Archive for the 'Prayer' Category

15
Mar
11

Not prayer again! – march 15

Reading: Matthew 6, Highlighted reading Matthew 6:5-14

Why is prayer the last resort rather than the first thing we do?

Jesus gives us a pattern for prayer – not just a set of words to be learnt and repeated (valuable as that is). The challenge today is to take that pattern – find 20 minutes on your own and write a prayer that covers the areas covered in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Then share your prayer here.

On a personal note I am still living with a challenge. Whilst in Egypt in November, I was deeply humbled by two things: 1) God working in a session on creative prayer which we had planned but which became not a training exercise but a real heart engagemernt, 2) The passion in prayer that I saw in people there – I have never seen that passion here. Learning to pray? I’m still just a novice!

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31
Jan
11

In the dark – reflections on Egypt 2

Its strange how travelling to other countries and meeting Christians shifts your perspective on world events. I was full of good intentions to blog about my experince in Egypt in November. Well moving house and Christmas seemed to get in the way. However nothing prepared me for the turmoil in Cairo over the last week or so. In fact while things began I was on facebook chat and posting thoughts and prayers to people I had met. So it came as a surprise when all of a sudden internet traffic just stopped.

As I have watched the news and listened to the radio I have found myself both understanding and frustrated. Pictures of people standing in a square that I have visited. The radio presenter talking about the streets of Cairo being empty of cars – they never were even at 2am! The idea that people don’t feel safe walking the streets – something I never felt in all my time in Cairo.

So how did my new friends respond to my concerns. ‘Don’t worry – we have a protector’ they said. As I spoke to them about the bombing on New Years Eve in Alexandria – one of them said: ‘God will use this to make sure that people think about the importance of trusting in him – it will bring good’.

Meanwhile I just feel lost and in the dark – so I pray and am reminded of some of the most famous words in the Bible. ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are with me’.

01
Mar
10

Church and State?

I spent the later part of last week in Birmingham and London at meetings representing and discussing significant partnerships. On Friday I met someone outside Westminster Abbey and was horrified to discover that it now costs £15 to visit! I feel the grumpy old man inside me asking what the world has come to when you have to pay to visit a church built to glorify God.

Across the road, the Houses of Parliament – an institution suffering great disgrace as a result of the scandal over MP’s expenses was an even more rand symbol of the way in which power in the nation has been redistributed.

Once upon a time the church was at the centre of influence, now it is at the margins. The current generation have lost faith in politics as a solution to the problems that the nation faces. With an election looming, the challenge is, how will we engage with the next generation for the sake of the gospel?

One of the meetings I attended was focussed on an initiative to encourage increased prayer for schools. This is one way in which we can make a difference – through prayer. In May the aim is to encourage people during a particular two week period to focus on praying for schools and alongside others to run local pray for schools events. Details are here. I wonder if this might coincide with a general election. After all it is the next generation who are being educated there – what better place to pray for?