Join with parents and friends as we walk and pray for local schools together. See below for full details
GUEST SPEAKER: Naomi Swindon
Scripture Union Trainer,
lifelong Youth Worker and Motivational Speaker.
DATE: Friday, 1st September 2017
TIME: 10am-1pm (9.45am registration)
VENUE: Heatherton Christian College (Main Auditorium)
316-322 Kingston Rd. Clarinda 3169. (Melways 79 A11)
Same site as Kingston City Church
Parking available in grounds.
Come and be encouraged by what God is doing through prayer
Throughout Victoria, as we partner together.
Light Refreshments provided.
For further information contact
Nancy 0409 425 587 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you there.
Greetings to you all!
Good friends don’t abandon us when outside circumstances change. They stay with us through the good and the bad days. Friends are a gift from God because they are examples of the Perfect Friend, who remains loyal through the good and ugly days. As the Lord reminds us, “I will never leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Heb 13:5). Regardless of the situation, His love endures forever. This is our verse for the year from Ps 106:1, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His Love endures forever.”
Human love doesn’t always last. The closest of friends may offend each other, and never resolve their differences. Family members may argue and refuse to forgive. Husbands and wives can drift apart. Human love can be fickle. But the love of God is one constant and enduring love which endures forever.
God’s unfailing love is found in the Scriptures, and the greatest proof of his love is the death of His Son, who died for our sins. As Easter approaches this brings the reality of God’s love to us, with His death and resurrection, and what joy to know He is alive and lives within us. We have the assurance that no matter what is happening in our lives or will happen that God’s love never ends. It endures forever, and we praise Him.
Psalm 106:1 has a meaningful impact in our family recently. We were blessed and gave thanks for our latest grandson Daniel, born 3 weeks early but a good weight. Soon after birth he developed breathing difficulties which necessitated his transfer to a big city hospital Newborn ICU, where he was put on a life support respirator and other medical aids. For a week we had many anxious moments, testing our faith and trusting in God, praying fervently for our little Daniel to be spared with a full recovery. We were very aware of others praying for him and the family and conscious of God’s love surrounding us through this time and we gave thanks to God each day as he improved. After 2 weeks Daniel had overcome all problems and was breathing alone, feeding well and gaining weight and was allowed home and continues to do well. God’s love endures forever and He cares for each one of us His children.
Looking ahead to what 2017 will bring, I pray that you will give thanks to God in all circumstances, knowing He is in control and will direct you in the work He wants you to do in our schools, churches and other ministries where He leads you.
In the past few months we have had 2 prayer walks in the Mitcham area, and if you would like to be part of a prayer walk in your area please contact me to help you plan that.
Our annual Prayer and Thanksgiving Day this year is at Heatherton Christian College on Friday 1st September. More information will be sent in July. We hope to see you there.
One of our Support team members, Nancy, is adding to this newsletter, so read on.
Blessings to you all,
Marilyn Ford (Co Coordinator PGS Vic.)
WHY I BECAME PART OF PRAYER GROUPS FOR SCHOOLS
Over Twenty years ago my daughter started in Grade Six at Blackburn Primary School and my friend Bronwyn Checkley invited me to be part of the Prayer Group there. We were a Home Schooling family at the time, so this meant my two other primary aged children, a pre-schooler and baby had to come to the prayer group as well.
This Prayer group was like a lifeline in some ways, as we prayerfully supported each other as well as the school. In those days the group had the freedom to organise special events such as providing morning tea for the staff, and contributing in other practical ways to the life of the school.
In more recent years I was working for the Victorian Council of Christian Education, providing resourcing to churches in the area of Children and Families Ministry and as a result of being in this role I attended one of the September Thanksgiving Prayer Day for Schools. I was so encouraged and blessed with the Service that I almost regretted not having become involved with PGS sooner.
During this time, I also started some prayer groups in the North, East and West of Melbourne, as well as Bendigo, and it was through the Bendigo Prayer gathering that I met Barbara who shared some lovely stories of how God had been using her within the school where she led a prayer group and helped run a breakfast club. This further inspired me to become involved with PGS.
As I am now Prayer Coordinator at CCCVAT (Christian Community Churches of Victoria and Tasmania), I found it vital to become involved more with PGS. CCCVAT oversees Chaplains in a number of schools and were also responsible for helping set up INSPIRE, which brings all the School Chaplaincy providers such as Scripture Union, Access Ministries and YFC, together once a term, to encourage one another, pray and advance the work of Chaplains in Schools.
Last year I began prayer walking with the Kids Hope Coordinator from our church and it has been so exciting to hear that his year there are two Christians on the School Council and a Christian Teacher new to the school who was formerly KH Coordinator at her own child’s school. God happened to place one of these Christian Mums as a Playgroup Leader in the group I help lead at our church. At my encouragement, she has organised and just held the first Prayer Group gathering for the School.
In this last month we have held two Prayer Walks in the Mitcham area, and a Mum I have been mentoring for years who has children at both the primary and secondary school is keen to start a prayer group there.
God is so good and faithful. It is an absolute blessing and privilege to be a part of the planning for our PGS Thanksgiving Service to be held on the first Friday in September each year.
GUEST SPEAKER: Debbie Prescott
currently on pastoral team at Melbourne Life Christian Church
DATE: Friday, 2nd September 2016
TIME: 10am-1pm (9.45am registration)
VENUE: St. Andrews Christian College
130 Tyner Road, Wantirna South (Melway 64 A12)
Parking available at Rembrandts
(kindly enter from Tyner road & follow signage)
Come and be encouraged by other Prayer Groups throughout Victoria.
Light Refreshments provided.
For further information contact Marilyn on (03) 9874 5764
Greetings dear friends,
As 2016 began I had uneasiness about how this year would unfold. I didn’t have a verse/theme for us, and a venue had still to be found for our annual Prayer Day in September, and here we were in the last week of term one.
I knew that God wouldn’t let me and the PGS team down, and I knew I had to draw closer to God for direction and guidance. So in a week of prayer and fasting I waited on God to see what He was saying to me. Various schools were approached, and with many people praying, we waited on God for the confirmation of a venue that was of God’s choosing.
I was led to the verse in Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your needs”. I knew this was to be our theme this year, and I knew I had to be guided to savour all that is yet to be discovered, and I knew that what came before and what is yet to come forms a marvellous mosaic of life.
God is good and we can truly say that every great move of God is because of prayer. Our prayers have been answered, a school has consented and invited us there, and we can happily announce that our prayer Day for Schools on Fri 2nd September is to be held at St Andrews College in Knoxfield. More info will be sent to you in July, but please mark this date in your diaries or phones (latter seems to be the modern trend!) and plan to be there.
John 8:12 says,” I am the Light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life. “Christ is our vision and either in waking or sleeping His presence is our light.
As you meet with your prayer groups or pray individually for our schools, pray the Lord’s Prayer over them. ”Your Kingdom come, your will be done” and see how God will guide you continually, aim high, believing that God has great things in store for us.
It’s a pleasure to have a new Support team member join us this year, and we welcome Jacinta being part of our team. She has replaced Jude, who sadly had to leave us due to other commitments. Thank you Jude for all your input and support over the past few years and we wish you God’s blessing in your future. We are always looking for more to join us on the team so if you feel God prompting you please contact us. We will work in with you.
We on the team are happy to support you and your prayer groups in whatever way we can, be it a visit or whatever. We really want to have other school ministry groups’ partner with us. And we‘d love to have more churches involved in supporting PGS. This could be by adopting schools in their community and praying for them. A team member will be happy to come and inform you more on this. Also pray for schools as you drive and walk past them. There are so many evil forces we need to pray against and our schools need our prayers. Pray for schools where your children, grandchildren, friends and relatives attend, and see what God can do.
Phil 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
So may this be the prayer we can all pray this year, and see how the Lord will guide us continually.
God bless you all,
Marilyn Ford (PGS Co-ordinator Vic)
GUEST SPEAKER: Debbie Prescott
Psychologist and currently pastor at Melbourne Life Christian Fellowship
Date: Friday, 4th September 2015
TIME: 10am-1pm (9.45am registration)
VENUE: Wesley College, Coates pavilion
620 High Street Rd, Glen Waverley
enter via gate 1 (ample parking in school on entry)
Light Refreshments provided.
Come and meet with others from Prayer Groups throughout Victoria.
For further information contact
Marilyn on(03) 9874 5764 or
Greetings to you once again as we are nearing the end of term one. How time is flying! Let’s look ahead with anticipation to what God is going to do in our lives and in our schools this year.
Our theme/verse chosen for this year is from Lamentations 3:22 “Great is Your Faithfulness” and it goes on to say – “because of the Lord’s great love we aren’t consumed – His compassions never fail”. In Proverbs 3:3 we read “Let love and faithfulness never leave you – bind them around your neck” … like a beautiful necklace.
There are many times we feel that God doesn’t care when our life is in turmoil. To calm our fears we can cling to the faith of who God is and what He can do. We can take shelter in Him, and rest in an all powerful, wise, and loving God. We can trust that He will faithfully help us as we endure those hardships we face. God had promised that He will be with us and won’t leave us. He promised to be with Joshua wherever he went, and Joshua responded with complete devotion and surrender to his God. We too can abandon ourselves to our loving heavenly Father, who is our Director and rest in His love and faithfulness. God’s plan is for us to stand tall in spite of buffeting winds of life, and this is due to the love and support we receive from God and one another.
I would like to encourage you all to share the word about Prayer Groups in Schools in your churches and various prayer groups in which you are involved.
Many people are praying for schools but in an isolated way, unaware of the support the PGS network can offer them. Can we encourage you to share the vision – “to cover every Victorian school in prayer” today more than ever, with many of the SRI programs closing down in our schools. Please contact the Support team for more information, or if you are wanting to establish a new school prayer group, or want to be linked in with other prayer groups in your area. We are there to support you.
Lastly a date to put in your diaries – our annual Prayer Day for Schools this year is on Friday September 4th at Wesley College in Glen Waverley. Plan to be there. More information will be provided nearer to the date. Please pray for us as we plan ahead for that day. Thank you.
May God continue to bless and encourage you in your prayer groups as you continue to look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
God’s great faithfulness and love are beyond measure. So let’s rehearse and proclaim this faithfulness and God’s goodness to us as we face the year ahead.
With Christian love,
Marilyn Ford (PGS Co-ordinator Vic)
Greetings to you all as the year draws to a close, and we can look back and see how God has been at work in our lives and in our schools. Most of you have been aware our theme/verse for this year is from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you…” and many have experienced this in reality.
Our annual Prayer Day for Schools this year was held at PLC, and again it was a day when we were encouraged and felt the presence of God in our midst.
It was encouraging having some first timers come, and about 90 people attended the day, representing 34 Primary Schools and 16 Secondary schools, along with some from other ministries such as Access, S.U., Salt Shakers and VCCE and prayer intercessors.
The PLC staff were very supportive in helping plan the day, and we want to thank their Principal Elaine Collin and Chaplain Charles Green for their participation on the day and prior help. Elaine shared some wonderful outcomes of answered prayers by the staff for all the students and those in need. We were encouraged and inspired by this godly Principal who is a wonderful role model to PLC. Thank you Elaine.
We were ministered to in song by the PLC choral choir singing “Gloria In Excelsis Deo”. Then followed a time of praise and then testimonies- given by Sarah, Bronwyn, and Dalrene, all sharing experiences of answered prayers.
Sarah, from Mt Pleasant Rd P.S. shared how their group meets weekly with people from different denominations, but all are one in Christ. Their group has been functioning for 5 years and when they meet, they thank God for their school and pray for their staff and school community. They are also involved in practical ways within the school and in outside community events. Their group has seen answered prayers in appointed chaplains, healing in families and permission to pray on the school premises.
Bronwyn, from Caulfield Grammar, pointed out they have 3 campuses,, and pray for the safety of school, staff and students. They are aware many students are unknown to them as they pray for their schools, but are aware God is in their midst, and loves all His people.
Dalrene, from PLC emphasized the influence of prayer in her life from her family and in her youth and now how prayer and trusting in the Lord has helped her overcome difficulties she has faced in her life. She is involved in 2 prayer groups at PLC, and she shared how the God who parted the Red Sea can do wonders today. In her weakness God is her strength. She emphasized the need to pray for our schools and our nation, and when we do our part God will do His.
All girls mentioned that God has a plan for us in our schools and that He is in control.
Again two prayer sessions were held in small cluster groups covering many prayer points. This is always a special aspect included in this day.
Our guest speaker for the day was Elida Brereton who impacted us with her humour, inspiration and motivation. She shared how her church and youth group had influenced her life in her teen years, and even now some from that youth group still meet together. In some of the schools where she taught the teachers got together for prayer, and in some of the schools she experienced tough times and prayer was certainly needed. She shared some humorous stories of her teaching experiences. Parents prayed for one of her teaching appointments where she was for many years, and she realised it was God’s plan that she be there, encouraging those students and raising their morale, and being a blessing to many. Wherever she taught she had no doubt in her mind that prayer mattered and is a wonderful thing.
Since the Prayer day visits have been made to Benalla and Bendigo, sharing the PGS Vision and arousing an interest in praying for schools in those areas, and with churches adopting schools to pray for. The outcome has been encouraging with small groups meeting regularly to pray for schools in areas, and also regular prayer walks. Please uphold these rural areas where there is a real need for prayer.
Thanks to all our faithful prayer intercessors, leaders and members of prayer groups for supporting PGS. I pray a blessing on all our schools that we can trust in God who knows the plans and future for our schools and us.
What plans has God in store for you in 2015? Are you moving on to be a channel of blessing? Is God prompting you to become more involved in PGS? We need more helpers on Support team to reach areas where there is a need for prayer support. Receive His love, and He will raise you up and reveal to you His will and purpose for your life.
Thanks be to God for the privilege it is to approach our Father in prayer, and to be His servants on earth.
Blessings to you all this Christmas, and safety in the holidays. By the way, the web site is now up and running again.
From all of us on support team Marilyn (Co-ordinator), Chiara, Dalrene, Jude, Lai Poh, Lyn and Rosie.
Greetings to you all as we have now begun 2013.
What are your thoughts as you face the year ahead? Do you have doubts concerns on issues or events you know you’ll be facing this year? It could be uncertainty with work and lost jobs causing financial strain, marriage breakdowns, family issues or other situations. We don’t need to carry these burdens, as we are told in 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety (cares) on him because He cares for you.” This is our text chosen for this year. You don’t need to carry your worries, stresses and daily struggles by yourself, as this shows you haven’t trusted God fully with your life. It takes humility to recognise that God cares for you to admit your need and let others in God’s family help you. Sometimes we feel that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God’s concern, but when we turn to Him in repentance He will bear the weight of those struggles. Let God know these anxieties and submit them to the Lord who controls all circumstances.
Our precious Saviour is tremendously interested in all our sorrows and trials and He delights to have us pour out our hearts to Him when burdens press upon us and cares cause distress. Many of us cast our cares and troubles upon Him, but before we can arise from our knees we take them back again upon our shoulders and seek to choose our own path. This grieves our Lord. We need to take our burdens to Him and leave them there. Trust Him with your trials and He will bless you with His peace, because He cares for you.
We need to trust God as the giver of all life. He wants our faith to grow and shine forth as gold. God tests us for a good purpose, and for His glory, and this builds our faith. Don’t build your house on the sand, but make sure you have a firm foundation. Trust in the Lord.
As the term progresses we have been encouraged to hear of new prayer groups wanting to start, others continuing on, and all of us on the support team excited as we wait on God to see what He is going to do in our schools as we cover them in prayer.
Please feel free to contact any of us on team if you’d like us to visit your group, start a prayer group or want help in organising an area meeting with other schools in your area.
This year’s Prayer Day for Schools is to be on Fri 6th September at Scotch college school. More details will be in next newsletter, but mark in your diaries now, and plan to be there.
So when the day seems dark and trials seem too much for you, remember that God has promised that He will not lay on us more than we can bear. All we need to do is “Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.”
Blessings to you all,
Marilyn Ford (PGS co-ordinator Vic)
It’s hard to believe that 2013 will soon be behind us. As we reflect back on this past year we can give thanks to God for many answered prayers-either in our own personal lives or in our schools. Thank you to all who have faithfully prayed for our schools and others who have led prayer groups. Your prayers are important. Also thank you to those who have given financial support.
Prayer Day for Schools is held annually at a host school, and this year it was at Scotch College. It was held on 6th September, with about 70 attendees, of that 24 Primary schools and 16 Secondary schools were represented, with 30/40 of those schools having a prayer group. So you can see there is need for Prayer Groups in Schools.
The programme consisted of the Scotch College’s Chamber Choir who ministered to us beautifully in song, community singing, short testimonies, prayer sessions in cluster groups and our guest speaker was Justin Simpson from ACCESS ministries. In our second prayer session this year we divided groups into areas, (e.g. Whitehorse, Bayside etc.) and this enabled others to meet neighbouring school prayer warriors and hopefully there will be further unity and support in their areas.
Mr Batty (Scotch Principal) and Graham Bradbeer (school Chaplain) spoke on behalf of the school. And we’d like to thank Graham especially for all his help in planning the Prayer Day at Scotch and refreshments which followed.
Our first testimony was from David, a senior member, originally a student at Scotch and involved in Prayer group, then on the staff and now retired. He and his “older generation” (in their 80’s) prayer warriors still meet regularly to pray for neighbouring schools. He encouraged us that we are never too young or too old to pray for schools, and we don’t have to have children still at school to be our excuse. So I encourage any grandparents out there to be praying for the schools your grandchildren attend.
Next we heard from Ping, from Wesley, and she shared how their prayer group has only been going for 12 months. It started with 4 and they now number 10 and God is working in their midst. They even have a student prayer group started this year too…having seen the impact of prayer group with the parents. What a wonderful witness.
Maureen from Heatherton Christian College emphasised the importance of being involved in a school prayer group for the past 8 years. She has seen many answers to prayer and the most recent one was the acquisition of land adjoining their school that now they can utilise.
Jude then shared how she had been involved in 2 school prayer groups over the years, currently at Ringwood Secondary College. She has experienced spiritual and practical help and support from her involvement in prayer groups, and Jude has now been part of our Support Team for 12 months too and has seen the important part the Support team has in helping other groups. She encouraged more to prayerfully consider joining the Support team, as we need more people to branch out to other areas, such as the Western Suburbs and regional areas. Is God speaking to you? Also Ringwood Secondary College has started a student Prayer Group. Doesn’t this emphasise the example we can set to our children of the importance of prayer and that they can relate to their peer group too?
We were very encouraged with Justin Simpson’s words of inspiration and encouragement – focusing on our theme for this year “Casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you. “(1 Peter 5:7)
Justin was saying that sometimes we can feel we aren’t in control – but we can learn from each other. By using 3 words: THINK, PAIR and SHARE. Think for a minute and ask yourself “What are the things in life causing stress, concern and worry?” Pair up with someone and share those concerns. As intercessors we can be burdened for the outcome. Look at our verse from 1 Peter 5:7, this message is for you as you intercede for others. Then two other verses: “Come unto Me all who labour and are heavy laden”, and “Don’t be anxious about anything” (Phil: 4:6). Sometimes we worry about our concerns rather than interceding. Jesus gives us His peace. Give our burdens for our schools to Him. Cast our cares i.e. throw overboard as in casting a net, cast ALL to Him.
Justin also encouraged us to partner together with other schools ministries, and make ourselves more widely known, asking God for guidance and direction.
Marilyn (PGS Coordinator) then reported on the following. We have had area meetings in Whitehorse and Maroondah, and would like to see more areas involved in the next year. The Support team will help you as you ask us.
A new student Prayer group started at Wesley, and only a month ago in answer to prayer, a prayer group has started at Camberwell Boys Grammar, with five attending. We need to let the school community be aware we have or want to start prayer groups in our schools. We all know the power of prayer.
We have been working in more with other school ministries such as CRE and Kids Hope and SU. And in May this year some of us from team went to a Schools Ministry Expo organised by S.U. This was an excellent way to make known the work that the different organisations are doing in schools and how we can partner together.
Sadly we say farewell to Julie Wong (Manningham area leader) from the Support team at the end of this year. Thank you Julie for your commitment, prayers and support over the years you have been on team. We’ll miss you, but pray God’s blessing on you as you move on to what God has planned for your future. May God bless you and your family.
I’d like to share some thought on our passage from 1 Peter 5:7 ‘’Casting all your cares on Him because He care for you” Isn’t that verse a comfort? When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to God. Back off a bit and redirect your focus on Him. Don’t let the unexpected events throw you off course. As soon as something grabs your attention talk to God about it. He shares your joys and problems and helps you cope. This is the way of peace. Our Heavenly Father takes pleasure in hearing your prayers, so feel free to bring all your requests to Him. The more you pray the more answers you’ll receive, and this strengthens your faith as your specific prayers are answered. Come before Him with open hands and heart ready to receive all He has for you. God is standing silently in the background of your mind, waiting for you to remember He is with us. When you turn from your problem into His presence your load is immediately lighter, then together you and God can handle whatever the day brings. We need to look UP to Him and direct our thoughts ON Him, in hopeful anticipation of what He’ll do. Grip God’s hand tightly and stay in close communion with Him. Remember His promise. “I can keep you in perfect peace as you stay close to me”.
And now as I close I leave these verses of comfort with you… promises from God.
- Deut 31:16 “Do not be afraid because I am with you. No matter what happens I will never leave you nor forsake you”
- Phi l 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
- Matt 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”
- 1 Pet 5:7 “Cast all your cares on him because He cares for you”
On behalf of the support team Chiara, Dalrene, Julie, Jude, Lai Poh and Lyn (thank you all for your commitment this year), we wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and look forward to what the New Year will bring.
A date for your diaries. Venue for 2014 Prayer Day for Schools will be at PLC Burwood on Friday 5th September.
Blessings to all,
Marilyn Ford (PGS Coordinator Vic)