Sunday 28th August 2016
1 Corinthians 14
Prayer is walking with God. It is turning our very selves to being in his presence, to hear by faith that in us, God is well pleased and to ask for what we need. In asking, we are being obedient to God’s call and we articulate our faith.
Hearing scripture, meditating on it and contemplation; singing psalms and resting in God’s presence; wrestling with what we hear, read and our faith and sharing our walk together, leads to action. Our everyday lived life embodies our prayer life, giving it expression in acts of compassion and a life together. Even sorting the recycling can become an outworking of prayer.
Our offering to God is to live out the love we learn through prayer. We, by abiding in God, have the promise that he abides in us. In loving we know God. In giving ourselves to good we know God. God is experienced in our life of being alive in Christ. Like Abel we may be hated and even lose our lives in the offering. In our selves our hearts might struggle, but we are reassured that in living the life God calls us to he is true to himself and we are loved despite our failings. Gentleness extends this privilege to others.
The Cross is a revelation of our spirituality. Our spiritual life is revealed through the Cross. We love and serve and, by faith, willingly give our lives despite wrath in the world. We take up our cross daily and in being misunderstood and in our suffering we know death. There is purpose in our dying: the joy set before us is the revelation of our true selves in Christ. In our submission to living a life of faith in all circumstances and following the narrow way of peace, the world is blessed and there is no condemnation. We know peace in Christ: we know our salvation is in him, not in our selves and the wide way. This wide way leads us to hate our enemies and judge our neighbours. Through the Spirit at work in us we reveal Christ. From the place of prayer comes prophecy that transforms not only us but those around us. Our spirituality is found in forgiveness.
This is the foundation and goal of our prayer life, that we can live forgiven. In the stuff of our lives, God is present. Out of this transforming faith great works are done. Our prayer expresses eternity now as we make present God’s presence.