Thank you all for your prayers and support for the work of the church throughout 2023. I know we all have been through varying difficulties and some through particular hardships. Once again we can thank the Lord that we have been brought through trusting in the Lord as our refuge and strength. As I encouraged the congregation at the start of last year it is vitally important to pray to keep close to God and continue faithfully in our Christian life. Alongside reading the Scriptures these should be our daily routine. There are various encouragements in the Scriptures to pray.
- Pray without ceasing (1 Th. 5.17).
- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ep. 6:18).
-Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (Col. 4:2).
These are a few verses of the many that encourage us to pray and undoubtedly set before us a biblical mandate that we should be concerned to pray. Maybe you have fallen out of the 'habit' or relegated prayer to a part time practice; or you only pray when trouble or danger comes. May these verses challenge us all at the start of this new year to be a people of prayer. To that end I would ask the church to pray, if led, the suggested topics below so we might pray for the same things (roughly speaking) on the same day to encourage us.
Let us be prayerful people and realise we too need prayer. To say we are praying for someone should be an expression of concern but an indication of our own action to bring the matter before God, before the throne of Grace through the believers mediator and High Priest, Jesus Christ. Paul even requests prayer for himself and those labouring for the Gospel with him twice in 1 and 2 Thessalonians saying 'brethren pray for us.' May we this be a prayerful church and prayerful individual. Knowing that we have a prayer hearing and answering God.
Pastor Jonathan Arnold
-God thanks to God for His character, perfect, unchangeable, the same yesterday today and forever.
-Give thank to God that we can meet in the church and have fellowship with one another.
-Pray the Lord would grant the preaching of his word power and clarity, and there are ready ears to hear and believe it. (2 Thes. 3.1.)
-Pray we would be granted faithful ministry and good spiritual food from God's Word. (1 Peter 2.2.)
Sunday morning at 11:00am in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday morning) scripture reading - Matthew 6 v 5 - 15
Sunday evening at 6:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
(Sunday evening) scripture reading - Luke 22 v 32-34; and 56-61
Bible study and prayer
Wednesday evening at 7:00pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
Lunch hour service
Thursday afternoon between 1:00pm and 1:30pm in church (also available online via Facebook)
Saturday morning at Victoria Street (outside the big Boots store) for 10:30am (across the road from Town Hall - No. 64). Afterwards we go back to church for prayer.
Preface - Jehu by his letters causeth Ahab's seventy sons to be slain in Samaria. He excuseth the fact by the prophecy of Elijah, and destroyeth all Ahab's kindred and friends in Jezreel. In his way to Samaria he slayeth two and forty of Ahaziah's brethren. He taketh Jehonadab in the chariot with him, and destroyeth all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria. By subtilty he slayeth at once all Baal's worshippers, and breaketh down his images and house. Jehu followeth the sins of Jeroboam, but for having executed God's judgments on Ahab's house, is promised the continuance of the kingdom in his family to the fourth generation. Hazael smiteth Israel. Jehu dieth; his son Jehoahaz succeedeth him.
2 Kings 10
Preface - Paul affectionately saluteth Timothy, assuring him of his constant prayers for him, and remembrance of that sincere faith which had been derived to Timothy from his mother and grandmother. He exhorteth him to stir up the gift of God which was in him; and not to be ashamed of the testimony of the gospel, but to be ready to suffer for it according to his example: and to hold fast the form of sound words which he had learned. He putteth him in mind of the general defection of the converts in Asia, and commendeth Onesiphorus for his repeated kindness toward him.
2 Timothy 1
Daily Light - Morning
He is altogether lovely.
My meditation of him shall be sweet. - My beloved is...the chiefest among ten thousand. - A chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. - Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips. - God...hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. - It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Song 5.16; Ps. 104.34; Song 5.10; 1 Pe. 2.6; Ps. 45.2; Phil. 2.9; Col. 1.19
1 Pe. 1.8
Daily Light - Evening
David encouraged himself
in the LORD his God.
Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. - I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God; he hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears... They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears... O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
1 Sa. 30.6; Jn. 6.68; 2 Tim. 1.12
A Puritans Catechism
Q39 - What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A - At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments with the devil and his angels for ever.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne - God Makes A Path - Daily Devotional Readings
Why God waits
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 18 v 19
Many Christians neglect this promise. In the Acts, we find that when the apostles and disciples were praying together, 'the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.' Oh, how often and how long have we despised this way of obtaining the outporing of the Spirit! Do not some persons speak slightingly of united prayer? Here is one reason why God commands the clouds that they rain no rain on us. He waits till we seek Him together, and then He will open the windows of heaven and pour down a blessing.