Prayer is a key part of our life together. Prayer occurs in various places and times as people gather.
Each Sunday, as part of our worship, the congregation are invited to take one or more prayer cards from the basket as they leave, and use these to pray for an individual (first name only), a situation or world issue. The following Sunday these are placed in a basket as our offering prayers and the cycle begins all over again. This is a key part of our prayer rhythm together.
This is currently not taking place on a Monday but is being held, by Zoom, at 8pm on a Thursday evening. If you would like to join olease contact the church office.
The story of Elijah the prophet is told in the book of 1 Kings. In chapters 17-19 we read that three times God made provision for Elijah to rest and be fed.
Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
1 Kings 17v2-4.
Further on we read:
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath.
1 Kings 17v 8-10
Some time later in chapter 19 after serving God faithfully and witnessing God’s great power we discover a fearful, exhausted and depleted Elijah. His cry and complaint is open and honest before God. Yet God has made preparation for Elijah to rest, be renewed and restored.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
1 Kings 19v 6-9.
Finally it is in the quiet on the mountain that Elijah experiences God’s presence and hears him in the still small voice.
As we enter the summer holiday period, we are also entering a greater lifting of the restrictions placed upon us due to the pandemic. The period of pandemic has been a difficult road and for many it has brought great sadness, loss, bereavement, isolation, exhaustion and difficulty. Despite periods of lockdown many have found life busy, tiring and demanding and physical and mental health have suffered.
For some of us the summer period provides a welcome opportunity to take a break and find rest from the usual tasks of daily life in a vacation away from home. For some we may manage a break at home or as they are now known, a “staycation”.
For others there may be no opportunity to have a break or holiday at this time.
But just like Elijah we discover that after extreme busyness our spirits rebel and the soul yearns for rest.
How good it is to discover that God cares that we find opportunities for rest, and makes provision for us. Be that on a Sunday or another day or simply in some quiet moments with him, God welcomes us into his presence to know his rest. Jesus himself knew the importance of spending time alone with God and away from others. He would rise early in the mornings to spend time with his Father in prayer, in order to be able to undertake all that he had to do.
After ministering to the needs of many he also instructed his disciples to come with him by themselves to a quiet place and get some rest.
During this summer period we pray you too may know God’s provision and care. That you may find moments and times for rest, renewal and restoration and in the quiet hear His still small voice.
Father God, thank you that you designed us to require rest.
Draw us with your love ever closer into your presence,
for our souls are restless until they find their rest in you.
When we are world weary, when faith fades
and it’s difficult to hear your voice amidst the clamour of the many voices,
draw us back to your side, quiet us with your love
and renew a right spirit within us.
When we have become caught up in the busyness
and the business of life losing sight of you,
call us to the still quiet place,
that we may be fed by you and restored.
Father God, thank you for your provision and care.
Help us rest, be renewed, restored,
that we may hear your still small voice.