The Lord’s Prayer in Lent
On Wednesday evenings during Lent we will be meeting on Zoom following 24/7’s Prayer Course studying The Lord’s Prayer, please e-mail email@example.com if you would like an invitation to join us. The 8 sessions of the course are available on the 24/7 website at: https://prayercourse.org/sessions/
This is a picture of my daughter and Granddaughter, holding hands. It reminds me that a Mother never lets go of her child’s hand, even when they don’t know it, but also that the Lord never lets go of ours, whatever we’re going through, and whatever situation were in, He’s with us.
“I am the Good Shepherd” by Ken
. . . but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
So, what have you given up for Lent?
I don’t often give up things, although a couple of years ago I gave up moaning (which lasted about two hours 🙁 )
Last year, I decided to try and clear my mind of mental chatter/clutter during Lent, and managed it for a week or two, and found it quite a calming experience.
And then the first pandemic lockdown began and while many frontline workers became busier than ever, life, for a time, was naturally decluttered for me and many others.
This past year we’ve all had to give up so much. We’ve given up visiting friends and family, even at Christmas and special occasions, and given up going out for meals and shopping trips. We’ve even given up hugging loved ones – and for a lot longer than the period of Lent. Sadly, so many have had to give up businesses and jobs, some their health and thousands, tragically, their loved ones.
Lent reminds us of a time when for six weeks Jesus gave up home comforts, company and all the trappings of a comfortable life. Even more difficult, he gave up food during the whole time. The Bible says that the Spirit of God drove him there (not in a car!!). Presumably the wasteland isn’t a place he would naturally have chosen, but it seems to have been necessary for the process of affirming his focus in life. Everything changed from that point onwards.
I wonder what life will be like when finally we emerge from this pandemic. Some of it will be down to circumstances beyond our control. But we all have the capacity to choose. Jesus made his choice and stuck with it all the way to his death. More of that later… Janet
23rd February St Polycarp’s Day by Alan M
Are you into Saints’ Days? You will probably know a few Saint’s Days. George on 23rd April, Andrew on 30th November and Stephen on 26th December. There are even two others that fall into Lent this year that will come up in due course.
What is a saint? That was a question asked by a visiting bishop to the children in a traditional stained glass windowed parish church so he asked again. No answer came. Just then, a cloud moved on and allowed the sun to show its face. One child put up its hand. ‘yes’ said the bishop. ‘A saint is someone the sun shines through.’
Change the spelling of sun to Son [Jesus] and that becomes a really profound answer.
Anyway, the problem of proclaiming some Christians to be saints ignores what the Bible says. There Saints was just another name of Christians. So, my friends if you claim to be a Christian you are a saint. Fancy that. I’m St Alan. And you are…?
Back to St Polycarp. Strange name – it sounds like a moaning parrot, or a many-headed fresh-water fish.
He was born in AD 69 and died aged 86 in AD156. He had become a Christian at a really young age and was appointed bishop of Smyrna [modern Turkish Izmir]. He was a Greek. He did not die of old age but was put to death in a fire and so became the first martyr recorded after New Testament time.
He was known for settling disputes in the early church. Yes, there were church disputes even back then. They included settling the date when Easter should be celebrated. He was good at bringing back people to faith who had strayed into heresy.
It seems his opponents wanted to bind him to the stake but he resisted. Saying that since God had protected him for 86 years if God wanted him to die, he would just stay there in the flames without nails or ropes. In a sense you could say that his faith in Jesus shone through him to the end. A real Saint if ever there was one.
How will you let the Son shine through you today?
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Just a thought, at this time of Lent; reflect that if you invite Jesus into your life you will never be alone, you will always have support and you will always have someone special to talk to in prayers. Even as he was dying on the cross Jesus had our concerns and interests at heart. Try and share that wonderful love with someone who needs it today. X Julie
WORDS FROM THE CROSS
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23: 34.
“I will never, ever forgive them for that!” These words are very understandable. It is extremely hard to forgive people when they hurt, upset or mistreat us or the people we love. Jesus was very badly mistreated – whipped, mocked, tortured, betrayed and nailed him to a cross. As He died, He said Father, forgive them and that included everyone – the soldiers who nailed him to the wood, the religious leaders who mocked and despised him, the disciples who ran away, the crowd who stood and watched. However, best of all – it includes you and me. Contributed by David M
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5
“Knocking on the door of Heaven” Praying that through the this time of Lent we can knock on Heaven’s door and bring our country and our world to Him, who is able to do so much more than we can ask or imagine. Let us trust in His ability to respond.
In Matt Redman’s words “ Praying for a time of breakthrough ….God of Heaven on our knees we pray”
“I am the Way the Truth and the Light” by Ken
Loving Lord God, during the sacred season of Lent, bring me closer to you. Prepare a place in my home and heart for silence and solitude, so that I may re-discover the grace of a prayer-full life. Help me to fast from those things that threaten the well-being of body and soul and remind me of the grace of simplicity. Enlarge my heart so that I give to those in need and, in so doing, re-discover the grace of gratitude and generosity. May this season be a grace-filled time to rekindle my love for and faith in you. Amen.
Bible readings are from the New International Version – UK (NIVUK) Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission.