Such a lot has happened since I penned the last Update that it will be difficult to encapsulate all of it in this edition. Our last Update was written on the Christmas Eve, so let us start there. First there was the pop up nativity ably led by our mice Natalie and Victoria. Here come the angels!
The came midnight communion and finally Christmas Day dawned and the church was full of excitement. Presents were shown, the Nativity story sung along to and party poppers were fired in celebration.
Katy and I then went away for a few days of rest and recreation. Meanwhile Stewart ably led our Covenant Service on the theme of Adoption. (The text of his message is to be found at the end of this Update as usual).
The New Year was seen in and Unwind continued as usual. On Sunday we made a start on our new series ‘The Prayer Course’. The first week just introduced the subject of Prayer using some words from the books of James and Ezekiel. (The text of my message at the 9.15am service are also to be found at the end of this Update) The subject was followed on in our Cafe Church at 10.30am. My thanks go to Carol Wilkinson for stepping so wonderfully at the last minute when I was unable to lead.
In the evening we enjoyed a beautifully gentle evening at Live @ Costa in the very capable musical hands of our own Tilly Stothard. She entertained us royally with some wonderful songs.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
This week we were thinking about God’s call for us to ‘stand in the gap’ in prayer for other people and for the world. It seemed appropriate to provide an outline prayer for us to use. If there is someone or a situation that you feel God calling you to pray for, then why try using these words regularly to focus your prayer.
You begin by taking hold of God by acknowledging who He is and by thanking Him and praising Him for all He has done.
“Father, I thank You that You made a bridge for me.
I thank You for saving me by grace through faith, through the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank You, God, that You are an all-knowing, all-powerful God.
You are a loving God and a merciful God, and I praise You for Your greatness… for Your wisdom… for Your kindness to me…”
Second, you take hold of the person.
“Lord, You know the weight on my heart today. I’m bringing … to you.
I ask You to protect them. I ask you to meet … at their point of need, take away all evil influences and bring them your peace. You know this deep concern on my heart, Lord, I can’t hide it from You. So I bring it to you, in Jesus’ name.”
Do you see how that works? You take hold of God in one hand and take hold of the person in the other hand, and you become a bridge in between them. You stand in the gap.
“God, I’m bringing… to you, and I’m asking for a miracle in their life. I’m asking that the Holy Spirit will surround and protect them. I know that this is Your will, Father, and that right now I am praying in Your will.” Amen.