Bricknell Avenue Methodist Church Hull
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Recently we have been encouraged by the 'Thy Kingdom Come' initiative, a collaborative ecumenical programme between the Methodist and Anglican churches, to consider the importance of prayer within the life of the Church, our own personal faith, and in the transformation of our communities and society.
Prayer is integral to us living our faith and should form the foundation of our Christian life together. It is fundamentally relational in that it's focus is on the conversation with God and the way that shapes and fashions us as well as affecting the world we live in. I begin and end every day in prayer. Sometimes when I am in a particular rush, that means praying while in the shower! Yet I must pray every day because prayer forms the basis of everything I am and do as a disciple of Christ, without it I am not equipped.
Prayer changes things! When we pray 'Thy Kingdom Come' we hope and expect that God will help us in answering that prayer. God will provide us with opportunities for us to witness to the faith we have been granted and to share the divine love that we have been gifted. He will invite us to invite others. To experience the goodness of the kingdom and encounter the body of Christ that is the Church.
Sharing our faith can seem like a daunting prospect. So often we feel ill-equipped and ill prepared to do so. So often we assume that someone is better suited to the task. As a minister I am frequently told that while it might be easy for me to share my faith, as I wear a clerical collar, for others it is much more difficult. Yet we hold to the priesthood of all believers, that the Church together is a priestly body called to share the good news and make disciples of Jesus Christ. This is the great commission that we find in Matthew 28: 16 — 20 when Jesus tells us to make disciples of all nations.
The truth is that every Christian is called to be a witness to the Gospel, not just those of us who wear clerical collars. It is not a choice but rather a command of our Lord Jesus. Yet, we are not left alone in this task but have been given the help of the Holy Spirit who is our counsellor and guide: helping us in our conversations, driving our actions, leading us into Christ and shaping us in his likeness.
As a church we have so many opportunities to engage with the community around us and share the gospel message and we must seize these opportunities as they present themselves. Yet to do this we need to ensure that we have a deep and committed prayer life and an openness to the Holy Spirit. So I encourage you to pray frequently, and in the shower if necessary! Pray for a powerful and transforming encounter with the Holy Spirit as part of your prayer life. A shower of blessing that will transform and renew ourselves, our church and enable us to share the love of Christ with everyone around us.
Reverend David Speirs
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