The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Ps.145:18)
In his compelling little book on prayer, Torrey spends some time thinking this verse through. He is particularly intrigued by the last two words, 'in truth', which he suggests have to do with sincerity. He concludes 'the prayer that God answers is the prayer that is real, the prayer that asks for something that is sincerely desired. Much prayer however is insincere'.
He reflects: 'Many a Church is praying for revival that does not really desire a revival. They think they do, for to their minds a revival means an increase in membership, an increase in income, an increase in reputation ... but if they knew what a real revival meant, what a searching of hearts on the part of professed Christians would be involved, what a radical transformation of individual, domestic and social life would be brought about, and many other things that would come to pass if the Spirit of God was poured out in reality and power; if all this were known, the real cry of the Church would be: 'O God, keep us from having a revival'.
May this week of prayer be marked by a considered sincerity.
If you can't make it to the prayer meetings today, here are a few thoughts of what to be praying about:
- Give thanks for recent CE (& Nano) course, the ongoing 321 course; Messy Church and Family Events. Looking ahead, we are praying for Just One (8th July); Messy Church (15th July); Holiday Club (9-11 Aug) followed by 'Epic Explorers' in September; Who Cares? mission in the autumn term, and looking further ahead, P:18 mission next May; as well as our regular, weekly outreach through lunch club, Drop-In, leisure Club, Cruisers, Taste etc.
- Give thanks too for a growing ministry team. It was great to see John licensed as Reader at the Cathedral a couple of Sundays ago, as well as Sandra Griffiths being welcomed as a Reader to this Diocese. They join Andrew, Owen and Roger in a great team of Readers. Pray for our joint service on 17th September when we will be licensing Jag as a self-supporting Minister; and licensing and relicensing a small army of Elders! We pray for the work of Elders.
- For 3rd September: our launch date for Bixley Farm with Bishop Mike (more on this later in the week).
- For Friday night's Deep Church event exploring the complex, controversial and potentially divisive question of Christians and evolution as part of our series on 'Creation'.
- For the ongoing recruitment process for a Youth Minister. The advert is out, and is getting good profile, but no applications yet. Pray for those who are holding the fort during the vacancy, particularly Dee (Beta); Pam & Andy, Peter & Cynthia (Fuel), Kristien, Lynne & Mike (Kinetic), Jonathan Winearls and Chantelle (Cru).