embrace! ESTHER A day y r e v E ords W g n i g a Encour UCB FROM R A D IO A G IF T B A D L ION A ON NAT DO YOU NEED A LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT? The Word For Today, is a collection of Bible based notes to encourage you each day. They help you to get into Godâ€™s Word and include references for reading the Bible in a year. Call 0845 60 40 401 to get your FREE copy of The Word For Today or tick the box on the form at the back of The Prayer For Today. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 7 8 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday feature God’s heart in a hurting world Anthony Delaney I had the opportunity of visiting Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquakes earlier this year. I was part of a team with Andy Hawthorne from the charity The Message. We’d seized an opportunity to transport medical aid and vital supplies into Haiti within a week of the quake. What we saw will remain with me forever. I recall a pastor we met wearing a dusty cap which read ‘Jesus is my boss’. We prayed with him as he leaned on the broom he was using to clear up what looked like a disaster movie set. The stench of death lingered as he picked through the rubble of the church, school and Compassion project that was his life’s work. He told us how it had all gone - in minutes. He spoke with quiet faith in the midst of the carnage. His mother, brother and many children from the school all died on that fateful day, January 12th, at the epicentre of January’s devastating earthquake. Three more bodies had just been found in the rubble nearby. Both Andy and I pledged to do whatever we could to help this man and others rebuild a better Haiti. Returning to the UK, we organised the first of a series of concert events which have raised tens of thousands of pounds called, “Heart for Haiti”. But what is God’s heart for a disaster zone, for people in pain? ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 9 Soon after my return, I was scheduled to give a talk about ‘Theodicy’ – how to defend God’s goodness despite the existence of evil and suffering. I reread a copious amount of books which didn’t seem much help. My Bible seemed quietened by the clamour of Haiti’s screams. I tried to explain the problem of evil and suffering as a philosophical dilemma hard for anyone to try to resolve. I said abandoning belief and trust in God in the face of the reality of living in a broken world doesn’t help us or anyone else. I tried to avoid a trite, “God works all things together for good” approach, but told various biblical and true life stories of God working out his purposes through the toil, blood, sweat and tears to ultimately bring about the best of all possible endings, to what at times is a pretty awful story to say the least. Out of the death and suffering caused by January’s earthquake, a revival of repentance and healing is arising in Haiti. On February 12th, three days of prayer and fasting were called for the country. President Rene Garcia Prevel urged his fellow citizens to pray and one million gathered to answer his call where there were 3000 reported conversions (including 101 voodoo priests). I’ve found after decades of dealing with people in pain - as a police officer then pastor – that we just need to be there. It meant more to the pastor that we were there, representing God, standing in the rubble. Whatever their rubble is made up of, pray even when you don’t understand if you can, and weep with those that weep. As my heart breaks with theirs, as I connect with the Father’s heart again, He starts to help them rebuild from the rubble. Anthony Delaney is the Senior Pastor of Ivy Manchester, South Manchester. Before becoming a Pastor, he was a police officer. He is also an advocate for Compassion UK which aims to release children from poverty in Haiti and around the world. For more info, go to www.compassionuk.org. 10 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Prayer Points: Give thanks for the 3,000 reported conversions and pray for their discipleship. Pray for the spiritual leaders in the country that they can keep the eyes of the people on Jesus. Pray for the rebuilding efforts that they can bring the supplies people need for their physical needs. Pray that this revival brings emotional healing and hope to the people of Haiti. Real issues. Your questions. Straight answers. Join Paul Hammond weekdays 9am-12pm on UCB UK. ul H am mo nd Available nationally on DAB digital radio and online at ucbmedia.co.uk ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 11 A challenge to pray for those caught in global poverty Andy Clasper W ho are your heroes? In a society that looks for role models in the spheres of celebrity and sport, we can often find true heroism in ordinary people who have an extraordinary impact simply by allowing God to transform their heart and letting their lives follow. 12 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday People like Jonnie Horner, 26, who after seeing how cheaply lives were lost in Haiti, set up the Haiti Hospital Appeal, or like Holly Ellson, 37, who let God speak to her and as a result adamantly resolved to live as ethically as she could. Like Rosamund Maycock, 84, who prays persistently for change, or like Andy Herrick who has utilised every opportunity on Superbadger (a lobbying tool) to petition those in power to pay attention to injustice. These are my heroes, because they caught a glimpse of God’s heart and were inspired to act by making a long-term promise to live in solidarity with the poor of our world. The Old Testament prophets, such as Nehemiah and Micah, called people back to the original calling from God to follow His heart for justice. Almost every page of the Bible speaks of the Father’s compassion for the marginalised and oppressed. This heart for justice is just as important for God’s followers today. The energies of our world are focused on social, economic and technological progress, but 1 billion people living in poverty are being left behind, forgotten. We remember the poor after the Haitian earthquake but forget them when we do our weekly shop; we remember them during Christian Aid Week but forget them again in the run up to an election. When we truly reconnect with God’s heart our change is one of permanence and our lives begin to fully reflect our remembrance. During 2000, the leaders of the world’s nations set out a vision of a world in which the benefits of our progress are enjoyed by all, including the poorest. These eight Millennium Development Goals represent the best chance we’ve ever had to work together to create a world that does not close its eyes and its heart to the plight of the poor. Ten years into this 15 year commitment to act on global poverty, world leaders are looking for direction. Our lives can help to point the way, keeping them accountable for the promises they made and causing them to recommit to the poor of our world. On 10 October 2010 (10.10.10), you can join 100 million people worldwide bringing their promises together and praying that, through our leaders, God would create a more just world. Martin Luther King said: “It is time for an all-out war on poverty. This isn’t a war that governments will launch; they are too bound up by narrow interests. Who else will launch this war if not the church?” The injustices of our world cannot be addressed overnight. But neither can they withstand the raising up of a generation of people who choose consistently and persistently to live differently. Andy Clasper is Director of Micah Challenge in the UK. Micah’s ‘What’s Your Promise?’ is a campaign bringing millions of people together around the world who have committed to living lives that remember those in poverty. To find out more visit www.whatsyourpromise.org.uk. To pray about global poverty, join in with the prayers on page 37. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 13 feature Practising the Presence of God The greatest hindrance to Christianity today is Christians who do not know how to practise the presence of God Rev Dr. Billy Graham 14 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Paul Miller I t is an unexpected comment from an evangelist renowned for his forthright, public preaching of the gospel in worldwide crusades. However, it points significantly to the hidden roots and power of that gospel preaching. We have tended to see â€˜practising the presence of Godâ€™ as the monastic preserve of meditation, solitude and contemplation. For Moses it was the key distinguishing mark of all the people of God; the one thing we desperately need but significantly lack1. We recognise the Presence of God in healings, miracles, gifts of the Spirit and, perhaps, in anointed ministries. But are these the primary, defining characteristics of His Presence? Korazin and Capernaum experienced great manifestations of His Presence, yet Jesus rebuked them severely for their failure to repent!2 Displays of His mercy don’t necessarily speak of His approval! of authority full of grace and truth but still real authority; something the centurion, a man familiar with authority, recognised in Jesus.9 Rather, Jesus’ unequivocal endorsement is reserved for those who do the Father’s will and produce the fruit of His character3. Obedience to His will determines all relationships in the Kingdom4. In the West, the difficulty we have is our very familiarity with the words of Lordship, imagining that verbal agreement is synonymous with ‘actual’ obedience. Jesus repeatedly challenged the Jews of His time with the discrepancy between their words and their hearts5, and parables reinforce the difference6. The Presence of God needs to be reconnected with the Lordship of Jesus, and that Lordship is of the heart. Intimacy and obedience go together. Scripture asserts that the New Covenant is distinctive from the Old, in that the Spirit will write God’s law in our hearts,10 and Paul characterises this obedience of heart from the life of David, ‘a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’11 In Jesus the connection of love and obedience is clear enough, both in His relationship to the Father and in our relationship to Him!12 Indeed, ‘abiding’ in His love is directly related to obedience13. Abraham was the ‘friend’ of God, an example of the obedience of faith to those who would believe through Jesus,14 because the journey from servanthood to friendship is navigated through obedience.15 The Presence of God, which the Gospel introduces in a manifest way, has as its purpose the Lordship of Christ: Peter declared at Pentecost, that God made Jesus ‘both Lord and Christ.’7 The gospel brings about the ‘obedience of faith.’8 It is not an escape clause from obedience, but a transfer of authority in our lives from Caesar to God, a different sort Jonah fled from God’s manifest Presence because he didn’t want to obey.16 Yet we seem to have managed to combine His Presence with disobedience without any apparent dislocation. However, the real Presence of the Living God is toxic to the disobedient and rebellious who claim to know Him. Judgement does begin with the household of God.17 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 15 The rather casual, contemporary approach to Jesus’ presence confirms the true nature of His real Presence in our midst as Lord. Isaiah & Malachi seriously challenge this presumption! We may seem ‘eager’ to seek Him, to know His ways and for God to come close but ‘who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap’18. The Presence of God is about His reign, not simply warm feelings. While we might dearly want His Presence in our midst, the real question is can we live with it?19 I believe that the lack of His Lordship Presence is the primary challenge to the Western Church, where the predominant Gospel falls short of the Gospel of Jesus. This lack is proportional to the absence of the cross at the centre of our worship; consequently our discipleship processes fail to bring about the necessary depth of real, inner transformation and fruitfulness. ‘No-one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 12:3. Paul Miller is a well respected teacher and co-founder of New Day Ministries and prior to that was a local church pastor in Birmingham for 19 years. Relevant scriptures Exodus 33:13-17 Matthew 11:20-24 3 Matthew 7:20-23 4 Matthew 12:50 5 Mark 7:6-7 1 2 16 Matthew 21:28-31 10Jeremiah 31:33 & Hebrews 8:10 & Luke 6:46-49 11 Acts 13:22 7 Acts 2:36 12 John 14:23-24 8 Romans 1:5 (also v.15 & 21) 9 Matthew 8 6 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday John 15:10 James 2:20-26 15 John 15:14-15 16 Jonah 1:1-3 13 14 1 Peter 4:17 Malachi 3:2 & Isaiah 58:2 19 James 4:8-10 17 18 the a once-ina-lifetime opportunity for UK churches Peter Meadows, More Than Gold 2012 Games Now the baton is being passed to the UK churches, which is why More Than Gold has been established. Its role is to open the he world’s greatest sporting event eyes of UK churches to the possibilities of is coming – the 2012 Olympics and what could happen when we reach out as a Paralympics. It will give churches across the Church and to help them make this happen. UK a wonderful opportunity to show the love of Jesus through Word and deed. As you pray, you might want to thank God for the sixty Christian organisations and It is hard to picture what this means. That’s mission agencies that have already joined because the UK has never experienced the in, and for the support that has come from way churches unite and respond to such all the main denominations. events through programmes of outreach, hospitality and service. Please also pray that churches will open their eyes to the amazing opportunity that To give you some idea, when the Olympics is ahead to impact their own communities came to Sydney, the response from the and visitors from around the world. churches included providing visitors with over 250,000 cups of free water. They You will find more information about ran over 45 sports clinics for disadvantaged More Than Gold and prayer at young people and staged 120 community www.morethangold.org.uk festivals showing the Opening Ceremony that were attended by 250,000 people. The Atlanta Olympics was a similar story, including providing three quarters of the homes used for hosting athletes’ families. T 18 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday how to pray Carl Brettle, Ministry Director UCB Lord Transform my Heart 20 Prayer does not equip us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday I attended a prayer meeting once where someone mentioned the phrase ‘Circumcise my heart Lord, that I might be able to pray’. At the time I thought what a strange thing to pray. A few weeks later I met someone who literally had some of the tissue surrounding his heart removed so his heart could beat more effectively. I began to question the depth of my own prayer life with God. I must admit over the last decade or so, organising conferences, producing publications, teaching and preaching on prayer, I have slowly but surely moved more towards being professional in my relationship with God. Specific times, praying in certain ways, trying to push God’s hand to answer my prayers in a way that’s acceptable to me, being too prescriptive. All of this began to build a hard skin around my heart. The prayer life which was once tender had become old and tired. How can we transform and re-invigorate our prayer life? I suppose in any diagnosis, you have to understand the problem, before you start to work on the solution. 1. Make a list of all the things you think separate you from a great prayer time with God. Be honest about your lifestyle. 2. Make an appointment with God. It’s crazy to think that I spend my whole week setting time aside for people, for travel, to write emails etc. I was just hoping to squeeze time with God into the mix of that. These days I set aside quality time, with no interruptions. 3. Remember all the great things God had done in your life over the years. This turned out to be a great faith builder and really encouraged me to tackle all the problem issues I had identified in my life today. 4. Be determined. I had to become determined to continue to meet with God until my desire and love for Him was rekindled. It was tough some days, when it seemed as you sat down the door bell would ring or the phone would go. I had to persist until I broke through into some wonderful times of just being with my Heavenly Father. Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness. Martin Luther Prayer is an attitude of the Heart and it is a barometer of the depth of our relationship with Him. We live in an ‘everything needs to be instant’ society, so it’s quite hard these days to set aside quality time for anything. Prayer is also a humbling experience. To pray is to admit that it’s OK to live life without all the answers, and that we have to rely on someone greater than we are to guide us through. Prayer is often taking a step of faith into the unknown, to allow God to deal with our organised professionalism and bring things back to the basic fundamentals… we are His children, He is our God. We are here to give ourselves over to Him and allow God to shape us and use us to build His Kingdom, on His terms. Let Go, Let God in. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 21 UCB radio. What do we have… and will you love it as much as others do? Features the ‘top 20’ in contemporary Christian music, great live discussion on life’s ‘big issues’, regular news, traffic and travel and loads more to put a zing in your step. “Thank you so much for your music and teaching. I’ve not stopped being blessed by them. Keep up the powerful and fantastic work!” - Fionnuala Listen on DAB digital radio* or online at ucbmedia.co.uk/uk * check ucbmedia.co.uk/dab for DAB coverage in your area If you prefer your music from the oldies but the goodies, then UCB Inspirational has your name on it, with a great blend of music from years gone by, right through to present day. Join Anne Henderson and the UCB Inspirational team on DAB digital radio and online at ucbmedia.co.uk/ inspirational “Thank you… you have lifted me. Been reading the Word for Today for a long time, but now I really love inspirational music! Thank you Lord for bringing UCB radio into my life”. - David UNITED CHRISTIAN BROADCASTERS 22 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Testimony ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 23 what’s happening at UCB Natasha Ruddock A s a national Christian broadcasting organisation, UCB has to continually keep up-to-date with current trends and technologies. We are still working on new and innovative ways to build a strong presence in the online community. Social media growth With tremendous growth in social media, UCB continues to establish itself on the social networking scene. Twitter provides instant, up-to-the-minute updates from UCB including studio guests, photos and daily The Word For Today tweets. The UCB Facebook page is a popular place of conversation with new videos, photos and news updates added regularly. UCB Prayer, also on Facebook, is a great place for Christians to share prayer needs online. You can also find the Word 4 U2Day on Facebook, and regularly updated videos on our YouTube and Vimeo channels. All our sites are growing at a rapid pace so come and join the conversation! Visit facebook.com/ucbmedia & twitter.com/ucbmedia. For more links visit ucbmedia.co.uk. Join in prayer for UCB in our daily prayer section p25-p40 24 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday New prayerline satellite Due to the need for prayer, UCB Prayerline is continuing to grow. January to May this year saw over 45,000 calls taken! UCB launched two new Satellites in South Wales and an automated email system for prayer requests has successfully been implemented to increase the speed and efficiency of calls being answered. Visits to all Satellite groups will commence to investigate best practice and requirements. Hope Generation interns We say a sad farewell to the last year’s Hope Generation interns who have been with UCB. We also give a huge welcome to the new interns who will be starting in September. Bag of Hope Available The Bag of Hope will be available from UCB for Halloween and Christmas. Last year we used 65,000 for Halloween and 110,000 for Christmas time. They will again be available for this year’s campaign. For more info visit www.ucb.co.uk/bagofhope. In this section - you will find daily prayers that highlight specific topics and issues that affect our personal lives, relationships, communities, nation and world. We hope that these short prayers will encourage you to not only pray for these issues, but also to act in your family, community, city and nation. We believe that prayer and action go hand in hand and that the power of God is released in amazing ways when we pray together. Letâ€™s be the hands and feet that Jesus uses to reach out today! AUGUST AUG SUNDAY 1ST AUG PSALM 57:7 THE STEADFAST HEART Gracious, loving heavenly Father, help me this day to keep my heart rooted in You and not to wander after other distractions and possibilities. Give me a steadfast heart that is fixed on Your purposes for my life so that I may serve You today. Amen. MONDAY 2ND AUG PSALM 40:8 THE TRUE HEART Lord, I praise You today that I can know Your will for my life. Speak to me through Your Word today so that I can know more of Your will for my life. Help me to receive that which is difficult to hear but to live it with enthusiasm and passion. Amen. TUESDAY 3RD AUG PSALM 62:8 THE REFUGE FOR THE HEART Dear Lord, I confess that I trust You with my life and my situation. I place my heart unreservedly into Your care and I ask that You will be my refuge and my strength. Help me to pour out my heart to you as I learn to trust You more. Amen. WEDNESDAY 4TH AUG MAt. 11:28-30 THE YOKE FOR THE HEART Jesus, teach me something new about You today. I want to learn from You and discover more of what You have in store for me. I commit to following You fully. Give me the wisdom and strength to put into practice what You teach me. Amen. 26 Source: www.birminghamcc.co.uk THURSDAY 5TH AUG MATT 18:21-35 THE FORGIVING HEART Father, I thank You that I come before You today as one forgiven by Your love and grace. Forgive me for anything I have said that has caused others to stumble. Search my heart and reveal anything that I do that is unhelpful or offensive to others. Amen. FRIDAY 6TH AUG GAL 5:1 THE HEART SET FREE Lord, You have ransomed my heart from silly rules, regulations and practices. Help me to always choose freedom over these useless things. Keep me from unwise acts that lead to sin and help me to resist temptation. By Your amazing grace I ask these things. Amen. SATURDAY 7TH AUG PRAYING FOR UCB We are seeking strategic partners who will connect with us, with a kingdom focus. Lord, unlock the resources which You have entrusted to people of influence through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to work in unity to glorify Your name. Amen. SUNDAY 8TH AUG GEN 1:31 PRAY FOR ALL IN WORK Thank you Father that You have made us in your image and that work is very much part of Your character and You want it to be very much part of our character. May we use the gifts and abilities You have given to each one of us. Amen. THURSDAY 12TH AUG MARK 12:29-30 LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR Forgive us Father that so often we forget that our neighbour is also the person at the next desk, or in the next office or shop. We pray that You would show us how to love that person as Jesus loves them through our actions and words. Amen MONDAY 9TH AUG 1 TIM 2:2 BUSINESS LEADERS We pray for leaders in business, that they will make time to hear from You each day so that they have Your mind and Your direction for the business they lead. May they lead with integrity and have concern for the well-being of all those in their organisations. Amen FRIDAY 13TH AUG MATTHEW 5:14 STRAP LINE FOR BUSINESS Most businesses have a strap line. Let ours be ‘Be Light in the Darkness’. Let us exhibit the gifts of the Spirit so that we might be like light that attracts moths and be so attractive to those who don’t yet know Jesus in our workplaces that they would want to find out more about Him. Amen. SATURDAY 14TH AUG PRAYING FOR UCB Lord, we thank you for the Prayer for Today and we pray that it will be a tool to encourage people to pray to bring about Your kingdom on Earth. We ask for Your wisdom and inspiration for those involved in compiling the next issue this month. Amen. AUG TUESDAY 10TH AUG PHIL 4: 6-7 ANXIOUS ABOUT WORK Lord, we are sorry for those times when our thinking goes into that downward spiral of anxiety. We pray that Your Holy Spirit will write Your Word on our hearts and minds so that when we sense anxious thoughts, we can immediately bring them to You and receive your promise of peace. Amen. WEDNESDAY 11TH AUG COL 3:23-24 WORK & WORSHIP Father, we pray that your Holy Spirit would enable us to work with all our hearts, realising that we are working for Jesus and not just for our earthly bosses. Wherever we work or whatever we do, let our work station also be our worship station. Amen Source: www.chaplaincyplus.org.uk 27 SUNDAY 15TH AUG 1 COR 12:27 HAVE WE LOST OUR FIRST LOVE? We are all part of the body of Christ, and we each have our part to play. Praise God for the body of Christ on earth. Confess where we have wandered away from our first love and pray for God to reconnect us to Him. AUG MONDAY 16TH AUG REV 3:2 IS THE CHURCH AWAKE? As the Church, we need to rise up and stay alert to what is happening around us. Confess where we have been asleep and not been watchful. Pray for God to strengthen and re-invigorate the Church to be alive and relevant to unbelievers. TUESDAY 17TH AUG 1 COR 1:10 IS THE CHURCH UNITED? God’s power and blessing is released when we are in one accord. Confess any areas in our lives where we are not loving one another and are bringing division within the body of Christ. Pray that God will bring revelation of living Kingdomfocused lives; that the Church will be united in mind and thought and purpose. THURSDAY 19TH AUG MATT 5:14 ARE WE BEING LIGHT IN THE WORLD? As Christians, we are called to be in the world but not of it. Confess where we have failed to be salt and light in the world. Pray that we will be empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit to stand up and speak out. FRIDAY 20TH AUG REV 19:7 ARE WE READY FOR HIS RETURN? If Jesus came back tomorrow, would you be ready? Confess where our lamps have grown dim and we have been distracted by the world. Pray for God to reveal if there are areas in our lives that we may need to work on; that we will be ready, watchful and expectant of His imminent return. SATURDAY 21ST AUG PRAYING FOR UCB Heavenly Father, we pray for the ‘public’ to understand the vision of UCB; Give thanks for all those involved in the various departments that make sure everything keeps going! We pray that departments will continue WEDNESDAY 18TH AUG HAGg 1:2-11 to work closely together to fulfil the WHO ARE WE SERVING? vision of UCB. We live in a society where there are so Source: www.revivalmedia.org many things that demand our time and attention and we don’t have time to serve the Lord and His agenda. Confess where we have been too busy building our houses, and neglected the house of the Lord. How can I help in my local church? 28 EXPLOITATION OF HUMAN BEINGS SUNDAY 22ND AUG O God of infinite mercy, we ask You to soften the hearts of those who treat other human beings in a cruel and degrading manner. Please send Your servants to bring comfort and relief to those who are so badly abused and bring liberty to many ‘captives’ by the power of Your love. Amen. TUESDAY 24TH AUG Pray for vulnerable Muslim youths who are being radicalised in many parts of the world and then sent out on suicide missions and other terrorist activities. Remember those in this country who are recruited in universities, prisons and through extreme political groups. FRIDAY 27TH AUG THANKSGIVING: Thank God for everyone determined to help people who are being exploited in any way. Ask Him to help those working in advocacy, prevention, and caring for the victims. Pray for organisations such as Beyond the Streets. (www.beyondthestreets.org.uk) SATURDAY 28TH AUG PRAYING FOR UCB Human Resources is one of UCB’s less recognised departments which often finds itself in spiritual warfare as it has to interact directly with a secular world. Please pray for protection for the team and wisdom, discernment and guidance as to the best way to defend and protect all the ministries associated with UCB and its employees. AUG MONDAY 23RD AUG Today is International day for the remembrance of the slave trade and its abolition. Pray for increasing public awareness and outrage about the fact that slavery still exists today in many forms, even though it is banned in most of the countries where it is practised. THURSDAY 26TH AUG Intercede for freedom and restoration to be granted to women and children who have been deceived or forced into prostitution and other exploitative relationships. Pray that Section 14 of the Policing and Crime Act will be successfully implemented. (www.care.org.uk/humantrafficking) WEDNESDAY 25TH AUG Intercede that many of the trafficking and other slavery networks operating throughout the world and within the British Isles would be stopped, as perpetrators begin to turn away from crime and the ringleaders are prosecuted. Amen. Source: Care prayer guide. Free copies from www.care.org.uk 29 AUG SUNDAY 29TH AUG 1 TIM 4:12 CHRISTIANS IN SCHOOLS Give thanks to God for the mission field on our doorstep – our schools. Pray for courage for Christian pupils to engage in friendship and conversation with fellow students. We ask God for an open door for His Spirit to move in our education system. MONDAY 30TH AUG COL 3:23-24 PRAYING FOR TEACHERS Praise God for the abundant opportunities young people in the UK have to learn. Pray that God would rise up purposeful and committed teachers in our nation. Remember particularly Christian religious education teachers, and other Christian staff who are seeking to see God move in their schools. 30 TUESDAY 31ST AUG MATT 28:19 CHRISTIAN OUTREACH TO SCHOOLS Praise God for the many churches and organisations that share the Gospel in schools, i.e. the Pais Project, YFC, New Generation UK, and OneHope. Pray for God’s provision and inspiration as they look for new, varied, and creative ways to do this. SEPTEMBER WEDNESDAY 1ST SEPT 2 TIM 3:16 PRAYING FOR ONEHOPE UCB’s partner organisation, OneHope (onehope.net) has a vision to provide God’s Word to every young person. Pray that their UK outreach would grow, and that in the right time God’s Word would be in the hands of every child in this nation. SATURDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER PRAYING FOR UCB Almighty God, we seek your strength and wisdom today and pray that You will continue to guide, bless and direct UCB’s Fundraising Strategy. Inspire and encourage the fundraising team when talking to potential partners and developing creative fundraising opportunities. Amen. Source: www.uk.24-7prayer.com Sept THURSDAY 2ND SEPT ACTS 17:17 UNIVERSITIES Give thanks for the Christian Unions at universities who seek to share Jesus with the unbelievers on their campuses. Pray for protection for new students going to university; that the Christians among them would stay strong in their faith, and that they would be good witnesses to other non-believing students. FRIDAY 3RD SEPT EXODUS 14:13-14 BACK TO SCHOOL SUNDAY Thousands of young people are preparing to return to school next week. Many will be arriving for the first time. Encourage your church to pray this Sunday (Back to School Sunday - 5th Sept), and to commission children, teachers and school workers who are returning to school for the new academic year. 31 Sept SUNDAY 5TH SEPT HEB 1:3 RAMADAN – THE NIGHT OF POWER (LAILATUL-QADR) Muslims are celebrating Ramadan (22nd Aug – 20th Sept). Many Muslims will spend tonight in prayer, asking for a revelation of truth. Lord, we pray that their eyes will be opened to see a revelation of Jesus Christ and that their hearts will be open to receive him. Amen. THURSDAY 9TH SEPT MATT 5:9 RAMADAN – MAKING PEACE Ramadan is a time for Muslims to examine their relationships, and to make peace where there is conflict. God of all peace, thank you for those across the Islamic world who are calling for peace and reconciliation. May their voices be heard, especially in areas where war and violence are rife. Amen. MONDAY 6TH SEPT 2 COR 4:4 RAMADAN – FOCUSING ON GOD Ramadan is a special season of fasting and aims to refocus the believer’s attention on God. Lord, as Muslims focus attention on their own faith journeys this month, we pray that you will remove the scales of spiritual blindness and cut through the chains of dead religion. Amen. FRIDAY 10TH SEPT PS. 34:14-15 RAMADAN – CHANGING FOR THE BETTER Ramadan is about ‘sawm’, which means refraining – not just from food but anything harmful or wrong. We pray for young Muslims in our nation. Give them the determination and perseverance to live courageous, righteous lives. Teach them Your ways, Lord, so that they will find your truth. Amen. TUESDAY 7TH SEPT HEB 7:27 RAMADAN - PURIFYING THE SOUL During Ramadan, Muslims fast in order to purify the soul. God of eternal love and grace, we thank you for the gift of forgiveness. We pray for Muslims in our nation, that they will hear the good news of Jesus, the one who can set them free from sin and guilt once and for all. Amen. SATURDAY 11TH SEPT PRAYING FOR UCB Father, we bring UCB radio before you and pray that many people in the UK will ‘find’ our radio stations. Bless our presenters and help them to continue to mature and grow in their gifts and talents. We pray that You will direct experienced and gifted media professional to UCB. WEDNESDAY 8TH SEPT PS. 15:1-2 RAMADAN – PRACTISING SELFSACRIFICE For Muslims, the Ramadan fast is an exercise in self-discipline. Lord, we pray today for Muslims living in our local communities, that you will pour out blessings of life and hope. Grant them courage and integrity to live well. Amen. 32 Source: www.uk.24-7prayer.com FEEDING THE HUNGRY SUNDAY 12TH SEPT PROV 19:17 Thank You, Lord, for the plentiful provision that so many of us enjoy. Please help us always to be compassionate towards those who have little and show us effective ways to pray and provide for them. Bless every Christian initiative reaching out in practical ways to help the hungry and destitute. Amen. MONDAY 13TH SEPT MATT 6:31-33 Pray for the work of the Salvation Army and other charities providing food to hungry people in our towns and cities. Ask God to grant us discernment when we are asked for money by strangers. Help us identify those in genuine need. THURSDAY 16TH SEPT PRO 14:23 Give thanks for the strategic planning of governments and others working with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in an attempt to minimise food shortages. Pray that they will make significant progress. FRIDAY 17TH SEPT TITUS 3:14 Remember those who are materially wealthy but desperately poor emotionally and spiritually. Pray that they meet Christians who will be able to share the good news about Jesus and receive the forgiveness, eternal life and peace of mind that He offers. Sept TUESDAY 14TH SEPT ISAIAH 41:10 Remember Christian and other aid workers who are doing all they can in difficult circumstances – in camps, remote areas and places destroyed by natural disasters or human disregard and cruelty. Pray for them to be encouraged and strengthened today and to be kept safe from danger. WEDNESDAY 15TH SEPT EPH 4:19 Almighty God, please help and guide national governments and relief and development agencies that are seeking to make food accessible to the most vulnerable people in the world. For Christ’s sake, Amen. SATURDAY 18TH SEPT PRAYING FOR UCB UCB’s facilities team are always busy maintaining both UCB sites to a high standard. Bless the team and pray for protection of their health. Pray for continued safety for the transport team as they cover lots of motorway miles in transporting guests. Source: www.care.org.uk Free copies from www.care.org.uk 33 SUNDAY 19TH SEPT PHIL 4:4-7 PEACE IN OUR HEARTS & MINDS Father, I thank you that only through the atoning sacrifice of your Son Jesus can I know true peace. Please help me not to be anxious about anything but to trust you with all the burdens and situations I am concerned about today. In His Precious Name. Amen. Sept MONDAY 20TH SEPT EPH 6:1-4 PEACE IN FAMILIES Pray for peace for all those who have been scarred by family break-up and divorce. Lord, bring reconciliation where families are no longer in relationship with each other. Pray for a family you know that is going through problems, for God to change their circumstances. TUESDAY 21ST SEPT MATT 5:9 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR PEACE Today is the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Confess when we have worried because we have not trusted that God is in control of all things. Pray for God’s church worldwide to be an instrument of His peace and love, and to pray against fear in a world that is experiencing tremendous shaking. WEDNESDAY 22ND SEPT PS. 29:11 PEACE IN OUR TROUBLES When troubles come, we tackle them head-on without asking God for help and only turn to Him when they get worse. Give thanks that you do not have to rely on human weakness when you can call on divine strength. Pray that at the first hint of trouble, you will call out to God for His strength and peace. 34 THURSDAY 23RD SEPT PHIL 5:22-23 PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITIES Peace is a fruit of the Spirit which we need to express in our communities. Bless Christian initiatives that seek to transform troubled communities by bringing God’s love and peace into them. Why not organise a prayer walk to declare God’s peace into your neighbourhood? FRIDAY 24TH SEPT NUM 6:24-26 PEACE IN PLACES OF CONFLICT There are many places of conflict around the world. Pray for protection for an area or people group you are aware of affected by conflict today; for God’s peace and breakthrough to resolve the situation. Use Numbers 6:24-26 to pray a blessing on a nation. SATURDAY 25TH SEPT PRAYING FOR UCB The whole of life revolves around relationships – and the ministry of UCB is no exception. Pray that the Lord would keep us sensitive to His direction and guidance when it comes to making these vital connections with others. Source: www.worldprayer.org.uk WEDNESDAY 29TH SEPT DEUT 34:7 STRENGTH FOR OLDER PEOPLE Health issues can be major struggles for older people and recovery from illness can also be longer. Pray for older people who have health issues, that God would heal them and meet their needs. Bless doctors, nurses and carers who support older people. MONDAY 27TH SEPT 1 TIM 5:1-2 RESPECT FOR OLDER PEOPLE The Bible teaches us to honour and bless the older generation, however our society often does not reflect this. Confess where you may not have honoured an older person. Pray for God to show mercy and help our society regain respect and honour for its older members. THURSDAY 30TH SEPT PS. 68:5-6 FRIENDSHIP FOR OLDER PEOPLE Older people can struggle with feeling isolated or lonely. Pray for an elderly person in your neighbourhood that may be feeling lonely or isolated; for churches to reach out to the elderly within their congregation and community. Is there an older person that you could visit and offer to help or just be a listening ear? TUESDAY 28TH SEPT PS 71:14-18 OLDER PEOPLE DECLARING GODâ€™S WORD Father, thank you that age is no barrier to being used by you. Help them to tell their godly testimonies and stories to the next generation to inspire and encourage, and give the younger generation a desire to hear and be open. Amen. Sept SUNDAY 26TH SEPT PS. 37:23-25 PROVISION FOR OLDER PEOPLE Father, we lift the elderly up to you today and pray for older people we know that need Your financial provision to sustain them. Fill their latter years with multiplied blessings, increased far beyond anything they can imagine. In Jesus Name. Amen. Source: www.worldprayer.org.uk 35 oct OCTOBER TUESDAY 5TH OCT ISAIAH 62:6 WATCHMEN Father God, we ask for watchmen to be raised up in this hour and take their post on the walls of Jerusalem. Touch our hearts and move us with compassion for this city and the land of Israel. Make us awake to your purposes, that we may intercede and bring them forth according to your Word. Amen. FRIDAY 1ST OCT ISAIAH 46:3-4 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR OLDER PERSONS Today is International Day for Older Persons. Confess when we have neglected the needs of the elderly. Bless the staff of care homes and all those who provide home care. Pray for wisdom for families who may have to WEDNESDAY 6TH OCT EPH 2:11-12 make decisions about a family memberâ€™s RECONCILIATION OF care today. JEWS & GENTILES Lord, we pray for reconciliation between SATURDAY 2ND OCT Jews and Gentiles. Forgive us Lord for PRAYING FOR UCB the sin of silence and anti-Semitism Pray for protection over the Bag of Hope committed against Jews during the project and bless all those involved in Holocaust. Let us show true friendship the packing and distribution process. and love to the Jewish people as we live Pray that all the stock arrives in good out the life of Jesus every day. Amen. time and that there are no design faults. Pray that the books will reach the hands THURSDAY 7TH OCT PSALM 82:3-4 of those that need them most. PRAYING FOR ISRAELI CHILDREN Lord, we lift the many Israeli children SUNDAY 3RD OCT PSALM 122:6 living in poverty to you and pray for your DAY OF PRAYER FOR mercy upon them. For children who are PEACE IN JERUSALEM victims of violence and who are taught As millions of Christians unite in prayer to hate, mistrust, and harm others, we around the world for the peace of ask for your divine intervention. Protect Jerusalem, pray that God will help to them and guide them into paths of raise awareness and intercession for His peace. Amen. beloved Israel to fulfil the purpose for which He created it. FRIDAY 8TH OCT REV 21:2-4 NEW JERUSALEM MONDAY 4TH OCT ZECH 8:3 Jesus, we acknowledge Jerusalem not CITY OF TRUTH only as the place you once walked, but God, Your Word calls Jerusalem the as the place you will walk again, as you city of truth. We pray that the truth of take Your rightful place as Ruler of the Who You are would prevail in Jerusalem Nations. We thank you that out of Zion, today. We ask that the deception and lies the perfection of beauty, God has shone that stand against Your truth in that city forth. Amen would be exposed and be replaced with the truth we find in Your Word. Amen. 36 Source: www.daytopray.com SATURDAY 9TH OCT PRAYING FOR UCB Please pray for the Advocate mailing this quarter as this will be packed and despatched at the same time as the Bag of Hope Project. Pray that there will be no confusion with data or the stock and that there will be enough people to enable the packing to be completed on time. WEDNESDAY 13TH OCT 1 TIM 2:1-2 WORLD LEADERS Pray for leaders to gain insight into Godâ€™s heart for our world; that they will show wisdom, take courage and receive strength as they make decisions that affect us. Bless a world leader that God puts on your heart today. THURSDAY 14TH OCT ISAIAH 10:1-3 UNFAIR SYSTEMS Our world is full of unfair systems that favour those rich nations whose power enables them to establish these systems. Pray that we would have the courage to consistently and persistently call for systems and structures which remember the poor. Source: www.micahchallenge.org.uk oct SUNDAY 10TH OCT ISAiah 42:6 10.10.10 MICAH 2010 Our world is focused on economic and technological progress but 1 billion people are living in poverty. Father, help us always to proclaim your justice and mercy with humility, so that, by the power of your Spirit, we can rid the world of the sin of extreme poverty. Amen. FRIDAY 15TH OCT GAL 2:10 REMEMBER THE POOR You may feel that you are insignificant MONDAY 11TH OCT 1 COR 12:25-26 GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP and that you alone cannot impact the A spirit of true partnership is needed if structures of this world. Pray that you we are to develop financial institutions would continue to remember the poor and trade agreements that work for all. and demonstrate it through your daily Pray that leaders of the nations would life. Are you able to sponsor a child in look beyond the immediate interests a poverty-stricken nation? of their own nation and reach out for a world where everyone has enough, SATURDAY 16TH OCT PRAYING FOR UCB and where the benefits of progress are Please pray for the safe delivery of the enjoyed by all. Winter issue of The Word For Today and Word 4U 2Day, and that they will prove TUESDAY 12TH OCT PROV 31:8-9 A PROPHETIC VOICE to be a real blessing! Pray for all those Pray that the Church will continue to involved in despatching the devotionals. bear witness to the stories of people We pray that they will be distributed oppressed by poverty and injustice, and widely to those who are in most need speak with truth, calling on governments of daily encouragement. to act justly. Pray for Godâ€™s people to speak out, clearly demonstrate, and earnestly pray for a world more pleasing to its creator. 37 oct SUNDAY 17TH OCT LUKE 9:2 HEALTHCARE SUNDAY Today is Healthcare Sunday, an opportunity to thank God for our healthcare systems and workers. Pray for healthcare workers you know, that through their love and compassion, those who are vulnerable and needy might come to know healing and peace in their lives. WEDNESDAY 20TH OCT PS. 42:11 DEPRESSION Almighty God, we acknowledge that depression is a huge problem for many people in the western world. Equip our GP’s and primary care services with wisdom and understanding to treat and bring healing to the 1 in 5 of our neighbours who suffer with symptoms of depression. Amen. MONDAY 18TH OCT JOHN 4:35 THE FIELDS ARE RIPE FOR HARVEST Thousands of people pass through our hospitals, surgeries and clinics each day – many in great need. Pray for doctors to bring real healing and wholeness to those in need. Ask God to change our hearts and bring about a spiritual transformation of secular, humanistic healthcare teaching and practice. THURSDAY 21ST OCT PHILEMON 7 MENTAL HEALTH AND CARERS Pray for those with mental health issues and their carers, that God will provide all the necessary comfort and support for them, and that practical help will be made available. Give thanks for organisations that provide resources, advocacy, support and advice, (e.g. Mind) to our mental health services. TUESDAY 19TH OCT LUKE 5:13 CHRISTIANS IN MENTAL HEALTHCARE Lord, we give thanks for Christian mental healthcare professionals who endeavour to provide the best care and treatment for their patients. We pray for those suffering from mental illness, that they will not be stigmatised but welcomed into our churches. Amen. FRIDAY 22ND OCT GAL 6:9 ENCOURAGEMENT FOR DOCTORS We pray for wisdom for those who strategically plan healthcare services. Bless doctors and GPs today who may have become frustrated trying to navigate the right services for their patients. Pray for encouragement and healing of any disillusionment they may feel. SATURDAY 23RD OCT PRAYING FOR UCB Give thanks for UCB TV and pray for its continued growth. Pray blessing on the Head of UCB TV, that God will give him wisdom in choosing programmes for the channel and finding and developing talented and skilled staff. 38 Source: Healthcare Christian Fellowship Resources from www.healthcaresunday.org.uk SUNDAY 24TH OCT LUKE 15:32 BRINGING HOME THE PRODIGALS It is not unusual to find people who once had a Christian faith, but who have abandoned it. Pray today for someone you know who has abandoned their faith, that God’s Spirit of reconciliation will stir them up to seek out their Heavenly Father again. THURSDAY 28TH OCT LUKE 15:15-16 LIVING AT A DISTANCE Pray for those you know who show a real interest in God, but have written off Christianity because they believe their lifestyle is simply incompatible with its values. Ask God to plant a hunger in their hearts which will cause them to long for home and the Father’s embrace. MONDAY 25TH OCT LUKE 15:29-30 HEALING THE BROKEN Many people who have stopped attending church say they have done so because they have been hurt. Let us repent on behalf of the Church, for failing to love, for allowing judgement and condemnation, and for making selfish choices which have wounded others. FRIDAY 29TH OCT LUKE 15:13 TURNING THE TIDE Most ‘prodigals’ left the church when they were teenagers or young adults. Pray for the young people in your own church, that they will find mentors to help them build a faith which will stand firm throughout the many changes and choices of their young adulthood. WEDNESDAY 27TH OCT LUKE 15:17-18a MOMENTS OF AWAKENING Pray for those you know who seem the furthest away from returning to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to orchestrate a moment of awakening for them – something to open their eyes to the poverty of a life without Jesus. SATURDAY 30TH OCT PRAYING FOR UCB Pray that the Lord would make UCB sensitive to the people we meet and deal with on a regular basis; that we may be able to encourage them to utilise what God has put within them, to help build the Kingdom, and to minister into the lives of others through the various ministry platforms that UCB has. oct TUESDAY 26TH OCT LUKE 15:20 BACK TO CHURCH Pray for all those ‘prodigals’ who are thinking of returning to church, some for the first time in years, that they will find a warm welcome among God’s people, and that they will discover the Father who runs to embrace and receive them. SUNDAY 31ST OCT 2 THESS 3:3 HALLOWEEN Halloween originated as a Pagan festival and is seen by the occult as a time when the spiritual world can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pray for protection for Christians, that they would heed the Holy Spirit’s conviction and understand that Halloween is not of God. Source: www.uk.24-7prayer.com 39 40 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 24-7 Prayer creative bank 2 4-7 Prayer have been establishing 24-7 prayer rooms for the past 10 years. Their followers are passionate about prayer. Creative ideas for prayer rooms have poured from this movement for prayer. For example, people in South Africa used a tree as a prayer space because they didn’t have a room to base the prayer room in, and in Canada a group hired a van in order to create a ‘prayer room on wheels’, which went round to different local churches encouraging them in new and creative ways of praying. 24-7 Prayer loves the fresh ideas that people have of communicating Jesus and the Gospel in new and interactive ways, making prayer rooms into places where both strangers to the Gospel and long term Christians can engage with the Holy Spirit and God’s word. “We want to continue to encourage such creativity in prayer rooms, and recognise that many people have been building prayer rooms regularly over many years. That’s why we thought it would be great to have a place to share these ideas and for others to be inspired by them, in our aim of communicating the Gospel of Jesus & engaging people in prayer.” 24-7 Prayer 24-7 Prayer has created a Creative prayer bank from ideas that have worked well in their prayer rooms around the world. The bank is categorised into four parts: journeys, themes, bible verses and age limits. Visit www.uk.24-7prayer.com to find out more about 24-7 Prayer and the Creative Bank. If you have any good ideas of your own, please email email@example.com so we can feature them. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 41 42 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Birmingham The Heart of England Sam Miller B irmingham has a great history in prayer. As a 13 year old, I remember being excited to go with my Dad into the city centre at 6am on a Friday morning to join with others across the city to pray. I remember standing amongst these men and women and being inspired about prayer. My heart was stirred for the place of prayer in bringing the grace of God into our city. I always felt a novice surrounded by such eloquent prayers and exciting visions but it drew me on to the platform of city changing prayer and rooted the value of unity within me. I am still impacted by those parents in prayer, but am increasingly concerned about the importance of the passing on of this mantle to a younger generation. The city of Birmingham desperately needs a younger generation to stand up in prayer, partner with those who have run the race faithfully for many years, and begin to receive the heart and vision of prayer for the journey ahead. Groupings of vision and prayer are springing up around the city, and gatherings like Ezra and vehicles like the Birmingham Prayer Wall are seeking to further facilitate this united vision. Birmingham is a great city, with genuine people and exciting visions, but we are desperately in need of the presence of God to unlock the potential of this city. This isn’t about new and better ideas, but about the original and best idea of God. If we humble ourselves and pray, He will presence Himself amongst us and release the fullness of His blessings upon us as individuals, communities and a city. Oswald Chambers wrote that “prayer is about nurturing the life of God within us… and nurturing the life of God around us”, this has to be our priority, as without the life of God in us and flowing through us we are impotent to bring any lasting transformation. Sam and his family share life as members of a missional community within an estate in North Birmingham. He is involved with Urban Devotion Birmingham (www.urbandevotion.org) and with a movement for prayer in Birmingham of which the Prayer Wall (www.birminghamprayerwall.com) is one expression. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 43 ad - prayer forum Be connected with Christians across the British Isles & Ireland Be encouraged by stories of answered prayer Be resourced to pray Be linked into global prayer networks Join us in prayer to see transformation across our nations Register to receive regular updates www.prayerforum.org 44 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Jane Holloway, GDOP UK Coordinator G lobal Day of Prayer 2010, saw thousands of Christians meet in over 35 different prayer gatherings across the British Isles. These took place on hills and city walls, in marquees, churches, Cathedrals, market squares, and outside parliament buildings. London boroughs hosted over 42 events across the city. In Medway, 24 prayer centres opened during the Ten Days of Prayer. On Sunday morning BBC Radio Kent broadcast a live interview on their ‘Sunday’ Programme. Global Day of Prayer 2010 In Oxford, Love Oxford drew together many churches for united services, and a number of people received healing and discovered faith in Christ as God’s word was preached. In Northampton, during the 10 days of prayer, teams of people went out on to the streets in the town centre for two days. Lots of great conversations happened with 13 people discovering faith in Christ. On Pentecost Sunday 3,000 people gathered in the park. In St Helier Jersey, the first Global Day of Prayer united church event happened outside the Parliament building. One prayer focus was for the Jersey Royal new potato industry. Due to a drought, potato yields were less than 50% of normal, and the ground too dry to plant later crops. Farmers were desperate. Prompted by 2 Chronicles 7:13 ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain…’ they prayed, and two days later it rained hard all night. There are many more stories of how God was at work across our nations. The challenge is to keep united, keep praying and keep working for His kingdom to come! Full reports on www.globaldayofprayer.co.uk ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 45 WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING What’s your promise? I promise to buy Fairtrade wherever I can I promise to do my bit on climate change I promise to campaign till there’s no more poverty Micah Challenge is issuing a call to action to Christians around the world: calling them back to the Church’s mandate to remember the poor. The energies of our world are focused on economic and technological progress but 1 billion people living in poverty are being left behind, forgotten. It can be different. Millions of Christians are already making promises to remember those in poverty. In the UK we’re delivering these promises to MPs and asking them to prioritise global justice as they set the course for the new UK government. This autumn, on 10/10/10 100 million people worldwide will bring their promises together, and pray that through these God would create a more just world. Will you be one of them? What’s your promise? To get involved, go to www.whatsyourpromise.org.uk ‘It is time for an all-out war on poverty… Who else will launch this war if not the Church?’ Martin Luther King for Street praying God to bless Pastors our nation! S treet Pastors was pioneered in London in 2003 and is an initiative about engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. They have seen remarkable results including crime reduction in areas where teams are working. There are now over a 100 teams across the UK. A Street Pastor is a Church leader/minister or member with a concern for society (in particular young people who feel they are excluded and marginalised) who is willing to engage people where they are at. To be a Street Pastor you need to be over 18. Each Street Pastor team consists of at least three groups of four, each of which will work a minimum of one night a month, usually from 10pm to around 4am. “God spoke to me this year about holding a National Week of Prayer for our nation from 24th -31st October 2010. The aim of this week is to ask God to bless our nation and to focus our prayers on the lines from the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven”. If all Street Pastors join in prayer that week, most of our nation will be covered in prayer! We also invite other prayer ministries and networks around the nation to join with us.” Wendy Thomas, National Prayer Coordinator for Street Pastors. For more information on becoming a Street Pastor and the Week of Prayer, go to www.streetpastors.org.uk. Prayer ideas and resources will be available nearer the date on the prayer section. If you would like to get involved in the week of prayer in your area, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 47 UCB e e r F gift To receive your free gift, call us on 0845 60 40 401. Books are available on a first come first served basis. UNITED CHRISTIAN BROADCASTERS Robert S Stearns Co-Chairman T Day of The P Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem Jack Hayford Co-Chairman The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem Jane Hansen Hoyt AGLOW International T.D. Jakes The Potterâ€™s House Paul Cedar Mission America Ravi Zacharias Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Kenneth Copeland Kenneth Copeland Ministries Ron Luce Teen Mania Ministries Dick Eastman Every Home for Christ International Kay Arthur Precept Ministries Joyce Meyer Joyce Meyer Ministries Che Ahn Harvest International Ministry Corkie Haan Mission America Coalition Frederick Price Crenshaw Christian Center Mike Bickle International House of Prayer Michael W. Smith Michael W. Smith Productions Marco Barrientos Centro Internacional Aliento ...AND MANY MORE ENDORSING LEADERS THE DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM JOIN 175 NATIONS IN PRAYING FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM VISIT 48 WWW.DAYTOPRAY.COM ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday OR CALL 1.800.519.4647 Day of Prayer for the Peace of Sarah Wolf O n Sunday 3rd October, tens of millions of Christians from all different cultures, denominations and generations - from Cathedrals in cosmopolitan cities to tribal grass-hut churches in Africa - will be united in one heart-felt prayer. They will be praying for the peace of Jerusalem. When it comes to prayer needs in this hour, there is certainly no shortage. God’s heart is forever tied to the land and people of Israel. There are believers all around the world who are determined to seek God’s heart and make His priorities their own. You can be a part of this unprecedented movement and offer up a prayer that moves the heart and hand of God. Visit www.daytopray.com for an array of resources and helpful information that will equip you in your call to pray for Jerusalem. We encourage you to call into the ‘virtual prayer room’ which will be open a full twenty-four hours on 3rd October, and lend your voice with others from around the globe in fervent, sustained intercession for the peace of Jerusalem. Join in and pray for Jerusalem on p.36. For more information, go to www.daytopray.com The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem is a global grassroots prayer initiative observed the first Sunday of every October. There are many reasons to pray for God’s peace, plans and purposes to come to this region at this time. Primarily it is our biblical mandate found in Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may those who love you be secure.” ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 49 NATIONAL NATIONAL DA YOF 2277 PRA YER ABOUTABORTION ABORTION ABOUT 010 20210 YY ED NNEESSDDAA ED WW TO BBEERR TO CC OO Canyou youarrange arrangeaaprayer prayermeeting meetingin inyour yourarea area Can or for your church, fellowship group or youth group? or for your church, fellowship group or youth group? Pleasepray praythroughout throughoutthe theday dayand andask askothers othersto tojoin joinwith with you. you. Please Prayerpacks packsand and powerpoint powerpoint from: from: Prayer image, 1st floor, 110 Oldham Road, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AG, 6AG, image, 1st floor, 110 Oldham Road, Ancoats, Manchester M4 0161273 2738090 8090e:e:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org w: w:www.imagenet.org.uk www.imagenet.org.uk t:t:0161 a heart wrenching decision Christine Fidler A bortion statistics in the UK are hard to take in: over seven million since 1967, more than a tenth of the present population. In 2008 there were over 215,000; that’s 17,000 a month, 4,000 a week, 600 a day, one every two minutes. Behind each statistic lies a decision, one that can too often be made under pressure or in panic. Many women seeking help after abortion say their decision was made in response to circumstances and what was going on in their heads at the time. They put a barrier around their hearts. Kate was working as a teacher when she got pregnant. She could see no future in the relationship so abortion seemed the only answer. It became clear when she came for help that her heart was saying a different thing to her head and given space, time and acceptance she was able to work this through, making a decision to continue her pregnancy. A national day of prayer about abortion will take place on Wednesday 27th October. Join us as we pray: • That mothers’ hearts would be stirred to choose life for their unborn children and to seek healing for the hurt abortion has brought them. • For all the pregnancy centres offering hope to women and their partners. • For our country, that the Lord will have mercy on us. • For the church that abortion will be on its agenda and that it will reflect God’s heart of love for mother and baby. The National Day of Prayer about abortion is organised by Image. For more information see www.imagenet.org.uk or ring them on 0161 273 8090. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 51 17 h e a l t h c a r e SUNDAY October 2010 A day to pray for carers, health workers and the health service The focus of this year’s Healthcare Sunday on 17 October is mental health, an issue which touches us all. 1 in 3 people in our congregations and communities will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. We are called to “share eachothers’ troubles and problems and in this way obey Christ”. Gal 6:2 NLT Healthcare Sunday aims to: • Encourage prayer; • Raise awareness of Biblical responses to health & illness; • Foster care and support of professional and voluntary carers; and • Promote community responsibility and action. Further information & resources at The kingdom of heaven is within you; Accept now the fullness of His Grace. For you are sons and daughters of the living God. Not limited by time and space. The kingdom of heaven is within you. In you God has chosen to make His home. He has appointed a pathway for you; Do not allow your heart to roam. www.healthcaresunday.org.uk The kingdom of heaven is within you. What joy there should be in your heart! All the resources of heaven and earth are yours; not just a tiny part. The kingdom of heaven is within you; It is not below you or high above. You have received the pearl of great price; Live now in the joy of His love. WITHIN YOU (Based on Luke 17:21) Taken from Such Love – devotional poetry by Andrew Feakin and available from www.moorleys.co.uk. 52 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday Praying for the Healthcare sector Jeff Dyas O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation... A t church on Sundays we remind ourselves that our life, our health, all that we are, is found in Him. Our Bible teaches us the principles of healthy, Godly living and sermons exhort us to continually look to the cross – by His stripes we are healed. Salvation and healing are inseparable in God’s purposes – “May God Himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul and body ...” 1 Thess 5:23 Msg. Don’t we have good news for a desperately needy world? Our challenge – to bring this Gospel to those we see in our clinics, surgeries and hospital wards during the rest of the week – the hopeless and helpless. God’s heart is for the sick and dying and healthcare workers are ideally placed to share His compassion and love with them, to bring life and real, lasting wholeness, but we can’t do it alone. We need the support and prayers of the wider church if we are ever to see our patients made whole, and healthcare transformed. For more details on Healthcare Sunday and to download resources, visit www.healthcaresunday. org.uk. Join in prayer for those involved in the healthcare sector on p38. Healthcare Sunday (October 17th) is an opportunity for the whole church to stand with and pray for healthcare. This Healthcare Sunday, why not pray for your GP surgery (probably no-one else does!), for your local hospital, for nurses and other healthcare workers known to you. Pray that more of God’s heart might be revealed in them and that His Spirit will bring Godly transformation. BIRMINGHAM ROC B iRmingham L aunCh P eOPLe Of gOOdwiLL wORking safeR, kindeR sOCiety tOgetheR tOwaRds a Tuesday 16th November 2010 National Indoor Arena, King Edward’s Road, B1 2AA Doors open 6pm for Resource Exhibition Main Programme starts 7:30pm Tickets are £5, available from www.redeemingourcommunities.org.uk/NIA redeemingourcommunities.org.uk/birmingham 54 ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday review THE MANTLE OF ESTHER Discovering the Power of Intercession By Larry Christenson Reviewed by Natasha Ruddock, Prayer for Today Editorial Coordinator The book is cleverly written and uses the Old Testament story of Esther to illustrate the ministry of intercessory prayer. The book is more of a novel than a textbook, and gives a deeper understanding by breaking it down hase into preparation, practice and the triumph n purc You ca Mantle of m of intercession. The book really inspired me The £6.99 fro t to want to get in God’s presence to pray on sa r for t s E he B2GO page er y C behalf of others. a U r the ck of P the ba r Today. fo In the next issue FEEDBACK “I loved this book. It made the Book of Esther come alive and taught me some fundamental principles.” Before I read this book, I didn’t quite understand intercession and felt that it was something that super-spiritual prayer warriors did. This book has changed my view and shown me that as Christians we are ALL called to intercede to bring the power of heaven down to earth. ucb.co.uk/prayerfortoday 55 the final word Lloyd Cooke I once found myself at the centre of some amusement when I decided to go on a weeklong silent Christian retreat in a convent in Llandudno. Many of my friends found it quite humorous to consider how I (as a Christian leader who often has much to say) would survive in such an unusual environment. Though at times the silence was deafening, I found my silent week to be incredibly enriching and a wonderful spiritual tonic. With plenty of time to read and pray, I chose a book by Sister Kathleen O’Sullivan called ‘Light out of Darkness.’ One particular quote really struck a chord and has stayed with me ever since: “Without reflecting, a day is scarcely worth living.” I was challenged to consider how important it is to find quiet times amidst the everyday turmoil that surrounds us. The possibility of making time to quietly reflect can be a scary thought, and many Christians are actually afraid to be in touch with their own feelings and use their hectic lives to hide from some of life’s difficulties. Noise and busyness can help us conceal our inner fears and the darkness within, which has its root in rejection, and often leads to a poor self-image and to a ‘victim mentality.’ When doubt, suffering, fear or temptation come our way, it’s important not to try and go it alone and simply block out the hurt soul’s cry by trying to fill life with more noise and activity, or cover it with destructive addictions. Seek God. Cry out to Him. Look to Jesus and invite His light into your darkness. 3 reasons why you need Jesus Jesus loves you! He desires to have a relationship with you, and to give you a life full of joy and purpose. Why do you need Him in your life? 1 2 3 Because you have a past You can’t go back, but He can. The Bible says, ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). He can walk into those places of sin and failure, wipe the slate clean and give you a new beginning. Because you need a friend Jesus knows the worst about you, yet He believes the best. Why? Because He sees you not as you are, but as you will be when He gets through with you. What a friend! Because He holds the future Who else are you going to trust? In His hands you are safe and secure – today, tomorrow, and for eternity. His Word says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you… plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray I will listen’ (Jeremiah 29:11–13 TLB). If you’d like to begin a personal relationship with Jesus today, please pray this prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. I ask your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for me to set me free from my sins. Please come into my life and fill me with your Holy Spirit and be with me forever. Thank you Lord Jesus, Amen. If you have made this commitment and would like to make contact with a local Christian (UK and Republic of Ireland only), or if you do not feel ready to make this decision and would like further help from a local Christian, please write giving your full name, address and age group to: 3 Reasons, FREEPOST WC2947, South Croydon, CR2 8UZ or email ucb@ contactforchrist.org.uk. No one will contact you unless you specifically request it. Please visit ucb.co.uk/3reasons to download this advert for a friend. Email us at email@example.com to join our mailing list to receive future issues! 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