There has been a real step forward in the life of our Church over the last few months in one area in particular: prayer groups. We had no specific groups whose sole purpose was to pray – now we have two. This has the potential to be a very exciting time in our walk with God and in deepening our relationship with Him.
One group focuses on the needs of the local Church itself, its members, its aims and goals, its leadership, the local area and the needs of those known to members. One group is more narrow on scope and focuses on the needs, the fellowship and everything to do with those who are involved in any way in the work of the Church musical theatre group. It has been exciting to see a growing interest and the related development of the prayer life of the Church and its people.
I’ve also been reading a couple of books on prayer. One of which got straight to the point (and left me questioning quite why I had spent good money on it) by reminding the reader (yup, me) that the best way to learn more about prayer is simply to pray. I wish I’d managed to publish a book for that level of message! There is however a real truth at the heart of the author’s amusingly presented ethos. No relationship can develop and grow without spending time in the company of the other person (whether that company is in person, by email, phone, text or other technological medium). Prayer is no different. It is just the development of a relationship with God. And time spent with Him, thinking about Him, talking with Him and being open to listen really is the best way to learn more about that dreaded thing called “prayer” and, more importantly, about our God who loves us more than we could ever begin to imagine, no matter what circumstances we have been through or face.
I had never really intended to post about these little changes in my Church or my own life were it not for an email that had reminded me that prayer = a good thing, through the words of a well-known and loved hymn. I’ll leave you to ponder these challenging but wonderful words:
What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grieves to bear
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer
Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptation? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find up friend so faithful who will all our sorrow share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
(Text: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886; Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918)
(Photo of “Prayer” by graur razvan ionut at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=987)