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Weekly Update – 11th April 2016

Posted by on 15th April 2016

Sunday seemed quite calm after all the excitement of the past weeks and it was good to welcome one or two new faces to our worship. This week we began a new teaching series entitled ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ which will be the subject for our midweek Life Groups for the next few weeks. When we considered the weakest areas of our church life at the end of last year, we agreed to teach on the four weakest during 2016. So far we have looked at prayer and now we are considering evangelism. I know that most of us struggle with this as a concept and even more practically but our hope is that by sharing together on this subject we might have more confidence to talk about our faith.

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Our Ikon service focussed on the Benedictine approach to prayer which is to do in community. We shred in a form of the service of Compline which is one of the seven hours of prayer introduced to shape the monastic life by Benedict. Benedict believed in communities of prayer whose duty was to bring before God constantly the needs of the world. Prayer often feels like a solitary experi­ence, something we do by ourselves, out of sight, personal and private. The truth is, however, that we never pray alone. Countless millions of people are praying at any given moment and our prayer is just one drop in the vast river of prayer which is always flowing towards God. Even if we are praying quietly in our own room, we are doing so in the company of a huge number of others all over the world.

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Our prayer this week comes from Benedict of Nursa (480-550AD) Benedict is credited with the development of the monastic system that still exists today. He believed that prayer was the real work of the Christian and that communities of praying people made it more effective. This prayer reveals the nature of his seeking after God and would be a helpful way for us to start each day this week.

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

Gracious and holy Father,

please give me:

intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting. Amen

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