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Prayer Network

The NIC Prayer Network is an entryway for joining in common prayer for the ministries of the Northern Illinois Conference.  As we draw near to God, we can listen and ask for direction and inspiration.

NIC Prayer Network team meets every month on the 2nd Thursday at 10:00 AM to pray for the churches, pastors and ministries of Northern Illinois.   You are invited to join us.   No preparation is necessary, just log in.   To join the meeting click here for the  Zoom link. Meeting ID: 813 9510 9144, Passcode: 459872. You can also call 312-626-6799 and use the Meeting ID and Passcode above. If you’d like to pray but have other appointments at that time, email Katherine Howell at and request the agenda or add to the agenda.
*** Note date and Zoom link change***

Copy these prayer requests, add them to your prayer list, and share with your local prayer group.

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.   - Ephesians 3:20-21 CEB 


February 2023 Devotion

Rev. Megan Thompson, Marseilles & Seneca United Methodist Churches

Grace and peace be with you!

We are about to enter into the season of Lent, which, like many church seasons, like much of what God does, offers us a Fresh Start.

I’ve had so many fresh starts in my life: going to college, then seminary, then each new church I’ve been introduced to. And those are just the professional and educational fresh starts.

Every day can be a fresh start, if we allow it, a chance to do something different, learning from what worked (and what didn’t) in the past, a chance to grow into who we are meant to be, a beloved child of God.

Sometimes it takes some wandering (I hear hearts are prone to wander), some mistake making, even some harm doing before we figure out how we can best live the life of abundance that God wants for all of creation. 

A fresh start doesn’t wipe away the past completely; it does say we can learn and grow and do better know that we have the experience of messing it up under out belt.

A fresh start isn’t necessarily easy: amends need to be made so justice can flourish.

A fresh start is remembering that God is working to make all things new, and that includes myself.  Even me. Even you.  God claims us, just as we are, seeking us in our busy-ness and our pain, and invites us to grow, to claim our belovedness, to know that, no matter what, we are not alone.

The Rev. Sarah Speed, in the materials for A Weary World by Sanctified Art:

The Bravest Thing We Can Do

Trust your belovedness.
Let it be a protest,
an act of resistance,
a song of celebration.
Trust your belovedness in a world that is rarely satisfied.
Wear it like a badge of honor.
Speak it as confidently as your last name. Tattoo it to your heart.
When outside forces
chip away at your sense of self,
when life asks you
to hand over the keys,
remember the water.
Remember creation.
Remember how it was good,
so very good.
Let that truth hum through your veins.
Sing it so loud
that it drowns out the weariness of the world, for the bravest thing we can ever do
is trust that we belong here.

May the knowledge your belovedness give you what you need to live the life you are living.

January 2023 Devotion

Rev. Heewon Kim, Evans / New Life / Harlem United Methodist Church

Have you ever tried to read the whole Bible, like from Genesis to Revelation? This year of 2024, that is my goal to read the Bible through. Whether or not you did, I know that there are some spots that make it difficult to read the Bible. At first, we may have so much fun reading Genesis with the story of Abraham or Joseph. Even we can feel the thrill and excitement in Exodus, like when the Red Sea was divided, and the Israelites walked through the sea. It seems like a spectacular movie. But when we move on to read Leviticus or Numbers, we come across a lot of instructions on worship, such as how to cut the cow and how to drain its blood, and there are lots of details about it. And there is a huge number of names and tribe numbers in Numbers, as its name suggests. We might feel bored and get stuck there. If we succeed in reading that, I am sorry to tell you, but that’s not the end. Here is another peak that could make us get stuck again in reading the scripture. It’s 1 Chronicles. I’m not kidding, but you will get to read more than five hundred names of people in a row from chapter 1 through 9. This is how it goes. Please listen, “The sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahaem, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. The sons of Ibeon: Aiah, and Anah. The son of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ethran, and Keran.” And it goes on until five hundred names. It’s overwhelming.

But, it is very interesting that there is a popped verse in between those constant number of names. Suddenly the Bible introduces a person’s life. It’s about Jabez and his prayer. It’s in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Jabez, his name means pain or suffering as his life is shortly described in verse 9 “His mother had named him in pain.” In the ancient world, a name was so important, and even in the Bible, naming determines one’s life. Jabez’s name meant pain. But Jabez didn’t follow as what his name defined him. Turning away from the name, he began to cry out to God saying, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And the Bible said, “And God granted his request.” He lived a wonderful life, and his name and his prayer were recorded in the Bible. What do you expect for your life? Even in a world where names were so important that it almost bound and destined people’s lives, Jabez prayed to God. And God answered his request. He lived not in what the world defined him. He did let God define his life by prayer. Likewise, if we pray to God, God starts to work beyond our limitations and weaknesses. God will accomplish his wonderful plan with those who pray to God. I hope that all of us would pray in this New Year 2024 like Jabez’s prayer, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)


Let us pray. Dear Lord, you are God who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask for or imagine. Because your power is at work within us. Help us to trust your unfailing love that I may say like Paul, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)


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