Prayer meeting – Thursday 22nd August 9.00 -10.00 am (and every Thursday).
A time of prayer for God’s renewing work in All Saints’ and in Christ Church. All welcome. Come when you can.
Future dates for joint prayers at Christ Church : Wednesday 5th June, Monday 17th June, Thursday 11th July at Christ Church
August prayer thought from Wendy
I believe Adam and Eve learnt a very important lesson in the Garden of Eden. They had eaten the fruit from the tree which God had forbidden them to touch. That was because they had been lured into deceit by the wiles of the serpent, (Satan) who had told them that God had not meant what He said. They were ashamed when they realised that they had broken God’s trust in them, and they tried to hide from Him. That was an impossibility, for they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden. Genesis 3:8 Scripture affirms from the very beginning that God is never remote. He is present everywhere, and He sees and knows everything. HE IS OMNIPRESENT – all present, always present; here, there, and everywhere. God created us so that we might be aware of His Presence, and experience His nearness. That relationship is cemented through our acceptance of the love of His Son, who gave His life on the Cross, by dying in atonement for our sins, that we might stay joined to Him. Paul reminds us that when we are in Christ nothing, nothing whatsoever, can separate us from His love. Romans 8:38-39.
Why then do we face periods when God seems far away? We pray, and we are met with silence. After a while it leads us to wonder whether He has heard us, and whether He really cares. We don’t feel near Him. Why do we measure our relationship with our Lord by our feelings, for our feelings quickly change and swing, yet God, because of His very nature, remains constant and dependable. If we are to remain faithful it is imperative that we rely on truths, not on feelings. Jesus has given us His promise. “I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the (very) close and consummation of the age.” Matthew 28:20 Amplified Bible..
Nothing keeps Christ away, not even those times of apparent separation – the ‘dark night of the soul’ as St John of the Cross, a 16th century Carmelite, described his feelings of emptiness.
David, on more than one occasion, cried out to God in prayer feeling utterly separated from Him, even abandoned. Look at Psalm 22.
In his extremity, and utter despair, David cries for help. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?” The silence was beyond explanation, yet he does not deny the existence of God, or consider their relationship to be broken. On the contrary, he began his prayer saying, “My God, My God,” and in verse 2 he reiterated the words .
“My God, I cry to you by day but you do not answer,: and by night also I take no rest” A quote from Philip Yancey’s book, Reaching For The Invisible God, helps us to understand David’s position as to why when he doesn’t feel close to God paradoxically he still feels an attachment. “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how in time, the pendulum will swing from one side to another.” Philip Yancey
When God seems far away we should not cease to call on Him in prayer. Cling to the truth that He is Emmanuel, God with us, and affirm Him as “My God.”
Three Minute Retreat
Do you feel that it’s hard to find time for prayer?
Even a short time spent in prayer can help you to refocus and to connect with God. Rev’d Sue and Reader Diane recommend this website which offers a guided 3 minute retreat. There’s a time to pause, a short reading, two questions to get you thinking and a little prayer. You can get it as an app for different types of mobile phone too.
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)
UCB produce a great daily devotional which is recommend by our church. It is a helpful reflection on a very short daily Bible reading which helps readers to apply Biblical truths to their everyday lives. Click on the link below to read or listen to the UCB ‘Word for Today’
Pause/Pray is a free series of Bible reflections, available as a podcast or download. They include original music, guided prayers and themes related to daily life. A new one is available each fortnight. To stream or download the episodes or subscribe to the podcast go to iTunes or your regular podcast app.https://www.engageworship.org/pausepray
Pathways to Prayer
The Diocese are running 3 ‘Pathways to Prayer’ events over the next few months. This is a wonderful opportunity for all people of every tradition to explore fresh perspectives on patterns and styles of prayer, contemplation and meditation through a diverse range of workshops. For further details, and to book, click on the links below.
Day with Bishop Julian 21st September at St Ambrose Leyland
Day with Bishop Jill 19th October at Xavarian Mission Spirituality Centre
Our Diocesan Prayer.
Heavenly Father, we embrace Your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses and to grow leaders. Give us the eyes to see Your vision, ears to hear the prompting of Your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. AMEN
This Prayer Page
At All Saints’ Appley Bridge, we believe that earnest, thoughtful, regular and honest prayer is the key to our individual and collective relationship with our wonderful Creator, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you want to share a prayer or prayers on this page, do not hesitate to contact us with your thoughts. If there is a situation that you wish to bring before God and would like us to be mindful of as a Church family, share it with us. We want to share together what we want to say to Him.