Week of Prayer – Day 5 Never unnoticed…

Reading – Mark 10:21

…Jesus, looking at him, loved him…

Nothing is hidden to God—He sees everything; He is omniscient, which means, of course, that God sees even the sins we have successfully hidden from everyone else. How do you feel about that? It is a bit awkward to say the least isn’t it? Yes, we might think that, but really, we should be delighted, because our all-seeing God is also the one who loves us more than any other. Yes, He sees our sin and it hurts Him, so we need to come to Him, repentant and asking for forgiveness, but in seeing everything, He is pleased when He sees signs of obedience and responses to His love in us.

Today’s reading gives us a great picture of this in practice. As the rich young man reels off his long list of the good things he does, Jesus looks at him only the He can, He looks with amazing love. He tells the man that he is on the right track doing a good job, that spiritually, he’s getting there. Then his searching gaze rests on the one thing that is holding this man back: his love for all the things he has, and he has a lot… Jesus tells him a difficult truth, that only by giving away the thing he loves more than Jesus will he find true freedom.

It seems this rich young man sees the truth of Jesus’ diagnosis but gives the impression that he is unwilling to do anything about it. So he turns away sad.

Does he ever respond? That we do not know, but we do know that Jesus’ words hit the mark and so it’s possible that he after all became one of the first believers.

We can do nothing to make others respond to the truth, but when it comes to ourselves, we can do everything that is needed to respond to Jesus.

Reflect: As you spend a quiet time with Jesus in prayer today, thank Him that He looks on you with love.

Act: First Ask Jesus to show you all that is obedient and good in you. He knows how hard you try to follow His way; He hears, remembers and answers every prayer that you have ever prayed to Him. He feels everything that hurts in your body and your spirit. Now let him show you how precious you are to Him.

Next take another step. Ask Jesus put his finger on one thing you may love more than Him—one thing that may be holding you back. Perhaps its money or belongings like the rich young man. Perhaps you are trapped in a persistent sin, or perhaps you are holding a grudge that you are having a hard time letting go of. Ask Jesus, as He shows you these things, to take your hand, stay close and help you beat them in His power, in His strength; let go of them, take hold of Jesus and let Him, who loves you, encourage you and show you the way of healing and moving forward that He is providing for you.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Sometimes we need to say sorry in our prayer time –




Be quiet for a few moments today and think if you have made someone sad or angry.

Ask God to help you not to do it again.

Week of Prayer – Day 4 What does God want?

Reading -Hebrews 10:22

let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Just read those first 9 word’s again and let them sink in a bit – The writer of this passage is desperate for us to see that not only do we need to be close to God, sharing with God, speaking with God, but that it is actually possible for to do that, because He has made it possible. The sad thing is though, so many Christians settle for living their lives at a distance from God.

This going right into God’s presence isn’t a physical thing, it is not something we have to work at with all our effort. We don’t have to face a certain direction or go into a special building, we don’t have going to ask a special man wearing weird clothes to let us in. So how do we “go right into the presence of God?” Simply by an invisible act of our heart. You can do it while standing absolutely still, walking, sitting, driving, while lying in a hospital, or on the train or in fact anywhere.

This is the heart of the gospel — this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and the crucifixion are all about — about  the incredible fact that God has done the most amazing and costly thing to make it possible for us to come close to Him. That was the whole point of Him sending His Son to suffer and to die so that through Him we might maybe decide to come back to Him, to enjoy God’s presence and start to have life as it was supposed to be.

It is not that God needs us. If we turn our backs on Him He isn’t any less God, He doesn’t lose out. He does not need us in order to be content, but He loves us that much that He wants us to be with Him so we might know more of His love.

Reflect: Do you want to know what God wants most in your life?  It is this, that you come as you are invited.

Act: During this week of prayer take Him at His word and dive right into His presence.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 4

Thank God for the family you are part of and for your church family. Why not draw a

picture/take a photo of your family and use it as you pray to God today.

Week of Prayer – Day 3 Have You Ever Wrestled With God?

Reading – Genesis 32:22-31

During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” “Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.

“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.


The Bible shows us two amazingly intimate ‘one to one’ meetings that Jacob has with God, the first is in 28:10–17, but in this passage we’ve seen Jacob spending the whole night wrestling with God, wrestling because he is insistent that God would bless him, so desperate for a blessing that he will not let go, that is, not until he is blessed.

I wonder do you hesitate to wrestle with God over things dear to you? Jacob didn’t think twice, and I believe that we shouldn’t either. You see being a follower of Jesus is not just about being saved, but it’s about pursuing God, in His word and face to face in prayer.

After this encounter with God, Jacob is left physically weaker with a dodgy hip but in reality, he is stronger… he is stronger because he was blessed by God. He goes on in his life better equipped to deal with his past, his present and his future, because he has wrestled over some difficult things with God, and in wrestling he was changed, changed to be ready, able and willing to accept God’s blessing, accept God’s leading and most importantly to accept that God’s plan and God’s will are supreme over everything and God’s love and justice is without question.

Reflect: Jacob wrestled with God… God won and Jacob was blessed – just think that through as you go through the day!

Act: Take hold of God today and wrestle in prayer with Him, maybe it’s a break-through that’s not coming, perhaps it’s just the courage to keep on track, maybe it’s a sin you can’t shake off, or a hurt you can’t let go of… Wrestling in prayer is a hard task and it will permanently change you but don’t let that stop you, because that’s the way of blessing.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 3

Let’s thank God for all He has made –which is your favourite day of creation?

Week of Prayer – Day 2 Stop, Look and Listen

Reading – 1 John 5:20

And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

No, it’s not the Stylistics song I have in mind, or the Green Cross Code, though that’s closer to the mark…

The question today is a big one and it is this: “Do you really want to know God?” Obviously I’m hoping the answer is yes, and if it is yes, here is where the Stop, Look and Listen comes in.

Stop trying to get close to God by following your own feelings, whims and opinions about who God is, without first seeing and agreeing who He says He is, because what we know about Him is completely dependent on what He has shown us about Himself. It is completely impossible know God until you take notice of what He has revealed to us about Himself. You see as with everything, the conversation starts with God, we get to know Him when we respond.

Look at what God has shown us. The Bible has been described as a window in which we can see what God will show us about Himself: His creation, His love, His plan, and of course importantly His desire for us to have a perfect and eternal relationship with Him, made possible through that once for all sacrifice as He came as our Saviour. As you seek God, ask Him in a simple prayer, every time you open your Bible, to show you more of Himself.

Listen – having asked, listen to what God has to say to you, if you’re not in the habit it will take patience and practice, but keep listening. Read your Bible, and listen to Him speak to you through it, and as you do, notice how you discover more about Jesus, His love for you and His plan for you.

Reflect: Do I know God as I should, or is the god I think I know my own invention. Might I need to stop, look and listen more?

 Act: Take things at the pace God sets for you, don’t try and spend hours just listening for a start, but do stop daily and gradually increase the time you spend looking at God’s word and listening to Him as you actively believe that as our text says:

the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.

Children’s Prayer Activity

Day 2

Why not print out and colour in the picture today? Bring it to church on Sunday to share with your friends.


Week of Prayer – Day 1 Faith or Emotions

Reading – Isaiah 59:16

He saw…     …and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

Why is it that sometimes we find we’ve stopped praying, that we’ve cooled off when it comes to a real relationship with God? Could it be that our interest in prayer and our relationship with God is so often nothing to do with faith, but a lot to do with our emotions? We might talk about prayer; maybe make an effort to get to a prayer meeting once in a while, perhaps read a book on prayer which tells us how valuable prayer is, we might have heard it said in a sermon or two or read in the bible that when we pray our whole being is enriched and built up – we can have peace. We might read hear and remember that, but there will be times when we find we’ve wandered away, maybe a little or maybe a lot, but wandered we have. So what is God’s take on this?

Well from our text we can see that God wonders, He is astounded… You see prayer and worship were what we created for, God created us to “glorify Him and enjoy Him forever,1” that is to worship Him and enjoy Him. If in our daily lives we don’t put God first, if in our daily lives we don’t chat with Him, have long conversations with Him, ask His opinion and follow it or in other words if in our daily lives we’re not communicating with God, but are going our own way… well then, God will look and He will wonder.

Reflect: Does my life honour God, am I enjoying His grace and mercy, or might I be causing God to wonder.

Act: make a regular time to spend with God, to be thanking, asking, listening and submitting.

Children’s Prayer Activity  

DAY 1 adoring God –tell God you love Him in your prayers today


Feasts of Israel – Study 1

The Jewish Calendar

Study based on the sermon: Jewish Feasts part 1

Reading: Leviticus 23:1-14

  1. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath? How might we either be too legalistic or too liberal in this?
  2. Are these feasts in Leviticus 23 really relevant to us today? If so how, and why don’t we celebrate them within the modern church?
  3. As a group discuss each of the first three feasts; how are they a reminder of past things and in which ways do they speak of things that were to come.
  4. In the sermon we looked at the dates of Passover, preparation, selecting the sacrifice etc. and how the prophecies of Daniel 9, Psalm 118 and Zechariah 9, Luke 11:29 form part of the picture. Discuss how all of this fits together in God’s plan, how tradition has confused things and what this might teach us about the importance of studying the whole of scripture.
  5. Please use the points below to guide you in a time of prayer.

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.

Building, Watching and Walking

This week’s study picks up on these two sermons:

Which Way? Jeremiah 6:16

Unless The Lord… Psalm 127

  1. Read Psalm 127 and Jeremiah :6:16 – 21
  2. Who are these verses aimed at, believers or non-believers? Why is it important that God’s people (The Church), put their own house in order [try to look at this from every possible angle]?
  3. If God is the builder and the watchmen why do we need to do anything?
  4. what is meant, in Jeremiah 6:16, by “the old godly way“, and how do we find it?
  5. For Christian’s the message in these few verses is ‘blindingly obvious’, so why do we often find ourselves doing the wrong thing and continuing to think we know best when it comes to certain, if not every, aspects of our lives?
  6. As a House group talk through how you might encourage, guide, and support each other in the year ahead as you seek to let the Lord build and watch and walk in the ‘old ways’ with Him

This term’s prayer pointers:

  • Give regular thanks for answered prayer;
  • Pray that The Lord will build His Church at New Connexions: spiritually, physically and numerically;
  • Seek the Lord for direction as to outreach in the year ahead.



A Committed Christian?

So often in our Christian lives we spend inordinate amounts of time talking about prayer, wanting to seek the Lord and do His will; which I believe are great sentiments, but as we approach the end of the year I’m drawn back to some words we used at the start of our year in our covenant service, words which were borrowed from a great puritan called Richard Alleine:

I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly give all things to you. Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. This my covenant with you my God, made here on earth, let it be confirmed in heaven. Amen

Why not take that prayer again, study it, meditate on it, discuss it and consider: as individuals, and as Christ’s Church, have we yet made this prayer our own? How can we encourage one another, and what is the Lord asking of us as individuals walking in covenant with Him? If studying in a group: spend a good time in prayer seeking the Lord for each other and the wider Church. When studying alone: also, of course, pray through the issues that arise in your heart.

Sierra Leone Mission Prayer Points for JUNE / JULY 2016

CofH Crsst‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we

ask anything according to His will, He hears us.’

1 John 5 v 14

Sunday: Pray for the advance of the gospel in Sierra Leone. Pray that the members of the C. of H. Churches might be light and salt in their communities. May their witness be evident to those who are as yet unsaved.

Monday: Pray for the newly appointed leaders. Pray that God will give them wisdom and discernment in their new roles. Pray especially for Rev. Theophilus Nicol and Rev. Alex Dixon.

Tuesday: Pray that the C. of H. churches in the U.K. will realise the responsibility that we have to pray and give to our brothers and sisters in S.L.

Wednesday :  Pray for Ebenezer church at Manallo Village. Pray for the pastor Magnus Bendu and the lay pastor and headmaster of the school, Daniel Ndomawah. Praise God that the church is growing and pray for the teachers and children who attend the school.

Thursday: Many children who have lived at Bethesda have been reunited with family members. These children have turned to Christ during their time at Bethesda. Pray they will stand firm in their faith.

Friday: Pray for the street children who are moving into Bethesda. Pray for wisdom in their selection and a settled initial period.

Saturday: Pray for Rev. Daniel Koroma our agent in S.L.  Continue to pray for him and his daughter in their loss last summer of wife and mum.


Sierra Leone Mission Prayer Points for April / May 2016

CofH Crsst

I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand,

 I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices

(Acts 2:25-26)

Sunday: We thank God for a successful A.G.M. at conference and for the offering of just over £5,000 which will provide for two new toilet blocks.

Monday: Pray for the committee members who were re-elected, and for Geoff Chapman who has joined the committee. Pray for wisdom for each of them as they seek God’s will for the future.

Tuesday: Pray for continued protection from the Ebola virus for those in Sierra Leone, thanking God for the protection so far.

Wednesday: Pray that the rice might continue to be a source of comfort to the needy and outreach to non-Christians in S.L. as Daniel, Magnus and the leaders distribute to those in need.

Thursday: Pray for the new chairman and General Superintendent of the connexion in S.L., Rev Theophilus Nicol, for his assistant Rev Alex Dixon also Rev Magnus Bendu as he takes on the role of secretary.

Friday:  Pray for Rev Daniel Koroma, our agent in Sierra Leone as he carries out the many tasks he does for us, but also in running his church.

Saturday: Pray for the children who have been brought into the new home at Bethesda and for those looking after them, as they teach the love of Jesus through all they do.