Let me begin by saying thank you. There are times when I write this letter and wonder if anyone will actually read it. I have even been tempted on occasion to slip in an old one from a previous edition, just to see if anyone notices! Well please forgive me for such unworthy thoughts; and let me say thank you for the response that I have had to my January article, which seemed to strike a chord with many of you. You have grasped the sense of urgency that I feel about this year.
A couple of us were chatting the other day and talking about the need in both business and church life to have a sense of momentum. As well known high street brands have been tumbling around us the overall sense is that many have got into trouble because they have lost their sense of direction and been unable to react to the situations in which they have found themselves. That is an easy trap to fall into. Everything seems to be going well, and then suddenly it begins to fall apart.
For us as Christians the most important way to maintain momentum is strangely to take time out and wait upon the Lord. This expression – to wait upon God – is not passive; it’s very different from just waiting to see what happens! Instead it is about taking time to check the direction that we are taking and to listen to what God wants for us. The value of prayer is not in our ability to persuade God to do the things that we want, but in our ability to maintain a relationship with Him so that we understand what He requires of us.
This is why Jesus, when helping His disciples to understand prayer, says this: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matt 6:7-8)
If God already knows our need, why bother to pray at all? Because prayer is not about bringing a shopping list of needs but about bringing our hearts to Him and seeking what is in His heart for us. We see this pattern in Jesus’ life. Time and again He would seek out a quiet place to pray. If it was important for Him it certainly is for us. So taking time to wait on God is important to us in our daily lives, and as a Church.
One of my priorities now is to get the Prayer Room properly set up. The idea of the Prayer Room is that it is a space in the building that is available for people to use for prayer whenever they want and not just at set times. In there you will be able to find information for prayer, about the life of the Church and about World Mission. Currently many prayer letters from worthy organisations end up on the table in the lobby area, but in future these will be found in the Prayer Room. Our Resource Library will also be in there with details about how you can make use of life group materials and recordings.
This is a room for you to use if you just want a quiet space to wait upon God or if you want to get together with some others to pray for something. Even if others are using it you can still come and find some space there for your use. The only exception to this is from 9.45 until 12.15 on a Sunday morning when Xplorers use this as their room.
Over the next few weeks it will begin to take shape, so check it out and see how you can use this important resource.
Yours in Christ