Sunday 17th March 2019
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
The past two weeks have seen us focusing on prayer and our experience of prayer.
The challenge was, what does it mean to pray without ceasing and to ask. There were beautiful testimonies to seasons of prayer, especially with children and how the innocence of their prayer is a memory that calls us back to a childlike heart.
Seeking the face of God, we find our hearts stirred to a vision, an expectation of the way we hope for things to be. Faith arises, and we pray out words; we ask. It is a relationship and our vision is that we are engaging with our heavenly father. We believe that we ask from where we are at, not where we reason we should be; it’s a conversation.
John Wesley taught that: God does nothing but in answer to prayer…
God’s purpose is that we through prayer are prepared as the bride of Christ, our lamps are filled and we have what we need. Through prayer we act as ambassadors and have authority in the heavenlies to resist evil and bring life.
In the Psalm we saw a rhythm of resting in God and allowing God to lift us up to see the bigger picture, secure in him.
John Wesley wrote:
God’s command to “pray without ceasing” is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.
Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.
All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice.
Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things.
In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer.
As the furious hate which the devil bears us is termed the roaring of a lion, so our vehement love may be termed crying after God.
God only requires of his adult children, that their hearts be truly purified, and that they offer him continually the wishes and vows that naturally spring from perfect love. For these desires, being the genuine fruits of love, are the most perfect prayers that can spring from it.
From A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the year 1725, to the year 1777.
…Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
…I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
…But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
…Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you…
We meet at the chapel on a Wednesday evening at 8pm until 8-40 pm for a period of prayer including 20 minutes silent prayer during school term time.
This resource is an offering from The Vanderbilt Divinity Library at: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Reproduced by permission.