Author Archives: HMC Office

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD : 13 – 19TH NOVEMBER 2017

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

Psalm 123

I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.
We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.

Lord, have mercy on us, for we are sinners. In the Old Testament we often hear the words, “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” We look at our nation and wonder…

“Where’s the justice, integrity, honesty, compassion, love and generosity…?” It’s easy to become disheartened… BUT we’re called to be people of faith. “Faith leads to prayer and prayer leads to possibility. Possibility leads to action, and action leads to deliverance.” (paraphrase from Disciplines, The Upper Room Devotional 2017)

Therefore, we give thanks to the Lord for areas of action:

  • Ministry initiatives that reach out to the underprivileged.
  • Medical staff in clinics, hospitals and emergency services – we pray for their protection, strength to endure and resources to provided good medical care to all.
  • Educators & Lecturers – especially at this time of exams as they mark papers.
  • Honest government officials who dare to speak out against mismanagement, injustice and corruption.
  • Organisations that care for our animals, wildlife, flora and fauna.

As we offer our prayers to You, may they encircle You, may our eyes remain fixed on You as we trust you to be God who understands and never lets us go.

Please pray for:

  • All learners writing exams.
  • For all officials and business leaders to manage their departments and companies with honesty and integrity, to have the self-control to say NO to corruption!
  • Drug Lords – especially for the innocent who are hoodwinked into the drug world.
  • Parents as they teach their children about moral values, may they be Godly values too.
  • The ongoing water crisis in many parts of our nation.
  • The justice system and Chapter 9 institutions – to be above the law in all their dealings.
  • For all farmers who deal with failed crops due to the drought, labour issues and concern about safety of all who live and work on the farms.
  • Poaching of wildlife.

Isaiah 43:1-3

1“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. Amen

Life Group Questions for 13 – 19th November 2017

MULTIPLYING MERCY

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 (Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 13 – 19th November 2017)

ICE BREAKER: Think of an experience when you were given a responsible task, one that may
                           have required you taking a risk… How did you handle that responsibility?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Thess. 5:1-11

  1. READ: 1 Thess 5:1-11. Paul encourages the Thessalonians on how to wait faithfully for Christ’s return. Simple instructions: stay sober, wear faithfulness and love (protectively) and place the hope of salvation on your head like a helmet. Is this what you are wearing as you wait…?
  1. Can you remember the first time you were awakened to the place where you comprehended Jesus’ acceptance, love and mercy towards you? How can you continue to stay awake (alert) to the presence of God at work in you?
  1. Believing that you’re forgiven and loved by God, do you start your day in a way that inspires loyalty and devotion to God? What actions will impart Christ’s love and mercy shining through you to others throughout your day?
  1. READ: Matt. 25:14-30. Matthew goes to great lengths to prepare us for Jesus’ return in this section of his Gospel account. We may have different pictures of God – who is God for you? How does your picture of God dictate the manner in which you live your life?
  1. God‘s greatest desire is for us to celebrate and enter into God’s joy which begins now. What joy can you find in your life right now and how can you share that joy (gifts) with others?
  1. The 3rd servant was dictated by fear which robbed him of the opportunity to use the gift he’d been given. How often does fear prevent you from taking a risk, even one that has the potential to change a situation for the better?
  1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is known to have said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act… live like a hero.”

Many throughout history have demonstrated great courage that has changed situations. Trusting God with the unknown, taking risks, leads us to experience the fullness of the Master’s joy. Discuss this sentiment together.

NOTE: Prayers for SA & the World are posted on the website. Please encourage your group to pray together about these issues and during their personal devotional time in the week.

 

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD: 6TH TO 12TH NOVEMBER 2017

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

1 John 4:7

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God…… This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”

Father if we have an attitude of love then we can love life itself.  Instead of being in bondage to fear and worry please give us a boldness to fully expect good things in this country – to fully engage as prayer warriors showing confidence and trust in You, as well as an attitude of thankfulness for your provision. 

We give thanks Lord for:

  • Missions in all churches who help the poor and needy.  Provide support in education.
  • Qualified ambulance medics.
  • Caring doctors and nurses who do walk the extra mile.
  • Teachers who work tirelessly to benefit their pupils.
  • Honest officials and those who dare to speak out against injustice and corruption.
  • Those who work behind the scenes, who might never get thanked.
  • Those who offer their services for free.
  • The generous who care for animals.

Help us to be stimulated by challenge, not to be overwhelmed by the decisions we need to make.  Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that “You will never leave or forsake us”.  Help us to be conscious of your living presence.  May we be like Peter – when he was asked if he truly loved the Lord, he answered in the affirmative?

 1 John reminds us that we “live through YOU” therefore anything is possible – so instead of dejection and concern; may we all be affirmed and confident in the way ahead.  May all our mission plans, our pastoral assistance, our volunteering amplify, and be a reflection of Your glory.  May all those who are involved be encircled by Your angels of protection.

Please pray for:

  • Those officials who accept kickbacks and waste public funds
  • Those involved in protection racketeering.
  • Pray that crime bosses will never run our country.
  • That Zuma will re-think salary increases for his cabinet.
  • That the electricity hike will not be too high so that the poor get poorer.
  • Water issues on the South Coast and drought in the Cape.
  • Pray for God’s mercy in the prevention of terrorism.
  • Sexual abuse that remains unabated.

Psalm 29

“The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.  The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.

Amen

Life Group Questions for 6th – 12th November 2017

 

READY
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 (Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 6th – 12th November 2017)

ICE BREAKER: Share a time in your life when you weren’t ready or prepared for something.
                          How did that turn out?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: Matthew 25:1-13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18

  1. READ: Matthew 25:1-13. This passage calls us to a state of readiness. Where do you see yourself in this story?
  1. What do you think it means to take responsibility for your own spiritual journey and readiness (joining the procession)?
  1. READ: 1 Thess. 4:13-18. What does this passage say to us about turning tragedy into triumph; poverty to riches; pain to glory and defeat to victory?
  1. What does this passage say about our role as believers, particularly when others experience loss?
  1. READ: Joshua 24:1-3a; 14-25. Joshua calls the tribes of Israel and proclaims a message from God to them. He asks whom they and their households will serve, and they covenant together to serve the Lord. This passage is about choices… talk is cheap. How do you make choices?
  1. What, if anything, gets in the way of you worshiping God in spirit and truth? Is there anything that needs to change?
  1. In what small ways can you demonstrate holiness that will influence your family, your colleagues, your friends and others to follow Christ?

NOTE: Prayers for SA & the World are posted on the website. Please encourage your group to
            pray 
together about these issues and during their personal devotional time in the week.

Life Group Questions for 30 October – 5 November 2017


WHEN GOD’S STORY BECOMES YOURS – PART 2

 (Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 30th October – 5th November 2017)

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: Mark 8:27-30 & Acts 2:14-21

  1. READ: Mark 8:27-30. What voices compete for our (society’s) attention today? How do people describe who Jesus is? Look at verse 29; only Peter replies to this personal question. If Jesus were to ask you the same question today, how would you answer?
  2. We hear God’s voice calling and guiding through Scripture and prayerful meditation. In what ways do you need to hear the clear guiding voice of God for this season of your life?
  1. Jesus death on the cross and resurrection is the core theme of God’s redemptive story. How crucial is this to your personal story? What changed for you when you accepted Christ as Saviour?
  1. READ: Acts 2:14-21. Max Lucado asks, “What got into Peter?” Think about Peter prior to Jesus death and now post Jesus resurrection. What contrasts can you think of?
  1. Peter went from wimp to warrior in 50 days when God’s Spirit filled him. Where are you in this story? Do you feel like the early Peter or the Acts Peter? Or do you waver between the two at any given time?
  1. During his earthly ministry Jesus lived near the disciples. The Holy Spirit lives in the disciples (that’s us). What Jesus did with the followers, the Spirit does through us. What stops the Holy Spirit from moving? See: Isaiah 63:10; Acts 5:9; Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:29-30 & 1 Thess. 5:19-20.
  1. Jesus instructs the disciples to wait here… (Acts 1:4-5). Waiting can be difficult. Share an experience where you waited for God’s spirit to direct and lead. What was the result?

 

PRAYER TOPICS:

Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.

Pray for:

  • Drought relief in the Western Cape and other parts of the Sub-Continent.
  • On-going strife within the political arena of SA
  • Matriculants and learners as they prepare to write exams – and for the educators and markers as they mark the exam papers.
  • Restraint amongst University Students as they negotiate with university management on fee increments for 2018.
  • Pray for the people of Mogadishu (Somalia) after the recent car bombing & ongoing strife since then.
  • Continued threat of nuclear war – may sanity prevail amongst political leaders.