SILENCE 2 — DISCOVERING & EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Sometimes we conceal our relationship with God in prayer because we are afraid that others in the church or house group are closer than we are, that someone may be further ahead. But once we have turned and are seeking a relationship with God in silence, then we most certainly will find a need for someone to talk with.
Real confrontation with love of Jesus demands the sharing the of the experience. It is through sharing that we realise that all of us, even the best, are babes in the wood. The new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cotteral, confesses to be a novice when it comes to prayer. (Novice is a learner – always something new inspired by the Holy Spirit).
The Disciples would see Jesus taking His leave from them for His Quiet Time with His Father. Luke records in his gospel (Luke 11) how one day Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His Disciples sought Jesus out and asked Him “Lord teach us to Pray just as John taught his Disciples”.
So it is that we have the teaching about Prayer. Jesus said,
“This is how you should Pray”.
“Father may your name be kept holy,
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need, and
forgive us our sin, as we forgive those
who sin against us, and don’t lead us into temptation.”
Some versions read and keep us from being tested.
Teaching them more about prayer, Jesus uses a story which graphically speaks about the relationship between friends.
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.”And suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.”I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
Jesus recommends persistence in Prayer. –
The scripture below and the one following are widely used to help seekers to find their relationship with both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
“Keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.. — This scripture encourages persistence in our prayers.
This scripture is an argument for the acceptance of the Holy Spirit into our lives.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
THIS WEEK PRAY IN SILENCE IN THE WAY JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES – GOD FIRST – US SECOND
ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO LEAD YOU INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD OUR FATHER – LISTEN FOR HIS VOICE
BE PERSISTENT IN PRAYER. START WITH YOURSELF – THINK OF THE NEEDS OF THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU
Scarecrow Festival returns for 2021. Scarecrows needed! Can you make one and display it on the trail?
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July between 11am and 5pm. #Meltham Scarecrow Festival returns! There will be some funky stalls, pizza oven, Three Fiends Brewery and scarecrows! Please do venture into the village and support our local businesses. Don’t forget to register your scarecrow, so that it can included in the judging process….prizes to be won!
Saturday 26th June – Calmlands Graveyard – Grass cutting and shrub clearing.
The work done 2 weeks ago has yielded good results and many compliments but there is still more to do! Can you spare just an hour or two?
DO YOU feel like some exercise that is cost free, in the open air and where the chat and laughter is as important as the work? If so, then you are most welcome to join our band of merry helpers. We aim for this to be an informal group, where friendships can grow as the weeds are subdued!!
Feel free just to turn up, for all or a part of the session. We have a good chat and a laugh as well as work. As we are outside, it is always weather dependent, here’s trusting for a long hot summer.
Other dates for your diary: 10th July & 24th July (locations to be advised)
If you want to be included in up to date emails etc. please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
All groups run from about 9:30am to 12:30pm but don’t feel you have to be there the whole time. Please bring own tea/coffee and tools.
Please contact Mike on 07867 951512 for further details, or to let him know you can help.
The graveyard is at the top of Wetlands Rd, Meltham, next to the allotment field.
SILENCE : DISCOVERING & EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
The idea of linking silence with prayer may sound like an out-and- out contradiction to many Christians. We are accustomed to thinking of the familiar forms of prayer that people use when they join to worship or ask God for something. These forms almost follow a lead given in the past. They are shaped by words set down in the Bible, particularly the psalms, or by other poetry and by the liturgy. They can vary from the words that come spontaneously in the simplest service to the most elaborate prayers that have grown up around the Eucharist and other Sacraments and may be used in private devotions. Of course, there is no question about the value and importance of this way of turning to God, but it is not the only prayer we need.
There is another, equally important way of praying in which a person becomes silent and tries to listen, instead of speaking.
My wife Christine and I made a covenant to hear the Bible in a year. We listen to a part of a Psalm or part of the Book of Proverbs followed by a reading from the New Testament and a longer reading from the Old Testament all read to us by David Suchet. It takes about twenty or so minutes per day. As you might imagine there are catch-up days. It’s better to learn how to be disciplined with the daily readings.
Having someone read to you tests out your listening skills. You will remember Jesus and his disciples who kept falling asleep at the most difficult time in his ministry. You probably like me will know how difficult it is to be silent and to concentrate for longer than a few minutes without the rush of unwanted thoughts. So, when we pray using Lectio 365 we pray “As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God”.
To read whole passages of Scripture at once has the advantage over just selecting what you prefer to hear or use. So, you have to deal with the turbulence and bloodshed in the OT.
The children of Israel had their prophets who listened to Yahweh and passed on instruction to God’s own people. The big question for us today is – where do we see or hear the words of God from the lips of those who are in a relationship with both God and His people.
Silence in prayer is a discipline in which the more we pray the deeper our relationship with God, through the Holy Spirit, becomes and the more likely we are to know and experience His presence with us.
THIS WEEK PRAY WITHOUT SPEAKING – JUST WORK AT BEING COMFORTABLE & FOCUS ON JESUS FOR A WHILE, LISTENING AND GETTING TO KNOW HIS VOICE.
Join us in church or online for Sunday morning worship as we celebrate Father’s Day. Today we will be giving thanks for all Dads, Grandads and anyone else who cares for us including of course God, our Father in heaven! All welcome!
9:30am – St Bartholomew’s – Meltham (can be joined via YouTube) 9:30am – St James’ – Meltham Mills 11:15am – St Mary’s – Wilshaw (can be joined via Zoom from 11am) 11:15am – Christ Church – Helme
Over the past months, many articles have been written, numerous television programmes made, all around the subject of the Coronavirus Pandemic and this coming Friday there is a TV programme called ‘A Pandemic Poem – Where Did The World Go?’ This is based around a Poem written by Poet Laureate -Simon Armitage, a Colne Valley man who many of us will have heard of.
These are some of his thoughts about his Pandemic Poem
‘There is a message to be learnt about taking things easy and being patient and trusting the Earth and maybe coming through this slightly slower and wiser – given that one thing that’s accelerated the problem is our hectic lives and our proximities and the frantic ways we go about things. Poetry is by definition consoling because it often asks us just to focus and think and be contemplative.’
To learn more of his thoughts – Friday evening 9.0pm
The following poem is written by Gary Clayton a member of Hayes Lane Baptist Church.
As we read it, we ask that God will help us to focus on what is said
In the year of plague, in the year of COVID, Like seeking our Daily Bread day-by-day, Each day we looked to God to provide, Each day we looked to God, to survive. Each day we shopped to live, not lived to shop.
In the year of grace, in the year of COVID, We didn’t ‘Give up church’ for Lent, But learned to ‘do’ church differently, Discovered that buildings close and meetings end, But the Church – the Body, not the building, goes on.
In the year of contact, in the year of COVID, Email, phone, letters, Skype, Zoom, Messenger, WhatsApp, Microsoft Meetings, These manmade messengers came into their own, Carrying our voices, words, thoughts and prayers To the homes of those – like us – forced to endure, Stay at home, or sally forth briefly, Hoping against hope that all would be well.
In the year of trial, in the year of COVID, Some comfort ate, and some got fit, Some went for a walk – or a run. Some sofa-surfed on crisp-strewn couches, Some grew their hair, while others grew apart.
In the year of fear, in the year of COVID, We saw far fewer cars, and even less people, Covered our noses and concealed our mouths. Felt dread when we coughed, Our eyes watered, or we felt unwell.
In the year, in the year, in the year 2020, We lost friends. Lost family. Lost contact, But gained something too. But when the time’s ended, And when the plague, the epidemic, the pandemic, The outbreak ends – will we have learned? Will we have changed? Or will we just… go back to normal?
Let us continue to pray that God will give wisdom to each one of us, to the churches, to our nation and to the world that we can all learn from the experience of this pandemic and that we can go into the future seeing things in a new way and much more from God’s perspective.