Welcome again to our regular prayer resource, where you will find: 1) a reading to reflect on over this week 2) a story of hope Overall, the aim is to encourage us to join together in prayer, for ourselves and others, so we can all experience the power of the living Christ and the transforming grace of God. We may each also find that we are moved to live more in common with our our neighbours, supporting them as they support us.
At times we may feel utterly helpless, but through our faith we know a God who is with us always. We can talk to a loving, powerful and present God and he hears and responds to what we say.
A Passage from Scripture
You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. (Psalm 139: 1-5)
Psalm 139 is a beautiful reminder that we are fully seen and known, and yet still fully loved by our creator God. The fear in confessing sin to people comes from the chance that they will reject us as a result of our revelation. Nothing we confess to God will make him turn his back on us, because he already knows it, and he loves us anyway.
Allow the truth of today’s reading to sink in to your mind and heart. God sees you. God knows you. God loves you. Ponder on this at the start of each day.
If there is a terror about darkness because we cannot see, there is also a terror about light because we can see. There is a terror about light because much of what we see in the light about ourselves and our world we would rather not see, would rather not have be seen. (Frederick Buechner)
Reflect ‘A huge part of confession is forgiveness… It is important to understand confession as a process. Since forgiveness is a process and almost always takes a significant amount of time, the practice of confession becomes an integral part of this process. There is nothing more healing for sin than bringing it into the light. The best way to bring sin into the light is through confession.’ (Michael Bischof)
This month, please pray for all victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people and those front line charities and agencies called to help them
Please pray for our community, all those in the City as well as those all around the UK
Please pray for all those in need, the lonely and suffering around the world
Please pray for yourself, that you will continue to hear and be guided by God as to how He wants you to use the gifts He has given you, how you are to be a blessing and great witness to all around you. Amen
A story of hope - Ruba'a story
Our story today is from Hestia who supports adults and children at times of crisis including victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people.
To date, we have given 130 kilos of hygiene products to them, thank you.
Ruba* and her children's story of experiencing domestic abuse
I remember my son Shiya*, who is three, being in my arms as his father hit me. He’s so young that I didn’t think he would be impacted by what he saw. I was wrong.
When I entered Hestia’s refuge earlier this year with Shiya and my daughter Masira*, (two) they had trouble settling. Shiya was incredibly shy around everyone. He wouldn’t talk to anyone, but he also wasn’t listening to anything I told him to do, his behaviour became erratic. Masira used to be a bubbly toddler, but after our the last few months she became so quiet and didn’t want to play or even cuddle me. Parenting them alone and in this new environment, with everything that we’ve been through, has been more challenging than I ever would have thought.
We’ve lived in the refuge for a few months now, and things have improved slightly. Shiya and Masira are both at nursery together a few times a week and their confidence is growing, but I still see an uncomfortable change in them as children. While at nursery, they only talk to each other and about the abuse we have experienced. I’m worried about how much it’s affected them. I’m working with one of Hestia’s Children & Family Workers on managing their behaviour, but I know they need more support.
I’ve been considering play therapy as a means of encouraging them to open up and talk about their experience in a healthy and natural way. I’m hoping we can get access to a counselling soon, but I’m worried that while we’re waiting, things might get worse.