November 2021 – Prayer in Action

Arrow prayers sent up in emergencies have a place and maybe they have saved some of us from some pretty dire straits. I was listening to the testimony of a Spitfire pilot who was shot down whilst in a dog fight. He said that when he was hit he prayed a prayer accepting that he was going to die, but moments later he saw a bright white light, and when he came round he realised that against all odds he was alive, albeit with the loss of an arm.
What struck me about this was that he wasn’t just praying to God, he was praying with God. His prayer came from a place of acceptance of God’s will for his life, whatever that was to be. In his case, God gave him the gift of life even though from a human standpoint he had no chance of living.
What we are trying to do when we pray, is to pray in the will of God, so that our prayers line up with what God wants to do. What we are trying to avoid is telling God what to do. We don’t believe that our prayers are a sheet of instructions or a to-do list for God.
Sometimes we don’t have words for what is in our heart to pray. At such times we are looking for God to place in our heart the things that are on his heart and for him to make them clearer to us. These prayers can be little more than an earnest desire or a weight in our spirit.
The important thing is that we are available by placing ourselves at God’s disposal to serve his purposes. Most of the time we don’t get to see the results or the effect of our prayers, however, there are times when there is an obvious or even instant result.
Recently I had a few hours to kill in a town centre and I prayed a prayer something along the lines of ‘Lord, have you got anything for me to do here?’ Very soon after praying that prayer, I met someone who knew me and they really needed to talk about something that was troubling them. I was thrilled that God has put me in the right place at the right time to meet that need simply because I was available.
Prayer in the will of God changes things, not necessarily in the way we want them, but even if we can’t see it at the time, Gods responses are always for our good, in the long run.

Rev. Dr Christopher Noble – Rector

October 2021 Our New Congregation

I want to say thanks to everyone who has joined our new Facebook congregation on Sunday mornings. We now have over a hundred people coming on board and it is really good fun to get together in this way for some spiritual refreshment.
There are obviously some big benefits to the Facebook church. You don’t have to leave home or even get dressed to come. You can drink coffee during the service or even eat your breakfast. You don’t even have to show up on time as the service is available all week and beyond.
It has also been really good to be able to welcome some of our dispursed congregation from various parts of the country. We even have some former residents join us from the United States. What a remarkable thing this is and if you have not yet found us do feel free to check us out.
It has also been great to get back to regular services in the church building and whilst we are continuing to take a cautious approach to the meetings we are finding some new and enjoyable ways of gathering together. There is more silence, more time for reflection and there has been more space to share the spiritual teaching of the church in a comprehensible and interesting way.
Our faith is of course much more than our time together on Sundays. The other six days of the week are the real challenge when we have to live out our faith in ordinary life. This is where the rubber hits the road as we are called on to exercise our faith in the workplace and at home.
Living the Christian life is not easy, in fact, it is impossible without God. Left to our own devices we struggle but with God all things are possible. Even if we do believe the question is how do we get God? How can we connect with the Lord of the universe? Can we really know God for ourselves?
There are answers if we want them and this is one of the main reasons that this church is here and has been here for the last 700 years. Contrary to popular opinion. The true and living God, that is the God of love, is not dead.

Rev. Dr Christopher Noble – Rector
There will continue to be a monetary collection for The Manna Society but Manna are unable to make their normal collection of harvest produce and clothes from us this year