Catherine and Louise’s talks 10 March

Talk 1

In the Epistle to the Romans  chapter 10 verses 8-13 it is written 

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,  and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation

For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed

For there is no reason between the Jew and  the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call on him

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

Prayer is a key way to develop a love relationship with God.

The gift of prayer is that we learn to receive, experience and return his love

Prayer is one place where god can get to us,  speak to us and minister to us.

Seldom do we get closer to god than in prayer

Christianity is a relationship

We have to remember that Jesus had to suffer and die on the cross to make it possible for us to approach god to worship and pray we must remember to thank god as he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life

The heart of what prayer is not just about asking for things it is also about seeking God’s face, listening to him, spending time in his presence and enjoying communication with him and getting to know him better. He welcomes everyone there is no distinction all you need is your faith in god and he promises you grace, honour and blessing

Whether you are walking (that’s when I do a lot of praying I always think about the hymn How Great thou art – oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider all the works thy hand hath made) I feel really close to God and feel at peace. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing anyone can pray. I am sure everyone at times if they are  faced with a difficult situations they have a silent prayer. Oh God help me or Why me god and your faith is tested because you cannot believe that god has allowed this to happen to you but sometimes he takes us on a longer and more difficult path to prepare us for the battles ahead – learn to rely on Gods strength and guidance.

 sometimes your plea is answered but sometimes not but whatever the outcome is he is with you, you are never alone, never be afraid – believe,  because you are loved by God

The strength of our faith  not the length of our prayer is all we need  as he knows what our needs are even before we ask.. At other times you may not be sure in whatever situation you can add YOUR WILL BE DONE

Jesus said ask and it will be given to you the starting power of an answered prayer is asking

When we ask god for something as he listens to all our prayers  the response will be YES NO OR WAIT

Forgiveness can be a barrier to prayer also praying with wrong motives

If you hold anything against anyone forgive them so that your father in heaven may forgive your sins. 

If we pray to gain glory and power or perhaps win the lottery then they are not good in themselves or not good for us or others. Then the answer would be no

Sometimes Satan without us realising is tempting us but Jesus prays to God on our behalf and helps us to walk wisely and play a part in gods call. That is why we sometimes have to wait before our prayer is answered.

Prayer is not just about asking god to forgive our sins we must also thank god for the wonderful things we have in our life and the wonder of all that he created and no matter who you are respond to what Jesus did for you.

Jesus taught the disciples the Lords Prayer to teach them to pray and I would like us all to join together in the Lords Prayer

Our father which art in heaven…..

Talk 2 

In Deuteronomy 26 the Israelites are being encouraged to remember how the Lord protected them and brought them out of bondage in Egypt into the promised land where harvests were plentiful. When they bring the firstfruits to the priests as an offering to God they are to remember their history. Remember how God saved them as a family by bringing them under Joseph’s protection in Egypt. Remember when they had grown to such numbers that Pharoah saw them as an immigrant threat.  Remember that Pharoah had made them slaves. Remember how Moses led them out of Egypt and eventually into the promised land. How good it must have felt with that history to be bringing your firstfruits to the priest as an offering to God. The God who had multiplied their blessings.

In Psalm 91 we learn that if we give ourselves to God he will protect us. The psalmist is encouraging the Israelites to trust in God. If only they will trust in him He will look after them as a nation, delivering them from deadly pestilence, what a peculiar expression. Delivering them from fear, from war, from wild animals, from poisonous snakes. He will shelter them under his wings.

Shelter them under his wings, What a comfortable place to be – it sounds to me like hiding from the world, wrapped in a duvet on your sofa. But as we all know that is ok for a day but not for a lifetime.

It is good for us to look back on our history as a church, as individuals and remember how God has multiplied our blessings. And that doesn’t mean we brush under the carpet any hurts and disappointments, illness and deaths that have been part of our story. Often it’s the difficult times that help us to grow.

Catherine has talked about knowing God, being in the presence of God, talking with God.

When you have put your whole life into God’s hands and trust him, then as well as happy blessings and good times, like the psalmist you can know that God is with you in times of trouble. 

Looking back at our church history, we see fewer and fewer people attending church services. But what else do we see, we see faithful members loving and serving their community, sharing God’s love with their friends and neighbours. Helping the poor, visiting the sick. Multiplying God’s blessings in and around us. 

We’ve been asking two questions at messy church, to a different team member each month. When did you first become aware of God? And what does God mean to you? 

If you look back at your own history, you can be encouraged by asking similar questions. When did you become a Christian, give your heart to the Lord, get saved, or whichever way you describe your coming to faith in God. Each story is unique and exciting. 

Each story contains multiplied blessings and some hard times. We should share our stories over coffee more often and encourage each other with the ways God has blessed us and carried us through the hard times.

And if you haven’t yet taken that step of putting your whole self into God’s hands and letting him direct your path of life, I’d encourage you to think about it. There’s no safer place to be than in the centre of God’s will.

As Jesus talking to Martha is quoted in Johns gospel ch11 v 25:

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Amen


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