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:
‘Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.’
from Matthew 6.21 (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount)
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.
The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. (NIV)
When some fool starts an argument, he is asking for a beating. When a fool speaks, he is ruining himself; he gets caught in the trap of his own words. (GNB)
It’s (probably) a good thing that the days of school beatings are behind us. I’m not convinced it’s a good teaching method, but I suspect most of us recognise the feeling of just wanting to whack a fool round the head to knock some sense into them!
Yet again in Proverbs we see the importance of the words we speak. They seem so little and we use so many, that most of us probably don’t think enough about them before they tumble out of our mouth.
If you’re like me, learning to ‘think before you speak’ (something else my parents used to say repeatedly to me…) is quite difficult / impossible. What I find more helpful is what some traditions of the Church call ‘The Examen’. It’s quite simple really: at the end of the day you spend some time replaying the day in your mind, remembering what you did and said (or didn’t do or say), who you met, and so on.
Some of it will bring joy – some of it will be harder to dwell on. You will need to ask God for forgiveness, and you will need to learn to forgive those who’ve harmed you too. You will learn to see how and when you spoke foolishly, too – and the effect it has on you and others.
It doesn’t need to take hours – the best tip for this I’ve ever been given was to do it while I brush my teeth before bed. There you have 2-3 minutes of dead time, which you’d probably otherwise spend staring at yourself in the bathroom mirror. And let’s be honest, who wants to do that.
Why not, today, try replaying your day prayerfully while you brush your teeth?
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:
Wayne, Claire & Jude Pinner-Rosenbach
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: Church Musicians
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.