Freedom behind bars
When Jesus sets us free, we each have a story to tell. Later this year a new book called '40 Stories of Hope' brings together the stories of prisoners who have discovered the hope and freedom Jesus gives. Join with Prison Hope, praying that this collection of testimonies, Bible readings and prayers will inspire many people inside and outside prison.
Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus has paid the price to set us free. We pray that '40 Stories of Hope' will help many people to find the freedom that your Son gives. May we each have an opportunity to tell our own story of hope to someone we meet in the coming week.
HOPE’s Communications director and editor of '40 Stories of Hope'
Hope for older people
Statistics show that a third of older people don't speak to another person in a week, and half cite TV as their main company. Loneliness and isolation are the cause of devastating physical and mental health problems. How can we as the Church intentionally address this need by tackling loneliness and isolation in older people?
Almighty God, we thank you for the older generation of our country, and think particularly of those who are lonely and isolated. We ask for your comfort and companionship to envelop them, through both the presence of your Holy Spirit and the mobilisation of your Church. Give us the wisdom and opportunities to display your love to them in practical ways.
Saltbox Christian Centre
Festivals are often ‘mountain top experiences’ where we feel the presence of God and hear his voice like Jesus did at the Transfiguration. Each summer we gather thousands of young people, seeing many encounter God in life-changing ways. The vital thing they – and we – must hear is that they are beloved children of God with whom he is well pleased.
Lord we pray that the young people in our church and community would know the love and acceptance of being children of God. We pray for those who make a commitment to follow Jesus at a festival or camp this summer that they may continue to grow in love for you and in understanding of your love for them.
The gift of rest
Do we know when to stop and how to take time out to restore our souls? Let’s remind ourselves that our God is a God of rest, a God who understands balance, who values down time. It is not good to be always busy, always active, always working. To give to others we must allow ourselves to rest in God.
Gracious God, we come to you mindful of our need for rest. Enable us to enter that rest. We ask not just for lazy days and sunshine, but for that deep refreshment that only you can give. Restore our souls, give us balance, that revived and whole again we can rise with you to the challenges of this world. Amen.
The Methodist Church
Young people following Jesus
1 Timothy 4:12
The latest research commissioned by HOPE Revolution, shows that 13 per cent of 11 to 18 year olds are actively following Jesus, praying regularly and attending church at least once a month. We long for these young people to take the lead in sharing the hope they have with their friends and family.
Heavenly Father, thank you for every young person who is seeking to follow Jesus. Pour out your Holy Spirit on them, equipping them to put their faith into words and actions. Raise up leaders among them to lead your Church and reach the lost.
HOPE’s Youth Director
Loving our communities
We are all very grateful for the loving relationships we experience, yet we also need to ask the question: ‘Who is my neighbour?’ When Jesus was asked, he responded with the story of a beaten man, helped by someone who could have been his enemy. Think about the different communities you belong to locally, through your interests, and even online.
Lord, thank you for the communities to which I belong; for their strength and their challenges. Thank you for those who have been a Good Samaritan to me in the struggles and difficulties of life. Help me to see all people through your loving gaze, so that I am prepared to show your mercy to those in need. Amen
Bishop Mark O’Toole
Bishop of Plymouth
What a privilege it is to be able to pray for people in our lives, especially for those who need to begin a relationship with Jesus. We have a great example in Andrew, the disciple, who brought his brother Peter to Jesus, the Messiah. Through them, many others met with Jesus and had their lives transformed.
Loving Father, we pray that you will move in power to open spiritual eyes and ears, and heal broken hearts at every event and festival this summer. We pray for all those who gather at JustOne at the Emirates stadium tomorrow, and ask for your anointing on all who share – may their messages lead many to commit their lives to Jesus.
Prison Chaplains at work
Being a Prison Chaplain is like no other ministry I know of. Every day they work tirelessly to offer hope, support and care to some of the nation’s most vulnerable people and those who keep them in custody. Every day they get the opportunity to see Jesus in the eyes of the prisoner. Do you know a chaplain at a prison you could pray for?
Almighty God, we pray for Prison Chaplains who are today ministering faithfully with the recently bereaved, the suicidal, victims and perpetrators of violence, those without hope, and those with hope recently reborn. May they experience a renewed revelation of you in the midst of their ministry, which today reminds them of the glorious hope by which they were called.
Free Churches Faith Advisor to HM Prison and Probation Service and Prison Hope
The apostle Paul gives us an interesting insight on discipleship: it does not begin in the will, but in the mind where we store our beliefs and values. One area for discipleship is our missionality: how we reach out to other people. This also begins in the mind.
Heavenly Father, so often I respond to people on the basis of what I see, and I don’t see people as you see them. I ask that you enlarge my heart and mind that I might see each individual, whatever their background, as beautiful and wonderful, created in your image.
Pray for five: people we meet
The believers in Acts 12 prayed ‘earnestly’ for Peter who was in prison, but when they heard he’d miraculously escaped, they responded ‘You’re out of your mind’! Let’s pray for opportunities to share Jesus with the people we’ll meet today and in our daily lives.
Our God and Father, we thank you that you already know the people we will meet each day. Help us to pray daily for opportunities to share Jesus with those we encounter. Grow our faith so that we pray with expectation, having our eyes and hearts open, and let’s expect God to move.
Praying for Muslim communities
2 Corinthians 4:4-6
As Muslims worldwide continue in Ramadan, praying for a revelation from heaven, and praying daily that they will know the ‘Right Way’, join with millions of believers who will also be praying each day for Jesus to be unveiled to them in dreams and visions, and through meeting believers who love them.
Father, thank you that you are revealing yourself to millions of Muslims worldwide. As they daily seek the ‘Right Way’ for their lives, will you reveal yourself to them as ‘Isa Al Masih’ (Jesus the Messiah), who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Forgive us for our fear, and fill our hearts with love for them.
Come, Holy Spirit
When we pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ we don't immediately think of Mary! Yet, when we reflect on this verse from Luke, it reminds us that praying ‘Come Holy Spirit’ will bring all sorts of changes and disruption into our lives! Yet, it is through Mary's welcoming of God's Spirit that transformation on a global, even cosmic scale, was enacted.
Loving God we pray, Come Holy Spirit! We trust you, and we want to open our lives and be willing to be changed and disrupted in the process. As we pray for your Kingdom to come, we ask that you would give us the humility and courage to receive and release your Holy Spirit. Amen.
General Secretary, Baptist Union
Thy Kingdom Come 25th May-4th June
Luke 11: 9-13
Prayer happens when we have a challenge we can’t meet by our own resources. As none of us has the resources to bring someone to faith in Jesus Christ, we have to ask the Holy Spirit for help. Thy Kingdom Come is an invitation to do just that – so that through our witness others can come to know Jesus Christ.
Almighty God, your ascended Son has sent us into the world to preach the good news of your kingdom: inspire us with your Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of your love, that all who hear your Word may be drawn to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thy Kingdom Come team
Being an effective witness
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
We’re constantly witnessing to hundreds of things as important to us (iPhones, Ford cars, Levi’s, etc.). How much more though do we witness to Jesus as the heart of all we are? The question isn’t ‘shall we witness’, but ‘are we going to be good witnesses’. If Jesus rose from the dead, every part of our lives should be different!
Generous God, as we have known your love, life, salvation, joy, mercy and hope, help us to be generous in effectively sharing your call with those around us. Help us to live in a way that provokes and intrigues people to seek you. Give us opportunities, courage and joy in faithfully showing and sharing your life this week.
Diocesan Resource Church Enabler, Rector of Market Harborough
Reaching our young people
1 Timothy 4:12
How amazing that the Lord chose Mary, possibly as young as 14 or 15 years old, to be the mother of Jesus. God in fragile human form in the hands of a teenager! In turn, Jesus himself mentored young people as his disciples. Amazing! We also must raise up young people as leaders, empowering them to fulfil their purpose in Christ.
Jesus, may we love, encourage and support our young people, not looking down on anybody because they are young, but mentoring young people to set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Multiply our love for young people that we can invest in young people, just as you have shown us.
HOPE's Youth Director
For the whole church to join in prayer 25 May - 4 June
After Jesus’ ascension the apostles returned to Jerusalem to pray and ten days later at Pentecost the Holy Spirit was released and the church was born. Thy Kingdom Come 2017 invites Christians to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world by responding to Jesus’ call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this global wave of prayer. We ask that many people will commit to pray for five people they know through Pledge2Pray. May everything that takes place bring glory to your name, and may your mercy and love be revealed as we pray and work together. Come Holy Spirit and empower us to be joyful witnesses.
World Prayer Centre & Thy Kingdom Come
Blessing our communities
God has given you and me the privilege and responsibility of blessing people, communities and land in the name of Jesus, not interceding (although we must do that as well) but speaking out directly. This is powerful when done as part of every day life. Where this biblical practice is being recovered salvation and community transformation are taking place.
‘I/we bless you (name your community/street/town/village/city) in the name of Jesus that the revelation of the gospel, and the fruit of the Kingdom, might fall upon you. I/we bless you in Jesus’ name that your eyes might be open to recognise the Father’s passionate love for you, and that you might be free to respond’.
The Ffald y Brenin Trust Ltd
Pray for 5: work colleagues
Ephesians 6: 5-9, 19
Our workplaces provide a unique opportunity to build relationships with non-believers. Daily, they see the difference our faith makes to how we work, the way we relate, our resilience under pressure, and our attitude to success or failure. We need God’s wisdom and timing to ‘Talk Jesus’ to our colleagues. So, like Paul, let’s ask for both words and courage.
Heavenly Father, thank you for our work and for those we meet through it. We pray for those in authority in our workplaces. Help us to witness to you through the way we work and relate to our colleagues. We ask for your guidance as to when to speak, what to say, and when to stay silent.
Bev Shepherd, LICC PrayerWorks
As Jesus died on the cross, the thirty-foot curtain in the temple, which separated the ordinary people from the very presence of God, was torn in two. It’s a beautiful picture of God the Father saying ‘the way to me is now open’. He is no longer residing in a stone temple but in our hearts if we invite him in.
Oh God, today we thank you for the cross. I pray that not just today but every day the cross will be before us and that others will be aware of your presence in us more and more. Please use me to share the glorious message of the cross to a world that needs it so much.
The Message Trust
Praying for our children
In the UK last year, more than 200,000 children and young people visited a creative prayer space in their school, and many of them tried praying for the first time in their lives. ‘It was fun,’ wrote one 10-year-old in the feedback book just before she left, ‘And I now see God everywhere I look. God has spoken to me.’ Unless we become like little children…
Jesus, lay your hands of blessing on the children and young people that we know, on the children and young people in our local schools, on the children and young people in need around the world. May they see you everywhere they look. May they hear you speaking to them. May they know your deep love for them. Amen.
Prayerspaces in Schools
Unity in prayer and mission
2 Corinthians 6:1-2
The Apostle Paul refers to himself and his brothers and sisters in Christ as ‘co-workers’ with God. If the business of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ is a task, then the team to accomplish that task is the Church, and if that team doesn’t pull together, then the job won’t get done. Today, we pray for the Church across the British Isles, that we will work together with great effectiveness to complete the task of sharing Jesus with every man, woman and child in this land.
Father God, pour out your Spirit on this wonderfully diverse task-force that is your Church. Where our strength is failing, energise us; where distractions are taking our minds off the work in hand, refocus us; where communication has broken down, reconnect us; and fit us to work together to complete this sacred task of making Jesus known. Amen.
Pray for Five: our neighbours
Loving your neighbours begins with sacrificing time to pray for them. Bringing five neighbours before God regularly, praying for them to become Christians, will lead to people getting to know Jesus for themselves. Neighbourhood Prayer Network can testify that this has already happened on a number of streets across the UK. Will you join many others praying for their neighbours?
Father, we pray for (five names of neighbours), to have a life transforming encounter with you and to come to know you personally. Present opportunities for us to get to know our neighbours and to help them in times of need. Help us to live sacrificial lives, filled with love, that will point people towards you. Amen.
Neighbourhood Prayer Network
Let’s get talking
1 Peter 3:15
Are we prepared, alert and ready to talk about Jesus? Are we living in a way that stirs people to ask us for the reason for the hope that we have? Together as God’s people, today and every day we have God-given opportunities to share our faith. How can we live intentionally to make the most of every opportunity?
Lord, thank you that out of your great love for us, you sent your son, Jesus, who in turns sends us. Help us look for opportunities today to share our faith, using our words to communicate the greatest love story ever known. Open our eyes to these opportunities, that we may give the reason for the hope that we have.
HOPE's Youth Director
Becoming welcoming churches
Acts 2: 46-47
In Acts we are told the church enjoyed the favour of all the people. What reputation does your church have – Austere? Cliquey? Unreal? Judgemental? Or is it seen as warm and welcoming to everyone in your community? Is it a place that shows God’s goodness? God’s mercy is wonderful – it can reach anyone – let it fill our hearts.
Lord, fill our church with mercy. May it be a home for the prodigals; a sanctuary for the lonely, the angry, and the outcast. You loved the tax collectors, prostitutes and Roman officers. You let the children come when the disciples blocked them. Help us see people with your loving eyes. Make us bringers of mercy, goodness and kindness. Amen.
World Prayer Centre
Teach me your ways - Lent
Psalm 25: 1, 2, 4
Walk into any book shop at an airport or station and you will discover a wide range of books offering advice on how to be a better person. The Psalms provide us with some ancient and well-attested wisdom. We are invited to put our trust in God and ask him to be our teacher, for all of life. And this is what we are called to model to the world.
Lord, conscious of all the sources of advice that available to me, help me this day to put my trust in you. Show me what it means to be your child and how I should model this to those in my neighbourhood. Thank you that you are wholly committed to my wellbeing. Your ways are loving
and faithful. Amen.
The Millennial Generation
Psalm 33:11; 20-22
18-35 year olds have been dubbed the missing generation. They have left the church building and aren't fitting into traditional structures. But the Talking Jesus research (www.talkingjesus.org) tells us that they are very open to having conversations about Jesus. Let’s pray for fresh outpouring of the grace of God on this vital generation that they may know God's dream for this world and all he has purposed for them.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:11; 20-22).
What I have I give to you
Peter and John could not bypass need. They had been called by Jesus Christ and filled by his Spirit. Moved with compassion for the beggar, they gave what they had. They had Jesus. They boldly stepped out in faith in Jesus’ name. In the face of need, is knowing Jesus the motivation for all we are doing, and are we confident to share him with others?
Wonderful Saviour, author of compassion, fill us with the language of mercy. Never let our love grow cold and in the face of need may we always be so close to you that we can say ‘What I have I give to you.’ Lord let us always be filled by you; excited by you and living for your kingdom coming. Amen.
Reconciliation in families
This passage invites husbands and wives to love and respect each other, laying down their lives for each other. When this is our aim, we go a long way to providing the role model that our children need to be witnesses to the love of Christ, encouraging them rather than ‘exasperating’ them, and building the kingdom of God as a family.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus you commanded us to love you, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. May this love begin in our homes, bringing healing where there is brokenness, understanding where there is frustration, joy where there is sadness and hope where there is despair. May we lay down our lives, as Jesus did, for our families and for those in need. Amen
Father Simon Penhalagan,
Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism
Luke 15: 11-24
Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son who rejected his father and left home. But his father waited for him and welcomed him home with a party! Many of us know prodigals. Let’s commit to pray for them to come home; that they might ‘come to their senses’ and realise their loving heavenly Father is waiting to welcome them back.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your generous love and grace to us. We bring before you the prodigals we know. We ask for you to have mercy - on us and on them. We pray that they may hear your call to come home. Give us open hearts and open homes to welcome them back. Amen
World Prayer Centre
Hope for prisoners
Lives can be changed for good in prison. Praise God for all who work in prisons. Pray for protection for prison officers and their families; for all involved in the Prison HOPE initiative to link churches, prison chaplains and organisations involved with prisoners, former prisoners and their families. Consider: how could your church pray for and link with the local prison. Find out more about Prison Hope at www.prisonhope.org.uk
Gracious Lord, who told us to look for you in the isolated and the excluded, bless, we pray, the efforts of Prison Hope to stir up your Church. Give us wisdom to restore the fallen, encourage the fainthearted, welcome the stranger, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favour – even the redemption of our debt through your grace and mercy. Amen.
Bishop James Langstaff
Bishop to Prisons
20 January 2017
John 17: 22-23
HOPE unites the church across denominations, race, culture and customs. An unprecedented number of churches are committed to mission in 2018. The dream is to grow the church by 10 per cent. Thank God for churches working together. Pray that Christians will show God’s reconciling love and peace. Consider meeting to pray with other churches in your area.
Almighty God and Father, we praise you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. We join with him praying ‘your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’. Help us to work with Christians from other churches to make Jesus known in this place in 2018, so that lives will be transformed by God’s redeeming love. We pray in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen
Revd Yemi Adedeji
Redeemed Christian Church of God
13 January 2017
Pray for five
We discovered in the Talking Jesus research (www.talkingjesus.org) that one in five of the people we talk to about Jesus wants to know more. So join us as we each pray for five of our friends or family members who don’t know Jesus. You could set an alarm on your phone to remind you each day to pray for your five. Pray that you are given opportunities to share about Jesus with them and that they come to follow Jesus for themselves.
Lord Jesus, Please lead (name your 5) …….. to know, love and follow you.
Use me to show them your love and to tell them about you. Amen
Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf
Church of England
6 January 2017
Jesus for all
Because of Jesus we can have the free gift of eternal life with him. Give thanks for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Pray that churches will work together using both words and actions to make Jesus known. Consider how churches in your area can work together to plan a rhythm of mission through 2018, especially at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.
Heavenly Father, we long to see lives in our villages, towns and cities transformed by your love. We pray that churches will catch the vision to reach out with words and action to make Jesus known. Rekindle passion for evangelism in this area. Help us to find creative ways to connect with people in our community so they find Jesus for themselves.
HOPE’s Executive Director