Prayer Letter

Great Malvern Priory Prayer Letter June 2020

NOTE: We continue to focus on every person, organisation and event affected by the Coronavirus. At the time of drawing up this letter, all church services have been suspended until further notice and all events have been cancelled. Please pray daily for all whose plans have been changed, and everyone who is suffering from or living in fear of contracting the virus. The Priory weekly sheet will be posted on the website to keep you informed.

1. Pray for our children and young people struggling with remote learning over the past months, some maybe resuming schooling

CMS: In Peru, Sophia and Emily Tester had been back at school for one week, and Annabelle at nursery, before strict lockdown measures were imposed in March. School will not resume until next March. Pray for Paul and Sarah, home schooling and trying to occupy them in the flat.

2. Pray for safety for all our link mission partners, serving in countries without the benefits of our National Health Service.

CMS: Paul is maintaining remote contact with churches and colleagues across Latin America as best he can, and he and Sarah continue to support members of St Juan Evangelista where possible in the same way. Pray for them, the church and the people of Peru under stricter lockdown than we have experienced. 

3. Give thanks for our Verger who has faithfully maintained his role, cleaning and caring for our church building, and sharing with us his thoughts as he worked.

Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East: Pray for the congregation of St. George’s Church in Baghdad and for Rev’d Faez Jirjees, that he will have the strength and wisdom to lead St. George’s through these troubling times. Pray for the Clinic staff that they will have enough Personal Protective Equipment.

4. Pray for guidance for Rod and Jonny as they lead us; pray for patience for Jonny as his priesting has had to be deferred until September. Pray about the logistics of re-opening our church for safe worship; for those making the decisions.

Pray that FRRME will continue to enjoy good relations with all relevant authorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and that they will be able to support many more refugees of all faiths during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

5. Give thanks for our PALs and pastoral care team concerned for the wellbeing of us all.

Pray for Helena Scott, FRRME’s Country Director in Jordan as she tries to get more support for immune compromised Iraqi Christian refugees.

6. Continue to give thanks for every member of the NHS, and every care worker in hospices, homes and the community.

Remember, too, every person who has been caring for a family member in their own home long before the pandemic struck, and will continue to do so when our attention has been diverted elsewhere. These carers can often feel isolated and lonely: may a positive outcome of our present situation be that they will not be overlooked in future.

7. Give thanks for the expertise, patience and commitment of all who draw up and make available our worship each Sunday.

Remember church members who do not have access to these services, and give thanks for worship on tv and radio. We pray that every member of the Priory family feels included and cared for.

8. Remember all who have been forced into poverty by the sudden loss of income; give thanks for our Food Bank and other providers

For many families in poorer countries, being in lockdown means no longer being able to earn enough that day to feed your children. In places where malnutrition is already a problem, even more people are going hungry and face the risk of starvation. Pray for Tearfund and other aid organisations to be able get food, financial aid and emotional support to people whose already fragile circumstances have become desperate because of the pandemic.

9. Pray for wisdom for our Government as it advises us, and that all our citizens will heed its advice.

Tearfund: There are places in the world where lockdown and social distancing is impractical or even impossible, including in refugee camps like Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, home to millions of Rohingya people. Ask God to protect people in refugee camps from coronavirus. Pray for wisdom for leaders of these camps as they prepare to respond.

10. Pray for every patient receiving treatment for coronavirus, and for those on the slow road to recovery

Millions around the world who may get very ill from coronavirus will have no access to the healthcare they need. People in rural villages might have miles to walk just to get to the nearest clinic. Equipment like ventilators is scarce, even in the larger hospitals (in South Sudan, for example, there are only four ventilators for a population of 11 million people). Ask God to have mercy and to protect countries where there is a lack of basic healthcare, or where there is already devastation because of conflict and natural disasters. 

11. Pray for the care and nursing homes in Malvern; for residents who cannot understand why their families have not visited them

Prevention is critical, but many people in poorer countries do not have access to soap and clean water to properly wash their hands. Pray for strength, wisdom and protection for the healthcare workers in these places. Pray for Tearfund partners who are setting up hand-washing stations, distributing soap, providing hygiene training and raising awareness about coronavirus prevention. Continue to pray for them as you wash your hands throughout the day.

12. Remember with thanks Priory members who have died recently, for whom church services have not yet been possible.

Open Doors: North Africa: The coronavirus crisis has caused much fear and uncertainty in North African society. Pray that the church can be salt and light during this time, and that it will find creative ways to meet and to support isolated believers especially the elderly.

13. Pray for our Buildings and Grounds Committee, concerned about work needed on our building and having to be held up.

Please join with Christians in Egypt asking the Lord to draw many to himself during this time of crisis. May the Lord speak to those still under compulsory quarantine and show Himself to them in dreams and visions and through faithful Christian witness. 

14. Give thanks for radio and tv worship in our homes today, reaching those without on-line facilities

Pray for an end to the Civil War which continues to ravage Yemen. Ask the Lord to intervene and overcome the region with His peace.17 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance; pray that humanitarian access to the worst affected areas will remain open despite the ongoing conflict. Only then can those facing hunger, thirst and disease get the aid they desperately need.

15. Pray for our Treasurer and Finance Committee, watching the drop in the Priory’s income and assessing necessary expenditure. 

Christians Against Poverty have continued to offer help to people in debt during the lockdown; 77 people up and down the country became debt-free in a fortnight recently. Give thanks for this, and ask God to support and guide the befrienders and advisers.

16. Remember the Lyttelton Well; all who will be faced with decisions on re-opening when allowed; how to recoup lost income.

By mid-May, sadly, although the area where Temwa works in Northern Malawi is remote, they already had the first 4 cases of Covid. Temwa have provided PPE for the local hospital staff and have distributed education and hygiene kits to the surrounding villages. They would be so appreciative of our prayers at this time. Famine is as big a worry as Covid, without access to the markets.

17. Give thanks for our Parish Administrator and Church Manger, oiling the administrative wheels and keeping us all informed.

Marsabit Diocese: By mid-May, Kenya, though not yet Marsabit, had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Kenya police have shot dead a number of people who were not observing lock-down rules. Please pray for a fair and just application of the rules.

18. Pray for our PCC members; for guidance for decisions which have to be taken at this time.

As here, all churches in Marsabit diocess are shut, but services are being held in the open, with personal distancing. Please pray for Bishop Qampicha and team, as they try to support and feed those who cannot work due to the lock-down.

19. Pray for the Mothers’ Union, in the Priory and worldwide, upholding family values.

Elema, the Mothers’ Union Marsabit Diocesan Coordinator, had been in the process of rolling out a micro-finance and literacy project for women. It has been interrupted by the pandemic, but please pray that it can soon get started again.

20. Give thanks for those who maintain our churchyard, keeping it tidy and attractive. Pray for all who pause to rest there.

CARE continues to draw attention to the movement to legalise assisted suicide. Pray that those who could bring about such legislation will think hard about the sanctity of human life, and the strain that would be put on medical personnel and families. 

21. On Fathers’ Day, pray for families without a father, remembering those whose father has fallen victim to coronavirus.

Pray for all the children who have missed their chance to take part in Lifepath this year. Many of them will have heard from their siblings and friends what a good day it is. We give thanks for all who organise and take part year by year and pray that next year will see its return, with “old” and “new” helpers.

22. Pray for families in Chernobyl, including the children who might have visited us this year.

John and Gillian Robinson at the Place of Grace, Bangkok, write: we remain very concerned about the communities we serve, with most being forced to continue to work any job they can in order to survive. The housing of whole families in one room without glass in the windows makes it very difficult to isolate. They cannot easily follow social distancing guidelines in their cramped communities…. 

23. Remember Churches Together in Malvern, working to make the Christian voice heard here.

… Staying indoors in the tropical heat is not possible in their corrugated shacks which have no air con. We are keeping the foodbank open and trying to observe social distancing for everyone. We are wearing masks and observing isolation procedures so that the most-needy can access food. They now need it even more desperately because of job losses and closures of all non-essential shops. 

24. In our parish, pray for the residents and businesses of Abbey Road and Worcester Road.

Give thanks for the way that the pandemic has caused neighbourly relationships to flourish.

25. Pray for our young people who should have taken public exams this year, and who rely on their teachers’ assessment for their future.

Remember those whose finals have been affected at the end of their degree courses: all who want to enter the overcrowded employment scene.

26. Pray for people who had planned holidays this year and who are now disappointed.

Pray for the hospitality industry in this country; all who work in hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, cafes, gift shops etc. The drop in income may force many out of business, and whole communities will suffer as a consequence.

27. Remember our diocesan finances, considerably depleted; pray their will be sufficient funds to pay our priests and deacons.

This is the season for weddings; pray for those who had made their plans and have had to put them on hold. Many businesses make most of their living from wedding celebrations. Pray that they can survive and start again when permitted.

28. Give thanks for all who lead music during our worship, and for the clever way it has proceeded on line throughout lockdown.

Many ordinands will have expected to be ordained at this time. Pray they may be able to take up lay work within their prospective parish until they are ordained.

29. Pray for guidance for our Environment Group, and for us all anxious to safeguard creation and undo past harm to it.

Remember all whose lives have been harmed by the climate crisis; people who had very little and now have even less. Those who have long walks to find clean water, including those denied access because of the fear of spreading Covid19.

30. Pray for families in our church and parish; that all may turn to you for love and strength at this time.

Remember the refugee families who have settled in Malvern, and Malvern Welcomes, helping them through the constraints of lockdown. Pray for refugees worldwide, without home or hope.

 

Please send suggestions for July’s Prayer Letter by 10th June.


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