Prayer Diary December 2017
Friday 1st World Aids Day
As we move towards union, (1st January) it is becoming clear that several people who may have voted for union are in fact not happy about it. The decision has been made and accepted by Presbytery. Pray for God’s healing where there is disappointment and hurt and a determination to move forward trusting in Him.
Saturday 2nd Christmas Fair in Canisbay Hall
Thank you for praying last month for the Blythswood Appeal. Now
give thanks for a great response throughout the county and please
pray that the boxes will be delivered safely to their various
destinations throughout Eastern Europe this Christmas. Thank you!
Sunday 3rd 1st Sunday of Advent Ps 80.1-7,17-19;Isa 64.1-9
Olrig & Dunnet–Ben MacGregor; K & Cb –Lyall
Advent usually begins in November but the days have fallen
differently this year. Today’s services will undoubtedly be filled
with anticipation about the Coming of Jesus which we shall
celebrate so soon. But many will also look to the Second Coming
of Jesus and we must each ask: ‘Am I ready to greet Him when He
comes as King?’ We disregard this at our peril!
Monday 4th Hospital Carol Service at 6 pm.
This service, entitled Light up the Highlands, gives opportunity for those who have lost family members and friends to cancer to come together with others to remember and to find comfort and encouragement in the worship and message of Christmas.
Tuesday 5th Caithness Presbytery meets in Thurso West
Gracious Lord, we pray for a safe flight from Edinburgh, of the World Mission worker, Rebecca McGonigle who will be coming to address Caithness Presbytery tonight. Let us listen to her with open minds and kindly hearts.
Wednesday 6th Canisbay School Assembly
With so many events coming up for 'Christmas' please pray that the Word preached/shared in schools, churches, within the various communities, carol services, etc., would be blessed to the souls of the listeners and that throughout this Festive Season all would remember JESUS... the REASON for the SEASON.
These are busy days! Please remember in prayer our four treasurers who will have to close the books for 2017 and then hand over to our new treasurer for Pentland Parish Church, Isabel Mackay.
Friday 8th Keiss School Assembly
As our four churches unite as one we pray that a minister may be called who will lead us into the future, to inspire us and nurture us. Loving God, bless all those to whom the task of nomination has been entrusted and give them wisdom, patience and strength to continue when they become discouraged.
Saturday 9th Crossroads School Christmas Fair in Mey Hall
Tomorrow evening, we hold our Family Carol Service in Mey Hall at 6.30 pm. Begun in John O’Groats, for many years it has been held there and it has been enthusiastically supported by the local community. Now it is time to change. Loving Father, give us a happy evening of informal worship and joyful fellowship enjoyed by young and old. May no-one miss out; may all be made welcome!
Sunday 10th 2nd Sunday of Advent Ps 85.1-2,8-13; Mk 1.1-8
Olrig & Dunnet – Lyall; K &Cb – Ben Macgregor
In Dunnet today the service is the traditional one of Lessons and Carols, involving a number of the congregation. Gracious God, give courage and joy to those who will tell the story in Bible readings and Christmas Carols. May their efforts be pleasing to You!
Pray that here and in the other services the familiar words may challenge all who gather to worship.
Ian McCree writes: ‘I would suggest we give thanks that the Basis of Union has been accepted and agreed by the presbytery and pray that everyone in all of the four congregations should pledge themselves to praying that all will work together to advance the cause of Christ in the new parish area that is now Pentland Parish.’
Tuesday 12th Canisbay Guild
The title of this afternoon’s meeting is ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’. This is always a happy time of fun and fellowship – and cake! It is anticipated that ladies from our four congregations will join us. Men will be made welcome too!
Wednesday 13th Crossroads School Christmas Service
We give thanks for all those people who give freely of their time to serve others in our community - volunteers, befrienders, good neighbours and carers. Let us all be imbued with their love and dedication.
Thursday 14th Keiss School Christmas Show
As we approach a time of giving, we think of those who have nothing. The Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly, has urged us to support the call for help as more than 500,000 Rohinga men, women and children are in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medical help after arriving at overflowing camps and settlements in Bangladesh. He has urged us to give generously to the Disasters Emergency Committee Rohingya Crisis Appeal, so that support organisations such as Christian Aid can respond to the needs of those whose lives have been torn apart by conflict.
Please pray for Rev Andrew Barrie, the new minister in Pulteneytown and Thrumster, that the congregation and minister would quickly gel together as a team in the months that lie ahead
Around our parishes and in many rural areas generally everyone knows everyone else. In times of need we can usually think of someone we know with skills whom we can approach for assistance. May we welcome people and show them God's love when they move to the district and help them to feel included.
Sunday 17th 3rd Sunday of Advent Isa 61.1-4,8-11;
John 1.6-8,19-28 Og & Dt – Lyall; K & Cb – Archie & Anne
Messy Church will be involved in the service in Dunnet Church.
May God bless them and make them a blessing!
Lord, give strength and courage, we pray, to those on their own this Christmas - especially if it is the first time they have not been with their loved one. Ease their pain with Your warm and enduring love.
You promised, Lord, never to leave your flock without a shepherd and we have been cared for well. You know who our full time minister will be, Lord, and we pray that they may hear You calling them to Pentland Parish. Let them know the beauty and power of your Northern land and give them the burning desire and strength to care for our scattered flock
Wednesday 20th Canisbay School Assembly
Give thanks for all involved today in Caithness Befriending: a Soup and Sandwich Lunch in Mey Hall from 12 - 2 pm. The children of Crossroads School will entertain and a happy time is guaranteed for all. Remember Mrs Jacquie Budge and her colleagues at both Crossroads and Bower Schools as life is so full just now!
Last month we mentioned Canisbay Church’s Annual Appeal. God heard and moved hearts! We give thanks for a considerably better response than for the previous one – and we go forward in faith!
Friday 22nd Keiss School Assembly
As our local children rejoice together, it is sobering for us to read the following : The children of believers from Muslim backgrounds face rejection from their communities – even on the playground. Pray that their parents and the local church will lay a firm foundation of the Word of God in their lives so that they will grow to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Open Doors)
Perhaps this is an apt time to ask ourselves whether we have taken our Locum Minister for granted over the past year. In many ways it has been a hard year and there have been difficult matters for Lyall to deal with. Of course he has not always got it right: he is human. So it is all the more important that we support him: in faithful prayer, with a word or message of support, whatever is appropriate. That might be a good resolution for you and for me for 2017!
Sunday 24th 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve
Olrig & Dunnet – Roger Bamfield; Keiss & Canisbay - Lyall
Watchnight Service in Dunnet at 11.30pm
Coming Lord, we anticipate this evening’s service with joy! Bless those who seldom come at any other time but wouldn‘t miss tonight. Inspire us all through the words of Scripture and of the carols and challenge us again to greet You joyfully. Be near to us, Lord Jesus.
Monday 25th Christmas Day Service in Canisbay Church Hall at 11am.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
This is an another excellent opportunity for the Pentland Parish Church Family to come together in worship. What joy to meet the challenge of finding enough seats! The children bring one of their presents and we all look back on another year with God and give Him heartfelt thanks. If you have health and strength, please join us!
Tuesday 26th St Stephen’s Day; Boxing Day
Boxing Day can be an anticlimax! Jesus, Emmanuel, God is with us, be real to me today and every day. Surprise me, Lord
Lord, we pray for our elders and church boards - now called the Session. Help us respect and honour them as they direct the affairs of our church. May they wholeheartedly give their attention to prayer and ministry of the Word. Keep them above reproach, devoted to their families, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable and able to teach. May they be gentle and honest as they deal with people. (1 Tim. 5:17; Acts 6:4; 1 Tim. 3:1-2; Titus 1:7) (adapted from Prayers for Your Church, S. Higley)
In the Church, life never stands still! Ian McCree asks for prayer for our new Kirk Session as it meets on 11th January for the first time – two weeks today! Ian will continue as our Interim Moderator
He asks for ‘prayer for myself as I become locum at Halkirk, Watten and Bower at the beginning of January 2018.’
"Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." (Will Rogers)
With the Union of the parishes happening soon we ask God to help us move on to what is to be the new situation and not to dwell on what is in the past and really can't be changed.
Another year has almost gone and 2018 lies ahead. What will it hold? Let’s take comfort from the fact that our God knows! He has gone ahead and He will surely give us all that we need – just when we need it!
Sunday 31st First Sunday after Christmas Ps 148; Luke 2.22-40
K & Cb-Joint Service in Keiss- Lyall
Og & Dt- Joint service in Dunnet - Lyall
God who is love, thank you for those people who inspire us by the way in which they make your love real for others. May our worship always be authentic and our love always be sincere. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (World Mission Council Issue 80 Oct/Nov ’17)
This prayer diary is produced monthly by and for the four congregations in our Caithness linkage:
Canisbay Church of Scotland SCO 32164
Dunnet Church of Scotland SCO 30261
Keiss Church of Scotland SCO 10874
Olrig Church of Scotland SCO 11353
We trust its regular use will strengthen the bond between our congregations as we share news and support one another.
This diary also goes by e-mail to a growing number of friends throughout Scotland and we are sincerely grateful for their interest and support.
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