Thank you for joining us in praying for Scripture Union's work!
Week Beginning November 29
This week's prayers relate to this article about the Revealing Jesus mission framework – a new way for churches to journey into faith with the 95% of children and young people not in church.
Thank God for the new framework and for the new collections we’re publishing to resource it. Pray that he will use it to reach the 95 across England and Wales.
Pray for churches as they are planning for 2021 post-COVID. Ask God to envision them to build relationships with the 95 in their communities through becoming hubs for Faith Guides.
We’re really excited to be training new Faith Guides in this season. Pray for them as they prepare to accompany children and young people on their faith journey.
Pray for the 12 million children and young people in England and Wales who aren’t connected with a church. Pray that they will take opportunities to connect with Faith Guides in their communities and start the journey.
As children and young people start to explore the Christian faith with their Faith Guides, pray that they will be intrigued by what they are hearing about God’s love for them.
Join with us to pray that the 95 would hear the personal invitation for them to respond to God’s love. Pray that this would be the start of a lifelong journey of faith.
Pray that those who respond would continue to grow in their faith. Pray for Grow Communities as they start, that they would be safe spaces that facilitate authentic discipleship for these new Christians.
Week Beginning December 6
Elections are due to be held in Uganda in January. SU Uganda asks us to pray for peace during the run up and in the elections, and that God’s will might be seen in the choice of leader.
Pray for regional team leader Simon Barker and the central regional team as they meet today to formulate future plans, asking that they may have God’s wisdom as they seek the way forward at a challenging time.
Please pray for Local Mission Partners Brentwood Schools Christian Worker Trust and Watford Schools Trust who are producing online Christmas lessons for their local schools. Pray that these will communicate clearly the message of Christmas and that the pupils will respond.
Some of our summer missions are planning outreach events in the run-up to Christmas. Pray for creativity for the teams putting these together, that they will find new ways to share Jesus with those they had connections with, in the summer.
Christmas is normally a key time of year for Christian Union events and outreach. Please pray that no matter what restrictions are in place in schools and colleges, Christian students supported by National Mission Partner Festive will still be bold in sharing the meaning of Christmas among their friends.
Thank God for all that we learnt over the summer about providing content in digital form. Pray that we may continue to find ways of communicating in the context of COVID-19, and that we may have the ability to be flexible in the light of changing circumstances and varying church situations.
Pray that when they meet next Tuesday, Keren Mallinson (Director of Mission Development), Gemma Willis (Head of Development Hub), Richard Shaw (Head of Regional Mission), Richard Witham (Sports Mission Leader) and Jo Morley (Head of Mission Event Operations), will be wise as they consider mission and content opportunities in 2021.
Week Beginning December 13
This week's prayers relate to our Christmas appeal, which you can find out all about here.
Praise God for his extraordinary love for every person on earth, for longing so much for us all to be reconciled to him that he sent his own Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour. Take a few moments to consider what that means in your own life.
Please pray for God to draw close to children and young people who are fearful, lonely or depressed this Christmas, so that they sense his presence and know his comfort.
Please ask God to prepare the hearts of children and young people to receive his wonderful message of hope this Christmas.
Praise God that he continues to open up so many new opportunities and new ways for SU, our church and Local Mission Partners and volunteers to share his love, in spite of restrictions.
Give thanks to God for his faithfulness, and that he will continue to provide all that we need – prayer, finances, volunteers – to share the good news of Jesus at this critically important time.
Please pray for God to inspire our Mission Enablers, our church and Local Mission Partners to share the good news of Jesus with children and young people without church backgrounds so that they can truly understand its significance for their lives.
Please pray that through his Spirit, God will water the spiritual seeds that we sow this Christmas, to raise up a new generation of children and young people that choose to make Jesus Lord of their lives.
Week Beginning December 20
SU Slovakia is thankful for the opportunity of creating new teaching resources during lockdown. Pray that the resources will continue to be helpful for children’s workers. Pray too that their new website will be well used and will help to create a bigger pool of supporters.
Local Mission Partner Engage working in Woking gives thanks for the opportunity to support students through mentoring sessions at secondary schools. Pray for the team as they continue to adapt to new ways of working.
Book of Wonders is designed to enthuse children with creation, to explore their place in the universe and to meet Jesus. Pray that children who receive it, perhaps as a Christmas present, will discover more about the love of Jesus through looking at the world.
Thank God for his faithfulness and his provision and pray that we will be good stewards of the donations and legacies we have received. Please pray that at the end of a tough year our supporters would really know God’s peace over the Christmas period.
As we think about how best to relate to different cultures, pray that we may better understand how to make Jesus known to children and young people in our diverse society with all the challenges that it brings.
As we celebrate the birth of the Saviour, pray that all those children who have received copies of the Christmas story book God Became Like Me? will read it and want to discover more about Jesus for themselves.
The latest online resource for Guardians of Ancora is a 24-session programme on The Life of Jesus based on the Bible stories in the app, together with information and advice to help leaders get the most from the resources. Pray for those around the world using it and for the children who will hear the good news of Jesus in this way.
Week Beginning December 27
In Bangladesh the pandemic has taken away many sources of income and left many unemployed. Children have been deprived of food and young people left without hope for the future. Pray for SU Bangladesh as they seek to support these children and young people and for their safety as incidents of violence, abuse, rape and trafficking have increased during this time.
Local Mission Partner Re:generation Harrow is looking to appoint a secondary schools worker during 2021. Please pray that God will lead them to the right person.
Local Mission Partner Fleet and Crookham Churches Together in Schools gives thanks for a well-received video of the It’s Your Move lesson the team made and for the successful recruitment of two part-time schools workers and one intern. Pray that they may have the imagination and opportunity to bring the Christian faith alive for children in local schools.
Please pray for Mission Enabler Lisa Jones as she partners with other organisations in the south-east seeking to provide online training events. Thank God for the well-attended online training events in September (Wellbeing in the new normal) and October (Online evangelism).
Pray for Content Innovators Leanne Sheppard and Esther Calvert-Jordan working on content for the Faith Guide Hub to support Faith Guides in all four mission stages for the 95 faith journey; Leanne on Rooted Junior material and Esther on Go Wild – pray that this material will be used more widely.
Please pray that the Faith Guides in the south-east who are being supported by regional team leader Ben Poch will be encouraged and equipped to journey with the 95, helping them to grow in faith.
Give thanks that the Development Hub has been able to continue to produce content despite the changes in working arrangements for the team and various suppliers during lockdown. Pray that as conditions continue to change the staff may have the flexibility and imagination to respond.
Week Beginning January 3
SU Mauritius praises God for the changes in several young people receiving school support, a decrease in violent and aggressive behaviour and an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence. One young person has decided to follow Jesus. Pray for more leaders and carers to undertake this work.
The Mission Events team is starting to plan online gatherings in March for those who will be leading holidays and missions this year. Pray that although there is uncertainty about the programme later in the year, leaders will be inspired for the year ahead.
Jane Webber of Local Mission Partner Schools Christian Worker Project in Oswestry and District used time when she could not go into schools to develop interactive lessons for the new Sex and Relationships Curriculum to offer either online or in person. Please pray that these will be well received and the important issues in this curriculum can be delivered in a balanced and godly way.
Pray for churches who work alongside SU in reaching the 95 and have found the last year extremely challenging. Pray that they may have wisdom, strength and perseverance.
Please pray for the Board members of Local Mission Partner PSALMS (working around Stroud in Gloucestershire) as they meet today. Give thanks for their time and dedication and pray that God’s wisdom and grace will guide their discussions.
Pray for Mission Enablers in the regions as they conduct pilot projects exploring ways in which the new mission framework might work out in a Local Mission Partner context, that God will help them to see clear ways forward.
Local Mission Partner COINS who work in Newbury gives thanks for the creativity shown by volunteers, the openness of schools in the area and the Harvest Festival Assembly on YouTube. Pray for guidance in moving forward with more digital resources.
Week Beginning January 10
In Papua New Guinea, SU are receiving a very positive response on social media to their Scripture memory videos called ‘WORDoutLOUD’. Pray that more people will participate in these Scripture memory videos so that they may grow in faith.
The Curtains Up! holiday would normally have a weekend reunion but are planning an online reunion this week after a successful online holiday last summer. Pray that this will encourage the young people in their faith journey.
With uncertainty about how the holidays and missions programme will look in the coming months, please pray especially for those who are stepping into leadership for the first time. Among these are Alison Clark in Hexham, Cath Hawes in Potters Bar, and Phil Maltby on the Kestrels holiday.
Give thanks for the many Scripture Union movements around the world who are using Guardians of Ancora in their mission with children. Please pray for the newest English-speaking partners: SU Trinidad and Tobago, SU Uganda and the eight movements in Australia (ACT; New South Wales; Northern Territory; Queensland; South Australia; Tasmania; Victoria; Western Australia), as they find ways to use the app.
Pray for Mission Enabler Sarah Davison as she continues to connect with Faith Guides in the north-west, and for the young people she supports through Rooted Hubs asking that they may grow in understanding and faith.
Please pray for the Regional Mission Team leaders as they meet today asking that they may know God’s leading and may understand how best to implement the new Revealing Jesus mission framework.
Pray for our Finance team (Dave Parsons, Alicia Wallace, Maureen Okwara and Tracey Bell) as they begin to plan how to move from our existing largely paper-based systems to an automated one. One of the pressures which made it hard for the team to work from home was the level of dependence on paper records which are stored at the national office.
Week Beginning January 17
SU Sweden recently launched the '10:14' app for mobile devices. It is a resource for family devotions, geared for young people aged 10–14 years and designed to take 10–14 minutes per day. The name also refers to Mark 10:14. Pray that many people will discover and use this resource.
Changes in schools because of coronavirus have required changes to Shine (the programme encouraging and enabling young people to share their faith). Filming of the material designed for last autumn was not possible, so the strong theme has been held over for this year; plans are in hand to produce some interim material. Pray for discussions to be held this week.
Pray for south-west regional team leader Margaret Lilley and the team as they meet with Mission Partner South West Youth Ministries today. Pray that they may see how to maximise their resources to make Jesus known to the 95 in the region.
Thank God for the continued opportunities, particularly assemblies, that Local Mission Partner Christian Initiative to Schools in Letchworth have had in schools despite the restrictions that have been in place.
Local Mission Partner GenR8 usually run their Xcellr8 residential weekend for children aged 8–11 in February. Please pray that whatever form it takes they will be able to share the good news of Jesus and help children to respond to him.
Neil Jackson, Mission Enabler in the north-east and Yorkshire, asks us to pray for Faith Guide William who is a skilled footballer. He is hoping to use this as a way of connecting with families in the area. Pray for the development of good relationships and a growing sense of community.
Nova Street Team, supported by Mission Enabler Toby Chant, deliver street-based youth work, connecting with children and young people in Torbay and South Devon. Pray for the opportunity to connect with new groups of young people.
Week Beginning January 24
SU South Australia asks us to pray for the launch of ‘My Tribe’ in churches as a ministry of ‘GENTS’ (Grade Eight, Nine & Ten Students) Camp, helping men to become more involved in establishing a discipleship culture in their churches.
A number of schools have asked Trevor Ranger of Local Mission Partner Synergy for prerecorded assembly videos or live online assemblies. This year’s theme is ‘What is God like?’ and will explore the nature and character of God. Pray that these assemblies will engage the children.
The planning team is working towards the Scripture Union Conference in May 2021; pray that they will produce a programme which will enable those who attend to see the opportunities created by the new mission framework and to catch the vision. Pray too for speakers and workshop leaders as they prepare material.
Sue Clutterham of Local Mission Partner Archway (working in villages in Northamptonshire) is hoping to reinstate the Tea, Toast and Toys groups when circumstances permit. Pray for wisdom as they organise these within restrictions and for new people to join the groups.
Pray for Sue Winning as she pulls together the papers for the Board meeting on 4 February and for the Board as they meet, thanking God for the skills they bring and the time they make available to provide leadership to the movement.
Local Mission Partner Farne Churches Youth and Family Outreach work in four primary schools; pray for the development of the work, for ongoing enthusiasm and motivation amongst their volunteers and for the trustees as they seek God for the future direction of the work.
SU Ministries Trust, Local Mission Partner on the Isle of Man, has a residential course planned at the end of February for emerging leaders. Pray for the most appropriate way of running this and for the next generation of leaders on the Isle of Man.
Week Beginning January 31
SU USA were able to run ‘PrimeTime’ after-school clubs successfully on Zoom; pray for wisdom as to future direction especially on how and when to resume face-to-face meeting and for work on a new programme for ages 14–16 called ‘PrimeTime Plus’.
Guardianes de Ancora (the Spanish version) may be live in Spanish speaking countries around the world, by the time you read this! Producing the app in the pandemic has been challenging but the SU teams across Latin America, USA and Spain are eager to use it in their mission and ministry.
Pray for Meg Stone and Fran Jenkins of Penuel Chapel in Roch, the first Faith Guides in Wales, as they look to build from Connect and Explore to Respond and Grow type activities with the children in their outreach group. Pray for the team in Wales as they recruit and support more Faith Guides.
With schools and colleges being their main place of work, Local Mission Partner Christians for Education in North Wales asks for prayer that the regulations they need to keep won’t be a barrier to delivering really good mental health support to the children and young people who otherwise would not know the love of Jesus.
Join with Local Mission Partner Contagious in Alnwick in giving thanks to God for the appointment of new Youth and Schools Worker Jessica McArdle and the developments that they are seeing especially in ecumenical youth work in the area. Pray that they may see clearly how God would have them build on this.
Pray for Local Mission Partner Faith in Schools (Newham) as they commission their RE resources designed to enable churches to deliver lessons in their local schools and for their plans to develop chaplaincy.
Pray that the Rooted Grow Journal for young people starting on their faith journey will help them to grow in their relationship with God.
Week Beginning February 7
Please pray for the development of SU Estonia’s campsite. They had two camps there last year but are still working hard to comply with some official demands that are difficult to fulfil. Pray for wisdom to make the right decisions, for obedience, faith and for God to work.
Pray that churches and other organisations who are making plans to use the new Easter story booklet to share the good news of Easter will be able to get it into the right places and that they may be able to build relationships which will in time lead to faith.
Local Mission Partner Christian Schools Workers Hastings asks for prayer for God to open up more and greater opportunities to work with local secondary academies and that face-to-face JAFFA Clubs for primary schools will soon be possible.
Thank God for It’s Your Move which has been given to more than 1.6 million children since 2001. Pray for churches and other organisations as they make plans to use it this year to reach out and give confidence to Year 6 pupils to make the move to secondary school.
Mission Enabler Chris Eales is working with Local Mission Partner Bodmin Youth Project. There are a number of opportunities for mission activity; please pray that they may know God’s guidance and see his provision.
Pray that as writers of Bible Reading Guides work on notes for the first half of 2022 they will know God’s inspiration. Pray that those who use the guides either in their printed form or on Word Live will draw closer to God and catch his heart for mission.
Like others, Local Mission Partner Matlock Areas Schools Trust gives thanks for continued contact with schools through lockdown as a number tuned into the daily livestream produced by children’s worker Michael Tinker and others took up the offer of Zoom assemblies.
Week Beginning February 14
SU Benin ask us to pray that they may be able to develop a better distribution method for their 2021 Bible reading guides. Pray also for the provision of a sufficient stock of the guides so they can reach the whole country.
Planning for the summer events programme is always challenging, but even more so in the current environment. Pray for the event operations team and for event leaders as they look to the summer. Tuesday 16 Pray for the north staff team as they seek to implement the new Revealing Jesus mission framework, especially as they start to plan Edale Adventure holiday happening in the summer of 2021 and for Mission Enabler Sarah Davison as she plans the Rooted residential.
Join with Local Mission Partner Living Stones Educational Trust, who work in Manchester, in giving thanks for good relationships with a school with a new head and deputy, creating new opportunities for face-to-face work. Please pray for creative ideas for engaging with school and homework club families remotely.
For several years SU England and Wales has sent teams to help with camps run by SU Hungary. These help young people with English and provide an opportunity to explore Christian faith. Pray for volunteer Moira Goddard who is co-ordinating the SU volunteer team to go out in July.
Please pray for the All Together Now weekend for families who foster or who have adopted, due to run for the first time this June. Anita Hart, and John and Rachel Settatree are running it with Steve and Judy Hutchinson. Please pray that families who would benefit from being part of it will book in.
Give thanks for the work of Welsh Local Mission Partners Agathos and Gower Christian Youth Work which sadly had to close last year. Pray that ways will be found to continue the work in Mold and on the Gower Peninsula.
Week Beginning February 21
SU Egypt is very excited to be working on a new translation of the New Testament, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs into Colloquial Egyptian Arabic, the spoken dialect of more than 100 million people. The fact that the Bible is being written in this spoken-only dialect is groundbreaking. Please pray for wisdom and good progress.
Pray that Local Mission Partner Christians in Schools Trust (Stockport) will be able to maintain contacts that they already have if restrictions remain in place and that they will continue to develop links and partnerships with churches in the area.
Thank God for Christian Trusts and Foundations who have continued to support the movement giving all they can to help at this time with funding, in some cases knowing they are facing a decrease in income due to COVID-19.
Pray for the Project Team working on the new Supporter Care system which records our contacts, customer orders, volunteers, subscriptions and financial supporters, and is linked to our websites and finance systems. Work started in January but will not be complete until September. Pray that the team will have enough time to concentrate on this important task amongst the pressures of existing commitments.
Pray for the Finance Team as they prepare for the audit, finalising the year-end accounts and pulling together the necessary paperwork.
Pray for Ydson Belony a new trainee in the south-west based in Bristol. Ydson is from Turks and Caicos Islands and will be doing detached youth work and sports ministry in partnership with a church in Bristol.
Please pray for the team of Local Mission Partner YoYo in York as they seek to bring the Christian faith alive in schools in fresh and creative ways and that they will be able to create new resources that communicate the Christian faith in accessible and inspiring ways.
- Connecting You