From Our Minister's Work Station
From Our Minister's Workstation
Recent copies of the minsters letters from our Minister Brian. ...more

01/10/2016 From the Minister’s Early Morning and Evening Walk with the Dog

You may know the hymn ‘Father hear the prayer we offer....’ it assumes that prayer takes place and that we are a listening people and many us do have a reasonable prayer life. But I was struck by something written by R.T Kendall when he spoke to ministers about their prayer life. He pointed out the original purpose of deacons was to give the apostles time to pray. He noted a survey had come up with the statistic which said the average member of the clergy prayed for four minute a day in their quiet time. He made this assessment. ‘And we wonder why the Church is powerless’

John Wesley rose every morning at 4:00 am to spend two hours in prayer – alone with God. Martin Luther said in his journal: ‘I have a very busy day today. Must spend not two hours but three hours in prayer’. Kendall says every minster should spend at least an hour in prayer a day. He says every Christian should spend at least 30 minutes a day in prayer. Hands up if you just said “WHAT!”

At the Synod this time someone who I know from college said one of his small churches was almost at the end of its life when two ladies got serious about prayer, a few months later a family came and stayed in the congregation, then another and another. Now said church is vibrant and has around 50 people in membership.
Now before you think of dragging a huge list before God perhaps a brief master class on prayer would help with five brief points to understand what should happen in a good prayer life.

Its a
  • bout Intimacy with God. The Lord confides with those who fear him
  • Worship, there should be praise and joy in being in some of prayer time
  • Seeking God, we tend to move rather than God and sometimes we have to be honest that we have a wondering mind and heart. So draw near once more.
  • Intercession, this is the prayer most familiar to us. Its not a time for ‘I want’ it is asking God to intervene and God did intervene in the church about to close. However, asking and trust God for what follows.
  • Praying
in the spirit, this may be in tongues, sighs and silence but its letting God be in our hearts and being moved by him.

Jesus said on the sermon on the mount ‘when you pray’. Prayer is not an optional extra. Praying alone may seem quite hard but God asks each of us to have that closeness, that time of intimacy. And it gets easier with practise.
Now I may not manage the prayer life of John Wesley or Martin Luther but I certainly do better than the ‘four minute minsters’ referred to above. I probably manage to achieve about 50 minutes a day but I will be aiming for more as I think it’s so important. For all of us it is vital and if we want to make a difference then it’s our gateway to a strong church.
Time for my walk.

Best wishes