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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Friday 1 May

We seem to be living in very strange and uncertain times. The doors of our churches are locked and we are exhorted to keep away from our neighbours. We cannot physically meet in fellowship. We cannot share in Holy Communion. Of course in Victorian times receiving Holy Communion was usually once a quarter and then after due preparation! That was their normal pattern. But times move on and we are accustomed to a weekly celebration of the Holy Communion.

Most of the changes we are experiencing now are due to the emergence of this new virus, Coronavirus. The scientists are working hard to combat this brand new virus. We are discovering just how virulent it is. We hear daily of the increasing numbers of those who have it and of those who have died as a consequence of this virus.

Our prayers continue, however, and we remember before God all who have suffered and died. The news from across our country and the world form part of the prayers we bring to the Throne of Grace for all who need our prayers. We think about those who are vulnerable; the elderly and the infirm; those who are ill; those who are bereaved; and those who, for whatever reason, need our prayers.

Intercessions are only a part of our prayers. The heart of prayer remains, as it always does in praise and thanksgiving to our Creator and Sustainer who gives us life itself.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

So our prayers continue. With God our creator we also remember the saving grace of Jesus who through his death and resurrection brings us out of the darkness into his glorious light.

Creator God, we begin this new day with praise in our hearts for your gracious gifts to all your people. We give you thanks for your love and for our salvation through Jesus, our Lord. Keep us mindful of your grace and the wonders of your creation and the love of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

The words we use in our prayers are an aid to keeping our focus on God. Our prayers begin with praise; a remembrance of the gospel story and the gifts of salvation. Our prayers continue with all those who need our prayers at the throne of grace and continue with peace and love.

Gordon Cryer