Prayer works?

What a chaotic and scary week our little Island has had over the last couple of weeks. We have seen terror strike and try to rob my beloved UK of her peace and love.

I love my country and very proud of my nation. I’m proud of my city and the street where I live. It is full of people who are filled with love and warmth. We are all created in the same image, and noone is better than anyone else. The UK needs lots of prayer, not just for today or even tomorrow, but for the next months and years. This country needs to be filled with prayer and covered with the wings of God.

But in our daily life, does prayer work, or are the smaller things of life too insignificant for us to bother God with? Our bills, lack of food, clothing? What about our banged up car going in for its MOT? Is that too small for God to see? A parking spot in the hospital car park when our child is unwell? What about funds to go to a conference that we know would help us to grow spiritually but is really expensive?

These can seem silly things to maybe pray about, and how many times do we leave prayer as a last resort? A tool to use only when we have exhausted every other avenue of help. I know I have done and still can do this at times. I wonder why?

In 1 Kings vs 2-6, we read of Elijah who has fled from the city into the wilderness when he received a death threat from Queen Jezabel. He had nothing with him, no clothing, no Prada suitcase with his belongings. No rucksack full of trail mix and Red Bull for energy for the journey. Nothing. Not a thing. Not even his favourite pillow.

God needed Elijah for further work for the Kingdom. He provided Elijah with ravens who brought him meat to eat and a stream nearby for fresh beautiful clear water to drink. Yes, it wasnt the most amazingly thought up meal, but it was exactly what he needed right at that moment to keep going, and it helped him not to be so down about his circumstances.

Its very easy to get down about the next huge bill to come through the post, the broken washing machine and all the things that can build up and cause us to lose sleep with stress or worry.

We see the power of prayer all over the world. Big things, like people being raised from the dead, healing from life threatening diseases, safety in the most horrible of places. We can see God working in the persecuted church and the blessings they are living in.

But what about me and my daily life? God still wants to work in the small things within us just as much as he wants to raise from the dead the other side of the world. Everything in our life and in us is important to God, and I want you to know how loved and worth everything you are. If it bothers you, it bothers God. If it hurts you, it hurts God. If it makes you happy in Him, it makes God happy. No prayer goes unheard. No prayer is more important than another. There is no hierarchy system in the Throne room. All prayer is described as lifting up to the Throne room as insence which God breathes in. Its a beautiful picture of how God listens to all prayers in the Book of Revelation.

Dont ever settle for mediocrity. You are not mediocre, so why accept it. We are all children of the King, and He is with us always and walks with us in our life. He sees what we do, and how we do it. He never gives up on any of us, and provides in ways we cant even imagine.

All equal?

I’m sure we would all gasp in horror at the thought that our churches may not be as equal as we would like or hope them to be. We all know our vision statements and think our places of worship and fellowship are welcoming to all who cross our doorsteps. But are we? Is everyone who comes made to feel wantd and accepted for who they are right at that moment in their life?

Maybe, maybe not.

I’m a mother of 2 ASD boys, so I know first hand that there is an inequality surrounding churches and who is accepted and who isnt. Unwelcome comments, snide remarks on dress, lack of understanding to conditions we have no control over are present every week across the country. I myself am disabled, but dont have a single person in my church family who understands or I feel I can talk to. How bad is this and how prevelant is it?

I think the biggest word surrounding equality, is Understanding.

Respect and understanding are all pretty much everyone would ask for and I feel it is an expected part of church life whether it is available or not.

 

Sorry…….. got distracted at the door by 2 lovely gentlemen from the local JW felllowship. Lovely talk with them.

 

Right.

So if I talk about some of the most noticable disabilities. If some one is in a wheelchair, can the even enter your church? Is there wheelchair access? Is there disabled toilet access for them?

Do you have bibles in braille?

Do you have trained sign language people available?

Do you have translaters available for those who dont speak much English?

Are there trained teachers within the Kids Church to be able to allow those children with both learning/behavioural difficulties and those with more severe disabilities be a part of the work that is done with the youth?

What about those with tourettes? ASD or ADHD disorders? Those who cant speak? Mental health problems?

Are we there for all or just the ones we “feel” we can cope with?

Its a big question, but a very real one. Churches are there for all, the Gospel is for all, and we need to be ready for absolutely anyone who crosses our doors. For some, its took a big amount of bravery to even be there, so we need to make sure they are accepted, loved and welcomed for who they are. A lot of those struggling with disabilities are very isolated and some are housebound. I myself am mostly isolated and can be housebound some weeks, and noone even know or understand at all. My husband is amazing as is my youngest boy who is such an amazing child and is becoming a strong man of God. They both see the bad times, the worst of it all, and like me, there are millions out there in our own country who feel the same as me more and more, day after long depressing day.

So where are we? Are we filling pews and not caring? Are we out there involved with social action? Are we part of urban mission reaching the most lost of society?

We are not called to speak and act like a church, but to be the church. The church in the time of Acts right up to maybe 100 years ago was the benefits system looking after the homeless, the impoverished, the orphans, the unloved and unwanted. There are many out there working for them still, and they do it tirelessly and whether they feel like it or not. That army of love cant slow down or stop, it need to grow and grow so that we can reach all with the love of Christ and the hope they so desperately need.

So, what are we going to do about it?

Living Stones

The Church of God is built of us all, we are the living stones held together by the mortar of Jesus Christ. We are a family of stones, all connected by our Lord. A family of believers who are here because the first Church who walked the Earth with Jesus, gave all they had and all they were to make sure that the Good news and the Gospel of Jesus was spread across the entire world. They died for their belief, gave up all they had, their families, homes, jobs, the lot. They wanted to make sure that until the day their Lord came back to Earth, the message He sent them out with never faded or died with Him. They did their utmost, and we are here today in the 21st Century still with His Gospel. If we sit and think of all the years the same message has been the same, how it has changed the world and peoples lives as it passed from one year into the next, we would be there for a while. Our Church family, our spiritual relatives, were martyred and tortured to make sure we go to heaven with them. They were so brave, and lived for their Lord. What about us? Will the message of hope be the same message in 100 years? How about 500? What would we give up to make sure more people go to heaven with us? Would we give our lives, desires, families, to make sure we save as many as we can? What will it take from the 21st century believers to make sure Christ is known throughout the world?

Living stones are connected and a community. It doesnt matter the miles we are apart, even if we are on separate continents. We are all motivated by the desire to honour, love and live for our Lord. He has saved us from horrors we could never describe. He has saved us from ourselves, our sins, the sin of human nature that is opposed to God. The separation that was created with the first sin has been bridged for us. That sacrifice is the most precious gift we can ever be given. If we don’t do anything else in this life, we need to make sure that is the one thing we pay attention to and accept. We learn dependence, on God and each other. We belong to a safe community that has unity in the Lord who it loves. We learn to be cared for and learn to be who we were intended to be before sin and separation pulled us away.

1 Peter 2 vs 5 “You also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.

Come let us go up

Isaiah 2 vs 3. “Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths”.

I have already looked at Haggai, and bringing timber to build the house of the Lord. This verse is for when our house is built, our home for our Lord.

The House of the Lord was on a mountain, Mount Zion, and will be there in the Millennial ¬†Kingdom of Christ. As in Israel today and the Old Testament, the Temple of God is high up. To get there, you travel up the mountain. The Temple was a beacon, a light of God’s glory. All could see it and could worship God with sacrifices and drink offerings. The City where God dwelt was sacred. It was where the King of Kings was, where the King of Israel of God lived and worshipped. This city was the most important city in the Old Testament life and worship of those who loved and lived for God. They travelled regularly there to worship and offer gifts to the Lord.

We are the Church of God. We are the beacons now, the Temple. We are to live God-centred lives as a community of believers and lovers of the Most High God. It is through us that the Church grows, through us bringing the Gospel of Christ to others and seeing salvation happen around our local communities.

True Christianity, living for Christ, loving others, having faith, is not religion. We have a relationship with God and He relates to us as His Children. It is this that makes us different. Our God wants to relate to us, to know us fully, to adopt us as His children and give us an inheritance with His true Son Jesus. No other religion in the world has this beautiful relationship to offer. That is the difference that we need to show those who are desperate. Those who have no one. Those who need love. Those who have no purpose. A life of love and acceptance is there ready waiting for them, but what are we doing to show it to them?

If we are the light on the hill, a city shining, what are we showing? Are we showing discord, unforgiveness, dislike, disdain? Or are we showing others love, joy, acceptance, hospitality? Do we love everyone who happens to step through the door of our churches?

I want to go up to the mountain of the Lord. I want to sit at His feet and just be. With Him. He is my groom, I am His Bride. The Church is the beautiful bride. She is the most beautiful bride the universe has ever seen. I dont want to go with stained gowns, with an unloving attitude to others. I want to see my Church family be the very best they can be for their Groom as well.

We are building a Church of people. Millions of us all worshipping and praising God together. Lets keep bringing our timber to the House and keep building a House for God that grows and gets more beautiful every day. This is how we make ourselves ready for Him.

Praise is my strength

Praise, not complaining. Praise is my strength, my joy, my peace. The Word of God is where my praise comes from. Its where my strength is the written word. The Word is where my God and Saviour is. He is in every letter, every word, every book.
Have you noticed that when we complain or whine, that we seem so tired? It is as if it takes from us. What is the answer to this? The only thing that can change us from the inside out…. Praise to and of our Father God!
God and praise of, and to Him goes before us into any battle we have. It shows itself in how we react to others, how we relate to everyone we have in our life or meet in the street. It shows itself in how we spend our times with God, and even the depths we go in the Word.
God loves our praise, and if we love Him as much as we sing about in church on a Sunday, we will want to do what He loves us to do. God knows what is best for us. He loves us to praise and He knows it brings so much back to us.
There is a saying “dance like no one is watching”…. why dont we praise like no one is watching? No one to judge how we worship. No restraint. No one to laugh or tell us we are doing it wrong. Just praise as if we are in the throne room of our Father. No fear, just praise.

Psalms are our prayers

Psalms is the only book in the whole Bible that is really written to and for God Himself. All the other 65 books are for our growth, learning and development as well as warnings of what will come and what will happen in the future. Psalms was written mainly by King David and King Solomon, and is the heart of a worshipper. It is psalms of longing and love. It is full of worship and praise of who God is and how Amazing He is.

We can use the Psalms to help us pray in a way we have never done before. We can come to God just to praise and worship Him. We dont have to always bring a list of things to say or ask for. We can just bring our hearts cry. Our longing to be with Him. To know Him more.

The Psalms are not always nice, tidy or lovely prayers. They hold cries of pain, anguish and a down spirit. They hold awesome joy and laughter. They can be cries of worship and adoration. They can be bereaved or grieving screams.

At the beginning of each Psalm, there is a title, “of David”, or “of Solomon”. These prayers can be changed to “of Peter”, “of Stephen”. They are our prayers as well. I know I can relate to many of the Psalms at different points of my life. I know a lot of us probably can.

Read the Psalms with a praying and open heart, and see how they become your very own prayers. Who knows where it may lead us.

Jesus is a worshipper

Jesus worships the Lord and is seen as a worshipper throughout the 4 Gospels. He is our model and pattern of how we are to live on our walk. He was Jewish as well, and as a Jewish man, was taught to worship at a very young age. We can read in the Gospels that Jesus went to the synagogue from a young age on Sabbaths and for some of Gods feast times. (Luke 2:41-42, John 6:59)

Jesus talks about the Temple as being His Fathers house and was concerned for the purity of the Temple. He lived in submission and obedience to His Father and taught us all how to pray to Him. All this is worship and adoration to his Lord God.

This is not religion, but learning from Jesus how to love and live in obedience and worship. Jesus is the way to worship God and as part of the sacrifice Jesus made, we are able to come before our Father God cleansed and as the Bride. We can come and worship before God, in the very throne room, clean and pure and as children of the Living God.

Remember who God is, who we are worshipping. Do not take it lightly or something to do out of duty. We worship because we love God and are thankful children. We are also His Children. He made the biggest sacrifice that could ever be made to have us near Him again. He gave His only Son to make us His children. Praise your Father and worship the Saviour.

Previous Older Entries