- It is still the rainy season in Sierra Leone and there has been much flooding in Freetown. Many people have lost their homes and belongings and some their lives. Please continue to pray for safety and a stop to the mud slides. Please pray that the Government might act wisely concerning the deforestation on the mountains and also bring in legislation so that folk are not allowed to build near waterways that are liable to flood.
- The schools begin their new year on the 16th September. Please pray for our teachers; that God will help them to value each child in their class and that they will be encouraged in their vocation.
- Pray for Magnus, Daniel and James as they lead the Connexion in Sierra Leone. Pray for the pastors especially as they all meet together on the last Saturday of the month.
- Pray for the new Sunday School teachers and the children as the children’s work develops.
- Thank God that all of the children at Bethesda passed their exams in June and are able to move into the next class.
- Pray for a meeting on the 19th September between the SLM committee and Relay Trust. This charity has its own web page.
- Thank God for providing funds to buy land for the Health Clinic. Please pray that God will undertake in the next step; to design and build.
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: It started with a kiss….
- Read the passage: Mark makes a point of translating the Hebrew word Abba, to ensure everyone knows what this word means – why is it a significant word and what does it tell us about the kind of relationship God wants to have with us?
- Discuss and work out what we can learn from:
- the words of Jesus prayer – what exactly did Jesus mean?
- why did the disciples keep sleeping?
- why did Jesus pray the same things more than once?
- What if anything surprises you about Jesus arrest?
- If Peter was willing to draw a sword and fight, what made all the disciples run away?
- What can we learn from this passage for our lives in the here and now in Ely?
If you missed the sermon, you can pick it up here: Don’t Argue With God!
- What was different about the Passover meal at the ‘last supper’?
- As they finished the meal they sang from Psalms 115-118. Take a look at those psalms and pick out anything particularly that might have been poignant for Jesus (knowing He was going to the cross within hours)
- We spent a good amount of time looking at Peter’s argument with Jesus about the fact he would deny Jesus. discuss why Peter became so forceful in his argument.
- How might we argue with God, bargain with Him, or claim to know better than Him.
- Why, when and how might we ever refuse to accept what the Lord is teaching us?
This study is based on Mark 13:13-20 and the sermon: LOOK UP!
Questions set by Misha.
1. Discuss the relevance of studying the OT in significance of Jesus first and second coming, and Gods purpose for Israel.
2. As believers today how important is it to weigh all scripture and prophecy in a balanced fashion…?
3. What is important to us as a church as we face an increase in persecution and being more marginalised as the Lord’s return draws nearer.
4.if time permits take time to pray for Jewish people as they come to the time of the autumn festivals that they will come to know Jesus (Yeshua)as their true Messiah.
This week’s study is based on the sermon Might you be suffering from IF…itis? and Mark 9:1-29.
- What was going on before the “Jesus went on to say” in verse1?
- What did it mean Jesus was transformed? What was the point of it?
- Moses and Elijah turn up… Why?
- What’s with the talking cloud?
- What was the problem with the boy in verse 17?
- Would the boy have been free of the demon if these disciples had prayed about it?
- What’s the only way to never be disappointed in yourself?
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
To pray these verses is a big ask. Why do I suggest that…? Simply because when we pray “May your Kingdom come” we must be ready to add, ‘and start with me – do whatever it takes Lord to have me submit completely to your will for my life, that I might be living the life You will have me live, as an obedient subject in Your kingdom, ready to willingly take my place where You put me to work for Your kingdom’.
Jesus says to us – pray like this! Are we able, will we trust Him and accept His answer? You see when we pray this prayer with sincerity we are saying, Lord I know You have called me; I know that calls is to ‘carry my cross’, I know that call is to offer You back my life knowing that it will (one way or another) be lost for the sake of living and sharing the gospel, and so I know that in praying this prayer I must be ready to accept Your call to self denial.
Have we properly grasped the demands of this prayer, have we understood it? If we are serious about our faith, we will pray this prayer with a seriousness, willingness and expectancy that the Lord will use us for His glory in His way…
Children’s Prayer Activity
I wonder how you pray? Do you have your eyes shut? Have you tried jumping or sitting or laying or running or standing on one leg?
You can pray at anytime in any position – see how many different ways you can pray today!
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Isn’t this a great question? I wonder which disciple it was who asked…
Yes a great question followed by a famous answer. An answer which provides Jesus’ framework to help us with prayer. But there is something in this request and answer that we can easily sidestep, or overlook – both the question and the answer make an assumption that we will pray. You see The disciples are eager to pray (“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”) and Jesus is eager to help them, as we find out if we read on (Luke 11:2-11).
A regular question in churches today is “how can I get better a praying?” It’s a great question and rightly Pastors across the world will turn up many passages of scripture to encourage us, to lead us, to remind us and be examples to us. God has provided all of this, but, as with all of the Bible, to profit from what we read we need at have hearts that are eager to understand, and get busy with what we learn – in short, the way to learn about prayer is to pray – do just what this disciple did, ask Jesus and be willing to respond to the answer.
Here are a few more pointers about prayer:
- Remember that ike everything we do well in our lives, we need to practice prayer.
- Use the framework set by Jesus for a start, or find one of the psalms that fits the need and pray it relating it to your circumstances.
- Make prayer a habit every day.
- Find a time and a space where you can focus.
- Expect to find prayer rewarding.
- Expect to find prayer hard work at times.
- Expect to God to respond, and watch out for those answers.
- Expect to be challenged by God.
- Expect to be Encouraged by God.
Direct communication with the Living God! Why wouldn’t we want to pray?
Children’s Prayer Activity
Adoring God – When you’re saying your prayers to day think of as many things as possible you really love and thank God for them, and remember too to tell God how much you love Him 🙂
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.
In the midst of your busyness, do you ever find yourself skipping the odd prayer meeting or housegroup? Do you find your quiet times get shorter or stop completely, might your bible be less well read?
As the busyness and stresses and strains increase, does communication with God come only in short sighs of desperation? Ever considered that there is a very clear link?
There is a sense of peace that comes when we lean on God in our busyness and in our stress. Are you working hard? Is it for God? That’s great! But here’s the question, is it really for Him? Are you letting Him be in control, or are you calling the shots and making His plans for Him?
If He’s not the one in control, if He’s not the one building the house, then your work is pointless, you’re wasting your time, just as Solomon reminds us in his psalm. When this happens instead of experiencing all that God has for you, you are unnecessarily exhausting yourself, like a builders labourer who ignores the plans, digs hard all day but at the end of it has achieved nothing but a big whole…
We have a God who is the best architect, able to build the most amazing creations out of nothing, He laid His life down to give us a perfect foundation and when He builds, the gates of hell will not prevail against it Matthew 16:18. So step back… take a breath… ask Him again to slow you down, refocus you on His perfect plan and work alongside Him in it.
As a Church, it serves us well too, to remember that in our seeking for land and a building we must never step out of His plan, never drag behind Him and Never rush ahead – It is a scriptural truth that be it physically or spiritually “unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”
So today as you take time with the Lord, seek Him on this aspect of our life as a church, ask Him to build us up and thank Him that in all things He will provide and protect His people.
Children’s Prayer Activity
Look in the mirror today and thank God for all the things He helps you with and give Him a smile 🙂 in the mirror as you thank Him for making you such a special person.
Never stop praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:23
Well, so said Paul and without a hint of ego, it was just a statement of fact.
So often today we might read something like this in scripture and think – wow, that was an amazing character, he must have had a special blessing from God to live like that, but of course, if we stop and think it through even for a second, this is exactly what Jesus calls each of us to do in our Christian lives – to be blessed as we live lives that do everything to spread the Good News. But here’s the “exam question:” Do we do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessing?
Imagine you knew that one of your friends were about to make a dreadful mistake, and from the outside you have the perspective needed to see what is at stake but they have no clue?
Say your friend told you he had started an affair, or your daughter or granddaughter had started to regularly turn up drunk, or your son was spotted hanging around with known drug dealers? What would you do in those circumstances? To what lengths would you go to in order to make these people you care for, see the awful errors of judgement, and the likely outcomes?
I’m guessing most of us would do everything possible, but What if those people were on (to use Chris Rea’s phrase) the road to hell?
For most of us it will be easy to go all out to save someone from their worldly bad choices. For most of us it is not quite as easy to go all out to save someone from choosing the clearly dangerous road to hell.
If you have a hard time motivating yourself to share Jesus, borrow some enthusiasm from Paul. It couldn’t be more important for people to find out about forgiveness. Without Jesus’ forgiveness a very real, very hot, eternity is on the horizon.
Paul would do everything possible to get people to listen to the story he had to share, the story of God’s love for his fallen creation. For Paul, sharing the gospel was the most important thing, and it should be for us too. This is why we are here. God wants to use us, of all people, to show his love to the world.
It all starts and ends with Jesus. Like Paul we were once lost. Like Paul we were joined to God’s heavenly family by the love of Jesus. Like Paul we are compelled by Jesus to do everything possible to share Jesus until he calls us home or comes to collect us.
So today, let us give thanks that we have been saved, and ask the Lord to fill us with His undeserved love so that our lives will overflow with His love to the world around us, and let us by every possible means share His gospel every day.
Print and colour in this picture to make it look like you, and as you’re colouring think and pray about your friends who don’t know Jesus!
“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.”
The importance of sharing the truth of God with the next generation was made clear to Israel. Were we inspired to write these words today, we would have no doubt written them in CAPITALS, underlined and bold. Look at the urgency in this verse – watch out!
As that need was urgent in Old Testament days, it is urgent now. Israel was (and is!) surrounded by hostile and ungodly nations, and hostile and ungodly influences were bombarding them from the world around them. Today the church is bombarded by the same influences – God is a God of love and justice: He knows very well the temptations that will come to water down His word to be ‘more palatable’ to those around who want to continue living rebellious lives, He knows of the lies the enemy will weave to lure future generations to step away from the truth of His word, a little here and a little there… He knows that without good examples, without lives lived showing His Grace and Mercy in action, without firm discipline and full love, children will be left to wander away from Him.
Today, let us give thanks to The Lord for our church family, and lift the children entrusted to us to Him in prayer, and let us, as a church family, recommit ourselves to Him, asking Him to help us to be sure to share His word, show His love, and teach of His righteousness and justice. We must too give thanks for our human families, pray for marriages and relationships within our church, and ask Him to enrich us by His Spirit as we seek to live obediently by His grace, showing Him in our lives to this generation and the next.
Children’s Prayer Activity
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.