Prayerspace 20 March 2020

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

Worldwide: coronavirus pandemic

Please join us in the following prayer, written by Paul Thaxter, director of international mission at CMS:

Father God, help us remember in this coronavirus pandemic that you have not only created the world but are still upholding and sustaining your universe by your mighty Word. Help us to put our trust in you and bring any fear we have to you, knowing that you are in control of all of our lives. Keep us all, Lord, in your care – particularly comfort those who may feel vulnerable or anxious at this time. Thank you for sending your son into the world to bring us into a meaningful relationship with you – bringing forgiveness, peace and hope. Enable us by the power of your Holy Spirit to live out your good news in all the world. Help us to remember all those involved in our work.

We pray for all our churches, organisations and other partners around the world working in over 40 different countries, who are already faced with many challenging circumstances but also now have to cope with the effects of the coronavirus. Give them wisdom, patience and grace for all those they are seeking to serve and may they continue to share the love of Christ with all.

We pray for all our members and supporters, thanking you for their commitment to you and to the work of CMS. We thank you that our members and supporters will be seeking ways to assist those who are in need. Lord, inspire them with imaginative acts of kindness.

We pray for our CMS people in mission and our staff, that we may be strengthened by your commitment to us and to your whole world. You came into the world not to be served but to serve. Help us at this time of crisis to honour you and to serve others in Christ’s name. Give us the courage and inspiration of your Holy Spirit to be there for others at this time.

Help us to draw strength from Colossians 1:16-17: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Lord, one day this heaven and earth will be renewed, but until then, thank you for being with us and use us, Lord, to bring your love into the world.

Europe

Britain: CMS community

Please pray for the CMS community, which includes many people who are at risk. Pray for encouragement, strength and protection, and local communities who are ready and willing to help with practical needs for those who are self-isolating.

Britain: cleaners on the frontline

Clean for Good has spent three years on the frontline tackling in-work poverty and we now appear to be on the frontline of a global pandemic. Please pray:

– for the safety of all of the UK’s cleaners, who are being asked to work harder than ever to keep buildings clean for their users

– for business continuity for Clean for Good. A growing number of our customers are closing their offices and moving to home-working. Cleaners cannot work from home, so we are asking customers to keep paying, so that we can ensure our team continue to have an income. So far, customers seem prepared to do this, which is great, but it is early days.

– for health for our small management team. We don’t have a huge team so we need wisdom in how to keep calm and carry on.

Britain: prayer initiative

The leaders of a number of churches in the UK are calling a day of prayer this Sunday (Mothering Sunday), and asking people to light a candle in their window at 7pm as a symbol of Jesus as our light. Pray for God to use this call to prayer to mobilise his Church.

Britain: CMS pioneers

Please pray for the Pioneer team in Oxford as they run classes remotely this coming Monday and Tuesday. Pray for our lecturers and students, that this will be a positive and enriching experience. Please pray for the team as they seek to recruit new students for September 2020 intake. Working in these difficult times will be a challenge but we feel that now, more than ever, we need to train, equip and resource those who are seeking new ways to reach out for God into the world.

Africa

Uganda: last week’s gathering

Give thanks for a gathering of some CMS and CMS-Africa people in Uganda last week for a time of prayer and fellowship to connect people from the two CMSs. It was particularly good to welcome Tom and Verity Clare and their four boys, who have just arrived in Uganda for mission service in northwest Uganda. Pray for all mission folk in Uganda from CMS and CMS-Africa at this time.

Latin America

Brazil: adoption cancelled

Rosie and Stu Bayford write that a ReVive girl, M, who was adopted just before Christmas by her old teacher had to return to the ReVive house as the teacher found it all too much. Like all the ReVive girls, M is so special but obviously has a lot of trauma, and without adequate training, adoptive parents struggle to know how to manage. Please pray for a way forward for M, who will have to wait to go on the adoption list while the authorities investigate whether she can go back to her biological mother.

Asia

Asia: mission partners stuck

Mission partners B and M are stuck in a different part of Asia to where they are working, but are grateful that they have received their visas and will be able to return to their base when the coronavirus situation calms down. Pray for their general health and well-being during this period of uncertainty. Pray for Eric and Sandra Read in the Philippines, as no flights nor ferries are available from Mindanao at the current moment and they are unable to get home.  

South Asia: human trafficking

Mission partners B and K ask for prayer for God to reveal the evils that are keeping people enslaved. Pray that knowing about the evils will drive God’s people to act and appreciate further what our Jesus has defeated and will put an end to. Pray that victims of human trafficking and abuse will have courage to speak out against their abusers and for God to set them free. Pray for God to break into the hardened hearts of traffickers.

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