7 weeks of vision focus
George Methodist Church
Sunday 9th January 2022
8am and 10am
As we start the new year I want to spend some time looking at the words given to us by the Lord for our vision 2022 at GMC and over the next few weeks I will deal each one starting with prayer today. I think all of us struggle with prayer and distractions in our busy lives but with all things it’s a discipline and so with the foundation of Phil 4:4-7, I want to give some tools in the form of an acrostic.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.(song in the round) I find in my own quiet way that it’s important to get my head and my heart right for the day and prayer is a good way to get this right as we enter into a space of spirituality and out of the business of our minds. Preperation has to be done in order to focus and connect. To shift from social media and the demands of the day and to just slow down. Meditation is so often overlooked but literally by just taking a few deep breaths in and out we can get a lot more relaxed and in tune. To rejoice at the outset of the day demands a lot especially when we know that we are going to be facing some tough stuff but prayer begins with a sense of rejoicing.
2. Repentance and relationships
Let your gentleness be evident to all – it seems like this is often a missing ingredient in our world and when we use the word gentleness it almost feels weak. But in prayer an important art is to repent because you know as well as I do that this is deeply about relationships and we don’t always get it right. I often find that repenting means that I have to go back in my steps and realise what I have done to others and sometimes without even knowing it and so repentance restores our relationships and in our prayer time we need to be moved to action so that our gentleness will be evident to all. Prayer is also a powerful way of realigning ourselves with the Lord and others. Practical work is also so important as we get convicted to make things right.I we sort these things out carefully – healing then begins.
3. Adoration and anointing
I love the simple statement in this scripture – THE LORD IS NEAR. I wonder if we realise how profound this is? It should lead us into adoration and open our eyes to the things around us that are put in place so that we can see Him and his nearness – nature, people, opportunties and so much more. The Lord is near also brings us to a place of deep anointing. I find that in prayer often there is a deep calling to the depth of our soul and a place of solitude to really connect. Anointing can be felt but it is mostly an action of the Holy Spirit who just wants to meet at a deep level with our souls. Elijah and the whisper.
4. Yielded to God’s call
Do not be anxious but be yielded to the call of God – how?Through prayer,petition, thanksgiving.
Yielded in prayer – discipline – how long ?
Yielded in petiition – we don’t know this word that well !! a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer: a petition for aid; a petition to God for courage and strength. … to present a petition. At the outset of sacrificial living, we need to realise that God has a call on our lives but also that we need to set out humbly a request / petition to do the things that he places on our hearts. What do you want me to do today Lord and when my plans are interuppted then help me to know that they may be your plans. I felt like putting a smiley emoji here 🙂
Yielded in thanksgiving – Lord whatever comes my way my heart will choose to say blessed be your name.
5. Engaging with his plans and purposes
Present your requests to God
I love the picture of this in all it’s simplicity and beauty. Be present and present your requests. It may not be that the Lord will answer all your “shopping list” requests but what He will do is engage with the things that mostly matter to Him.
6. Restoration – breathe heal self talk
Prayer results in restoration – and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer does help us to move away from anxiety and it restores us by giving us peace. I so often am completely overwhelmed by what the Lord does in our lives and literally find that it passes understanding in my brain. It takes hard work and discipline to shift into this space but it will literally guard your heart and your mind.
Most of the activity on a daily basis is the work going on in heart and mind. We are constantly in a world of challenges contacts thinking feeling doing and as we go out from prayer we must ensure that our hearts and our minds are guarded – protected so that we can cope with the onlsaught of whatever comes our way. At the end of the day find a moment to go back and reflect on all that you have been and done and then repeat. I also find that linked to my time in prayer are my devotions and my journaling. I try to write down each day what I have experienced and how the Lord has connected with me and also how I have connected with others.
Let’s pray and break bread together.