Pastor's pen for 11th April - a Call to Prayer

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

A faithful Christian might consider the call to prayer ubiquitous, all encompassing, something that should never end. After all, Apostle Paul in the earliest New Testament literature, exhorts the church at Thessalonica;

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. (1 Thess 5: 16-22)

Notwithstanding the call to continual prayer, there should be room for seasons of special prayer, a setting aside of time to press into God for a particular purpose. It's safe to assume, that in a life of prayer, specific calls to prayer from the Holy Spirit, and within a particular circumstance, will occur.

Session has received a specific urging via email to call the church at Forrest Hill to prayer, and so we have considered this in the normal run of our meeting together. Presbyterians, being of the reformed tradition, and not at the whim of bishops, tend to take longer than some to get things moving, because the councils of the church sit and ponder together. Ungodly haste is seldom one of our sins. Yet the Spirit warms us to prayer.

Another motivator has been the experience of our Easter services, the sobriety of Holy Friday, and the unfolding joy of Resurrection Sunday. There is testimony from those who experienced the presence of God's Holy Spirit in our midst at this special season. Personally, I am glad for the many contributions from individuals building to the collective experience of worship and sitting in God's presence together. Music, hospitality, flowers, kids activity packs, prayer, reading the word, preaching and so much more - all part of the picture.

So, if you were looking for a sign, this is it! Our church session and I are calling you to prayer - not fancy prayers with special words, but simple prayers of seeking God's face, for your own life and for the common life of this faith community.

Begin with thanksgiving, for the way in which God has sustained FHPC through the Covid time. We are doing better than some churches practically, we are holding it together and even thriving.

Remember the old Sunday School guide to prayer? ACTS - Adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (google it). Start with that every day, and see where you end up. Try some fasting or a prayer walk, if your health allows.

I ask only one favour - that some of you are brave enough to stand up in the church when opportunity is presented for testimony, to tell what God is doing in your life and in your neighbourhood through prayer. Kia kaha, keep praying...

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