For the next two years, we have invited special guest writers to contribute our Weekly Prayers. This month, we welcome former MWiB President Sandra Goodwin. Sandra writes:
The inspiration for this series of prayers is drawn from my love of the natural world, a passion taught and nurtured by my father from a very early age. Each Sunday afternoon he would take me and my siblings for a ‘nature walk’ through the lanes near our home, and holidays were spent roaming the Welsh mountains with their wide vistas and hidden waterfalls. Scripture is full of references to the natural world, and I invite you to quietly reflect on what they may be saying to us.
John 15: 5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Many years ago my father owned a very large greenhouse in which he planted numerous varieties of vegetables and bedding plants. A friend gave him a grapevine, advising him to plant the root outside, to make access for the branches to grow inside the greenhouse, and to prune them regularly. Over the years, the vine grew and produced many grapes. Sadly, ill-health led to the large greenhouse being replaced with a smaller one and the vine was removed. After my father’s death we discovered that the vine was still growing; the roots were so deep that repeated efforts to remove it failed, and it still produces shoots every year!
This is a beautiful illustration of the essence of our faith: Jesus ‘the Vine’, deep rooted, indestructible, constantly sustaining us through the Holy Spirit.
Staying connected to ‘the Vine’ through faith and prayer enables us to bear fruit, fruit that may be desperately needed by our neighbours in these uncertain times: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Sit quietly and think of friends and neighbours both near and far who need prayerful – and maybe practical – help at this time.
work within my heart and mind,
lead, inspire and sustain me
that I may bear much fruit in your name.
Help me to love and serve,
to see and react to the needs of my neighbour.
In Jesus name I pray.
Weekly Prayers for August written by Sandra Goodwin
Image: Grapevine (Public Domain photo, www.piqsels.com)
You can download the Weekly Prayers for August below: