Belinda Groves – 16 July 2017

Dear Friends

This week I’ve been reading a little book called Following Jesus: Finding and Fostering Hope on a Cosmic Scale. The back jacket promises that this is a book you could place in the hands of a friend with no previous knowledge of Jesus – that it uses fresh, clarifying images to talk about God – and so far it has been pretty good. I’d recommend it, too.

As I am preaching on prayer today (and planning to carry the themes of the Lord’s Prayer through the next few weeks, interspersing them with the speakers that are part of the church review) I wanted to invite any of you who wished to come – regularly or just occasionally – to the Wednesday group meeting 8:30-9:30am in the church. (Yes, I know it looks cold, but the prayer does fire us up!)

And I appreciated the very practical, down-to-earth advice that Allan Demond gives in the book about praying with others.

Learn to pray aloud with others. This is challenging for some because it feels like public speaking, but if you persevere you will soon find it easier. You can start by simply praying a short sentence or just a few words. Remember that Jesus did not appreciate longwinded show-off prayers. Talk to God, not to the people in the room, and take all the time you need to get your thoughts out…
If you need inspiration and a prompt, use your Bible. Chose a passage that speaks to you, keep it open in front of you and pray those ideas. You might simply pray, ‘Lord help me to do what this verse says’ and read the verse. It is important to learn to pray with other because… listening to the prayers of faith-filled people will embolden you….[and] your faith will be a gift to them.

A lot of what he says I’ve found to be true in the practice of our group.

Now it would be wonderful to have more people come on Wednesday mornings, but Allan Demond makes another practical; suggestion that some of you in this church might like to take up.

Invite the prayers of other people even when you cannot assemble to pray. When distance and diaries make face-to-face meetings impossible, we can still be with each other in spirit.

Please feel welcome to come on a Wednesday, but if you would like to covenant to pray that morning, from 8:30-9:30am, it would also be wonderful to have you join us in this way.

Teach us to pray, the disciples, asked and that is our request, too.