‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”’ (Luke 18: 9-14)
Pray for our church here at SWBC as we seek to be the people God is calling us to be. May we have the courage and grace to listen for God’s voice, and to respond with lives lived loving God with all we have and all we are, and loving our neighbours as ourselves. Pray that God will show us how to be good neighbours to those around us. Pray for us as we continue to learn to be a missional community, reaching out with the good news of Jesus, in words and actions, to all those with whom we live and work.
Pray for all who struggle with issues of self-worth. Where we have become proud and arrogant we pray that God will challenge and change us. But for those of us who struggle to remember that we are all God’s children, made in God’s image and likeness, may we learn to love ourselves and see ourselves as God sees us.
Pray for our local network of Baptist churches in Ashdon, Great Sampford, and Thaxted and for their ministers (Gavin, Sue, and Wayne), that we may deepen our relationships and find strategic ways of working together in God’s mission in our neighbourhoods. Pray also for the churches of Saffron Walden, and for our desire to work together in mission and service. Pray for our plans for late night shopping in SW on 5th December, and for all the Christmas services and publicity in coming weeks. May many more in our town be blessed by Christ’s churches in SW this Christmas.
Pray also for the churches and ministries represented by the Eastern Baptist Association (EBA) throughout our region, praying this week for Ferndale Baptist Church, Southend, and their minister Stephen Dray, and for Christ Church, Stock, and their minister Ian Smith. Christ Church write: ‘We give thanks for the numbers we have been getting at our Take a Break coffee mornings and our Pandas baby and toddler group. We thank God for His continuing abundant provision and are most grateful for the excellent ministry we receive each week. We thank God for those who willingly serve Him and our church in this way. Please pray for more help with our young people especially our Friday youth group. Please pray for a clear vision as we seek God’s future for our church.’ (See EBA Essex Prayer Diary on the church noticeboard for more details).
Pray for all British military personnel serving in conflict zones, praying especially for those from Carver Barracks, and their families. Please remember the Street and Prayer Pastors from across the churches this week.
Please remember the Street and Prayer Pastors from across the churches this week.
Please pray with Churches Together for All Saints, Ashdon and Debden School.