Day 7 – Two Final Thoughts

We close our Week of Prayer for Counselling Together with two final thoughts. We would like to thank the leaders of the Churches that have led our Prayer Time this week for all their support in so many ways. We would also like to thank you for joining us in this time of prayer and our prayer for you is that you have been and will be richly blessed as you step out each day in the service of our Lord and Saviour.

No need to be lonely

Matthew 28:19-20: 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – NIV

How well Jesus knows our every need, even as he leaves the earth to return to the Father one of the last things he tells his disciples (and us) is that he will always be with us by His Holy Spirit.  He knows the human spirit, that need to be reassured and in relationship with God and our fellow human beings.  Because he is with us we can call upon him at any time and trust him completely, what a reassurance.

Please Pray –

  • for those clients that feel lost, lonely or even desperate, that they will grow in the knowledge that God loves and cares for them and that he is always there for them in every situation they face.
  • that the counsellors will have God’s insight to the needs of their clients and be able to lead them into all truth that they are special and able to walk in strength with hope.

John Fowler – New Life Church, New Milton

The Source of Encouragement

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Living in a society characterised by discouragement and loss of hope, these words point to the unchanging source of encouragement and hope that we can take for ourselves and, in turn, can share with those we meet and deal with in our lives. They have a special application to all engaged in a counselling ministry, who have to deal positively with so many negatives in their clients.

Please Pray –

  • for the Trustees in this period of change, that they may have a clear sense of the direction the work should take.
  • for growth in support from individuals and churches, which will bring encouragement and expansion.
  • for Chris Bray, that he may be encouraged himself as he sees new developments taking place in the work he has nurtured.

Jim Harris – Poulner Baptist Chapel

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Day 6 – Christ Powerfully Works in Us

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.   Colossians 1:28-29

Christian counselling is holistic in that it links and addresses matters of body, mind and spirit, based on God’s word channeled through the understanding and experience of the counsellor. It requires a high degree of spiritual and natural energy that only Christ can supply through the Holy Spirit.

Please Pray –

  • for the Counselling Team as they engage in this demanding ministry, that they will maintain their own walk with God, be given insight and wisdom when dealing with clients, and that the problems they encounter in others will not erode their own faith or emotional lives.
  • that the Holy Spirit will renew their mental and physical energies as they spend themselves for the blessing of others.

Jim Harris – Poulner Baptist Chapel

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Day 5 -Ploughing and Reaping

Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. 24 When a farmer ploughs for planting, does he plough continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has levelled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
[c]barley in its plot,[dand spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. 29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent.  Isaiah 28:23-26, 29

I’ve often thought that the hugely important role of counsellor is a little bit like being a farmer.  These verses of Scripture contain at least three crucial verbs which ought to be the watch words of any skilled counsellor: ‘listen’, ‘hear’ & ‘pay attention’.  Isaiah is reminding his hearers of God’s real intent in ploughing – fruit!  God, like a counsellor with a client, isn’t just digging for digging’s sake!  Not at all!  He digs so that he can plant, so that he can grow, so that he can reap.  It’s all about the fruit at the end, not the digging at the beginning – digging tough is crucial if there is going to be fruit.  In the short term, this can be painful, but in the long term, always profitable.  As verse 29 says, God’s desire through all the digging, growing and harvesting is that we will experience his wonderful plans and magnificent wisdom.

Prayer Points –

  • that CT would becomes even more effective in listening, hearing and paying attention both to clients and to the will of God for their ministry.
  • that as Counsellors engage in the ‘digging process’ that there will be great fruit.
  • that CT and their clients would know the reality of God’s wonderful plan and magnificent wisdom

Chris Brockway – Christchurch Baptist Church

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Day 4 -Listening and Learning

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.  Proverbs 4:20-23 (The Message)

Listening and watching are key skills in counselling and indeed in life itself for any person. This famous Bible verse suggests that real life as God intends, or wholeness as it might be described is enhanced by the way we attend both to God and to our own hearts. How can this be seen to be true physically, psychologically , emotionally and spiritually? How can we be people who ‘listen well’, ‘concentrate’ and ‘keep vigilant watch’ as we live our lives and impact the lives of the people we come into contact with?

Please Pray –

  • giving thanks for this ministry that develops and matures us as God’s children.
  • that our clients would find the answers they need to cope and even thrive in their situations
  • that our counsellors will be able to ‘guard their hearts’, manage their emotional load issues and get the support that they need
  • for the Trustees and the whole service for God’s clear direction for the future of the charity

Eddie Boon – Cornerstone URC, Hythe

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Day 3 – God’s Favour For Us

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

At times especially when we ‘mess up’ we feel that we are not good enough for God, yet that is not how God views us.  This beautiful verse from Zephaniah shows what God really thinks of us.  To him we are special, precious as his beloved children.  What joy and assurance it is to know the warmth of the metaphorical hug from our Lord who loves us and delights in us.  As Jesus lavishes his love on us daily we simply need to receive it and know his special peace in our lives.

Please Pray

  • thanking God for the way he has sustained and grown Counselling Together over the last twelve years.  We pray for every client that has used the service that they will grow in strength, and security, in a faith and knowledge of God.
  • for the service as Chris Bray lays down the responsibility of leading and guiding the team.
  • that the service will continue in strength leading many others to wholeness and we pray that Chris and his wife Viv will be fully blessed in retirement.

John Fowler – New Life Church, New Milton

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Day 2 – Open Our Eyes Lord

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  2 Kings 6:15-17 

What a privilege to engage with people in their problems and to have the knowledge that our God has the answers. To be there when finally they cry out for help and to be involved in God opening their eyes to see his provision. You might be tempted to look to other sources for the solutions but remember, all other helps are but empty wells compared to the vast springs found in Christ!

Please pray

  • Praising God for his glorious provision in Christ
  • That all the counsellors would have their eyes fixed firmly on Jesus
  • That the clients would have their joy restored as they turn to Christ

 

Simeon Woodcraft – New Milton Evangelical Free Church

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Day 1 – Lord of the Storm

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”   Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.    Mark 4:39

 The severe storm that caused experienced fishermen to be utterly terrified, questioning whether in fact their Leader loved them at all, was brought to an immediate stop.  What a dramatic display of the power of Jesus to bring calm, order and rest simply by His word of command.  He is in control of every storm we find ourselves in and though we may question why He allows such turbulence in our lives, we can know not only His authoritative power but also His love for us, perfectly demonstrated as He dealt with the greatest storm, of sin and death, on the Cross.

Wow!, Sorry, Please

  • Wow!  Praise God for the truth contained in these verses.
  • Sorry  Confess to God those times when we don’t live in the truth of what we learn in these verses.
  • Please Pray that you, along with all the clients, will be able to come into an experience of Jesus being present in the storms we face and live with.

Dave Gooderidge – Lymington Baptist Church

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