It's the most wonderful time of the year!!
Why not pause for thought, reflection and prayer each day in Advent. In our Advent Prayer Diary you will find a short verse from the Bible, an Advent nudge/reflection and then someone/place/event or group to pray for. Please take a moment with the words provided to pause for thought/prayer/reflection each day.
Sunday 29th Nov.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:2
Reflection: You bypass every security code we devise (even encrypted) to open our hearts and tiptoe in.
Pray for: our 4 parishes of St Andrew’s, St Thomas’, St Paul’s & All Saints – as we begin our Advent journey & all who will visit our churches this month.
Monday 30th Nov.
‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ Matthew 21:5
Reflection: Look, our salvation is coming, so poor as to be born in a barn, right into the mess of our world.
Pray for the clergy - Martin, Val & Mark & their families and friends who support them.
Tuesday 1st Dec.
Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, “Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself”?’ Matthew 21:16b
Reflection: Today, listen to the carols babbled by babies, to the Hosannas sung by toddlers!
Pray for: The Whitfield Centre for the blind & visually impaired.
Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.’ Matthew 21:31b
Reflction: Following the asylum seekers, the rough sleepers, the innkeepers, the street sweepers: we find our way into your kingdom.
Pray for: All Guides/Brownies/Rainbows/Scouts/Cubs/Beavers groups – those who attend and volunteer.
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. 2 Peter 3:14–15a
Reflection: In the waiting, may we find patience; in the patience, may we find peace; in the peace, may we find you.
Pray for: Fairfield Special School – staff and students & All local schools – students, teachers, support staff & governors.
Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:15
Reflection: When love becomes as natural as breathing, and justice welcomes all without reservation, we will truly know God’s grace.
Pray For: Quest youth group at All Saints – for young people & volunteers.
Event: ‘Thinking about Christmas’ Coffee afternoon at All Saints (2pm)
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. Amos 5:24
Reflection: When we are tempted to believe that there is only enough justice to dampen the tips of our toes – sweep us off our feet with your raging torrent of righteousness.
Pray for: Dewsbury & Pinderfields Hospitals – all staff & patients and visitors. All GPs & surgeries/staff.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6
Reflection: Let everything I touch - I see - be an instrument of your praise!
Pray for: Our Readers – Tineke, David & Anne and all lay pastoral ministers. Pray for all who lead worship & musicians.
Events: Soroptimists Carol Service at St Paul’s (3pm) Advent Meditation at All Saints (4pm)
O Lord God, forgive, I beg you! How can Jacob stand? He is so small! Amos 7:2b
Reflection: Take the wind out of our sails, deflate our puffed up egos, puncture our pomposity, till we are small enough to cradle in your heart.
Pray for: All who represent our parishes on Deanery, Diocesan and General Synods. & pray for Monday clubs/gangs at St Thomas’, St Andrew’s & St Paul’s.
Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. Matthew 22:36–38
Reflection: God, enlarge our hearts, so we become compassionate. Deepen our souls, so we may overflow with your grace. Broaden our minds, so we discover you in each person. Fill us with your love,
so we may share it each and every day.
Pray for: all other ministers/churches/chapels in the area.
Event: Advent Service at All Saints – those on Step Forward & in house groups.
They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues. Matthew 23:6
Reflection: When we long for the best seats in the house, hand us a ticket for the last row in the balcony, where you wait for us.
Pray for: Our neighbours/friends from other faiths – in particular our Muslim neighbours & for IMWS, PKWA & all mosques. Work of Near Neighbours and all working to bring people of different faiths together.
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5
Reflection: In the silence may I find hope. In hope, may I find trust. In trust, may I find you.
Pray for: Kirkwood Hospice – for all patients & staff. And for all those sick in body, mind or spirit & families/friends who care for them.
In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came … Haggai 1:1
Reflection: In this year, in this month, on this day, may your Word come, in the way we least expect.
Pray for: St Paul’s Mothers Union Evening (7.30pm)
Event: All Saints’ Family Christmas Movie Night (7pm)
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands – O prosper the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17
Reflection: Bless us, Lord, not so we become rich, but so more can be fed, sheltered, graced, loved – for this is our work!
Pray for: The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales – Bishop Jonathan, Archdeacon Anne & all who work for the Diocese
Event: All Saints Christmas Fair (11am–4pm)
On that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old. Amos 9:11
Reflection: From the ruins of our lives, you create a new community; from those days we would rather forget, you weave your future.
Pray for: our Sunday Schools – children & leaders.
Event: Christingle at St Paul’s (4pm)
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:17
Reflection: Let me remember those so poor that no one notices; those we forget as soon as we push them out of our way.
Pray for: Batley Care & Drop In – all who visit and the volunteers. For all who are homeless & those who seek to help.
Event: Bywell School Christingle Service at St Paul’s - Please pray for all staff, students, support staff & governors
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 33:5
Reflection: In this holy season, may we love righteousness more than receiving gifts, justice more than the jingles in stores.
Pray for: Luncheon Club at St Paul’s Hall – all who attend & volunteer -for our working together as Methodists & Anglicans.
… and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal. Revelation 4:6a
Reflection: May we cast all our worries, fears and doubts into the crystal sea, so we may be filled with your holy presence.
Pray for; All Parish Church Councils - Church Wardens & Deputies – Secretaries – Treasurers - Members
The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. Psalm 18:4–5
Reflection: You uncoil the cords of death from around us, so that they become the swaddling cloths of your birth.
Pray for: Batley Parish School Christmas Service at All Saints (2pm) – all students, teachers, support staff & governors.
For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them … Matthew 25:14
Reflection: May I be as willing to take risks with others, as you are with me.
Pray for: Hanging Heaton J+I School Christmas Service at St Paul’s (2.30pm) – all students, teachers, support staff & governors
For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. Matthew 25:35–36
Reflection: We search for you among the powerful and wealthy while you are with the kingdom’s citizens: the hungry, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned, the lost and the lonely.
Pray for: Our government & local MP’s - Jo Cox & Paula Sherriff. and for all our local councillors who serve our communities.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24:3–4
Reflection: Washing my hands with your gritty grace, I turn to follow you up kingdom’s hill.
Events: Service of Carols & Lessons @ St Andrews (9.30am) & All Saints (11am)
Christingles (4pm) at All Saints & St Andrews – the work of the Children’s Society
Crib Service (9.30am) & Carol Service (6pm) at St Thomas
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. Zephaniah 3:16
Reflection: On this day (and on all the days to come) let me say: ‘I will not fear. I will not fear.’
Pray for: All those housebound, lonely or bereaved.
Pray for Batley Community Choir.
Event: Carol Singing around Batley (7pm)
Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Luke 1:38
Reflection: Here am I – show me how and where and who I may serve.
Pray for all refugees - & all seeking a safe place to live and or all aid workers seeking to help
Event: Messy Christmas at St Thomas’ Church (6pm)
Our God comes and does not keep silence. Psalm 50:3a
Reflection: God-who-comes, may we hear your whoops of peace above the din of war; your songs of hope drowning out the oppressor’s orders; your carols of love silencing cries of hate.
Pray for: All who care for older people and for Linson Court Nursing Home, Batley
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water. Psalm 114:7–8
Reflection: In the silence and in the singing, in the wonder and in the trembling, in the togetherness and in the solitude, I wait …
Events: Crib Service at St Paul’s (4pm); Nativity Play at All Saints (6.30pm); Bethlehem ‘Midnight’ Mass (9.30pm) at St Thomas; Midnight Mass (11.30pm) at All Saints
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12
Reflection: In the faces of my family, in the stranger on the bus, in the refugee on the corner, in the neighbour above me, I see you swaddled in each one’s love.
Events: Christmas Communion at St Andrew’s (9.30am), St Thomas (9.30am), St Paul’s (11am) and All Saints (11am)