Weekly Prayer – Nerys Tudor

Weekly Prayer – Nerys Tudor

Last week, my sister, Eryl, had an operation on her right eye to remove a cataract. This will enable her to see more clearly and to read once again, a real miracle.
There are four accounts in the Gospels of Jesus restoring their sight to those who were blind and the one in Mark 10:46-52 is one of both comfort and challenge.
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by he reacted immediately and was determined to get his attention despite others trying to prevent and silence him. Amidst the loud hustle and bustle Jesus heard the genuine cry of someone in real need as he always does, stopped on his journey and called Bartimaeus forward.
Jesus then asks a strange question to a blind man, ‘What do you want me to do for you’ and the answer comes, ‘Teacher, I want to see again.’ This was his greatest need and Jesus healed him. Sometimes what I really need is not that which seems obvious but is something much deeper which only Jesus can deal with and heal.
The Commonwealth Games are on. I know of a young man who took part in a race but not with the intention of racing for the finishing line. He was tied by the wrist to another young man who was blind and he guided him as he ran at his own pace. He made it possible for his friend to take part by being at his side.
On our journey through life we thank God for Jesus Christ who is alive today among us in Spirit, accepts us as we are, loves us and forgives us and is at our side as he has promised.
We pray through God’s grace that we will be able to ‘run our race, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus because our faith, from beginning to the end depends on him.’
Weekly Prayer – Ian Hayward

Weekly Prayer – Ian Hayward

This is Salem in Fforest Coalpit, about four miles north of Abergavenny, the other side of the Sugar Loaf. I moved to Fforest when I was ten years old and attended the Sunday school and Services there, later attending Whitefield in Abergavenny. I have many memories of the place from that time. I remember John Tudor coming to preach at a Harvest Service, he almost knocked over one of the oil lamps on the side of the pulpit. One of the things that stick in my mind is his illustration of salvation as a free gift you don’t have to do anything to gain it, it is free like the toy in a Rice Krispies box you just have to take it. It was from Fforest I had my first encounter with Trefeca in the late sixties. We would go for the weekend; it was very different then.
Fforest has a long link with Trefeca, the lane was once the road which led to Cwmyoy, and I like to think that Howell Harris used this route as he travelled. The cause was started by Howell Harris and they met in a house nearby.
Here is an extract from the Treasury of September 1883 which tells us more about Salem.
“Early, very early, in the history of Calvinistic Methodism, Monthly Meetings were held at Cwmyoy and Forest Coalpit. Howell Harris paid many visits to these places. There lived, however, at the Forest, during this period, an extraordinary good man named William Jones. For sincerity and an earnest desire to extend the Master’s kingdom the last century did not possess a better man. He faithfully served the evil one till he was 21 years old, when his heart underwent a change. His love for the souls of his neighbours was such that he went expressly to Trefeca, and had an interview with Lady Huntington, and urged on her ladyship the paramount importance of sending her students to the neighbourhood of the Forest to preach the gospel to his ungodly neighbours. “How came you,” asked her ladyship, “to know the Lord?” ” It was the Lord that found me,” replied William Jones. Her ladyship was so pleased that her students paid periodical visits to the Forest. There was a building known as ” the playhouse ” in the locality, and the gentry from Abergavenny and around would come in carriages on the Lord’s Day and indulge in all manner of games and ungodliness. It is recorded that this was like fire on the skin to William Jones, who ultimately purchased the playhouse, and thus put an end to such wickedness. He was born in 1738, a few years after the conversion of Howell Harris and was undoubtedly on intimate terms with that man of God. He travelled with Harris on many occasions, and very likely stood by him when assailed by the mob. He faithfully attended the Monthly Meetings, and the success of the gospel lay very near his heart. He was eminent for his piety, and died as he lived, near to his Master. He did not forget the carrying on of the Cause after his death, for he left as an endowment for the chapel the place where he lived”
I think that it was him or a relative who gave the land for the church to be built in 1816.
Howell Harris could not have done the work he did without the help of such men as William Jones whose life and witness was a testimony to the free grace of God which he and Howell Harris preached. We pray that the Lord would raise up others like William Jones today.
Lord you are a great and glorious God who does wonders in the lives of men and women. Thank you for the example and witness of your people in the past. We look back on the work your hand has done in the past. We thank you for those who preached your word despite opposition and were faithful to you.
We thank you that your gospel does not change and that the free gift of salvation through the atoning blood of our Lord Jesus is still freely available today. Oh, that you would raise up today those who know and love you to be bold in proclaiming the great gospel of our glorious God just as our forefathers did.
Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from us. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made your gospel and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.
Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, Lord, look with favour on your church. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the people that bear your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your people bear your Name. Amen
Weekly Prayer – Brian Reardon

Weekly Prayer – Brian Reardon

Royal Welsh Show – Y Sioe Frenhinol Cymru

As you read this people from all over Wales, will be gathering in Builth Wells, for the Royal Welsh Show. Among them will be Rev Brian Reardon, one of the Show Chaplains. He says “We have the task of overseeing Christ’s message to the people during the four days of the Show. Bringing witness to the people has always been in my heart and such an opportunity exists when 250,00 people pass through those gate in late July. I am reminded about the task that awaited Titus on the island of Crete, and feel we can take courage in bringing God’s word to a great number of individuals in a short time”

Do re-read those 3 short chapters of the Book of Titus…

Brian adds “These chapters have so much to teach us about people’s attitude to religion and more importantly what the Love of God really means. What did Paul expect Titus to do, and would he be up for the challenge? We look to his words to encourage us as we go about the duties during the show…

1) To call the people together and inform them of the work and encourage some deep conversation about Christ, faith experience and concerns
2) Evaluate the characteristics of the people we talk with.. get to know a little of their expectations and how Jesus Christ will make the difference in their lives. Tell them how he has changed your life.
3) Help to oversee the people , leaving them with encouragement. Make your contact with them something that they will remember about the Show.
So please
– Pray for Show Organisers, and all those responsible for the health and safety of people , particularly in the expected heat.
– Pray for the whole farming community, and those who work in it. Pray for the wider rural economy of Wales, for the financial and environmental challenges it faces.
– Pray particularly for the many young people who camp out there for the whole week.
– Pray for stallholders and businesses from across Britain, who depend on such events to showcase their products, and make their livelihood.
– But please pray mostly for the whole Chaplaincy team, in its vital work of witness.
And If you are there look out for Brian and others in their distinct orange uniform.. and say ‘Hello!’
Weekly Prayer – Judy Ford

Weekly Prayer – Judy Ford

Courage to Change

This is a worrying era of diminishing congregations and uncertain times for many chapels and churches in most Western Christian denominations. But we must remember that we alone are not responsible for the future of our faith.. We have to believe that God is in charge and, therefore, be willing and receptive agents of change in His name. In the book of Proverbs we read “Where there is no vision the people perish” (29:18). A vision for the future of Christianity needs us to trust that all will be well if only we follow where the Spirit leads us. And I readily admit that it is not easy for old dinosaurs like me.to envisage what necessary and radical changes will be required.

I am reminded of God’s question to Ezekial: “Can these dry bones live?” (Ezekial37:1-14.)The obvious answer for any mortal would surely have been “NO – there is absolutely no way that could happen!” AND YET they did.

I would suggest that we heed the statement in Proverbs “Where there is no vision the people perish” (29:18). For, without a vision of future possibilities we wilt, stagnate and die. However, If we hold in our hearts and minds ( and we do need both to be involved) the fact that God IS in our future , we will be able to take comfort from his declaration to to Jeremiah “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you …….plans to give you a hope and a future”. (29:11) But God goes on to make that promise conditional “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (29:13)

That assurance should give us the courage we need to make the necessary changes to our way of doing things. So it is vital that we, not only ask God to give us a vision of how we might do things in the future, but also the courage to act on that vision. For, without a new and dynamic vision, the status quo will remain. It will only be when we have the determination to fulfil the vision that the dry bones of Christian faith and church, as we know it, can come alive again in a way that will ensure we welcome God’s future plans wherever they may lead.

As I was preparing this I remembered a hymn that asks God to give us the wisdom and the courage we will need to follow where he leads:
I suggest you read the words as a prayer:
God of grace and God of glory,
On thy people pour thy power;
Now fulfil thy Church’s story;
Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour.
Lo, the hosts of evil round us
Scorn thy Christ, assail his ways;
From the fears that long have bound us
Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the living of these days.
Cure thy children’ warring madness,
Bend our pride to thy control:
Shame our wanton selfish gladness,
Rich in goods and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the living of these days,
Set our feet on lofty places,
Gird our lives that they may be
Armoured with all Christlike graces
As we we set your people free,
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Lest we fail the world or thee.
Weekly Prayer – Dafydd Andrew Jones

Weekly Prayer – Dafydd Andrew Jones

Since my childhood days I have never ceased to be enchanted by the variety and richness of wild flowers in the hedgerow – the mixture of colour, pink, yellow, blue and white intertwining into perfect and wonderful harmony of colour within their natural habitat of grass and trees. I learnt to recognize some by name, the primrose, cowslip, bluebells, vetch, clover and yarrow etc. I marvelled at them as individual creations and together as a symphony of perfect harmony. And with them comes that mystic-curious feeling to touch tenderly the mind and the imagination. Wonders open doors. John, the evangelist skilfully uses words. He uses the familiar to open doors of wonder to introduce us to Jesus Christ. Bread becomes the bread of life and water becomes the living water. I am particularly fond of the door that opens before us in the twenty first verse of the twentieth chapter of his gospel where the disciples, lonely, disillusioned and fearful have locked the doors. Closing doors is a real temptation for us threatened by fierce and hardened unbelief resulting in our mindset becoming increasingly inward looking protective and defensive. But the Easter- Pentecost experience is also one of God’s wonders of harmony. Jesus comes and stands in the middle, greets and encourages, sends and empowers. inspires confidence … the doors are unlocked… out they go. The world has not been quite the same since.
Lord, God of our fathers since the birth of our nation, you have given us the ability to marvel not only at the beauty of your handiwork but to marvel more and more at the beauty of Jesus of Nazareth amongst his own people and transforming the total ugliness of the cross into the beauty of new life and hope to humanity and the whole of creation. And as we marvel we give thanks and praise. We uplift your name with joy. Enable us to marvel more and more at the beauty of all your works to inspire and motivate us to share beauty in difficult, trying and dark days. Amen
Weekly Prayer – Delyth Oswy

Weekly Prayer – Delyth Oswy

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good (Gen 1:31)
As summer arrives, we look forward to
– Seeing friends and family
– Eisteddfod, local shows and events
– Exploring on holidays and days out
– Sitting in the garden
– Going for a walk
– Ice cream, smiles and feeling the sun’s warmth on our skin
We recognise you in all these things – you make yourself known around us through
– Relationships, fun and love
– Creativity
– Stillness and peace
– A healthy body, and wonderful smells, sights, and tastes
We enjoy you; we want to be filled with your goodness, and to overflow with your creative love, through your spirit. Amen