Setting the scene
On 20th March I called for a National Day of Prayer, not only for the UK, but also for others who live further afield. A few days after it was over two friends contacted me and asked if I would do a National Prayer Day every Friday, and asked if I would continue to give some pointers each week for prayer. After prayer, I took up the challenge of doing just that. Please listen to my original video calling for prayer if you haven’t heard it already – it sets the scene for what we would want to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_w9dLCcSOY
Are you tired? Are you weary? There are many all around the world who right now are tired and weary from many things but particularly of this virus. I want to tell you that God understands your tiredness. It’s okay to feel tired. Jesus was tired. He understands our weariness and tiredness because he too was tired. Jesus, who was fully God and was also at the same time fully man fell asleep at one point in a boat after ministering all day. At another time he sat down by a well because he was tired from the journey. Are you tired from the journey of life? Jesus understands because he too experienced tiredness. But there is one thing I want you to know. Jesus knew that in order to restore his strength as well as resting, he needed to draw close to his Father in Heaven. He needed to find his strength in him. Isaiah 40:31 says, Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint. Today if you are tired and worn out, then find your strength by coming close to the one who loves you and understands how you feel.
I woke up one morning this week with the words of an old hymn going through my mind. The old hymn is called: It is well with my soul. I don’t know whether you have heard of this old song, but it is a wonderful hymn with an amazing story behind it. The man who wrote the lyrics of this song was a lawyer and a successful businessman from Chicago called Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888). He had known tragedy in his life when not only did his son die, but shortly after this he lost his entire fortune in the great Chicago Fire of 1871. However, this was nothing in comparison to what happened thereafter.
Sometime after the fire he sent his wife and their four daughters to Great Britain to have a rest but also to help his good friend D L Moody in one of the Moody and Sankey missions. At the last minute, he had to stay in Chicago due to a complication in a business transaction and so told his wife and daughters that he would follow them in a few days. On the trip over, the ship in which his wife and daughters travelled hit another ship and sank. Several days later the survivors landed at Cardiff and his wife sent him a telegram saying, “Saved alone…” He lost his four daughters one of which was a baby.
He immediately got on a ship to join his wife in Great Britain. You can imagine how tired and weary of life he must have been. He had lost so much of what he valued. As the ship passed over the place where his daughters died, he suddenly felt a peace that passes all understanding. He remembered what his good friend D L Moody had once told him, “One of these days you will read that D L Moody has died, but don’t you believe a word of that, because I will be more alive then, than I am now.” As he pondered on those words with the Lord and thought of his beautiful girls, he said he felt the comfort of the Holy Spirit come on him. He then went to his cabin and penned these words:
V1 When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well.
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
V2 Though Satan should buffet, though trial should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.
V3 My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord praise the Lord, O my soul.
V4 For me, be it Christ be it Christ hence to live;
If Jordon above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mind, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul
V5 But Lord ‘tis for Thee, for thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave is our goal,
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
V6 And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It was when he drew close to the Lord that his hurt, pain and tiredness was washed with God’s peace and undying love. With all that is going on in our world, the temptation is to succumb to fear, worry, concern and become very tired and worn out, but the Lord invites us all to become refreshed in his arms. He has told us: In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world. Whatever you are going through right now, take comfort that the Lord knows and understands and be encouraged by the words of this amazing hymn and the story behind it.
If you want to listen to this hymn, then click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmvnE6erj6I
Find your strength in the God of all comfort and get ready to pray and minister again. That’s what Jesus did and what he calls us to do too.
PRAYER POINTS FOR FRIDAY 17th July:-
- Let’s start by praying for those who are mentally and emotionally finding things so difficult. There are many being troubled by the situation we are in and therefore their mental health is being affected. Many have lost jobs too and this is causing hopelessness. Without hope we die, so we need to pray for real hope for many. When your mental or emotional health is not good, we tend to feel more tired. We are awake at night worrying about different situations and therefore our sleep patterns tend to cause us to feel more tired than normal. So, let’s pray for those who are struggling in this way. Let’s pray that many find hope in the God of all hope. Pray Romans 15:13 over them: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We continue to praise God that the number of deaths continue to fall, in fact there are less deaths that what is normal for this time of year. Scotland has had no deaths in the last week. So do keep praying that this continues to happen in the whole of the UK. We want to see no one dying from Covid19. We continue to have a problem in Leicester and now Blackburn too has returned to lockdown – so do pray that both places find that the infection rate will fall again. Pray that everyone would continue to adhere to the government guidelines and that we would see the R rate fall to safe limits right across the UK.
- Continue to pray for Boris Johnson and all MP’s whether in the government or the opposition parties. Pray for good and wise decisions about the virus and also regarding the economy. Pray for those giving advice and help to the government on these issues. Pray that our government would acknowledge they need Heaven’s wisdom and many will find God for themselves.
- Pray for good reporting from the media. This week, on Tuesday in particular, the media was full of doom and gloom regarding the virus and it was hard to find anything positive. Pray for the BBC and all the media channels that they would have integrity and accurate reporting rather than spinning the truth. So much of people’s fears come from listening to the news channels. Let’s pray that the news channels use their position of reporting to build up society rather than bringing fear and sometimes confusion.
- Let’s continue to praise God for the NHS and for all who work in the caring professions all over the world. Praise God for the surgeons, doctors, nurses, care workers, dentists, assistants, cleaners and everyone putting themselves at risk so that we can get the help and treatment we need. Pray for all those working to help on the frontline against this virus. Also pray for those who have not had their treatment or scans because of the urgency to deal with Coronavirus patients. Pray that those needing treatment for other diseases will get the treatment they need quickly. Praise God for those who work in supermarkets or shops, the government have said that those people are at high risk and many have caught the virus and are dying – so pray for each one; pray for good health for them and for a relationship with the Lord.
- Let’s continue to pray for the economy. We are being told that the effect of this virus will be felt for many years in our economy. Pray that this will not be the case. Pray for a good and strong economy. Pray for businesses who have weathered the storm so far, and pray that they will thrive rather than just survive. Pray for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme the government have initiated for August. Pray that it really helps the restaurants and bars. Pray for our confidence to return so that we feel we can eat out. Pray for nail salons and spas, hotels when they are able to open up that they find ways of continuing on with the business they have whilst accommodating all the guidelines from the government. Pray for the many thousands who have lost their jobs over the last number of weeks. Pray that they will find a new job. Do pray that their lack of finance and their insecurities lead them to the God of all comfort and provision.
- We have now been praying for 17 weeks and we have seen so much happen. People have turned towards God. Prayer has been valued and many have discovered church online. Many have found the truth and have discovered this truth is settling them free. Some have given their lies to Jesus and discovered freedom and joy. We have seen much accomplished but oh we want to see so much more. So, let’s keep praying, let’s keep crying out for His Kingdom to come. Pray for revival in the church and a great awakening in society. Pray for a Tidal Wave of his Spirit on our land and in our world. Pray for many to know the Lord and for each Christian too to go deeper than before. Let’s live in his presence, let’s dwell in his arms. Let’s turn to him whatever situation we find ourselves in. Let’s encourage ourselves with the truth of the word of God. He is our safe and strong tower. He is our constant companion. He won’t leave us nor will he ever forsake us. Be encouraged, share your hope and rely on his love and grace. As we do, we will see even more happen as we talk/pray to the God of all hope.
- Set your phone, your watch, your alarm clock or whatever to remind you to pray throughout the day. I would suggest praying every hour for a few minutes or for as long as you wish, but make a time that is suitable for yourself.
- Maybe pray for one of the above pointers every hour – or take one for each day of the week.
- Every time you wash your hands, which should be often – then pray a ‘Heal Our Nation’ prayer – sing or speak the lyrics of ‘Heal our Nation’ and ask God to pour out his Spirit on this land. ‘Heal our Nation, Heal our Nation, Heal our Nation, pour out your Spirit on this land.’ Sing or speak that twice. And finish with the first line from the verse ‘Lord we long for you to move in power’ – and ask God to move in the UK but also move in our world. https://soundcloud.com/nancygoudie/heal-our-nation
- Keep reading Psalm 91, Psalm 121 and Psalm 46 to encourage yourself and your family with the truth of the word of God. Perhaps try meditating on Psalm 62:5-6 – Find rest, O my Soul in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken.
- Use the UK Blessing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U Play it in your home – make this as a wonderful blessing on you and your family, your children and their children. When you go a walk pray it over your neighbourhood. The song was written in Elevation church, USA. You can watch here and discover how the song came together in the presence of the Lord – no wonder this song is being used at this time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp6aygmvzM4&feature=emb_rel_end
What a joy it has been to pray for those who have asked for prayer in recent weeks. Remember if you or others need prayer do drop us an email and we will pray. Don’t forget our prayer line if you or others need prayer – firstname.lastname@example.org
In the midst of this virus, in the midst of the uncertainty, in the midst of the tiredness, let’s tell the Lord that we trust him. Can I encourage you to do that today and live in that blessed place of peace, that wonderful waterfall of his Spirit? Exchange your life for his life….and live life to the full no matter what happens. This is your inheritance if you know and love our Lord. Draw near to the Prince of Peace. Allow his peace to come on you – the peace that passes all understanding and know the depths of his love for you. Our God knows and understands our pain, our sorrow, our fears and our concerns and he encourages us to run to him, our strong tower (Proverbs 18:10). His peace will come when we stand in his presence and trust him. There is much around us to cause us pain and heartache, but as we trust in him, he imparts not only his peace but his joy and his life. If you don’t know him then today trust in his unfailing love and know the depths of peace that he brings to your soul – then you can sing – It is well with my soul.
Keep praying and praising. With love to you all – NANCY GOUDIE