Prayer Diary

Hillside Methodist Church

[Quotations from the Bible are taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) and are shown in italics.]

“Change and decay in everything I see. O Thou who changest not, abide with me.”

Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13 v8.

Let us worship our unchanging God in a changing world. Our lives have been changed over the past year or so and we are often left wondering what the future holds. We know that we can rely on God.

Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing. James 1 v17.

September 1st (Wednesday) We fight amongst ourselves, in families, in church, in our nation and against other groups of people or nations. God has commanded this to stop. Let’s ask God to teach us obedience to his rule. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.

1 Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn’t it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?   2 You want something you don’t have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won’t get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it.   3 Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons. James 4 v1-3.

9 God brings wars to an end all over the world. He breaks the arrows, shatters the spears, and burns the shields. 10 Our God says, “Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honour me.” Psalm 46 v9-10.

September 2nd (Thursday) Pray for our youth and all the youth of Zimbabwe. Many face an uncertain future which causes stress. Unemployment, disruption to education and a lack of opportunities to meet with others and give and receive support are all part of their changing world.

17 When his people pray for help, he listens and rescues them from their troubles.  18 The LORD is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. Psalm 34 v17-18.

September 3rd (Friday) Pray today for our Sunday School children and their teachers, that we may soon be able to meet and learn and worship together.

1 About this time the disciples came to Jesus and asked him who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.   2 Jesus called a child over and had the child stand near him.   3 Then he said: I promise you this. If you don’t change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.   4 But if you are as humble as this child, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.   5 And when you welcome one of these children because of me, you welcome me. Matthew 18 v1-5.

September 4th (Saturday) Let’s pray for the elderly today, especially remembering those who need extra care. Ask God to show us how we can be helpful. Pray that they may know God’s unchanging care for them.

12 Good people will prosper like palm trees, and they will grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.   13 They will take root in your house, LORD God, and they will do well.   14 They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful, even when they are old.  15 And they will say about you, “The LORD always does right! God is our mighty rock.” Psalm 92 v12-15.

September 5th (Sunday) Let’s thank God for His written word.  As we listen to the Bible readings in today’s services, whether face to face or online, may God speak clearly to us. As we hear the preachers explain God’s message to us, let us be thankful for God’s unchanging good news and let us allow the unchanging word to change us.

22 You obeyed the truth, and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart.  23 Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever.   24 The Scriptures say, “Humans wither like grass, and their glory fades like wild flowers. Grass dries up, and flowers fall to the ground. 25  But what the Lord has said will stand forever.” Our good news to you is what the Lord has said. 1 Peter 1 v22-25.

September 6th (Monday) Remember today all who have suffered economically because of the disruptions of lockdowns and restrictions. Pray that the economic situation may improve soon. May God show us how to help each other.

6 On this mountain the LORD All-Powerful will prepare for all nations a feast of the finest foods. Choice wines and the best meats will be served. 7 Here the LORD will strip away the burial clothes that cover the nations. 8 The LORD All-Powerful will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears. No longer will his people be insulted everywhere. The LORD has spoken! 9 At that time, people will say, “The LORD has saved us! Let’s celebrate. We waited and hoped – now our God is here.” 10 The powerful arm of the LORD will protect this mountain. Isaiah 25 v6-10.

September 7th (Tuesday) Let us pray today for Christian businessmen and women as they struggle to keep businesses going in this economic climate.  May God give them wisdom and strength to earn, to share and to serve.

9 My disciples, I tell you to use wicked wealth to make friends for yourselves. Then when it is gone, you will be welcomed into an eternal home.   10 Anyone who can be trusted in little matters can also be trusted in important matters. But anyone who is dishonest in little matters will be dishonest in important matters.   11 If you cannot be trusted with this wicked wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?   12 And if you cannot be trusted with what belongs to someone else, who will give you something that will be your own?   13 You cannot be the slave of two masters. You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than to the other. You cannot serve God and money. Luke 16 v9-13.

September 8th (Wednesday) Pray for those who are tasked with upholding justice in Zimbabwe and elsewhere – the police, lawyers and magistrates.  Ask that God will guide their decisions.

23 Here are some more sayings that make good sense: When you judge, you must be fair. 24 If you let the guilty go free, people of all nations will hate and curse you. 25 But if you punish the guilty, things will go well for you, and you will prosper. . . . 28 Don’t accuse anyone who isn’t guilty. Don’t ever tell a lie   29 or say to someone, “I’ll get even with you!” Proverbs 24 v23-25, 28-29.

September 9th (Thursday) Pray for social justice for all in Zimbabwe and the world. Pray for the success of the Gender and Justice Department of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, with God using us to show his will for our community.

6 I’ll tell you what it really means to worship the LORD. Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly. Free those who are abused! 7 Share your food with everyone who is hungry; share your home with the poor and homeless. Give clothes to those in need; don’t turn away your relatives. . . . 9 . . . Don’t mistreat others or falsely accuse them or say something cruel. Isaiah 58 v6-7, 9 (part).

September 10th (Friday) Pray today for people outside the church. Life seems directionless, like being swept along in a flood. Ask God to help us to show others that Jesus is an unchanging rock of safety where we can build our lives on a firm foundation.

5 Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him.   6 God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.   7 God saves me and honours me. He is that mighty rock where I find safety.   8 Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety. Psalm 62 v5-8.

September 11th (Saturday) Let’s pray for children now back at school after a long break and trying to catch up on lost time. Pray also for teachers, doing their best to prepare their classes for examinations.

9 What do we gain by all of our hard work?   10 I have seen what difficult things God demands of us.   11 God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future.   12 I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life,   13 because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do.   14 Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship him. Ecclesiastes 3 v9-14.

September 12th (Sunday) Youth in Action Week starts today.  Let us thank God for the youth in our church and their leaders.  Pray that they may continue to grow closer to God.  May they trust in Him for their future.

3 The LORD gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. 4 So always trust the LORD because he is forever our mighty rock. Isaiah 26 v3-4.

September 13th (Monday) Let’s pray today for orphans, for child-headed families and for widows and grandparents who are struggling to support their families. May they know that the Lord is with them.  Pray for organisations helping them. How can we also help?

5 The LORD God of Jacob blesses everyone who trusts him and depends on him.   6 God made heaven and earth; he created the sea and everything else. God always keeps his word.   7 He gives justice to the poor and food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free   8 and heals blind eyes. He gives a helping hand to everyone who falls. The LORD loves good people   9 and looks after strangers. He defends the rights of orphans and widows, but destroys the wicked. Psalm 146 v5-9.

September 14th (Tuesday) Let us pray today for girls who have been forced into “marriages” at an early age and for those made pregnant when they are not ready. Ask God to stir people (including us, where we can) to support them, to move the authorities to take action to curb this increasing problem and to see that these girls can complete their education.

52 Everyone was crying and weeping for the girl. But Jesus said, “The child isn’t dead. She is just asleep.”   53 The people laughed at him because they knew she was dead.  54 Jesus took hold of the girl’s hand and said, “Child, get up!”   55 She came back to life and got right up. Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Luke 8 v52-55.

September 15th (Wednesday) Let’s continue to pray all this week for the success of the Youth in Action Week. Let’s give our support where we can to their programme. Pray for their leaders and advisors.

4 The LORD said: 5 “Jeremiah, I am your Creator, and before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” 6 I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, LORD, and I’m too young.” 7 “Don’t say you’re too young,” the LORD answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word!   8 I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.” Jeremiah 1 v4-8.

September 16th (Thursday) Pray for the education system in Zimbabwe, struggling with a shortage of funding and trying to develop relevant curricula with appropriate teaching, learning and assessment styles. Pray for the administrators, boards of governors and school development committees. Pray especially for our Methodist Schools at Thekwane and Matjinge.

5 You, LORD God, have done many wonderful things, and you have planned marvellous things for us. No one is like you! I would never be able to tell all you have done.  6 Sacrifices and offerings are not what please you; gifts and payment for sin are not what you demand. But you made me willing to listen and obey. Psalm 40 v5-6.

September 17th (Friday) Pray today for the members of the MCU, who have planned their Circuit Get Together for this coming Sunday (19th). Pray also for all the uniformed and non-uniformed organisations in the church, trying to make plans in a volatile situation.

25 In the beginning, LORD, you laid the earth’s foundation and created the heavens.   26 They will all disappear and wear out like clothes. You change them, as you would a coat, but you last forever.   27 You are always the same. Years cannot change you.   28 Every generation of those who serve you will live in your presence. Psalm 102 v25-28.

September 18th (Saturday) Today is set for the Local Preachers’ Examinations. We have four On Trial Preachers in our Circuit: Mrs Chakoma, Mrs Chagudhuma, Mrs Mariga and Mrs Marara. There are also three On Note: Mrs Gutu, Mr Hove and Mr Makovere. Pray for each one of them and for all the Lay Preachers in the Circuit.

18 So they called the two apostles back in and told them that they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus.  19 Peter and John answered, “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him?   20 We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4 v18-20.

September 19th (Sunday) Youth in Action Week ends today. Let’s pray today for our ministerial staff: Rev Bekithemba Phiri, Rev Nobuhle Sibanda, Rev Margaret James and for our District Bishop, Rev Matthew Ncube.

27 I have worked and struggled and spent many sleepless nights. I have gone hungry and thirsty and often had nothing to eat. I have been cold from not having enough clothes to keep me warm.   28 Besides everything else, each day I am burdened down, worrying about all the churches.   29 When others are weak, I am weak too. When others are tricked into sin, I get angry. 2 Corinthians 11 v27-29.

September 20th (Monday) Let’s pray today for Afghanistan and other countries which have been experiencing turmoil and uncertainty. Pray especially for those who are living in fear of attack. Our God is in control and He is our source of help. Everyone, no matter how powerful they seem, will come to face God.

1 Why do the nations plot, and why do their people make useless plans? 2 The kings of this earth have all joined together to turn against the LORD and his chosen one.  . . .  10 Be smart, all you rulers, and pay close attention.   11 Serve and honour the LORD; be glad and tremble.   12 Show respect to his son because if you don’t, the LORD might become furious and suddenly destroy you. But he blesses and protects everyone who runs to him. Psalm 2 v1-2, 10-12.

September 21st (Tuesday) Let us pray today for efforts being made to mitigate the effects of climate change throughout the world.

1 God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.   2 And so, we won’t be afraid! Let the earth tremble and the mountains tumble into the deepest sea.   3 Let the ocean roar and foam, and its raging waves shake the mountains. Psalm 46 v1-3.

September 22nd (Wednesday) Let’s continue to thank God for the wonderful harvests that followed such a good rainy season. Experts are predicting another good season from October 2021 to March 2022. Let’s ask God to cause this to be another blessing for Zimbabwe.

1 I, the LORD, am the one who sends storm clouds and showers of rain to make fields produce. So when the crops need rain, you should pray to me. Zechariah 10 v1.

September 23rd (Thursday) Pray today for our brothers and sisters in the church throughout the world who are suffering deadly persecution because they belong to Jesus. In other places, Christians are ridiculed or suffer discrimination when looking for employment, higher education or positions of responsibility.

1 I have a lot of enemies, LORD. Many fight against   2 me and say, “God won’t rescue you!”   3 But you are my shield, and you give me victory and great honour.   4 I pray to you, and you answer from your sacred hill.   5 I sleep and wake up refreshed because you, LORD, protect me.   6 Ten thousand enemies attack from every side, but I am not afraid.  7 Come and save me, LORD God! Break my enemies’ jaws and shatter their teeth,   8 because you protect and bless your people. Psalm 3 v1-8.

September 24th (Friday) Pray today for all who help to prepare us for Sunday worship, including Patience organising readers and prayer leaders, Simon preparing the room and furniture, those who meet us at the door, the worship team who prepare songs and lead the worship, vestry stewards, Communion stewards, Bible readers and those who lead the prayers, flower arrangers, members who share words of welcome and encouragement, others who pray for our service, those who prepare online worship and of course our preachers.

4 A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use.   5 That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.  6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have.   7 If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach.   8 If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully. Romans 12 v4-8.

September 25th (Saturday) Let’s pray today for all who are suffering from loneliness, stress, depression and discouragement. Let’s remember to be ready to care for people around us where we can, or get help.

1 You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. You protect me, and I have no fears. . . .  4 I ask only one thing, LORD: Let me live in your house every day of my life to see how wonderful you are and to pray in your temple. 5 In times of trouble, you will protect me. You will hide me in your tent and keep me safe on top of a mighty rock. Psalm 27 v1, 4-5.

September 26th (Sunday) Many people are facing change due to illness or bereavements at this time.  Let us remember them and ask that they may know God’s unchanging presence and comfort as they go through difficult times.

3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.   4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever. Revelation 21 v3-4.

September 27th (Monday) Pray today for people around the world who live in places of war or other deadly conflict; ordinary people like us, their children and grandchildren, with everyday life destroyed.

6 I have spent too much time living among people who hate peace.   7 I am in favour of peace, but when I speak of it, all they want is war. Psalm 120 v6-7.

September 28th (Tuesday) Let us pray today for people around the world who have escaped suffering at home, but now face being refugees or internally displaced persons, regarded with suspicion and fear wherever they go. Pray that they will find understanding, compassion, friendship, safety and a new start in life.

1 Keep being concerned about each other as the LORD’S followers should.  2 Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.  3 Remember the LORD’S people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don’t forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them. Hebrews 13 v1-3.

September 29th (Wednesday) Let’s thank God for our families and friends who care for us and receive our care, even though some are far away. We pray for each one with thanks and requests for God’s blessings on them and us.

34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you.   35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples. John 13 v34-35.

7 Everything will soon come to an end. So be serious and be sensible enough to pray.  8 Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins. 1 Peter 4 v7-8.

September 30th (Thursday) Remember that God is in control. At such a time as this our help comes from God. Let’s trust in Him and obey Him.  Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

3 Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.  4 He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.   5 We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives.   6 We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved. And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours.   7 You never disappoint us. You suffered as much as we did, and we know that you will be comforted as we were. 2 Corinthians 1 v3-7.

1 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.   2 We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne!  3 So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up. Hebrews 12 v1-3.

The Hillside Methodist Church Prayer Diary can also be emailed to you (just ask and we can add you to the list of recipients). There was usually a print edition, which would be distributed at the door of the church on the last Sunday before the beginning of the month and we will probably resume this when circumstances change.

The Prayer Diary has changed its format:
it is no longer constrained by the space available on a sheet of A4 paper, because we are not making a printed edition for the foreseeable future.