We continue wit Premier's excellent Bible study


I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 Timothy 2:1

Saturday 24 September

Although the number of people who attend church services is constantly shrinking, it is very good to see that prayer isn’t going out of fashion. It’s often assumed that people pray as they get older, however a ComRes opinion poll in 2021 revealed that twice as many people in the 18-34 age group prayed, compared with those aged over 55. But the question is: what do we do when we pray? In our verse today Paul encourages Timothy to have the right focus in his prayers.

Our natural condition is to be self- centred, and so it is very easy for us to see prayer in an entirely selfish way. We pray for ourselves, our happiness, our health, our family, our future and so on. All of those things are perfectly proper subjects for prayer but if they become the exclusive focus, something has gone seriously wrong. Paul reminds Timothy that the priority of his prayer life needs to be to pray for others – and particularly to pray for those in authority. This was particularly challenging at the time, because many of the rulers in Paul’s day were violently opposed to Christianity. However, Paul tells his young friend that they needed to be on his prayer list.

What strikes me is that Paul saw prayer as Timothy’s priority. There is no doubt that Timothy had huge, demanding responsibilities as a leader. He had pressing issues to deal with every day. He needed to be robust in defending the truth of the Gospel, particularly because there were many who were seeking to destroy the Church. He had an incredibly busy ministry but, amid all his vital work, Paul told him that prayer needed to be top of his list. That’s an important observation for us all because it is often tempting to see activity as our priority. We feel we should be busy when what the Lord really wants is for us to be prayerful. In short, if we are too busy to pray, we’re too busy!

I am convinced that prayer still needs to be our priority. We will all be busy with 101 different things. But prayer needs to be number one because this is God’s work. In prayer we show our dedication to working in partnership with him.

QUESTION
Is prayer your priority? If it is, rejoice! If it isn’t, spend some time today thinking through how this could happen.

PRAYER
Loving God, please help me to take prayer more seriously and to place it at the heart of my life. Amen


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Godshiker - Catching the wave

Our focus today is all about watching, waiting and building faith – and then crucially catching the wave of faith as we build our spiritual treasure of faith.

The art of surfing is waiting and watching for the big wave and then launching to catch the power of the wave. Momentarily we have to travel as fast as the wave if we are to share in the power of the wave. More..

 
 


Daily Bible Study - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

Do have a look at the Premier Daily Bible reading below. It is really so good.

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Friday 16 September


One of the words that has been repeatedly used of Queen Elizabeth is faithfulness. She has been faithful to her vow to serve the nation, but also faithful to her husband and her family. Faithfulness is a wonderful word and these verses from Galatians remind us that its source is the Holy Spirit. God is perfectly faithful and so as we open our lives to him the fruit of the Spirit naturally grow in us. All the fruit flow from love and are an expression of love.

The world has changed so much in recent years. It used to be quite usual for people to stay in the same job for the whole of their working lives. Carriage clocks and gold watches were awarded to people on their retirement after decades in the same organisation. Marriage was seen as a life-long commitment between two people, to a far greater extent than is true today. We cannot put the clock back, but I do believe that we should continue to celebrate faithfulness wherever we find it.

God is perfectly faithful. In Hebrew the key word is hesed which embraces both the words love and faithfulness. God supremely showed his loving faithfulness in the covenants that he established with his people. In Lamentations we read: “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) God can always be relied upon to be faithful but, sadly, that isn’t true of us. Hard as we might try to be faithful, we get distracted and slip up.

Queen Elizabeth lived in the real world within which her own faithfulness was not always matched by the faithfulness of others. She witnessed many times of disappointment and brokenness, and especially within her own family. It is never easy to remain faithful and it wouldn’t have been so for her. But, inspired by her strong Christian faith, she remained faithful to the end. In her preface to the book “The Servant Queen and the King she serves” she wrote: “I have been – and remain – very grateful to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.” I pray that we will allow her godly example to challenge, inspire and encourage us to live faithful lives.

PRAYER
Lord God our Father, we praise you that you are always faithful. Fill us afresh with your Holy Spirit so that we will continue to be faithful to you and those around us throughout our lives. Amen



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