22/12/15 From the Minister’s Pray Station
Now before I say the next bit I am aware of the derision heaped a few years ago on a famous Christian speaker who said in an interview that he prayed for parking spaces and fresh orange juice to be available on his flight. Other Christians were heard saying ‘God was too busy for his trivial requests’. But he said God answered and amazing things happened and he witnessed small miracles. He was known for being around larger miracles.
There is a question at this point why is Church failing in many communities, are so many Christians nominal in their faith. What is their prayer life. Full, half hearted or non existent. What answer is true for you.
Where was I, oh yes praying on holiday. Our canal holiday was great but I did a lot of the driving and a seventy foot barge takes some manoeuvring. This I could do with three previous holidays under my belt – thirty years ago. But parking it, getting water for the taps, getting a night’s mooring etc was not always relaxing. And if well known evangelists could have orange juice on British Airways why shouldn’t we get a pitch with an easy mooring in the middle of nowhere? On the last day our dog, Millie went missing and after two hours of bawling her name and asking everyone who came along if they’d seen her we thought she had been taken. We had made a few prayers independently of one another. When Emily found her we could not believe it and were so grateful. When I look over those ten days at all my simple prayers and the one for Millie, they were all answered. I began wondering why I didn’t pray for the simple things more often. God was not too busy even for me.
Now for anyone who is burning to say ‘what about the serious stuff, what is your success rate with that’ or more likely ‘why do our prayers for real issues get nowhere’. I thought all that when I heard Colin Urquhart, that evangelist all those years ago. What didn’t register with me is the trust he had in God and the learning in simple things that we neglect. God loves us so much that he will help us with simple things he also does the bigger stuff on occasions. But he is not ‘a get out of jail free card’. We are called to trust and love God when the very thing we need is not supplied to our specification.
What God offers has most meaning in the next life not in this one, its a truth we should ponder more.
I am reminded of Jeremiah in chapter 12:1-5 in the book of the same name. He is complaining about those plotting against him and nothing is going right and he wants God to sort them out. And God replies “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out how will you compete with horses. If you stumble in safe country how will you manage in the thickets of the Jordon”. Practise on the simple things and then you will be better equipped for the more complex matters. I think the same is true in prayer and I invite you to pray for the simple things because my how we need to be able to pray for the bigger issues. We all need to pray for the churches future and outreach. We have to come back to prayer and find His heart. We have to rekindle that sense of thankfulness to our Creator.
Lord help us to trust you more that we may serve, bless and praise you with thanks giving for all you make possible. Amen
Could this be the New Year’s Resolution that lasts?
Happy New Prayer