Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep… I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:7-10
Lord as we stand at the threshold of a new year, we turn to you, the gateway to abundant life; not just in a material sense but in fullness of joy, depth of peace and in the wideness of your mercy. Grant that we may enter into this year with you and find you beside us each step of our way. May we close thedoor behind us on all that would prevent us from committing ourselves wholeheartedly to your way. May our cup overflow with gladness and gratitude to you, our generous, faithful, forgiving God. Amen.
We give thanks for the life and faithful witness of Susanna Wesley who was born 350 years ago this month. We give thanks that through her children the Methodist Church came to birth, opening wide the door to salvation for all and spreading scriptural holiness throughout the world.
We give thanks for the World Council of Churches’ Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January. Their theme,”Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue …” is inspired by Deuteronomy 16:18-20. The resources for the week have been prepared by members of different churches in Indonesia.
We give thanks for the relief efforts in Indonesia following the devastating tsunamis in September and December 2018 and pray for those who have lost homes and loved ones.
We pray for the people of the DR Congo where rape and torture are being used as weapons of intimidation.
We pray for the Rohingya people, still stateless and homeless.
We pray for the Syrian refugees and thank God for those who are opening doors of welcome and opportunity so they can find abundant life once more.
We pray for the many people who are being persecuted for their faith, thanking God for answered prayers for the Christians in Bulgaria.
We pray for the people in the UK and the rest of Europe who will be affected by Brexit, and that those making momentous decisions will be guided by kingdom values of justice and fairness.
We thank God for life-enhancing initiatives run by Federation women. For example, bringing income-generating skills to widows in Togo and Ghana, family enrichment programmes in Fiji, healing for traumatised children in Sri Lanka, supporting Roma people in Hungary, providing care packages for the homeless in the USA and lunch clubs for those living alone in the UK. We pray that through all these initiatives, God will be glorified and the gospel of love proclaimed.
Give thanks for our World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. We pray that God will guide all of us through this year as we approach the mid-point of this quinquennium.
May those who truly seek the Lord, discover life in all its fullness.