We love our green countryside, with all its shades and hues, and lush, colourful gardens or fruitful allotments, but…! But we don’t like the rain that makes possible the green and the harvest. From apologetic weather forecasters to bus queue grumblers we see rain as bad news. We complain, we moan: “Just typical!” we say (though it isn’t at all). If we’re being especially thoughtless, we have a go at God for poor management. Is this reasonable? Or respectful of our beloved Creator? No, obviously it’s not! But we still do it.
The reason I’m dripping on like this is to make the point that God is in charge of far more than just the rain in our lives. And though some things may seem highly unpleasant at the time, enduring them produces a harvest that nothing else can. They green our inner landscape.
I’m not suggesting we should pretend to enjoy what is obviously disagreeable, any more than welcoming being deluged from puddles by heedless motorists. Nor am I suggesting we shouldn’t use the equivalent of an umbrella, if we can do so safely (brollies and crowds don’t always mix). What I am suggesting is that we can glorify God for his promise never to leave us or forsake us, come what may (Heb 13:5), and pray our way with him through the cataracts of life, praising him in advance for what fruit he will bear in us and through us, which we may not see until the time returns of peace and still waters
The WEEKLY prayers for August 2019 are:
Week 1 Creator God, who made all around us that we so enjoy, and at our best try to work with, please help us to praise more and moan less, always. Amen.
Week 2 Father God, bringing us up as your children to maturity in Christ, through toddler tantrums and teen mopes, please help us accept your discipline. Amen.
Week 3 Physician God, diagnosing our condition and prescribing the course of treatment we need, please help us take our medication, trusting you. Amen.
Week 4 Sustaining God, able to support each life as well as the whole biosphere, on our way to wholeness, please help us to take you at your every word. Amen.
Your own prayers
Circuit Prayer Letters
For the last seven years I have been preparing and distributing by email a weekly prayer letter for those who wish to pray for Bradford North Circuit. The letters offer brief thoughts on prayer, a short prayer, and a list of prayer points: a rota of ministers, office holders and churches; and Circuit events. Some congregations are well represented on my mailing list, but most have very few and one has no intercessors at all. So, to mark the seventh anniversary I’m having another go at publicising the letters in an attempt to strengthen our joint prayer efforts for the Circuit.
I think prayer matters. I think God wants us to pray. Indeed I think we actually need to engage with him in prayer if we are ever to reach our full maturity as Christians. Prayer is one of our main means of relating person-to-person with God as our Heavenly Father: in praise and thanks, as well as saying sorry for our slips, trips and flips – and of course asking him for things. Odd though it may sound, God seems to want and expect us to ask: for the help we need with whatever tasks he has given us; and even for things he has promised. We’re to pray them into being.
All of which is why I pray, on my own and at prayer meetings. It’s why I write about prayer, to encourage it, in this monthly column and these weekly letters. If you would like to join in, email me. Or request a sample letter before you make up your mind. If you’re not on email, could you perhaps get someone who is, perhaps at church, to print them for you
The WEEKLY prayers for September 2019 are:
Week 1 Heavenly Father, Jesus taught his disciples to pray when they asked him. Please teach us to pray, and to go on praying, getting to know you better, and working better for you too. Amen.
Week 2 Lord God Almighty, how can you, so majestic and holy, be bothered with the likes of us? And yet you are! You created and you keep us. Please help us to respond as we should. Amen.
Week 3 Great Lord of all, from the wide sweep of the cosmos to the detail of our thought life, we praise you for your power and thank you for your mercy. Please deepen our true insights. Amen.
Week 4 Merciful Lord, great beyond measure yet condescending without limit, please forgive my wrongs and mend my flaws. And help me pass on your blessing, as I too forgive others. Amen.
Week 5 Eternal Father, knowing the end of things from before their beginning, please draw me closer into your plans, and empower me to keep in step with your Spirit, through Jesus. Amen.
Your own prayers