Our church building may be closed, but God’s eyes are open and his ears are attentive to our prayers (2 Chronicles 7.15).
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Speak these words out loud:
Let us take up the cross and follow Jesus,
whatever the cost.
from Luke 14.27-28
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. (NIV)
It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities. (GNB)
Maybe take a couple of moments to read this proverb again. It is better – I think because it is harder – to gain control of yourself than an entire city.
This proverb is almost as opposite as it is possible to be to our culture. Great strength and ‘following your heart’s desires’ are two of our culture’s highest virtues. In the Bible, they are not.
Jesus did neither of those things. He had great, in fact Almighty strength that he could have clung to – and yet he did not. He could have called on legions of angels to overwhelm those who sought to kill him – and yet he did not. He could have slipped the cords that bound him, climbed down from the cross, and smote his enemies with a breath – and yet he did not.
In the Garden of Gethsemane he longed to be spared the suffering he knew he was about to face – and yet he prayed, ‘Not my will but yours be done.’
We pray ‘your (or thy) will be done’ in the Lord’s Prayer – I hope daily – but do we mean it? So often our choices and our words and our actions show the exact opposite: ‘Not your will but mine be done.’
Read this proverb again – will you hear its wisdom? Will you value patience above power? Instead of seeking to control and influence others, will you learn to control yourself? Will you listen, and live God’s way and not the world’s?
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Geoff & Jan Wyatt, Janet Hine, Pat Ackroyd
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Readers (Ray & Sue)
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.