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.
A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue. (NIV)
Evil people listen to evil ideas, and liars listen to lies. (GNB)
This is a tough proverb to read – the Good News version simplifies it really well. This is one of the reasons why it is so hard for us to recognise, let alone deal with our own sin, and why Jesus needed to say this to the crowds who were ‘listening’ to him: ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’ (Matthew 7.3, NIV)
Who doesn’t like to hear people agree with us? Who doesn’t like to read things that we already agree with? It makes us feel good about ourselves! Why? Because as ‘The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”‘ (Genesis 2.18, NIV).
This is one reason behind the success of newspapers, and now (even more so) social media: they show and tell us what we already think. It’s sometimes called an ‘echo chamber’. Whether you read the Daily Express or the Guardian, you probably read that particular paper because it agrees with most of your political views. If you’ve been on Facebook a while, it has learned to show you things it knows you want to read, based on the things you’ve read in the past. YouTube suggests you watch videos like the videos you’ve already watched; Amazon suggests you buy things like the things you’ve already bought… see the pattern?
But what if we need to listen to something else? Are you brave enough to step outside your personal echo chamber and listen to what God has to say, instead of to things that tell you what you already think?
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:
Peter & Jane Sheppard, John & Cathy Ward
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: Tamworth Christian Churches (TCC)
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.