The Inkwells of God
I remember the pens of my youth, with an inkwell at hand because they needed dipping every few words – messy things, with a need for blotting paper. And then fountain pens and ink bottles, and later cartridges, and then a miscellany of ball points (handy, but not as easy writing). Call me old-fashioned if you will, or environmentally aware, but I still at least start all my writing with a fountain pen, before turning it into type. Actually my pen ran out as I started this column and I had to reach for the ink bottle, and then I wondered if this gave me a picture of prayer, i.e., that when we run dry we can be refilled.
Sometimes when we want to pray we can’t find the words, or even the inclination. We may need refilling with compassion for those we pray for, reawakened to their needs and God’s supply. Recharged with his promises to hear and respond to our requests. Reassured by memories of past answers. Reminded that he invites us to approach boldly to his throne of grace, where we may find help in time of need.
How do we do it? Well, there’s praise and thanks: both of these connect us with God and his spirit of intercession flows into us. And there’s his word, the Bible – an infallible and never-ending supply of guidance and encouraging witness statements, as well as prayers to adopt as our own. For there is no end to God’s supply, nor anything niggardly in his attitude when we pray: lavish refilling, but without the need for tissues to mop up.
The WEEKLY prayers for May 2019 are:
Week 1 God of the never-ending, we praise you for who you are: our creator and Heavenly Father, our rescuer and giver of eternal life; please fill us with your Spirit as we pray for others. Amen.
Week 2 God of the never-ending, we praise you for what you are: our life for always; available and welcoming; please help us seek you with all our hearts, when we’re dry or empty. Amen.
Week 3 God of the never-ending, we praise you for your promises: to be present in the Holy Spirit, to plan for our good, both here and hereafter; may we open up to all you have for us. Amen.
Week 4 God of the never-ending, we thank you for all you do: daily providing for our needs; please extend our horizons and deepen our roots as we grow into your likeness, through Jesus. Amen
Your own prayers
A small section of dry-stone walling. Interlocking rocks of various shapes and sizes, standing on a firm foundation, banking up a border of plants for beauty, holding the looser earth in place for order in the garden. A quick sketch by an artist, practising hand/eye coordination, but also capturing a bit detail of something that might otherwise be missed, and now viewed by you. Artists are seers, encouraging you to look afresh. What can you make of it?
With the discerning eye of faith, isn’t it all like us praying in the garden of God: called into place by God according to his master plan; with others, often so dissimilar; built on the foundation of Jesus and his words; and interceding in a weak and weedy world for our loving Lord’s renewal?
The WEEKLY prayers for June 2019 are:
Week 1 Gardening God, placing us where you will, as you plan your new world, please help us to hold to our place, not feebly and fitfully, but firmly and faithfully. Amen.
Week 2 Constructing God, arranging us alongside others, often very different, please help us to fit with them as fellow living stones, in walls that give you praise. Amen.
Week 3 Sustaining God, providing a unshakeable and permanent foundation for our lives, separately and together, please help us to rely wholly on you and no other. Amen.
Week 4 Supporting God, tenderly holding us in our weakness, knowing our friable frailties, please help us to support one another in need, compassionately, like Jesus. Amen.
Week 5 Perceiving God, revealing your truth by your creation as well as by your word, written and whispered, please help us see, and hear, and heed responsibly. Amen.
Your own prayers