May 2010

To know Christ and to make him known

 

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from a week-end in France. Diane and I joined a group of English and French Christians from Reformed churches meeting to think about prayer – and coincidentally to eat some wonderful food !  It was a stimulating time, and from the point of view of me having to dredge up fragments of ‘O’ level French and wave my hands a lot, it was also challenging.  I did buy something on my own in a shop and came away with the item I intended to buy, so my French can’t have been that bad!  It was encouraging to meet with fellow believers in a different place with a different language, and be reminded that we are all one in Christ.

St Paul encourages us to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 7 v. 17).  It was good to realise that in one sense prayer is being continually offered around the world 24/7.  Whilst we sleep, Australians are praying and vice-versa.  When, we as a church pray on a Sunday morning in the service, we are in fact joining in something that is already happening. We are not praying in isolation in a time slot God has allocated us but we are part of a multitude in continuous praise and prayer.  We are encouraged as individuals to pray without ceasing.  That would seem to have some practical difficulties ! But if we are in tune with our Heavenly Father and talking with him naturally about anything and everything and are totally transparent before him, then effectively prayer becomes like breathing. We do it without ceasing and we don’t have to stop, think about it and decide to breathe ! It becomes a natural part of our existence. There are times when we do not know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will (Romans 8 vv. 26,27).

A woman in Kenya once told me that there are 4 answers to prayer. “Yes” , “No”, “Wait” and “I’ve got something better”.  As a church we need to be seeking God in prayer without ceasing.  We need to repent of those things which hinder our witness and spiritual growth and seek the way forward under God’s guidance.  The Feasibility Plan has actually set us a challenge as to where we believe God is leading us and what he would have us do.  In a sense the answer is to walk humbly with our God; to be faithful to Him and trust Him as we take steps in faith.  Please pray that we will all be the people that God has made us to be and that we will be an effective and faithful witness and a challenge to our community. Please pray that we will all grow spiritually and develop in confidence as we seek to know more about God and his amazing salvation plan and know more about his grace towards us.

Lets pray for each other in our spiritual journeys and also pray for the Elders as they seek to lead this church.

With my love,

David


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