This page contains my most recent posts. You can read older ones by selecting ARCHIVE at the bottom of the page.
A VIEW FROM THE MANSE
A church office - Minister seated with eyes closed and hands together in prayer.
Visitor: "Have you got a minute?"
Minister: " I was Just praying"
Visitor: "O good, you're not busy then!"
It has never happened to me, but it did happen to a friend of mine. The exchange reveals an unhappy attitude to prayer. As my friend pointed out, if you were in a meeting with the CEO nobody would dream of disturbing you; but somehow talking to God is not given the same priority, and therefore open to interruption.
However, when you think about it, what could be more important than talking to God: 'This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.' (1 John 5:14) That confidence, whereby we can approach God whenever we want, can leave us a bit blasé about the privilege of prayer. In prayer we are communicating with God, the creator and Lord of all: how do we acknowledge that privilege?
Jesus took prayer very seriously.He would pray spontaneously as and when the need arose; but, he also made time to pray. 'Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed' (Mark 1:35) As well as setting time aside for prayer, Jesus made preparation by identifying a suitable place where he could pray on his own. For Jesus prayer was a priority: how do we approach prayer?
Do we recognise the privilege of prayer, are we humbled and excited as we approach God and communicate with the Lord? Are our prayers purely reactive, responding to events and situations; or, do we carve out time for prayer, and prepare ourselves as we approach God? Do we fit prayer into our day, or we build our days around prayer?
So as well as praying at all times and in all situations, let me encourage you to also consider the privilege of prayer. Later this month we will be holding our day of prayer, 24 hours we set apart to approach and communicate with the Lord and creator of everything. Each day of the week there is time set aside to collectively approach and communicate with God. On Monday to Thursday prayer is preceded by a time of quiet reflection (about 20 minutes) to prepare ourselves as we enjoy the incredible privilege of prayer.
'Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.' (Colossians 4:2)
Your friend and pastor,
ARCHIVE: click here to view previous posts of "A View from the Manse"