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A Reflective Walk Through Holy Week

Our current issue of Denham Parish News has a central pull-out section to help us reflect on Jesus’ movements during Holy Week.

You can download the magazine as a PDF here…

It starts with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem tomorrow and leads us through the week to Easter. Each day has a short reading, a reflection and a prayer.

You can also trace Jesus’ movement on the map above (it’s reproduced in the magazine).

Join Jesus during a week that changed the world!

 

Praying for Peace

Ukrainians praying in the central square of Kharkiv, Ukraine.  (Image: Courtesy of Ukrainian Bible Society)

How can we pray for the ongoing war in Ukraine?

Read an excellent article on the website of BRF, one of our mission partners…

Here are some suggestions how you can pray on your own or with others:

Pray and meditate on Psalm 46:

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

Ukraine’s chief Rabbi invited Christian leaders to recite Psalm 31 together

 

PRAYER RESOURCES

Behind the scenes with local Christian leaders in Ukraine and how they pray…

You can find liturgical resources on the Church of England website…

A Prayer for Ukraine from 24-7 prayer…

How can we pray for President Zelenskyy

Prayers For Refugees – Prayer of The Refugee – Compassion UK

Tearfund Prayer for Refugees

Prayers for peace in conflict and disaster (faithandworship.com)

 

Prayers prayed for Ukraine at our Sunday service on 13 June:

Lord Jesus, you are our Prince of Peace, the Captain in our Storm. When circumstances are overwhelming and you seem far away, remind us  that your presence is with us.

Father, we pray for the War in Europe, and cry out to you for peace in the Ukraine. We ask for your grace to shine upon the citizens of Kiev, Kharkiv, Sumy, Mariupol, Kherson, the Donbas, and all other areas facing the sheer and unthinkable terror of war:

  • As artillery fire rains down, keep them safe Lord, as they shelter.
  • As missiles lay waste to property and businesses, give them refuge Lord, until they can rebuild.
  • As cities are besieged, nourish them Lord, when they feel hungry. 
  • As bombs kill and maim, comfort them Lord, as they grieve for their losses.
  • As lies and disinformation are sown, reassure them Lord, as they seek the truth.

We pray Lord for the refugees who have been forced to leave behind their lives and loved ones. We trust that you are close to the brokenhearted, and you save those who are crushed in spirit. In the same way, protect these people from aggression Lord, and guide their safe passage out of the Ukraine. May they be welcomed by countries across the continent with open arms and avoid encountering bureaucratic challenges or hostility as they seek refuge. Revive, guide and empower the organisations working tirelessly to enable this evacuation, and direct aid to where it is needed the most – and we pray that refugee needs for food, shelter, clothing and love can be expedited wherever they are needed.

We pray that you can use the leaders of western governments to be instruments of peace. Guide them away from pride and partisanship, and towards unity in common purpose. Give them strength and wisdom through their negotiations as they seek to ensure enduring peace, fill them with compassion and empathy for those in need. 

We pray for President Putin and the Russian leadership. Your light leads us out of darkness, and in the same way we pray that you can lead and guide his decisions over the coming weeks. We pray Lord that you can soften his heart away from decisions that might cause further destruction or hurt others. Lord, only you can make the impossible possible. Amen.

 

Other Prayers for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion
to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear.
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Amen.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

 

Father, today we pray for the escalating situation in Ukraine.
We confess that in times of such rapid change and on issues of such complexity, it can be difficult to know how to pray.
So we start with our praise and thanks to you, who remains steadfast and faithful, all-seeing and all-knowing.
We re-orientate ourselves in you, your timescales, your ways and your purposes.
We remind ourselves of your love for this earth you formed and those you created in your image.
We struggle to see clearly through confusion and misinformation, yet recognise an age-old lust for power, control and violence.
We pray for those already mourning, those who are fleeing homes and livelihoods, for those who are fearful and vulnerable.
We pray for intermediaries on the ground and those seeking to defend life and liberty. Blessed are the peacemakers.
Amidst the political posturing and frightening military action we pray for those involved in genuine diplomatic efforts to avert further bloodshed.

We remember how Jesus resisted being co-opted into the religious and political uprisings of competing empires. We remember how He spoke to heal the sick, calm the storm and raise the dead. We too pray that the name of God would not be invoked in destructive nationalistic ways. We pray for powerful words and miraculous actions – for de-escalation, peace and justice, repentance and restoration.

On earth as it is in heaven, and for our faithful witness until then,
Amen.

David Smyth, Head of Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance.

 

A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

God of compassion,
Have mercy this day on the people of Ukraine.
Restore to them the gift of peace.
Grant wisdom to the governments of the world.
Bring good in the midst of evil and suffering,
For the sake of Jesus Christ your Son,
Who gave his life to bring peace to your world
Amen.

Bishop Steven Croft

 

A Prayer by Christian Aid

Borders, barricades, bewilderment…
When the bargaining begins,
God please protect peace.
Sanctions, security measured in minutes and it’s scary…
When safety scatters,
God please protect peace.
War dresses up in peace-keeper’s clothes,
Troops amass, the ground trembles and so do people…
When the future feels fragile,
God please protect peace.

The littlest, the least likely to have a say, those
who lives are sanctioned and bargained over
Violence always finds them first.
And the ‘oh-so important’ political manoeuvres
mean nothing to them. They just want to live.
When the winners want to wipe them out of
the way, God please protect peace.
We will not turn away. We will stand together
God, give us the strength to protect peace.
Amen

 

Prayer about refugees and finding asylum…

 

Psalm 31 prayed from bomb shelters and bunkers

Watch Ukrainians praying Psalm 31 from bunkers and bomb shelters in this video (courtesy of biblesociety.org.uk).
 

We pray for SHALOM

Our mission partner BRF has an excellent article on how we respond to the war in Ukraine as followers of Jesus.

You can read it here…

Find more resources for prayer here…

Ukraine and Russia: A Call to Prayer

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have joined other church leaders in condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine as “an act of great evil”.

In a joint statement, Most Rev Justin Welby and Most Rev Stephen Cottrell said: “The horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil. Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces. We call for a public decision to choose the way of peace and an international conference to secure long term agreements for stability and lasting peace. We invite Christians to make this Sunday a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace. We also give our support to the call from Pope Francis for a global day of prayer and fasting for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2.

In an unscheduled Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday morning, Archbishop Welby said: “To wake up to news of war is terrible. To wake up to its reality is orders of magnitude worse.”

Archbishop Welby said that “peace and justice” can “often seem to contrast, and yet they are opposite sides of the same coin. We seek peace and justice, and that must end with those involved in conflict not having solutions imposed on them, but finding for themselves the way forward towards reconciliation and peace.

“Right at the end of this life, Jesus Christ, on the eve of his crucifixion, spoke to his disciples, and he said something very memorable: ‘In the world you will have trouble, but do not be afraid: I have overcome the world.’ For me and for many of faith the great certainty in the world, the only certainty, is that we know that God does not change.”

Quoting William Shakespeare, Archbishop Welby continued: “Let us find our resolution, our peace, our certainty, not by ‘screwing up our courage’ but in the knowledge of the eternal arms that hold us. May God be with those who suffer today.”

Earlier on Thursday morning, the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, wrote on Twitter: “We wake this morning to the sickening sights and sounds of war. Praying for all in Ukraine, for all who are fearful of what lies ahead and for the minimum possible bloodshed.

“At a time of international crisis, please join me in praying fervently for peace in Ukraine and especially for the wellbeing of our little Anglican community of Christ Church, Kyiv (which meets in the German Evangelical Church of St. Catherine’s).”

 

In a blog post J John suggests four duties for Christians:

Be aware

The naive philosophy of the world is that there is nothing seriously wrong with human beings that science and prosperity will not cure. The invasion of Ukraine shows once more that human beings are inclined to evil and that only the grace of God in Christ can truly bring peace.

Pray*

We believe that God reigns over this world. Let’s pray for those who are frightened and for evil not to prevail.Let’s pray for wisdom among leaders responding to Russia’s invasion.

Care

Pray for those who are caught up in this conflict. Pray for Ukrainian and Russian citizens in our communities here. Look for opportunities for practical care and giving in the coming days.

Share

This darkness is another opportunity to share the light of Christ and the only lasting hope of peace in this world.

Read the whole blog entry here…

 

 

* A Prayer for the Ukraine Crisis

Father, today we pray for the escalating situation on the borders of Ukraine and Russia.

We confess that in times of such rapid change and on issues of such complexity, it can be difficult to know how to pray.

So we start with our praise and thanks to you, who remains steadfast and faithful, all-seeing and all-knowing.

We re-orientate ourselves in you, your timescales, your ways and your purposes.

We remind ourselves of your love for this earth you formed and those you created in your image.

We struggle to see clearly through confusion and misinformation, yet recognise an age-old lust for power, control and violence.

We pray for those already fleeing homes and livelihoods, for those who are fearful and vulnerable.

We pray for peacekeepers on the ground and those seeking to defend life and liberty.

We remember how Jesus resisted being co-opted into the religious and political uprisings of competing empires. We remember how Jesus spoke to heal the sick, calm the storm and raise the dead. We too pray for powerful words and miraculous actions – for de-escalation, peace and justice, repentance and restoration.

On earth as it is in heaven, and for our faithful witness until then,

Amen.

Prayer by David Smyth, Head of Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance.

 

At Home With God: A New Prayer Trail at St Mary’s

Prayers inspired by our homes – why not take some time in St Mary’s Churchyard to linger and pray?

Download all the prayers to use them creatively in your own home…

(Thank you to Cathy and Kath for creating this prayer trail.)

Faith@Work

Christoph speaks to Olivia Drewett, a junior doctor in Bristol, about her work and faith.

 

 

A Prayer of Hope

Thank you to Caroline Ashcroft for sharing this! Evening prayer continues at 6pm tonight and then Mon 21 to Wed 23, on Zoom. Click here for the details…

Sunday Worship on 21 June

(Find all the links mentioned in the service below the video…)

It’s Fathers’ Day! Today we are starting a new series of talks about the big questions of life, reflecting on how we grow in prayer, explore a historical mystery about St Mary’s Church, enjoy some serious dancing and meet a couple of superheroes!

VIRTUAL COFFEE at 11.15am:
SUNDAY CLUB with Sonja Clements:
ACTIVITY SHEET for children and families:
INVITATION FLYER for our new sermon series:
SIGN UP FOR HOLY COMMUNION on Sunday 28 June, 10am:

Sunday Worship 14 June

We are continuing to explore the healthy habit of prayer with a question from one of our children; Nnamdi will help us to think about ‘outward prayer’ and we hear from Francis Moloney about racial justice and equality.

Click on the links mentioned in our service:

Virtual Coffee at 11.15am…

Sunday Club for today, led by Kim Van Campfort…

Activity Sheets for children and families…

“Prayer is Talking with God” video…

“The Life We Were Made For” – Invitation Flyer with details:
WITH INSTRUCTIONS…
WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS…

Give online to the work of Denham Parish Church…