Lent Prayer Table
(The cross on the table is made from the trunk of our Chrismon tree}
It seems no time since our prayer table was displaying our Chrismon tree with its various Christian symbols in white and gold, helping us celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Now, we find ourselves in the days of Lent, the days for reflection and preparation for Easter.
There are different ways of preparing ourselves, such as fasting, giving up a luxury or thinking of others. Using Isaiah 58: 6-7 as our scripture verse for the season of Lent, the prayers presently only our table are for the oppressed, homeless and hungry, the voiceless, the poor, those without hope and the environment.
"Remind us often Lord, when we are feeling proud, arrogant, beyond reproach, pleased with ourselves, self-sufficient in our ways, that for such a us and better and worse, you walked a road that took you to a cruel cross and rose again to show us where we might look for rescue, as from this lofty perch we fall."
All the prayers on the table this month are about love and based on 1Corinthians chapter 13. Here are a few of them:
Thank you that you are a loving, gracious God.
Thank you that you've offered us forgiveness and the gift of new life in you.
Thank you that your love is perfect, it never fails and that nothing can separate us from your love.
Lord, thank you that your love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Lord help us not to hold grudges, but to choose to forgive, even when it's difficult. Lord thank you that your love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Lord help us to love your words of truth, may we walk in your freedom and wisdom. Let it be what drives our lives and choices every day.
Lord, thank you that your love is patient. Help us show patience with those around us. Lord, thank you that your love is kind. Help us to extend kindness to others. Lord, thank you that true love is not jealous. Help us cast aside feelings of jealousy or hatred towards others. Lord, thank you that your love does not brag and is not arrogant. Help us not to live with pride or arrogance, but to choose to walk with humility and grace.
Our Chrismon tree, which was greatly admired, has now been taken down. However, the trunk of it will appear again at Lent in the form of a cross. Had Jesus only been an ordinary child, His birth would soon have been forgotten and the story would have ended. Yet, as the story told by our Chrismon tree will continue in Lent, so the events of the incarnation point us to the cross and resurrection, the cornerstone of our faith.
Our Prayer theme for the month of January is "new beginnings". Let us remember the words of Peggy Toney Horton:
"As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace His tranquility and His wisdom! Amen."
Christmas Tree Festival
As part of the Christmas Tree Festival, the prayer table during December will have a "chrismon tree". The tree itself is a real tree, the evergreen representing eternal life. The lights are white, representing "Christ, the Light of the World". The decorations, which are all Christian symbols, have all been handmade by members of the Prayer Group and are in white, for the purity of Christ, or gold for His Kingship.
For example: butterfly = resurrection; crown = majesty; sheep or shepherd's crook = the Good Shepherd; heart = love of God; dove = Holy Spirit; cradle with baby = the coming of Christ among us. These are just a few of the symbols we have used.
As always in November, the prayer table is dedicated to the memory of those, both service personnel and civilians, who have lost their lives as a result of conflict. We also pray that mankind will learn to live in piece.
Prayer Table for Harvest
Our prayers this month give thanks to God, our abundant giver, for the food that sustains us and the people who grow, harvest and deliver it. We, who have plenty, also pray that we may have loving, generous hearts to share God's adequate providing with those who have little.
Lord of the Harvest,
We thank you for your creation,
For it's beauty and fruitfulness.
We thank you for blessing us
With our daily bread.
Lord of Mercy,
We confess to you our failure
To be wise stewards of this world.
We confess to you our selfishness
In not sharing the earth's bounty fairly.
Prayer Table for September
Jesus said "Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14.
We often hear people say that the Children are the Church of tomorrow. In a way, it's true, for we hope that the seeds planted in them today will be nurtured and grow so that in adulthood, they will take up the baton of faith from us.
However, they are also a very important part of the Church today and so the theme of this month's prayer table is children, remembering and giving thanks to every one of them.
Prayer Table for July and August
It is important that violinists not only look after their instruments but also their bows, which should be slackened every time after use. If this is not done, then the bow will lose it's camber (bend) because it is under tension for too long and will eventually break.
We too will eventually break if we do not release the tension of life from time to time. When God created the universe, He rested on the 7th day and Jesus also knew the need to rest, both for his disciples and for Himself. "Come to me, get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest." Matthew 11:28 The Message translation.
The theme of our Prayer Table for July and August is 'Summer'. Giving thanks to god for the (hopefully) better weather, longer evenings, a time during which many of our activities stop, allowing more time for relaxation and opportunities for holidays and rest.
In the month of June, our prayer table celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, the third part of Trinity. We read in Acts 2: 1-13 about Pentecost, how the Holy Spirit came touching the hearts of those gathered and how the Church was born. We pray that He will again touch the hearts and souls of men and women throughout the world.
We can, and should, all pray alone but it is also biblical that we should pray together in groups. It is the privilege of a small, but dedicated, group of people here at Kilsyth Burns & Old Parish Church to fulfil that purpose by praying for our church family, our town and our world and giving thanksgiving and praise to God.
Please feel free to join the group any time. We meet in the church each Sunday from 10.15-10.30am. A warm welcome awaits you any week you would like to attend. Prayer requests, which will be treated confidentially, can be placed in either the box at the prayer table or the one in the vestibule.
There is a prayer table which is changed monthly. Many have found the prayers on it are helpful, either to their present situation, or as a starter for their own prayer lives. Also on the table are prayer request cards that can be completed and put in a locked box. All requests are treated confidentially by the group members.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus led a busy life but he always made prayer a priority. We hope and pray that others will feel drawn to join us on a Sunday morning.
For further information, why not contact us.