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.

Prayer points for the coming months

Facilities

We’ve been blessed for many years with the use of St Mary’s School, and we hope this will be the case for some time to come, but the elders feel it is right to seek the Lord on the possibility of a permanent building, to enable us to further the work of New Connexions.

Some prayer points for this are:-

  1. That the Lord would make it clear to us about whether we should be seeking to build or find a long term agreement with another organisation in the area?
  2. Pray the Lord may provide a piece of land with the area we’ve been called to, according to His will and purpose.
  3. To provide financial assistance for the work
  4. To raise a team within our church who are dedicated to the future of the building work
  5. Guidance on how the building could, not only glorify him, but to serve the local community.

 

Youth

A number within the Church have been challenged by our need to reach the youth of the area.

Some prayer points for this are:-

  • A suitable venue may be found for us to meet.
  • We have some male volunteers to help run this project but we also need some female leaders.
  • In the running of this youth group there will be times and activities when we tell them about God and we would pray for clear inspiration on the content and leading of these ‘epilogue’ sessions.
  • A sound programme and ideas will be needed, as we obviously can’t rely on the youngsters turning up and organising themselves!
  • The Lord’s provision of equipment for this venture.

Please do pray for the work of New Connexions and use these prayer points in Housegroup, Prayer Meetings and personal prayer to specifically seek the Lord on these key points.

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