PRAYERS FOR OUR NATION AND WORLD: 2ND – 8TH APRIL 2018

Roman’s 12:12 – “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”

Psalm 47 – A psalm of praise in which we can count it all Joy. Read this carefully and offer your own prayers of praise to our Lord.

Please pray for:                              

  • Pray for our country, for a miraculous desire for unity and common purpose to build our nation into a wonderful country for all South Africans.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa – To seek God’s guidance daily as he steers our country and makes decisions
  • Pray for the land issue to be resolved and the emotions that this topic ignites to be handled correctly by all
  • Continue to pray for rain in the Cape – for the drought to break
  • Pray for all South African families – for parents to love God, parent with good values and for children to respect and value their parents.
  • Pray for our economy, for increased employment and hope for a future.
  • All the concerns raised during our Holy Week Services: The care and protection of Women; Against abuse and neglect of Children; for those who engage in betrayal and denialism; for God’s Economy of Enough to be realised, and for there to be a positive move against misuse of power.

“For we live by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

PRAYER FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND OUR WORLD: HOLY WEEK 2018

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

Prayer for our country and the world during Holy Week: 26 Mar – 1 Apr 2018

John 19:7

The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

Isaiah 25:9-10a

In that day the people will proclaim,
“This is our God!
    We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
    Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
10 For the Lord’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem. (NLT)

During Holy Week we are following a theme that focusses on issues pertinent to the national narrative holding these against the thought in from John 19:7 “We have a law” and countered by why Jesus came. These very issues are among many reasons for what sent Jesus to the cross so that we can experience God’s love, grace and mercy. As Christians we cannot ignore matters pertinent to our community and the challenge is always what is our response as we seek Christ’s face in all of them:

 Following the theme that we’ve set for Holy Week please pray for:

  • The care and protection for and of women. Women were an important part of Jesus ministry. Many women find themselves in places of desolation, poverty, abuse, human-trafficking, prostitution, lack of education, struggling to provide for their children and extended family and so much more. These situations are not always of their making.
  • The children of our world, nation and community are perhaps the most vulnerable of all people, and open to all kinds of abuse and exploitation. Your example of embracing children shows us how much you value children. Help us to do the same and to speak out against practices that hurt and disempower children.
  • There are moments when we experience betrayal, injustice and denialism within ourselves and from others in society. Pray against all forms of manipulation and breaking of trust. Help us to respond with love and respect, even towards those who hurt us.
  • High on the national narrative is the issue of land ownership. We remember Jesus who has no home to call his own. This is a complex issue that runs deep and has the potential to rip this nation apart. Pray for wise leadership and for all people to exercise restraint so that all people experience God’s economy of enough.
  • There is much misuse of power, manipulation and protection of culture or tradition over truth. We are tempted to self-preserve and shut God out. Forgive us Lord. Restore us and help us to let go, to trust and remember that your love runs deep and your power is mightier than any other. On Friday our hearts may be heavy, but Sunday is coming, and we rejoice in this hope that conquers all fear and doubt.
  • Pray for those who spread the Gospel message of Christ throughout the world on Easter Sunday. Pray for a change of heart in those who may scoff at this message. We trust that the Word of God never returns to us void. We are a new creation in Christ able to love and serve in different ways to share our faith, hope and love in a broken world. Give us courage always and everywhere to share this message.

 

John 20:18 “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” – and that he had said these things to her.”

 

REJOICE, SHOUT HALLELUJAH FOR THE LORD IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

HALLELUJAH… HE IS RISEN – 1 APRIL 2018

(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 26th March – 1st April 2018)

ICE BREAKER: How do you respond to a story that seems incredulous?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: John 20:1-18 & 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

  1. READ: John 20:1-18 Why do you think the stone was rolled away… after all this is Jesus we’re talking about, he could have easily just left without moving the stone? Discuss your thoughts.
  1. There are 4 stages of belief in this story:
    • It’s a fabrication.
    • I need to check out the facts.
    • I’ll only believe through a personal encounter
    • I’ll Commitment and devote life to serving God

What do you think about this – how have these stages been your journey of faith up till now?                                                                     

  1. Read verses 6-9 again. The grave clothes are considered among the facts that prove Jesus body wasn’t stolen but that he in fact rose from the dead as he said he would. In your experience what other facts have presented the risen Christ to you and how do you share this experience with others as way to witness to them?
  1. Why do you think Jesus told Mary not to cling to him (verse 17)? What do you make of his instruction to her?
  1. READ: 1 Cor. 15:1-11: There will always be those who say Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Paul assures us of the many people who saw and experienced Jesus presence after his resurrection. In view of this sentiment by others how to you stand firm in the truth and hope of Jesus resurrection?
  1. Paul had been an enemy of the Christians prior to his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. Perhaps you’ve experienced such a zealous character who opposed the Christian faith but who then miraculously encountered Christ as Paul did? How do verses 9-10 help your understanding of God’s grace?
  1. In verse 11 Paul says it doesn’t matter who preaches, what matters is that we preach the same message that we have all already believed. How do you preach the Good News of Christ in your day to day life? What difference has this made for someone else?

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 : 19 – 25 MARCH 2018

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

Prayer for our country and the world

Jeremiah 12:1,4,5     

1Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?

4How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”

5“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

We, like Jeremiah, sometimes question God and are very concerned about why the wicked prosper, why there has been no rain, and why those who are greedy and corrupt seem to get away with it.

We can ask God questions in our prayers and we can even be dismayed – However let us not give into hysteria- let us rather continue to TRUST HIM for He is good. God does care for our well-being and our future. We can do our bit by faithfully praying and by transforming ourselves into fair, just, compassionate people. Please continue to pray for:

  • Family units – for mothers who have children to be given the wherewithal to handle the responsibility. For fathers to provide for their children and create a safe environment for them.
  • Restored relationships with God
  • For young adults to honour their elders and respect their wisdom.
  • For teenagers to not act out or behave dismally as they explore their independence and experiment with their new world. May they do so with mature attitudes and an awareness of the needs of others.  
  • For fair and corrupt free elections that will take place later this year.
  • For the listeriosis outbreak; the food-borne disease which has claimed 180 lives since January last year. For proper justice to be achieved without a self-serving attitude to “get rich” at the expense of others.
  • Politicians who rule the country.
  • That sea fishing will be responsibly managed by those in authority.
  • For the possible havoc that might occur if “overtime “is cut for traffic officers.
  • Racism is still rife in schools.
  • For a reduction in drug abuse, as well as alcohol abuse.
  • We pray for the Northern Hemisphere countries that are still experiencing the unrelenting cold and snow.
  • Restraint for Global Leaders, especially their actions and responses to ‘hot’ issues on the political front that causes so many tensions around the world.
  • The ongoing Syrian war  and refugee crisis, especially in regards to children.

Malachi 4:2: “Honour the Lord and devote yourself to Him. Receive his Promise that the son of Righteousness will arise over you with healing in His wings.”

SEVEN QUESTIONS HMC STUDY FOR THE WEEK OF 19TH – 25TH MARCH 2018 Lent #6

LENT #6 PALM SUNDAY

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 (Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 19- 25th March 2018)

ICE BREAKER: Have you ever experienced an ‘funny/comical’ situation that quickly changed into something more serious? How did you handle/manage this situation?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: Is 50:4-9a; Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29; Phil. 2:5-11 & Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16

  1. READ: Is. 50:4-9a and Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29: Isaiah is a call to obedience and the Psalm offers praise and thanks to God. In your own experience of obedience how have you been able to offer God your praise and thanks?
  2. The Psalmist refers to the ‘stone the builders have rejected’ has become the cornerstone. Jesus Christ is our foundation and righteousness. What has been your experience of Christ as the cornerstone – how has your faith grown?
  3. READ: Philippians 2:1-11. Paul gives us a description of Christ’s humility saying that we are to embrace the same mind of Christ ourselves. What do you think Paul meant by this?
  4. How can we learn if we are closed-minded? Is there anything within us that we need to lay down, set aside or die to in order that we remain receptive to what God has in store for us
  5. Some might say that being a disciple of Christ is to be gullible? What do you think of this statement, and if not gullible then what is it instead?
  6. READ: both Gospel passages. There is a danger in thinking – we know these passages, so read them carefully. It appears to be a joyful celebratory time. Yet, we wonder how Jesus sees this experience – what do you think Jesus saw and thought as we rode into Jerusalem
  7. Did you notice at the end of the Mark passage that Jesus went into the temple, looked around and left because it was already late. I wonder why Jesus did this – what do you think? How to you approach being ‘right’ in any given situation – when are you willing to let go and do/think what is for the greater good of all people?

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.