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Musings from The Manse – October 2018

Have you ever thought how long in your life to date you have spent in prayer?

— Where you have prayed?
— Who and what you have prayed for and how many times?
— Who have you prayed with?
— How have your prayers been answered?
— How does God speak to you and of course do you listen?

I suppose if we look back on just our last twelve months it would be good if we can say we are closer in our relationship now with Jesus our saviour and friend, than we were in October 2017. Good growing and developing relationships need regular contact in different places and at different times. My own prayer time varies during the day but as I have asked myself these questions I have felt that my prayer life is too much one way and I need to give time to hear God more.

That said, I do believe that God is moving His Spirit amongst us, especially during some of the things that are happening in our church. We have responded to Christ’s call to Peter by stepping out of the boat and taking risks. For all of us it is much more comfortable rejecting change and staying in the boat, but this is not following Jesus who is calling us to ‘follow him’ and to go into the world.

As the Spirit moves amongst us we should be encouraged to give thanks in prayer, to ask for direction and to listen to what God is saying to us as church and individuals. We pray thy will be done, i.e. not my will, but as we say the words Jesus taught us are we really open to being led where God wants us and not just follow our own thinking? As your minister I have to constantly ask this question and that is why I believe in the theocracy of the URC where we discern together in Church Meeting what God is saying to us.

Someone said that when the church becomes a praying church people will come running to be part of it. I.e. it should just come as a natural part of our life in Jesus together. I want to encourage us all to keep journeying with each other and our maker in prayer and follow Christ’s many examples.

In Luke 22.32 we read that Jesus prayed for Peter that “your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.”

I believe that Jesus continues to pray for you and me that we will be transformed by our continuing desire and commitment to follow him. How will you respond to His prayer?

Your friend and servant,
Rev. Alan Crump

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