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Last updated 10th May 2024

Encouragements: Answers to prayer


This page of our Diocesan website gathers together 'answers to prayer' reported from across the Diocese.

We want it to be an encouragement to everyone, particularly at this time.

Answers to Prayer is promoted each day and every month as well as part of the circulation of our 'Blackburn Prayers'. More here. 

Bishop Jill writes, "Jesus very simply said – 'Ask and it will be given you' (Luke 11). He loves it when we trust him. He doesn’t disappoint, even if our prayers are not answered in the way we might expect.

"We’ve set up this page as a way of marking and sharing the prayers we can see being answered. I have loved hearing about some of these encouragements.

"They build faith and spur us on to pray with even more ambition. He is able to do 'immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine'." (Ephesians 3.20).

Submitting 'answers to prayer' 

If you are happy for your name, your church and your story of answered prayer to be shared with the whole Diocese, then send it to

If you want to submit an answer to prayer but prefer it to be anonymous (either as the person submitting or in relation to the prayer itself) please make this clear when you email and we will ensure it remains anonymous.

Please keep your piece to 100 words max as, over time, we hope to gather lots of them together on this uplifting new area on the website. 

  • For one of our recent website 'Weekly Sermons' Archdeacon Mark Ireland wrote about an example of a wonderful answer to prayers by his whole congregation from his days as a young vicar. Read about it here

Answers to Prayer (most recent first)

Name Church Prayer Report
Liz Boland Much Hoole, St Michael

After several hospital appointments where I was basically told no one knows what's wrong with me or how to make me better, I went for an appointment yesterday praying very specifically that I would get some sort of proper answer and treatment plan.

I left having been told I need an operation which should sort me out. I was initially a bit disappointed that there's probably about a year to wait for this, but soon realised I'd had a definite answer to a very specific prayer.

Study Group Member

Benefice of St Aidan's Bamber Bridge and St Leonard's Walton-le-Dale.

This is really quite something; all glory to God.  I felt I was fortunate to bear witness to something.. A man was lying on a path out cold with a lot of blood around his head and face. Two police officers were stood with him as we walked past.  Thinking of Monday night (Bishop Jill’s course on healing with Jesus), as we walked past, I held my hands up and said a quick and quiet prayer.  'May this man be looked after; may his suffering be dulled and may help soon arrive.'  I got the urge to peer back at the man.  As I did, he slowly rose and sat up. It was wonderful to see him go from being unconscious to being sat up in a second.

Muriel Anderson Longridge, St Lawrence with St Paul's Church

I am just recovering from spinal surgery. I had myelopathy causing cervical spondylolisthesis, which could have caused complete paralysis from the neck down. Many people were praying for me, and the operation has been successful. All glory goes to God for this, as I could have been reduced to just a head on a pillow. I now hope to make a complete recovery.


Stuart and Kathryn Broughton Blackburn

It's twelve months since we downsized and moved to Blackburn. Soon after our arrival it was Kathryn's birthday and one morning she announced, "I've never had a birthday party. I'll make homemade pizza and we'll invite all the residents to come and enjoy it!" The day arrived and about half the total number of residents came to the party. The other half were decidedly "frosty." In response we prayed about it. Twelve months on, we now have a weekly Bible study in the community room and the monthly Communion service is well attended. Be encouraged to pray for your neighbours.

Jean Owen Clayton Brook Community Church

Two years ago I responded to a request for prayer from a grandma whose 4 year old granddaughter had been diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma very rare. Riley Faith has spots in her liver and lungs, treatment hadn’t worked. I recruited our church prayer group as the family were pleading for prayer that recent scans showed it hadn’t spread.  Praise God the scans showed it hadn’t. We have a Mighty Saviour.

Fred Taylor Holy Trinity, Freckleton

In response to a request from the Mothers' Union for aid for the Ukraine, 20 van loads of goods have been received - a remarkable result.  Recent intercessions in the church's Sunday prayers have highlighted the teachings from + Julian and others but it is still a wonderful example.

Tom Woolford All Saints' New Longton

At All Saints' New Longton, we've been blessed with three sources of funds to buy pew bibles (two anonymous individuals and a trust), answering prayers for us to have the opportunity as a church to know and love the Scriptures more.


 A year ago after one year of praying on a weekly basis a charity working with homeless people was able to recruit and employ an experienced Christian chaplain .The charity has flourished with the chaplain’s help .A chaplaincy team has been recruited within the charity and is bringing people together to serve God and each other. This has been a ministry which has responded to the varying needs of people during the pandemic .As we continue to live through changing times the volunteers continue to be faithful witnesses of Christ’s love and care for all.  I give thanks and ask for blessings and prayers for the continuation of this ministry and witness in the community.

J. Smallwood  

In September of this year I was asked by my cousin to officiate at his wife’s funeral in Sunderland, a place I had never visited. I travelled up the day before the funeral and arrived in Sunderland at bout half past two. I was using my Sat Nav which got me into Sunderland but then with all the roadworks proceeded to take me round and round in circles. I didn’t know where I was supposed to be heading  although I had the name and address of the hotel. By half past three I was totally lost so I stopped the car in a lay by and prayed for help. It was a simple prayer. Where am I going and how do I get there?

I turned round and followed signs for the city centre and coming to a petrol station, I called in to ask for directions. The two young people behind the counter told me that I was ”miles away” from the hotel and started to give me complex details of how to get there. A man waiting to pay for his petrol asked where they were directing me to. He asked me if I was in a hurry to get to the hotel and I told him that as long as I got there before dark it would be alright. He said to me that he would pay for his petrol and then he was waiting on the forecourt for his son to come out of the local school and then if I followed him he would take me to within a few hundred yards of the hotel. as he lived just up the road from it. I asked him if I could feel the top of his head to see if he had a halo, he laughed and said that he was a natural “good guy” I followed him through the centre of Sunderland until we reached his house and he waved me on and I could see the hotel in the distance. It was with relief that I parked the car in the hotel carpark and then spent a few minutes thanking God for sending me a real live angel. Never underestimate the power of prayer is a good maxim

Mark Simpson Wellfield Church, Leyland

Praise God for a young single mum on the fringe of our church. She suffered a dreadful reaction to the Covid vaccine and was expected to die in ICU, but amazingly is home. Though she is expected to never walk or enjoy healthy life again, she has a new hunger for the Word of God and is listening to recordings of sermons each week.


Two other single mums have recently turned to Christ and been baptised with their children too.

James Nash St Andrew's, Ashton on Ribble
  • Give thanks for a fantastic September as we’ve worked through our Church Vision: Loving God; Sharing Christ; Serving People in Ashton. God has really drawn us together as a church family in our desire to be a light in our community, shining forth with Jesus’ glory.
  • Give thanks for a growing church family; we’ve seen committed Christians join us, some new to Preston and some finding us during lockdown. Wonderfully we’ve also had the joy of seeing some come to Christ in recent months, particularly one Mum who initially came before Covid but has been prompted to ask big questions about hope, life and salvation after all that’s happened and has found all three in Jesus Christ!
Anon   The most wonderful answer to prayer was received as a result of praying with a member of my church for her friends.  They were about to undergo their final attempt at IVF.  We prayed for these friends and they recently became parents with the birth of their baby boy.
Andrew Raynes Christ Church Blackburn

One of the encouragements for us at Christ Church over the past few months has been the number of people who have joined us over the past year. On Easter Sunday, for example, we had people from around 12 different countries in the physical congregation.


This evening (27.4.21) we are starting a new Christianity Explored course, and we would value prayer for those who are planning to attend.


Looking ahead, we are praying for the Lord to bring more workers, including someone to oversee the ministry among South Asians in Blackburn.

Church leader Anonymous We give thanks for....

The generosity  of our congregation knitting angels with a Christmas message to over 250 families.

We have had great links with our local church school with whom we have created Christmas and Easter displays in our local park.

We give thanks for our new online worshipping community and that Church is full every week . Limited numbers mean we have to have a waiting list!

Sharon Hassall   On the evening of December 1st 2020, my healthy, fit, 15 year old nephew was fighting for his life.  We discovered that he had contracted Covid sometime in October and he had been asymptomatic.  However, his immune system had gone into overdrive and it was killing him.  He was covered in a sepsis rash, his blood pressure was dangerously low, his heart was beating too fast and his liver and kidneys were beginning to fail.  My sister later recalled the look of panic on the faces of the doctors at Bolton Hospital as his condition deteriorated. Every update was worse than the last. All we could do was pray, so I asked my Church family to pray for him and many, including me, prayed through the night.  My nephew was taken by ambulance to Manchester Children’s Hospital just before midnight, equipped with a ventilator, an ICU team and accompanied by the top North West Consultant for paediatric intensive care.  She had driven from Warrington, to try to stabilise him for the journey.  They battled through the night to save him and after 6 hours at 7am they said that he was out of danger. Amazingly, he came home in time for Christmas.  As he started to feel better he told my sister that when he was in Bolton hospital he knew he was dying and that when the Consultant walked into the hospital room he thought he saw an angel walk in too.  At Christmastime 2020, I believe that God sent an angel just as he did that very first Christmas, in answer to our prayers.
Adam Thomas Whalley Abbey

Give thanks that Whalley Abbey has new beds and refreshed furniture thanks to the Penn Club, Plumbs, PDS Valuers, Scott Murphy, BBGC, local youngsters, Joshua, Charlotte, Bart and the Grace of God.  Give thanks too for the provision of library furniture and a stock of new books.  You can read the full accounts on the Whalley Abbey Facebook pages for 18 and 22 March.

Brian McConkey

Ribchester, Hurst Green, Mitton

My wife and I had COVID. Everyday there was the gift of food on the doorstep.  Nobody planned just fresh manna every day.  #humbled.
For 3 Ribble Valley villages much encouragement with those that attended  Public worship.  2 Churches were full with current restrictions
Thanks for the ministry of our Curate Karen as she prepares to move to pastures new.
Andy Froud

St Mary Magdalene Clitheroe,

Christ Church Chatburn,

St Leonard Downham,

St Paul Low Moor


For encouragement, during lockdown (for over a year now) the mother of one of our congregations, who has been isolating, has been baking cakes for key workers including care home workers, nurses and staff at our local hospital, undertakers, school staff, Foodbank volunteers and lollipop men and women. She lives in Waddington Parish, in the Almshouses and has kept it up virtually every week. 


At St Mary's we have morning prayer on Youtube daily now and have had many encouraging reponses from people in the local community and beyond.


Our Sunday services now take place on Zoom and include people from all over the country, including London, Liverpool and Rochdale: on Easter Sunday we hope to be joined by American friends but the time difference is a challenge.


Catherine Hale-Heighway has been a huge encouragement to me personally. She and her husband John have worked fantastically well as a team to produce worship materials online on a very limited budget. 

Mark Williams Gisburn and Grindleton Give thanks for the start of a BCP midweek communion on Thursdays which is being well received and for the growth being seen in the small congregations.
Dave Hanson St Stephen's Preston Give thanks for the provision of a suitable house for their new curate in a part of their parish where they are seeking to develop a worshipping, witnessing presence.
Nathan Buttery All Saints Preston

Give thanks for the love and care the church family have shown to one another.  It's been hard but a very encouraging year.


Give thanks that the church has been able to provide resources for their children and young people.


Give thanks that a young couple have become Christians through a course that the church runs which is great news!

Mark Bradford St Cuthbert's Fulwood

Give thanks that the message of God working through times of wilderness and barren periods (in the BBC Lent service) resonated with one viewer who had recently been bereaved.


Give thanks that the Mothering Sunday service had been a blessing to a viewer who appreciated the prayers which included people who maybe have never married who do not have children.

Guy Jamieson Nelson Little Marsden Give thanks for the increased interest in prayer.  There has been more conversation about what it means to live by faith and what we might have to say in the light of the pandemic.
Damian Platt Christ Church Thornton

Give thanks for an increase in church members' giving during 2020 compared to 2019  and God's faithfulness through his people.


Give thanks for the internal restoration of the  parquet floor and replacement of the pews with chairs just before the lockdown in March 2020.  This has meant that, as soon as the church was permitted to open up for public worship, the church could do so with ease because of being able to spread the seating out and replace seating with clean chairs.  God's timing and providence are perfect.


17 church members died during 2020; which is truly sad for the church family.  During January and February 2021, six new members have been welcomed.  The church is grateful to God for these unexpected  blessings in the midst of a global pandemic.The church is so grateful to God for giving them the strength to carry on.  When energy levels lack, restrictions bring further fatigue and the future looks bleak, the gospel message gives such strength to persevere.

James Nash St Andrew's Ashton

Give thanks that the church has been able to meet in person with over half attending with the rest (and more) attending online.  The church has had a wonderful time working through Esther and seeing that although God may not be superficially visible, he is still at work ordering events. 


Give thanks for their home groups and Youth Group who are really enjoying the Prayer Course. 


Give thanks for a growing partnership with Safe Families. 


Give thanks for the opportunity, as a church family, to review, pray and plan for the future in 'Loving God; Sharing Christ; and Serving people in Ashton.

Tom Woolford New Longton

Give thanks for a bumper crop of confirmation candidates (19) for Palm Sunday. 


Give thanks for a local carpet firm that donated carpet and lino which helped furnish the Sunday school room on a shoestring budget.

Mark Soady Parishes of Rufford and Tarleton Give thanks for the digital outreach enabling many people to engage with weekly online services and for the generosity of people's responses to the stewardship campaign.
Susan Seed United Benefice of Slyne with Hest and Halton with Aughton Give thanks for 29 people attending the Lent course which is the York course 'Caring for Creation'. It is hoped that this will lead into the formation of an Eco Church working group.
Carole Garner Parish of Oswaldtwistle Give thanks for four new families who have joined the online zoom services recently.
Church leader Parish within the diocese

Give thanks for a member of the congregation who was desperately ill with covid.  The church members, together with other local christians, prayed fervently.  He is now back at home.


Give thanks for the financial provision for a mini foodbank run from the rectory which has enough money to support families for the next two months.

Craig Abbot St John's Ellel Give thanks for the ways the church has experienced the grace of God in wonderful ways - some mundane and others extraordinary. Give thanks for the provision of our technical support guy, Geraint, and the ways that the church has been able to stay connected with each other and connect with the community. A deeper awareness of the need for, and engagement in, prayer is an encouragement.
Jon Scamman St Thomas' Lancaster

Give thanks that our building project for a new church and community centre is moving ahead on schedule, despite the pandemic. The steel frame is being erected this week (8.2.21), so it feels as though we are making good progress, even though so much else is on hold. 


Give thanks for those who’ve signed up for our online Alpha course, which is running this term, as well as those trying out a new-to-us ‘Hope in Depression’ course, which is starting next week (w/b 15.2.21) and running through Lent. 




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