News and Articles
6 January 2018
Is prayer a burden or a privilege? A chore or a joy? So often we can think of prayer as hard work, a duty that has to be performed, so we can tick it off the list, feel we’ve ‘done it’ and not feel guilty.
But is that really how it should be?
When I think about this, I often think of the passage in Hebrews 10:19–25 which reminds us of what Jesus has achieved for us. Isn’t it remarkable that those of us who have trusted in Jesus’s death and resurrection for our forgiveness can be sure that our hearts are ‘sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience’ and our bodies ‘washed with pure water’?
As a result, rather than shrinking back in fear, we can come before a Holy God, the Creator of this amazing universe, not just creeping in with fear and trepidation, but with confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus!
He calls us to draw near
We’re now ‘God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved’ (Colossians 3:12), and our Father who delights in us calls us to draw near. What a wonderful invitation that is!
But how will we respond to that invitation?
This week we have an opportunity to draw near to God in a fresh way, individually and together as a church. We’ve seen God at work among us in wonderful ways over 2017, but are we satisfied with that? Don’t we long for more?
God chooses to work in response to the prayers of his people. He longs for us to pour out our hearts to him, to come before him in praise and thanksgiving, to recognise how much we need him, to plead with him to be at work in our own hearts — and in the lives of those around us who don’t know Jesus.
Standing in the shallows?
Imagine standing by the edge of the sea, dipping your toes in the water. The sea beyond you is vast. You can choose to stay in the shallows or you could plunge in and swim or even take a boat into the deep water. In our relationship with God, are we too often willing to stand in the shallows when God has so much more in store for us?
In Luke 5:4–8, after the disciples have worked all night and haven’t caught any fish, Jesus tells them to ‘put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ When they did so, ‘they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.’
Maybe for you, for me — for us as a church — this week gives us the opportunity to take those steps from the shallows and go into deeper places with God together as we seek him together in prayer.
Will you join us and see what God has in store as we step into 2018 with him?
I need you, God
What will you choose to give up this week in order to say to God, ‘I need you more than this’?
For many people that will be food, but if that isn’t appropriate for you could you give up something else instead (perhaps TV, sport, or social media) to dedicate more time to prayer and make your relationship with God more of a priority?
Could you sign up for an hour in the prayer room? Which prayer night(s) could you join us for? Could you come with a friend or family member or with your home group? Go to this page to find out dates and times of prayer events this week »
Parents, how will you encourage your children to have a special prayer focus this week and what will you model to them in terms of the place prayer has in your own life?
God invites us to draw near to him. How will you respond?