Ways to uphold each other and the world in prayer

Each week in our prayer time and sharing time, we share the concerns and joys on our hearts at that time.  A group of people at St Luke’s have a special call to the ministry of prayer and these are the ways they are upholding the congregation and our community to God in prayer this week.  You might like to join these prayers too in a quiet moment.

Praise and Thanksgiving.

  1. Praise God for each new day and the dramatic changes we see in nature during Spring time, when the  birds are nesting, the gardens are lovely, the weather reveals its diversity and beauty.

A vision of God’s renewal of creation.

Photo by chi liu on Unsplash

2) As we recognise Mental Health week, we say thank you for those people who work in this area, may they be strong as they support those who are struggling at this challenging time.

3)         Praise and thanks for all people who care for and support our elderly, single parents, homeless,  unemployed, business owners who are losing hope, those who have lost a loved one and the sick, that   they will be granted patience and a caring heart for all they serve.

4)  Thanksgiving for the return to school of students and teachers, that the joy of reunion will be a  blessing and encouragement for all. Pray for the energy required to readjust to school life five days a week.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

5)         Give thanks for celebrations of new life, special birthdays and positive COVID 19 results in the state.

General Prayers.

1)         Pray for all students doing VCE as they return to school for these two weeks. Give them the time and  clarity to review work done at home and to ask those questions that they may now have. Pray that they will  be virus free before and during exam time.

2)         Continue to prayer for all of those we know of who are unwell, having treatment or are recovering from   operations or lost a loved one. May they know God’s peace and strength for the journey ahead.

 

3)         Pray for families who are caring from a distance at the moment. Those in lockdown in Melbourne who  have families living interstate or in other cities in Victoria. Pray for single parents who don’t have family  support and those for whom English is a second language.

4)         Prayer for peace in the world. For those citizens living in war-torn countries. That as they approach winter  and the suffering that brings, they will find relief from the stress and worry they endure. Pray especially for the children and older people who have no escape.

5)         Pray that talks involving many Middle Middle-East countries will bring stability and peace to the area, and    for those where the virus has surged again

6)         Pray for the USA during their up-coming elections. Guide people toward a peaceful response post-election.

7)         Pray for the upcoming Church Council meeting and elections. That those approached will pray-fully consider serving God in this capacity.

May peace and love fill your heart.

Worship Online Sunday 11th October 2020 – God and the Pandemic: Learning from Jesus

The altar at St Luke’s, where today’s service was recorded.

Greetings Friends,

In this video we are again delving into some of the themes of Tom Wright’s book, “God and the Pandemic: A Christian reflection on the coronavirus and its aftermath.”

And the theme for this video gets right to the heart of things from a Christian perspective … the place of the man from Nazareth …Jesus … and in particular what we learn through him about God and suffering, God and the Pandemic.

 

For music today, an encouragement to keep hope from Audrey Assad with a beautiful lyric video of “How can I keep from Singing?”

This week is anti-poverty week – and here’s a message from Bronwyn Pike, COE of Uniting VicTas:

And reminder of the beautiful prayer from this week’s service:

Holy God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you bless us in so many ways.

We praise for you the beauty of creation … for the wonder of spring … for bud and flower … for the song of the Magpie.  But most of all, we praise you that you come to us in the person of Jesus, the crucified and risen One.

Compassionate God, we are lost for words when we consider the cross of Christ … the extent of your love made clear on Calvary … we give thanks that through the cross we know you share in the worst that this life can bring.

We celebrate and pray for the witness of Your church throughout the world, in all its colour, diversity and difference.

We hold before you those who have been wounded by life … all who suffer because of hardships, illness, injury, unkindness or abuse. We pray for all who work in caring professions: for the services which seek to sooth and heal the sicknesses of body, mind or spirit.

In these difficult times when we can hardly bring ourselves to watch the news, we pray for our country and the world … particularly remembering before you places of conflict, confusion, oppression, poverty, hunger and thirst.  Help us to be some way a part of the answer to this prayer.

We give thanks for and remember the people who have encouraged us in your way … particularly holding before you those who now share in that great cloud of witnesses .. . the saints in light.

And we offer this prayer in the name of Christ, Amen.

 

Weekly Prayers from Beth

Dear friends,
From our Zoom prayer gathering on Wednesday 24th June:
Paul shared a portion of Matthew 25: 35-40.  “I was hungry…. “  Please read it for yourselves.  If we help someone in need, we are really serving Jesus.
Prayer points:
  • For friends and family members struggling with ill health
  • For friends transitioning from independent living to supported care in distant places
  • For those families who find themselves suddenly bereaved and grieving the loss of a beloved family member
  • Pray for those struggling to understand the language and the requirements of COVID restrictions. Many are despairing, confused and insecure.  Pray that ethnic communities will not be victimised.  Pray also that they will receive support they need.
  • Pray for the family and Pacific Islands communities mourning the murder of Solomone.  Praise that the family was able to publicly forgive the perpetrator.
  • Pray for all the homeless people in Geelong and elsewhere and for the agencies who are offering support of food, warm clothing and shelter.
  • Pray for all those who are depressed and despairing at this time of protracted isolation and restriction, as the weeks drag on and with the realisation that there is still a long way to go.
Much to pray about today and every day.  How blessed we are to have a loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who hears our prayers, spoken and unspoken, and we are never abandoned.  Jesus is our Forever Friend.
Beth
From the 17th of June:
Hi everyone,
For your times of prayer, these are the points raised from Wednesday the 17th of June:
Paul shared with us Psalm 86, where the psalmist is praising God and asking for his help in need (thanksgiving and prayer).  A great psalm to read again.
Paul reminded us that those on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Jesus, but he is with us at all times, and hears our prayers.

Prayers of Thanksgiving:

  • Praise that William was found alive and well.
  • Praise that a drug being tested in UK is showing favourable signs of reducing effects of COVID.

Prayers for others:

  • Prayer for Church Council as it discusses the protocols for safely coming out of COVID, and the work and ministry of the church.
  • Prayer for bereaved families
  • Prayer for those known to us who are unwell
  • For young people with mental health issues – those who are broken-hearted and broken-spirited – may they find the help and resources they need to relieve their mental pain
  • For those who are sleeping rough.
Love and peace to you all.
Beth

 

For personal daily reflection, we offer this Daily Examen from Amelia Koh Butler  

to help your daily connection with God.

If you wish to join in with the Wednesday morning prayer gathering on Zoom, please contact Robyn for the meeting details: info@stlukesuca.org.au

Sunday 5th April 2020 – Online Worship – Palm Sunday

Hello friends!

You can find our Palm Sunday worship on Youtube here:

In our second episode of Worship online, Paul shares a reflection on what Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem says about the kind of leader he is – a servant leader. In the turmoil of the COVID19 pandemic, what kind of service are you called to?

Linda leads us in prayers of the people and gives thanks for the people serving our community now, despite the risk to themselves and their families.

We meet Shaghek Qassabyan, our new Community Ministry Worker for St Luke’s.

Shaghek (R) pictured here with Rae Anderson and friend at the Garage Sale in 2018.

For some music listening, please enjoy “From a Still Small Voice” performed by Leigh Newton, with thanks to Craig Mitchell for sharing!

Lent event

As the COVID19 pandemic ripples through our UnitingWorld’s partner countries, we are more conscious than ever of the need to support our neighbours who have much less than we do.

The future of our world depends on people of all faiths and backgrounds being able to work together for good. In Maluku, Ambon, Rev Jeny is working with high school students to train up leaders for our region who embrace difference, respect each other and have a passion for peace.

Today we’ll meet the students and hear about Rev Jeny’s inspiring work.
Please visit www.lentevent.com to help it continue.  UnitingWorld continues to stand alongside people in Ambon and far beyond, and they need our help.

Please keep praying for Rev Jeny and her team, Mary, Attika, Petrus and Nyoman.

Resources for home

Linda Salamy has gathered some multi-sensory activities you can download and do from home in your devotional time.

Palm Sunday craft resources

Karen from Western Heights Uniting Church shows us how to fold our own  paper palm crosses:

We hope you have a peaceful and reflective Holy Week – may God give you the wisdom and insight to discern how you might continue to bring light and hope in troubled times, and may you be well, may you be happy, may you be safe in Christ’s love.

Stay tuned later today for a special Kid’s Church edition of online worship!

 

 

A reflection from Alistair Pate – Dry Bones

Hello Friends,

Paul shared a thoughtful reflection from Alistair Pate, who is the minister at Chalice Uniting Church in Northcote and who leads a cafe church which until recently would meet weekly at a local pub in Northcote.

He writes:

“These are very difficult times. The challenge for us is to drink deep from the well of faith. To ground and root ourselves in God’s unchanging love for us, in God’s complete commitment to us, which we see made visible flesh in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That, at minimum, seems to be our task just now. Perhaps there is an opportunity here, amidst the stress and anxiety, to treat this as a sort of compulsory spiritual retreat? To develop a daily discipline of prayer, work, and recreation? I know that I have experienced significant spiritual deepening in difficult times, when I was really forced back into what is most profound. Perhaps this might be all of our experience through these difficult days ahead?”

Read the rest of Alistair’s post here:

God, You Know

Prayer Points Sunday 2nd June

This week’s prayers with thanks from Trekkies 

PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

  • For the welcome rain.
  • For the wonderful fellowship in the church, especially within the small groups that meet regularly.
  • For opportunities for hospitality – giving and receiving.
  • For new insights about living in a way that reflects the Kingdom of God.
  • For the celebration of the marriage of Tony and Heidi, and for Hannah’s happy involvement.
  • For those working in the medical field – doctors, surgeons, nurses, medical scientists and the wonderful advances in medical technology.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

  • For families dealing with mental health issues, and for there to be funding to provide resources for mental health needs.
  • For the victims of violent crime and their families left to pick up the fragments of shattered lives in the wake of traumatic events.
  • For police and other first responders who deal with traumatic situations every day – may they know God’s peace and strength
  • For those in our congregation grieving the loss of beloved pets.
  • For those suffering from anxiety, depression and hopelessness.
  • For the aged, the frail, those who fear losing independence, and those approaching end of life.
  • Pray that God will help us in our response to those who are not well.
  • For ongoing Reconciliation with our First Peoples, and opportunities to support new arrivals.