Resources

CW88 – Reconciliation: Walk and pray, care and share God’s love this Christmas with the Oikos app

By Catherine Butcher, HOPE Together

During 2021 Christians all over the UK have been using the Oikos prayer app to track where they have walked and prayed for their communities. The app was developed in the USA and was launched in the UK by Hope for Every Home as part of their Prayer Walk 21 challenge.

The Oikos Outreach App allows you to tag where you have prayed, cared and shared the love of Jesus with people in your street, road, lane… it starts wherever you are. The tags are saved on the app. You can see where you have been and where others have prayed, cared and shared too.

As the year-long Prayer Walk 21 challenge comes to an end, Sammy Jordan, project leader for Hope for Every Home, said: ‘It’s not too late to become part of a movement trying to reach the whole nation for Jesus street by street, home by home… to the last home. Don’t worry if you’ve never prayer-walked before. There are many ways to do it and you can find your own. Think of it as praying whilst you walk…but it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open!

“You might want to pray for particular things you see on your walk – people and places. You might want to ask God to help you notice things as you walk and pray about them.”

In the run-up to Christmas 2021 you could also use the app to track where you have delivered HOPE magazines with invitations to your in-person and online church events during the festive season.

“Do what the Lord is telling you to do, and trust that he’ll bring fruit from the seed you’ve planted!” That’s the simple but beautiful attitude to mission from David Morgan, an 80-year-old from the village of Cookhill in Worcestershire.

Alongside fellow members of the congregation at Cookhill Baptist Church, in partnership with local Anglicans, David has been finding creative ways to reach out to the people in their village. “The big challenge is to bridge the gap between practical activity and the spiritual message underlying it,’ said David. ‘And how to communicate with folk around us, which are mainly those we meet on daily dog-walks!”

One way in which Cookhill Baptist Church has shared the good news with their village has been through the distribution of HOPE’s magazines. They gave away 1,000 copies at Christmas 2020, as a way of the church maintaining its focus on looking outwards into the community.

David has found that giving out the magazines is most effective when it’s done face-to-face. He described how he always tries to identify an article that he knows will connect with someone’s particular interests. For example, the church organised some Easter-themed activities for local families and used that as a chance to pass out copies of the 2021 undated edition of HOPE for All. David is hoping and praying that God will use them to touch hearts in his community.

The HOPE magazines are published by Hope for Every Home in partnership with HOPE Together. Copies of the latest magazine are available from the HOPE shop – www.hopetogether.org.uk/shop. There are also resources for children and toddlers, as well as video courses and other resources.

 

Country Way 86 – February 2020

Read the latest Country Way here, or download the PDF version

Rogation 2020: A prayer walk for individuals

Rogation comes from the Latin word for ask and was originally about asking God’s blessing on the emerging crops. Our farming year is different, and the crops are well on their way by the time Rogation comes, but they still need a blessing. This year more than ever our communities also need to feel God’s blessing. In your daily exercise time, why not walk around your community and pray for
it?

Here are some suggestions of readings and prayers for different places in the community. The readings are there to give ideas of how our concerns for the community are reflected in the Bible. You may not want to take those with you but read them beforehand and use the prayers as you walk.

Of course, you may not have all the places mentioned in your village just use what you need. If there are places we have not thought of, why not write you own prayer?

Make sure to abide by current social distancing guidelines.

A coronavirus prayer

God of healing, surround us with your love as together we negotiate the complexities of coronavirus. Guide us all as we seek to support one another. Help us to be attentive to the lonely, the isolated, the fearful and those who are ill.

Mindful of the geographical isolation of many rural communities, we pray for everyone involved in the effective provision of food, medical supplies and pastoral care.

In the name of Jesus Christ, who walks alongside us in our difficulties. Amen.

A coronavirus prayer

We bring before you O Lord, our fears of the coronavirus: it feels our life structure has changed. We are all in turmoil, not having answers to problems over family, over business, over our future as a nation. Being in isolation from one another, unable to meet socially, to shake hands, to hug, to share a drink together and fellowship.

We pray for those apprehensive over isolation from family, for those suffering from the virus, for those in hospital, the doctors carers and nurses tending those in need. This we pray in your name. Amen.

Submitted by Alan Hewitt, Dunham Massey.

CW76: The Village Prayer Mission

Almost every day we are likely to find ourselves asking someone how they are. In many situations this is little more than a polite greeting, but sometimes the question is asked sincerely. I was brought up to understand that ‘How do you do?‘ was not an invitation to pour out a list of all that is wrong in our lives. However, between friends it can be a genuine invitation to share personal information. In such circumstances I sometimes feel prompted to offer to pray for that person; I am no longer surprised that the offer is often well received.

CW76: Thy Kingdom Come in Shopshire

In December 2016, Mark Rylands, Bishop of Shrewsbury, called together a small ecumenical team to consider how we might best utilize the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative in Shropshire. Some of our group went to the launch of Thy Kingdom Come in Lambeth and returned with samples of material available which the team publicized at every available opportunity, in particular through local Churches Together groups.

Service for horses and riders

CW75: When I was in prison…

Chaz was on the run from prison and went to visit his ex-girlfriend who told him she had become a Christian. He writes:

‘She told me that God loved me and could change my life if I would ask him in to my heart. She told me that God wanted to forgive my past and this is why Jesus died on the cross. That night I thought about what she had said. I was sick of my life and wanted to change, but knew I couldn’t do it on my own. The next day I handed myself in at the police station and they took me to Lincoln prison. When I arrived, I put my name down for chapel. The next day I went to chapel and gave my life to Jesus.

Short Lammas Service

A short service to be used during lammastide