Thursday, 27 March 2008


I've been working on an assignment today. The content explains how a concept we were learning about was applied to a real situation, and thereby moved that situation on in helpful ways.

I pray, Lord, that all institutions of learning will enable their students to interact constructively with the world you have made and for the benefit of the people you love.

I pray also for E, who has six weeks of her undergraduate studies still to go, and who is working on her final project. Please bless her, Father, and enable her to do her very best work. I pray that you would guide her career after she graduates.

I pray for my granddaughter, K, who has exams on at the moment. Bless her also, Lord, and help her to stay calm and unstressed, and to respond to best of her very considerable ability. I pray that you will help her to see how to enjoy the spaces between exams, and to relieve any pressure she is feeling through fun, relaxation, socialisation, or whatever works for her.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Good surprises

I was doing some reading for my latest assignment today when a number of lines of thought all came together into a new vision for the local Youth Church. Thank you, Lord!

Then this evening the three current leaders had a lovely evening meal and prayer and feedback time with one of our mentors, and came away much encouraged. Thank you again, Lord.

THe other exciting thing that happened was that I started playing no less than 3 games of Scrabble all at once (thanks to facebook). Since my last Scrabble partner dies some years ago, I've only had one game, so this was just sheer bliss!

My prayer today is for all Christian youth work, that you will show us, Lord, how to be as much fun as Jesus was, while also conveying your truths in interesting ways, as Jesus did. Father, I know for sure that your heart is always with our children and young people, and yet the Church itself always seems so unable to be attractive, welcoming and inspiring for them. Please Lord help all Christians to turn this situation around, not just through a few youth pastors, but through the involvement and commitment of the whole Body of Christ.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


The BBC News today reported the largest teachers' union as having voted overwhelmingly to oppose allowing the Army to visit schools. Their reasoning seemed to be that the Army was using these visits to recruit soldiers (and airmen and sailors?) and that soldiers were being used in illegal wars and in illegal activities within war zones.

All of this seemed to me to refer to the Iraq situation, so I pray once again for all of Iraq - all factions within it and all armed forces stationed there. Heavenly Father, I pray for the daily life of Iraq to be normalised, and that you would empower all those working to this end. May her people be able to live in peace and work to rebuild their prosperity.

I pray especially for our own forces, that they may carry out their roles wth honoour and success and come safely home again.

While I deplore the decision to invade Iraq, I deplore equally the teachers' union for aiming at the wrong target. Their objection is to Government policy. We should all be glad we have armed forces, and that they are composed of men and women who are ready at need to defend the rest of us with their lives. If we are unhappy about what they do and how they do it, we should challenge the Government about this, not the army!

Where were all these people who so vehemently oppose the war when there was an election held AFTER the decision to invade. That was the time for effective action that would not have set one part of the nation against another.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Nearly there!

The coldest Easter I can remember -poor hedgehog! I gave him a new roof today (upturned wheelbarrow), and I've also arranged for a trellis to be put up for the honeysuckle on Monday.

Now I'm all excited because it's nearly Easter Sunday!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Is it the end of the world?

As we demolished the old garden shed today, our brutal destruction of the floor revealed a hibernating hedgehog. Poor thing! It must have thought it's world had come to an end. We did our best to create substitute shelter, in the hope of keeping him alive until the warmer weather, but we had nothing as solid and weatherproof as his extensive wooden ceiling to offer.

My prayer for today is for everyone who feels their world has come to an end - as the disciples thought on the dreadful day of Jesus' crucifixion. May they hold onto both courage and hope, and may they come through to their own personal Easter Sunday of joyful and renewed life.

And please, Lord, may our little hedgehog survive!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Passover

Tonight Christians remember the Passover meal that was the last meal that Jesus shared with his friends.

Some of us prepare a plate like the Jewish Seder plate, with a lamb shank bone, to remind us of the sacrificial lamb - we believe that for us the lamb is the Lamb of God, whose sacrifice is enough to take away the sins of the whole world. Therefore the angel of death passes over us, as he passed over and spared the Jewish people on their last night in Egypt. Then there is the salt water, which reminds us both of the bitter tears that the Jews wept in their bondage in Egypt, and also that we wept when we recognised our bondage to sin. The bitter herbs remind the Jews that life at first seemed sweet with the Egyptians, but later became bitter. So it was with us and sin. We have the unleavened bread, which reminds us of the Jews preparing in haste to flee into the desert, but also of the body which the Messiah allowed to be wounded with the stripes of flogging, and nailed to a cross despite being still unleavened by sin. The Charoset reminds us of the mortar for the pyramids and palaces which the Jews built for the Egyptians, and also of the fact that, through the Holy Spirit, we are built into one body, the Church. The roasted egg is a symbol of mourning for the temple that was destroyed. Christians remember especially the body of the Messiah, that appeared to be destroyed by death on the Cross. On Easter Sunday we will smash the eggs and proclaim that the tomb could not hold him, for he is risen. Hallelujah!

Finally,our practice with the Elijah cup proclaims that the Messiah has already come, for he took this cup after the supper and said, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

My prayer for today is for the love of Jesus Christ to become real and personal for every single person who needs forgiveness and peace with God.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Recycling day

My challenge to me for this week (or maybe I mean this fortnight .... or even this month) is to get my life laundry done. A "life laundry" is a clearing out of all the things you've kept that you don't in fact use or need.

So today I've cleared out and recycled:
* books (Oxfam)
* household linen (Help the Aged)
* china (Age Concern and the local hospice)
* cardboard (Household Recycling Centre)
* wood (Ditto)

I've also turned a lot of woody garden waste into wood ash. (Another lovely burn-up!)

My prayer for today is that that everyone will strive to do their bit for our planet, especially anything that will help to combat climate change, with its devastating effects on the world's poorest people.

Please see:

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

For retired friends

Everyone says, "When you're retired, you'll be so busy, you'll wonder how you ever found time to go to work." This is true.

The other sad truth is that, however busy you are, it's no longer a good enough excuse not to do the housework.

I pray today for all my retired friends, that they will find both meaning and joy in their lives, and not get bogged down with chores.

Monday, 17 March 2008

At last! A sunny Monday

Such a beautiful day to be out in the garden, even if I did have a ginormous job to do, clearing up the honeysuckle that the gale blew off my shed roof. I hadn't really cut it back for years and years, because I quite liked it rambling everywhere. That'll teach me!

When I came in to catch the evening news, all was gloom and doom about the crisis on the world's financial markets. So my prayer today is for all those people who are trying to get on the housing ladder, but who will now find it harder to get a mortgage. Dear Lord, please help them to find a home where they feel comfortable and secure, even if they can't own one yet. I also want to pray for all the people who won't be able to pay their mortgage for whatever reason this year. Heavenly Father, I pray that you would watch over them, help them to manage their siuation as well and as calmly as possible, and to find new homes where they can be happy. May they know the peace and assurance of your never failing love for them.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A day for saying thank you

Thank you, God for my beautiful daughter, who came house-hunting with me today.

Seeing other people's houses makes me want to say thank you so much. Lord, for my wonderful garden and its wildlife. Thank you for my big kitchen and convenient utility room. Thank you for the morning sun in my bedrooms and lounge. Thank you for the evening sun in my kitchen.

I pray now for everyone who is homeless, and especially for those who are roofless. I think of the Iraqi Christian refugees in particular, and also of everyone in Dorset who has nowhere safe and warm to lay their head at night. Watch over them all, Father, and bring them safely through their ordeal to a place they can call their own, where they can feel secure.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Wet Friday

Friday has no right to be wet and grey! I took a walk with a big wet puppy and his owner, which meant I at least got some full spectrum light, and did some chores like re-writing an assignment. (The pic definitely can't be my young friend - he doesn't do standing still.)

To my great disgust, I've discovered that I have more friends on Facebook, which is seriously boring compared to myspace, despite having such nice people on it.

My prayer for today is for my poor brother and everyone else who is suffering from flu at present. May they recover in peace, and return to full health and strength soon.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Too Late? Too Difficult?

With new legislation about age discrimination, it will be interesting to see if I get an interview for the job I applied for today. It requires someone to be the public face of the organisation, so I would normally expect them to be looking for young and attractive - we'll see!

My prayer for today is for people who constantly live with pain. I pray for two things, Father. First, that people will understand just how debilitating and disabling pain is. Second, that you would show me how best to pray. Of course I long for everyone to be healed of their pain. Is that something within our area of responsibility, Lord, or something only your sovereign power can achieve?

I pray for all research into pain relief to be guided and inspired by your Holy Spirit; for all with responsibility for the medical care of people in pain to play heir part conscientiously and to the full, and for your loving presence to give comfort and hope to those in pain. For nothing is too difficult for thee!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Day 30 of 30 days of prayer for the voiceless, and the topic is slavery.

Lord, please help each one of us to feel in our own hearts, minds, bodies and spirits what it must be like to be a slave, and so to know your burning desire that all humans beings should be free. Jesus said, "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed." I thank you for Jesus, our redeemer and liberator, and pray that you will help us all to end slavery in my lifetime.

Father, I know that this means we need more William Wilberforces and Caroline Coxes, and I pray that you would raise them up in every nation, and draw around them the support they need.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Dear Lord, although we cannot understand Iran, or the moral code by which its leaders live, we know you do understand, and you love all the Iranian people as much as all other people on earth.

I pray for your blessing on them and that your Holy Spirit would be at work, in Iran as elsewhere, to lead human beings into all truth, especially the truth of your love for every single individual human being, of whatever race, creed, gender or culture, and despite any or all imperfections of body, mind or spirit.

Single mothers

Paul and Susi Childers point to the economic deprivation and hard work of being a single mother. I pray for all single mothers and their children who are experiencing poverty, that they may be lifted out of that poverty, and may know economic security. I also pray for strength and wisdom, that mothers will be able to do the work that is necessary, but will know when to stop, and give time to their children.

Lord, you know how much more than these things oppresses single mothers and their children. Please comfort them in their heartaches, and assure them of your love and care.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


Lord. this old world is depriving itself by denying many girls and women an education. For the sake of justice, peace, healthier families and release from poverty, I pray that you would turn this situation around, and help us to use all the talents of all our fellow human beings.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Missing Women

The world's population is missing millions of women because of selective abortion, gender-related violence, deprivation and discrimination.

Poor world! Lord, have mercy on us.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Day 25 of Prayer for the Voiceless focuses on the issue of dowries, particularly as it affects women in India. See, for example,

Lord, I pray for women for whom their husband's expectation of a dowry has become not only a burden for their family, but a threat to their life itself. I pray that you would lead the men of India, and other countries where a dowry system prevails, to value their brides for their own sake, and to learn the joy of mutual love and support.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Violence against women

Day 24 of prayer for the voiceless is for women who have experienced a sexual assault. I would like to include men who have been violated in this horrible way as well.

Father of mercy and of justice, I pray for healing for all those wounded by rape, and for protection for all those at risk. Help us, Lord, to look after ourselves where that is possible, to come under the protection of our communities and societies, where that would make a difference, and to come under heavenly protection where nothing else will avail.

I pray especially for children to be protected.

Father, please may all societies recognise this as a most horrible crime, and deal with it accordingly. And finally I pray that we will learn to create societies where this kind of crime is less likely. Where we glorify de-personalised relationships for our own self gratification, help us, as a whole society, to repent of this and to see its consequences.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Day 23 of Prayer for the voiceless asks for prayer for Africa. Paul and Susi Childers ask for prayer for the problems of AIDS, low life expectancy, lack of education and sex trafficking.

Lord, hear our prayer that you would help Africa's people and governments to address these problems.

Hear our prayer also for:
* Zimbabwe's elections this month to be free and fair, and to lead to real change which will benfit all Zimbabwe's people

*Kenya's tribal conflict to be resolved peacefully

*Sudan's peace process continue to build unity, justice and right relationships. May the new Archbishop be able to give a strong and inspiring lead to the whole country as Sudan recovers from long years of civil war.

* The UN forces in Darfur to receive more support, and to bring peace and reconstruction to the area, and safety to all its people.

*Somalia's Christians to be protected from persecution.