Developing a rhythm and culture of prayer
Through prayer, we connect with God and deepen our relationship with Him. We pray for others: those who we know, our community and our world. We lift up impossible situations to Him. We seek to pray creatively and in a variety of ways, recognising that not everyone prays in the same way, and that different methods of prayer bring us closer to Him.
We had planned to have a Prayer Space in church during Holy Week, but the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced us to rethink this. Instead, we have a virtual prayer space on this page, where each prayer station has been reimagined for you to do at home.
We've extended the time the virtual prayer space is available, and we'd also encourage you to commit to a slot in the online prayer room booking facility. This isn't about trying to fill every prayer ‘slot’, or demonstrating how long we can pray for, but it is about committing ourselves to pray, encouraging each other to pray, acting as a witness as God’s church. You may be praying anyway and so not see the need to sign up to this but you would really encourage others by being part of this prayer watch.
The link to the online booking facility is
Spend time. Take it slowly and rest in the presence of God. Be secure in His love for you and His love for our world.
"For god so loved the world..."
The theme for this prayer space is Matthew 22:37-39 and Matthew 28:18-20. The space works best viewed through the lens of these three instructions:
Love the World
The Tent of Meeting
Create a space in your own home for you to spend time in God's presence. This may be a chair by the window, a corner of a room or even an indoor tent. You can make it beautiful, with plants, lights and candles.
1. Read Exodus 33 and meditate on how Moses met with God face-to-face and spoke with him. Allow God’s word to stir your desires to meet directly with him as Moses did.
“When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.” Exodus 33:9
“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Exodus 33:11
2. Now seek to be aware of the presence of Father God in faith. Believe that he loves you and longs to encounter you. And open your heart to receive all the love he would pour out on you in this moment.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
3. Rest in the presence of God. Spend time talking with him, receiving more of him, and being transformed by his nearness.
4. Read 'The Call of the Bridegroom,' Song of Songs 2:10-15. Download it here.
This is what the Lord says: In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30.15
Pause and be still. Read the Bible verse.
Breathe slowly and enter into God’s rest as you come in an attitude of repentance before him.
Confess your sins and receive God’s forgiveness. Thank God for your salvation through Jesus Christ.
Be at peace. In the quietness of this place, still your mind, heart and soul. Rest in God.
Wait on the Lord and place your trust in him.
Open your hands and ask God to increase your dependence on him and strengthen you as you spend time in prayer today.
Read the Bible verse again.
Psalm 118:24 says “ This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
1. When times are difficult, it is easy for us to focus on our problems and this robs us of joy.
Stop now and think about all the things you have to be grateful for. This may be food, water and shelter; relationships; family; community; being alive today.
Spend time thanking God for these things.
As the psalmist says, think about what God has done and rejoice.
Think about what Jesus has done for you so that you can know life to the full and rejoice.
Find a piece of ribbon or thread, and as you go through the day today, use the ribbon to remind you of all you have to rejoice in.
2. Think of someone you know who is not feeling joyful at the moment.
Spend time now praying for that person.
We are often God’s answers to our prayers. Listen to God – what is he saying to you? Is he asking you to do something to bring God’s love and joy to the person you have prayed for?
Read the Bible verse again.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rend Your Heart
In this time of confusion, fear and uncertainty it is easy to find ourselves moving into survival mode and becoming self-focused. As we have struggled to make sense of the world we are now in; what has happened to our hearts. Perhaps we need to rend our hearts.
Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
You will need: Paper, scissors
Find a piece of paper and cut out two heart shapes.
Take your paper heart and hold in your hand.
Be still before God and ask him to show you the condition of your heart. What is he saying to you?
Pray in response to what he reveals to you.
Now take second paper heart and write the word 'Love' on it. Take your time, make it beautiful. Take it with you as you go and ask God to help you to walk in his love.
Place the “love” heart somewhere you will see it at home as a reminder to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind.
Washing and Repentance
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Ezekiel 36:25 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols”
Choose one of the prayers in the images and read the prayer slowly several times.
Reflect on the promise of God to forgive us if we repent.
Reflect on what the opportunity for forgiveness cost Jesus in dying for you.
Wash your hands slowly. Look at the water and think about how God's forgiveness cleanses us.
Give thanks to God for all that he has done in Jesus
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the Jews.
They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
Read slowly the account of the crucifixion from Mark’s gospel.
Imagine the agony of the crucifixion:
Look at the crown of thorns and imagine the pain in your head of wearing it. Remember the sharp sour taste of vinegar. Look at the cold sharpness of the nails.
On the cross Jesus suffered the ultimate rejection.
Ask for forgiveness for the times you have rejected God’s love.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2.20.
Can you say these words? What does it mean for you?
Thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Love Your Neighbour
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Matthew 22: 39
Many people are going to be facing times of social isolation, especially the elderly, the sick and vulnerable.
Think of people in your community who may be at risk of isolation.
Spend time now praying for the people who God puts on your heart.
In what ways could you offer practical help and support?
We may be facing uncertain times. The good news is hope can be found in all circumstances through Jesus. The Bible tells us, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
1.Through the power of what Jesus did on the cross, we can now enter into God’s presence in his inner sanctuary, it is here where he can give you hope.
Sit and wait for God’s presence to fill you.
Thank God for his perfect sacrifice that means we can find hope in him.
Ask God for the reality that hope will always be an anchor for your soul.
2.There are people around us who in these times need hope. As Christians we have something real and tangible to offer to friends and family facing uncertainty. We have a lifeline to offer to the hope-less.
Ask Jesus to show you who you can offer hope to.
Take a piece of paper and cut out the shape of a life bouy. Write the name of someone you want to offer hope to on to the shape.
Commit to praying for them and asking God how you can communicate hope to them. It may be practical support, it maybe encouragement, it may be offering your friendship.
Pray that God’s light will shine in their circumstances and they will find peace and hope.
Matthew 5: 23-24
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Pause and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention anyone who you have any issues with, or who may have any issues with you.
Print off an ‘I am sorry’ card and write that person a note, apologising and then asking them for their forgiveness.
Consider giving that person the card, if appropriate.
LOVE the world
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. “
1.Take a salt sachet and open it and sprinkle some of the salt into the palm of your hand.
As you ponder how a few grains can make a big difference to the taste of food, receive the truth that with “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27) you can make a big difference to other people’s lives.
Ask the Lord to keep filling you with HIs love and His Holy Spirit so that you stay ‘salty!’
2.Now put a few grains of salt into your mouth and as you taste the salt, ask Jesus to show you a practical way that you/your church could demonstrate love to people in your community.
3.Pray for existing social action projects in our community that the church or other churches are involved with- that people would be blessed by it and come to know God’s love through it.
An estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, according to research by Shelter. This equates to one in every 201 Brits. The rise in numbers from the year before was equivalent to 36 new people becoming homeless every day.
However, the real level of homelessness is notoriously difficult to measure.
Only individuals in contact with local authorities or in hostels are included in the official figures. There are an uncertain number of ‘hidden homeless’ who are unknown to authorities, staying with relatives or friends, sofa surfing or sleeping in cars or the countryside – places official counts don’t cover.
During this season of social isolation there are many who are unable to stay safe at home, and who already face very serious health risks and trauma.
Jesus came to serve others and to show us how to serve. Read John 13:1-17, where Jesus washes the disciples' feet. Download a copy here.
Find some cardboard - thick box cardboard is most effective. If you are able, construct a makeshift shelter from the cardboard. Try sitting on the cardboard on a cold floor and imagine how it would feel to live on the streets.
Write your prayers on the cardboard sheets asking God to help those in our communities who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Thank God for the local charities doing so much to support and care for the homeless, including Shelter, YMCA and the Salvation Army, as well as Breathing Space Lancashire, and Nightsafe in Blackburn, who particularly help and support the huge numbers of young people who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Ask God today who He wants you to serve and how?
Ephesians 6: 18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
24-7 Prayer have produced an excellent prayer guide for the pandemic. Download it here.
Prayer Spaces in Schools have produced a prayer guide for the pandemic which is excellent for families. Download it here.
You may like to read this article by Daniel Keven: What is God doing?
The Cornerstone Church video by Audrey, an ENT surgeon, encourages us to pray for the NHS.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Spend some time putting on the armour of God so that you are able to ‘stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’ V 13
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:18 – 19
The battle against this virus is not just a physical battle, but there is a spiritual battle as well. The enemy seeks to bring darkness and destruction, fear and separation.
Find some keys and a globe or a map of the world.
Look at the keys and ask God what he wants to lock (bind) on earth.
Look at the globe and ask God what he wants to unlock (loose) on earth.
Pray into what God shows you.
Light a candle.
Let us pray particularly at this time for those who have turned back to alcohol and drugs at this time.
Pray for Christians who are involved in recovery that they would bring God’s light into the darkness.