“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16
Welcome back to our weekly prayer blog! Please do continue to pray with us throughout the week, and let us know how you are finding this new method of communicating prayer direction and response. Maybe work through this as part of your daily prayer, or sit down with friends and spend some time interceding together. Join us at Corpus Christi College 5-6pm on Tuesday for a time of reflective prayer too – Bring a bible and an open heart!
Inspired by conversations on the notice board this week, let’s think and pray about sacrifice and generosity, and Hebrews 13 is a great place to start! Try making some time this week to have a read though and be challenged by it’s breadth and depth of instruction for living for Jesus.
The Bible reveals so much to us about God’s character. We know that He is a God of Justice, but we also know that He wants each one of us to live our lives to the full. These two elements of God’s character are so joyful, but take some careful consideration from us. For example, how can we use the money we have been blessed with wisely, so we bring about Justice and Joy? How can we sacrifice ourselves to God’s cause without cutting ourselves us from the amazing, fun, exciting things He has planned for us? How much sacrifice is too much so that we ourselves need caring for? These are big things to think about, and we really need to repent and be challenged to evaluate our time, money and energy distribution, remembering that God loves justice, but also turned water into wine! Seek a generous heart, and ask God to guard you from guilt, but instead make your sacrifices joyful.
Please pray this week for Stand For Freedom, which will be happening for 24 hours between Friday and Saturday. Pray for God to be working throughout, as we talk to the public, talk to fellow students, and spend time working alongside each other. Pray for open hearts, from us and others. Pray for people to come away from the Stand with a renewed desire to strive for your justice, impassioned and emboldened to take up the fight against human trafficking.
Please also pray for good weather! We’re trusting God has the practicalities covered too…
Caring for Creation
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands… So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” [2 Corinthians]. In exam term, it can be so easy to forget why we do things for the environment, or for justice, or at all. Let’s be praying this week for all Christians in Oxford that we would long to please God more, and understand the gifts and grace we’ve been given.
A Rocha, a Christian conservation organisation, has asked for prayers for Peru. This year has seen torrential rains, flooding and landslides, probably due to climate change. Pray for all the different charities working in Peru for wisdom, strength and provision; for the church that they would respond to God’s call to care for creation; and for animals and people who have lost homes and habitats, that God would restore and redeem them.
Finally, let’s continue to pray for the upcoming election. There are some signs in the leaked Labour manifesto that the environment is going to be a part of their campaign (praise the Lord!) but so much more could be done. Pray for local MPs, civil servants, and campaign managers that they will be struck by the beauty of creation, and also that beyond politics, all of us living in the UK would care for the world around them.
A male yellowhammer sings in the UK (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2017/apr/28/the-week-in-wildlife-in-pictures)
We would love prayer for P, with whom we had a really exciting and encouraging conversation – please pray for follow up and a growing desire to know Jesus! We also have our summer barbecue coming up and would love prayer for a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere and some great conversations. Please also pray for Aldates Community Transformation, who’ve just got a new director and are opening a new house for a few guys to live in.
Finally, please do keep the election, OICCU, RC, and our local Oxford churches in mind, and remember to pray across borders and nations. At JPrayer on Tuesday, we were talking about how prayer for changing for hearts and minds here, for example, in becoming conscious consumers, can be a great way to practically pray for people overseas, as we are all so interconnected.
Finally, here’s a link to the Tearfund prayer resources, that can give us some fantastic insights for prayer into other nations. http://www.tearfund.org/about_you/resources/prayer/
With the love and joy of Jesus Christ,
(credits to Steffie for starting the conversation about generosity and sacrifice!)