This week the Diocese is encouraging us to engage with a dedicated week of prayer; ‘Let’s Pray’. Each day there are reflections and videos online for you to access. If you haven’t done so already, do visit https://www.bathandwells.org.uk/ministry-for-mission/discipleship/spirituality-prayer/prayer-everyone-everywhere/ and have a look at what is available.
Prayer is different for everyone. There is no wrong way to pray, or prayers that are more or less effective than other prayers. No-one prays better than someone else. Prayer is essentially the time set aside between you and God.
In our human relationships we know how important it is to have time with each other, and in a variety of ways. Sometimes we need to spend one on one time with people. Sometimes it is the joy of a great gathering. Perhaps in these difficult times we have seen afresh just how important those things are through the challenges they now present.
Our prayer life is that quality time with God. Sometimes it needs to just be us and Him. Sometimes it is about getting together, safely of course. It doesn’t really matter how that happens. For many, private prayer will be time with familiar words, for others it could be silence, for others – a walk in the countryside. Whatever it is that helps you ‘be’ in that quality space in the presence of God. The point is – it is your relationship with God, not somebody else’s.
And when we come together – be it in church or online, listening to a radio service, or in any other way; even just in the knowledge that we are in a community of fellow ‘prayers’; that ‘together’ prayer time is the sum of all those parts, and all parts are important.
So, what is prayer for you? How do you pray? Where and when do you feel closest to God?
One of the most important aspects to any relationship is Trust. In our relationship with God, that trust is implicit because of the covenant of new life in Christ as we live not for ourselves, but for God. Here is the covenant prayer from the Methodist tradition:
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Although we are not using our church buildings for worship during the current Lockdown, you can join us for worship online as follows:
Thursday Evening Zoom:
7:30pm every Thursday in January:
Meeting ID: 761 0841 9112
Sunday Worship in January:
17 January – Video
24 January – Live Zoom
31 January – Video
Sunday Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 759 1823 9934
Live Sunday services will also be recorded and uploaded as video for those not able to access Zoom.
All Service videos are available at:
This Sunday (17th) will be a pre-recorded service, available at the links above, and looking at the calling of Philip and Nathaniel.
All churches continue to be open during the week for an hour for private individual prayer. This will be kept under constant review in light of the Lockdown.
Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Thorncombe at 11am
Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am
From the Diocesan and Deanery Calendars of Prayer:
· Church buildings: with thanks for all who strive to maintain their beauty and historic importance in each community, and as places of refuge and peace for visitors; seeking guidance to know how best the living Church members may worship in and outside church buildings in the work of sharing faith and hope in our communities.
· Residential and Care Homes in Chard, Ilminster, Hambridge, Hatch Beauchamp, Churchinford, Horton Cross. For the happiness and safety of residents and the strength and grace of staff and visitors. For peace and rest. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-9)
· God of Creation, help us to enter your presence through all the glorious creativity that you have given us so that we can pray to you not just in words but in all that we are and do.
· Loving God, we pray for all the younger children and families across the diocese, may they know something of God’s love resting on them and their households today.
We also pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Brian Turner; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge.
We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved. We remember Caroline Mayall (Thorncombe), and hold her family and friends in our prayers.
SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK AHEAD:
Wed 13 Jan: Heb 2.14–end; Ps 105.1–9; Mk 1.29–39
Thurs 14 Jan: Heb 3.7–14; Ps 95.1, 8–end; Mk 1.40–end
Fri 15 Jan: Heb 4.1–5, 11; Ps 78.3–8; Mk 2.1–12
Sat 16 Jan: Heb 4.12–end; Ps 19.7–end; Mk 2.13–17
Sun 17 Jan: Psalm 139; John 1:43-end
Mon 18 Jan: Heb 5.1–10; Ps 110.1–4; Mk 2.18–22 1
Tues 19 Jan: Heb 6.10–end; Ps 111; Mk 2.23–end
Wed 20 Jan: Heb 7.1–3, 15–17; Ps 110.1–4; Mk 3.1–6
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael – John 1:43-end
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you,[a] you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
The Collect for Mission:
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
Blessings to you all