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Last updated 22nd June 2021

Encouragements: Answers to prayer

Introduction 

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 beingwitnesses@blackburn.anglican.org

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
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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