Tag Archives: God

Advocacy

Representing humankind.

In human terms, an advocate is usually one of two things. An advocate may be a person who promotes a cause or policy for an organisation. He or she may be a person who represents the interests of another individual. In the UK, one of the most recognised types of advocate might be a barrister, representing a client in a court of law.

There are other types of advocate, some of which might not be recognised or called as such. A public relations officer, spokesperson or communications director all fit the dictionary definition of advocate for example, representing the views of a company or perhaps political party. Their job is to put across to a wider audience, the public perhaps or company shareholders, a position or proposals for the future. It might be to justify previous actions.

When Jesus said that an advocate was coming, it is assumed he referred to the Holy Spirit. I assume the same and am not aware of anything to contradict this assumption. In terms of human understanding, might this be some of the most literal words in the Bible? It seems to me that the Holy Spirit in terms of advocacy fulfils our human definition.

There are of course  major differences in the advocacy provided by the Holy Spirit. Human advocates are, on the whole, paid for their services whether representing an individual or organisation. Human advocates perform their duties as a job, or career. They do not need to believe in who or what they are representing. They fulfil a contract.

The Holy Spirit is not paid in any monetary form. Perhaps the best description of the Spirit’s actions on our behalf and God’s is a vocation, perhaps almost its raison d’être.

The Holy Spirit presents our human case to God, representing us both individually and collectively. That same Spirit promotes, and explains, if we take the trouble to listen and understand, God’s plans and policies to us us for the future of the world and the human race. The spirit acts both for us and with us, helping us to come closer to God.

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Intercession Prayer for Sunday 6th May 2018

The 6th Sunday of Easter.


Audio expires after approximately 90 days.

 Holy eternal Father, we bring to you our hopes and fears, thoughts and ideas in thanks and worship. Open our eyes and ears to the presence of Your Holy Spirit as we offer You this prayer in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus called his disciples friends because he taught them what he learned from his Father. Open our minds Father to learn those lessons and to bear fruit for You, like the disciples as friends of Your son, serving but not servants.

Father as you welcome all who turn to you, we join with You to welcome those being baptised this week into Your family as Your own son was baptised. Send Your spirit over the waters of their baptism. Watch over them as they grow and guide those who care for them to thrive in Your family.

Remind those of us who have been baptised of the promises made by us, or on our behalf. May we renew those promises in love and trust.

We pray for new ministers and for those moving on to new pastures and appointments. May each in their own way, under your guidance spread Your word.

Healing Lord we bring to You those hurting in body, mind or spirit. The lonely and the afraid. Be with them Father, give them comfort and strength and make them whole.

The closing of today’s prayer is a prayer poem by Beryl Strange of the Mothers’ Union (MU). It can be found in the Dear Lord prayer book, available from MU here .

Be with us Lord throughout this day,
When sunshine streams or skies are grey,
Be with us Lord in joy or ill,
Choose thou our paths, be with us still,
Be with us Lord, when all else fails,
Thy precious blood for us avails,
Be with us Lord when life slows down,
Thy steadfast love shall be our crown.

Amen.

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Roll Away The Stone

A slightly off-beat look at a familiar event.

‘Ouch’, he exclaimed sitting up in the pitch darkness, banging his head on the low ceiling. when his head stopped throbbing, he sat up again, more cautiously with his hand above himself to ward off any further knocks. Putting his hand gingerly to his head, he could already feel a swelling and tenderness. He ignored it. It was insignificant, compared to his other injuries.

Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he was able to make out chinks of light, a faint outline, that he supposed to be the doorway. He made his way slowly, still with his hand outstretched, carefully toward it until his hand touched a cold, hard, smooth rock surface roughly in the middle of the faint outline. All the time he was wincing slightly because of the rough, uneven surface under his bare feet.

After feeling around the cold surface his hand had come into contact with, he gave it a tentative push. It didn’t move. He tried again, pushing harder with both hands. Still no movement, not even the slightest shift. He turned around facing back into the darkness and flattened his back against the unyielding surface and heaved with his legs with all his might. A moment later, he slid down to the floor, with his back still resting against it still not having moved as much as a finger’s width.

He wouldn’t be able to shift what he now guessed to be a huge boulder himself. He needed help. Closing his eyes, even though it was a bit pointless in the pitch dark, he called out softly ‘Dad, Dad, can you hear me?’ He was silent a moment and then ‘I’m stuck. I need you to send a couple of the boys to help.’ then as an afterthought added, ‘quick as you can please Dad.’

What seemed to him to take ages, but in reality was only probably only a matter of seconds, he felt the boulder rock and then start to move slowly sideways away from the portal. He rose quickly, still taking care not to bang his head, and watched the light grow and seep into what he now saw was a cave, a tomb, until the gap was wide enough for him to step out into low sunshine of the dawn light.

Emerging from the tomb he gave a friendly nod to the two slightly glowing figures, that had freed him. ‘Thanks Michael, Gabriel, I could have been in there ages.’ ‘Try to keep yourself out of trouble for a while, Jesus.’, Michael said, just before both he and Gabriel both disappeared, a second too soon for Jesus to ask one more question. ‘What day is it?’

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 18th March 2018

The 5th Sunday of Lent.


Audio expires after approximately 90 days.

Living God, You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to proclaim Your word to all mankind. Thank You for His teaching of peace, compassion and justice, as we seek to learn His ways. May our lives influence those who have not heard Your message until Your Kingdom reigns over everyone.

Thank You for the enthusiasm in Lent initiatives and guiding us through the Lenten season. Give us the opportunities to put into practice what we have learned.

God of hope and unfailing love, cleanse us and let us find the joy and gladness you offer. Show us how to be pure in heart, serving our community as Jesus served all mankind.

We pray for people going through dark times. For those in places of conflict. For people struggling to feed their families an who have suffered rejection, feeling discarded or disposable.

We pray for staff of toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us as it closes. Help former staff find new work or training. Enable them to support themselves and their dependants.

Father God give wisdom to the leaders of the world’s nations. Encourage moderation by our Prime Minister and the Russian leadership, to lower the tension between Great Britain and Russia caused by the attempted killing of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

We pray for those recently departed this Earth, to stand in your presence. Gentle God who gave the gift of life, give them peace in Your kingdom. Comfort those who grieve, knowing that their loved ones are with You. Be with them in their sorrow and pain.

We bring before you the friends and family of scientist Stephen Hawking. May they know he is healed and whole in your presence. We mourn his loss to science and pray for his legacy to inspire people to continue exploring the mysteries and wonders of the universe You made.

Loving Father we bring to You the hurt in body, mind or spirit. Be with the unwell and injured and frightened. Reassure them that by the creative ability You gave to our medics many will be cured, restored to health and relieved of pain. Give them courage and comfort by knowing that you are always with them throughout their suffering, and we pray especially the alone and lonely who have no one to help them.

We offer this prayer for those we know in need of Your healing, comfort or wisdom. We pray for those needing care, those who care for them and the medical staff who treat them.

Lord and Father be with us in the week to come. Help us be good tempered and considerate to all who we meet. To be cheerful when things go wrong and to act kindly to those we find it hard to like. Send Your spirit to guide us while we go about our daily lives.

Merciful Father, accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Intercession Prayer for Sunday 11th February 2018

The Sunday Next Before Lent.

Perfect God and Father, You value each of us so much that you sent Your son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins and redeem us all. As You have shown our value to you, let us take that example to show how we value You by caring for our fellow human beings and sharing Your love to Your people, created in Your image.

As we approach the season of Lent, bless the initiatives taking place wherever Lent is observed.

Bless and guide Lent Groups. Lead them as they seek to serve communities by living as an example that can bring more people to You.

Eternal, loving God help us to look forward with hope, expectation and action through Lent and beyond.

Christ Jesus who gave us freedom to live, work and to worship you, we pray for the 200 migrants rescued from modern slavery on a flower picking farm in Cornwall. Help them, and all who are forced to work under unjust conditions, to integrate into our free society or the society wherever they may be.

We pray that in places beyond our direct influence, there is someone to help and support those living or working under slave conditions, or under any kind of injustice that might be inflicted upon them. We ask for all slaves to be freed and for justice upon the slave-masters and the oppressed alike.

Loving Father we bring to you those hurt in body, mind or spirit. The unwell and the injured. Heal those injured by their and our fellow humans, in places like Syria, Somalia, Yemen and wherever there are victims of violence perpetrated on human by human. Heal too the minds of those who enact that violence. Forgive them as an example to us and to their victims to forgive them.

In our own localities, we offer this prayer for those we know in need of your healing, comfort or wisdom. We pray for those needing care, those who care for them and medical staff who treat them.

Eternal God, thank you for hearing our prayers. May we listen with open hearts and minds for your response whenever, wherever and however you choose to respond.

Merciful Father, accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Data Protection

Who is keeping your secrets.

With the new European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming in to force in May this year, there is a lot of activity in all sorts of institutions trying to ensure compliance. Even churches, the one I attend included, are busy preparing. So how safe is your data?

Well to begin with, I’m not actually referring to the data that businesses, institutions, internet and social media companies collect. Things like address, age, gender. What we buy and spend our money on. Where we go, who we communicate with. All the information or data that our mobile phone and computer appa send back to the companies.

I’m not even talking about the information we give willingly or by law, such as for the electoral register. I’m thinking about the data that can’t be collected, at least not by any human constructed database.

The data that humankind can collect is finite. No matter how much is harvested, there is always more to glean. God above on the other hand has infinite capacity. He knows what the data companies know and he knows everything they do not know about us too. He knows what’s in our hearts and in our minds. He knows when we are good or bad, doing right or doing wrong. He knows when were sorry for what we’ve done or are smug. He knows when we love or hate. He knows what we feel about ourselves and others, collectively and individually.

In short, God knows all about us and he is the safest repository of our data. He might remind us individually if we forget something but he will never breach a confidence and his ‘server’ can not be ‘hacked’. He will not send us advert’s because of something we’ve uploaded. We can tell him anything and he will never divulge it. He is the ultimate data protector.

 

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 14th January 2018

The Second Sunday of Epiphany.

Father who gave us the perfect gift of love, in Your son, we thank You that Your love is renewed every day. Let Jesus light brighten the dark places of our minds and of this world. In His light, show us how to build Your kingdom of peace and justice for everyone of all faiths or none and that hope becomes action toward that goal.

You called Samual as a child, yet he did not know who was calling him. Like Eli enlightened Samuel to Your call, show each of us how in our own way, and in the most appropriate way for people we encounter we can enlighten those who do not hear, or do not know who is calling them.

We pray for those who died at sea on the Sanchi oil tanker, when it collided with a cargo vessel. May they find peace with You Father and their families and those who loved them feel your comforting support and from it draw strength. We pray too for the environment, that oil the Sanchi was carrying does not cause pollution to the sea and contamination of the environment.

For America, we pray for the families of the dead in the mudslides in California. God above give comfort the their families, strength to the aid workers, healing to the injured, wisdom to the medics treating them and generosity to communities helping those now without homes.

We pray for all homeless wherever they may be and whatever the cause of their homelessness. May they be found warmth and shelter especially at this cold time of year. Help too those struggling to find work or relying on food banks.

We pray for everyone of faith wherever they may be. Where they are small in number, oppressed or persecuted, give them strength and encouragement. Where there is doubt, help them find certainty and where there is danger, help them find courage.

We pray for the injured and unwell, distressed and anxious, those coping with poor mental health and the bereaved that they may find healing and relief. Guide medical staff of hospitals and care homes. Bless carers whose love and compassion brings Your blessing to those in their care. We pray for those awaiting treatment and we bring to You those in need of Your support, comfort and healing known and unknown to us.

Almighty God and Father, let us live by Your justice and may Your light show us the way and lead us when it is hard to see.

Merciful Father Accept this prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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