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.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. (NIV)
Grandparents are proud of their grandchildren, just as children are proud of their parents. (GNB)
As a ‘young’ person (everything’s relative… to my teenage sisters-in-law I am definitely an old man) I would not normally interact with people of a pensionable age (he says treating carefully…!) other than my own relatives.
However, as a vicar, I interact with lots! And I can tell you this… if they have grandchildren, they are almost always proud of them, and need only the tiniest encouragement to share photos or stories about them. One told me (with tongue in cheek?) it’s because they can take credit for all the good genes, but the bad stuff is their children’s fault for bringing them up wrong!! Also, I’m told, spoiling grandchildren is easier than spoiling your own children, because you don’t have to deal with the consequences…
Where this proverb caught me by surprise is pointing out how pride can go in the opposite direction as well: from children to their parents. Of course, many of us have (very) difficult relationships with our parents. But for those of us who are blessed with good relationships, who are proud of our parents, do we tell them? It’s not a very British thing to do: to tell people how we (really) feel about them – at least when it’s positive and not a criticism.
But, as much as grandparents are full of pride in their grandchildren, parents often struggle with guilt when it comes to raising their children. Although I don’t have children, I do have a church, and I understand how it can be easier to see your mistakes than your successes.
To those of us who are those children, perhaps a word of encouragement to our parents wouldn’t go amiss? To those of us who are grandparents, you are willing to share your pride with others, but do you share it with your children?
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:
Muriel Smith, Albert Pegg, Simon Garratt
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: Leaders of Church Groups
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.