From our Minister

From our Minister

I’ve noticed over the years of my ministry that when preachers speak on the subject of prayer, they, more often than not, admit the inadequacy of their own prayer life. When the preacher is someone of significance I’m
encouraged.

Trying to pray meaningfully today, I find difficult. Israel, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, persecuted Christians, earthquakes in Turkey, Afghanistan and China, global warming…. I listen to the news and it seems every day there is something else of concern. How to pray about these world concerns where so many are suffering? Frequently I start to try and pray with the best of intentions and as I think about the things listed above my mind goes blank, or I’m distracted and give up.

Paul wrote:
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Three things about that passage encourage me:

  1. Who wrote it. If the greatest theologian and missionary in the history of the church can admit he doesn’t know how to pray as he ought; it encourages me to persevere and not beat myself up when I struggle.
  2. What he said. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and with us.
  3. Frequently as I struggle in prayer about world events, I find myself sighing in frustration. Paul tells me the Holy Spirit takes those sighs and groans and interprets them. God knows the burdens which we hold within; as we come before him in prayer the Holy Spirit lifts them to the throne of God in a way we could not comprehend.

God knows our frailties and struggles, but rather than be like the Sergeant Major bellowing instruction and abuse to do better; he is gentle like a parent with a young child encouraging and guiding. Bearing this in mind, I think the important lesson for all of us is to Persevere and not give up.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you, when we struggle in prayer you hear us, your Holy Spirit intercedes for us and lifts our burdens to you; when we feel frail and insignificant remind us, we do not pray alone, that our prayers have great effect not because of who we are; but, because the God we pray to is ever faithful and true.
Amen.

John