Monday 11th January 2021
Verse for the week: 2 Chronicles 7:|4
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble
themselves and pray, and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and heal their land
Well, what a year that was!! 2020 proved to be a most difficult year for most of us, and here we are, having wished each other a Happy and Healthy New Year, feelling like we are back to square 1! Children are back learning from home, Joe Wicks is back on our TV screens, we are still not allowed to meet in one another's houses, and, to cap it all, it is winter, so days are shorter and colder and we really don't feel like going outside to meet!
And so many of us are finding that, more than ever before, we are crying out to God to bring us through what feels like a never-ending time of crisis, into the new life that we are all longing and hoping for
And it is that crying out to God that I want to focus on as we begin this new year
Prayer is such a vast subject, we could study it all year and not even begin to scratch the surface. Prayer is the foundation of our relationship with God. It is talking to God; listening to God; just sitting being with God; knowing that we are held and holding onto the One who knows all about us and still loves us
Prayer, for me, is summed up in the motto of Spurgeon's College:
Et Teneo - Et Teneor - which means I hold and am held
Prayer is interceding for our world, our nation, our government and leaders. Prayer is holding those we love before the throne of the Almighty. Prayer is walking in God's plan for our lives even when the days are dark and difficult and we feel like we are walking alone. Prayer is sometimes all we feel we can do
I have a best friend who I call and chat to regularly. We have been friends for about 30 years and so we know one another pretty well. We have watched each others children grow up, and have walked through the highs and lows of parenting together, but we still have plenty to talk about whenever we meet to walk and natter
The same is true for our relationship with God. He has known us since the beginning of time (Jeremiah 1:5); He knows us intimately, having knitted us together in our mother's wombs (Psalm 139:13-14); He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7); He knows our names (Isaiah 43:1), and He will go with us through all that life throws our way (Isaiah 43:2). But what He longs for, most of all, is for us to know Him and to spend time with Him
So, how can we pray?
Although Prayer is an immensly deep subject, beginning to pray is as simple as talking as it is, after all, just talking to God. The simplest prayer I know is 4 letters long - H.E.L.P. Jesus even gave us a prayer that we can use as a way to begin a life of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Prayer is something that has been used by millions of people throughout the whole of history, David's prayers are recorded in Psalms, and the bible records the songs, or prayers of many other ordinary people, such as Hannah, Mary, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Peter, Stephen, Jesus and so many others. And Prayer is something that God has promised He will listen to and answer when His people humble ourselves and turn to Him
Anyone can pray, at any time, in any way. Prayer is seeking God and talking to Him about your life, about your fears and anxieties, talking to Him about the things that make you happy as well as the things that worry you. Prayer is seeking God's will for your life and asking Him for the strength to do the right thing, even though the rest of society appears to be doing the opposite. Prayer is learning more about yourself and the relationship God longs for you to have with Him. Prayer is connection to the One who knows all things and who longs to show you how to live His way
And if you've never prayed before, well the New Year is as good a time as any to start a new thing, why not give Prayer a try and see what God might say to you!
©Rev Bren Brundritt
- 137 Sidcup Hill
- DA14 6JS