Way back in the beginning, when the Adam and Eve mucked up by disobeying the one and only command God had given them, they hid themselves in shame. But God searched for them and called out for them.
Where are you?
Despite them damaging their relationship with God, he still wanted relationship. They’d lost their way and felt utterly lost to God and to each other but God came looking like a shepherd looking for lost sheep.
God called out in love to his image bearers because he couldn’t bear to have part of his image separated from its loving source.
God seeks and God speaks
God continues to seek for his lost ones and continues to speak. The whole of creation ‘speaks’ of his wonder. God speaks to us through his Word, through the words of his people, and directly to our hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit.
One of our parish - prayers shared this quote with me;
“God speaks to those who take time to listen and
God listens to those who take time to pray.”
Are we listening? Do we have time to hear? We can’t make time but we can take time. We can set aside particular times for communication with God. It’s good for us to develop good prayer habits or we can slowly slip into a place where we neither listen or speak to God.
There’s no right time or wrong time to listen to God and to speak to him.
Maybe it’s better to say that all the time is the best time. I pray that we’ll have our ears, eyes, and minds open to hear God speak to us and that we’ll have confidence to speak.
God our Father, longs for a close and open relationship with each of us. What a privilege to have an ‘open door’ to our Father in heaven.
Let’s use it so we don’t lose it!
As we begin 2020 large areas of our land are still in the grip of drought. Fires have been ravaging our land and destroying the homes and livelihood of people and animals. We might like to ask is 2020 going to be a year of destruction and death or a year of goodness and grace?
Some will say that because it’s begun so badly it can only improve but others might say this is just a foretaste of much worse to come. What about us?
What is our vision for the year of the Lord 2020 and can we claim to have 2020 vision to explain the current circumstances?
If we want to throw Bible verses around to prove our prediction or our version of the truth we’ll easily find them. But that’s not what the Bible is for and not a very helpful way to proceed. It’s much more important and helpful to have a holistic view of the Bible and the nature of God and to allow that to inform our thinking.
We know that
· God is love and nothing can separate us from his love.
· Our lives are in God’s hands.
· God will never leave us or forsake us.
· No matter what happens God’s always doing his best for us.
· We live in a broken and sin-filled world.
Therefore if you say 2020 will be a year of destruction and death, I’d say, you could be right. And if you say 2020 will be a year of goodness and grace, I say, you’re absolutely right because we’re children of God. Our hands are prayerful and we’re holding hands with our loving God.
In 2020 - Lord, teach us to pray.
Whatever 2020 brings - Lord, teach us to pray.
At the end of 2020 - Lord, let us look back and thank you for the privilege of prayer.
Prayer is conversation with God and therefore all prayer is by its nature relational. Some prayers are more relational than others and sometimes we’re more aware of the relational aspect than
When Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray he gave them an example and model for prayer which we call the Lord’s Prayer.
This amazing prayer is relational from beginning to end
but we can rattle it off rather than relate to our God
Not only is it addressed to our heavenly relative, our Father (Dad) but Jesus taught us to pray ‘our’ Father rather than ‘my’ Father.
As God’s children we’re related to God and to all God’s people. We’re all brothers and sisters. The Lord’s Prayer focusses on both of those relationships.
We pray for God’s name, kingdom, and will. We’re at the same time asking for and committing ourselves to a good relationship with God. We praying to the God of the universe and therefore the prayer has a universal focus.
There’s no ‘I’ in the Lord’s Prayer.
It protects us from selfishness
We pray for the daily needs of the world-wide family even though we might be thinking about what’s in our own pantry.
We pray for good and lasting relationships. Because we often muck them up we ask God to forgive us so we can keep on
We pray we’ll neither lead our neighbour into sin or be led into sin by our neighbour.
Our prayer for God to deliver us from evil applies equally to ourselves and our neighbour. We desire as much good for our
neighbour as we do for ourselves.
Lord, teach us to Pray!
How much more do we need?
How much more do we want?
How much is enough? Sometimes we might feel we haven’t got nearly enough and at other times we’ve got more than enough.
Have you ever wondered whether God is enough?
Jesus says lots about how much God loves us, cares for us and provides for our needs. He makes it clear that our God has more than enough for all of us. Our heavenly Father has more than enough love for everyone. God has than enough grace to save us all. God is more than enough.
Jesus says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 11:7)
Jesus also says, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
This is wonderful good news. Regardless of our situation and how we feel about what’s happening in our lives God is more than enough for us. No matter how much we need his love, his gifts, and the Holy Spirit, God is much more willing to help us than we are able to imagine.
God’s love and grace are so amazing and so consistent that it’s hard to comprehend. Our minds are too small to appreciate how much more our God is both doing and willing to do for us.
I pray we’ll live contented and thankful lives in the blessed assurance of God’s “how much more!”