Yesterday morning I actually did a double take at my phone… believe it or not, we are now officially (fan fare please…) in the month of September!!?
Through the summer months we’ve been taking a break from our Sunday evening online messages, but this Sunday (5th September) we will be launching abide.
abide will be a guided prayer gathering where we can all come together to seek God’s presence at the end of the day, and the start of a new week. It will be on zoom at 6pm, but this will also go live on youtube for any who might prefer to join us on there, or to catch up with the prayer time later in the evening, or even later in the week.
If you’re like me, I can often feel like my thoughts are often bouncing around from one thing to another, and prayer times can be just as chaotic. And so I’ve come up with a pattern I’m hoping we might find helpful… Using the acronym a b i d e (I know – we like acronym’s at the moment right?!) we will be guided by God’s Word as we seek to commit our lives to the Lord in prayer.
abide stands for:
The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy.
We will begin by just taking a moment to appreciate the wonders of God that are all around about us, to recognise where and how God has been with us and been at work in our lives, and to thank Him for who He is!
As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice!
We often feel like prayer is an activity – something that we have to do… but the picture of abiding in Christ calls for us to bring our whole being into His Presence; to come just as we are. So having become by thinking about who God is, we turn our thoughts inwards to examine our inner being; how am I doing? How am I feeling? How can I invite the Lord’s presence into the whole of my life?
Then we turn our attention to three specific areas; intimacy, direction and enabling…
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.
The Apostle Paul’s prayer was that He would know Christ and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings… intimacy cannot be fast tracked or life hacked – it just takes time, time listening to His voice and opening our hearts to His love. We will open God’s Word and invite His Spirit to speak to each of us, and take time to listen to what He has to say.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Having earlier looked back, we then want to take a moment to look forward and to seek the Lord’s direction for the coming day and the coming week. There maybe specific questions or needs we have to bring to Him, or others we wish to pray for. Jesus promises that His sheep will recognise His Voice – this grows with trust and with practise, but there is real blessing in it!
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith!
The Lord is really clear that by ourselves we can do nothing, but if we abide in Him and He in us – there is an incredible fruitfulness that flows. It is the Holy Spirit that enables us to experience that abiding, and He who can clothe us and fill us with His power if we ask Him to. So each abide prayer time will end with a time of enabling, a waiting on the Spirit of God to come and minister to us.
Whether you prefer zoom or youtube – please do join us for what I am praying will be very special times of refreshing and renewal for us. I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store, and really hope you can join us.
abide – starting this Sunday, join us at 6pm on zoom (see link below) or here on our youtube channel.
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Meeting ID: 805 328 1727
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