Barming Prayer Movement

Sept 2019

September 28, 2019

Dear Pray-ers,

 

With the changing of our seasons, Creation linked with Action - prayer beyond words, seems a good theme for this months newsletter. Read Psalm 8 for yourself and marvel at the dignity of the human person. And give thanks in prayer to God for particular people, who reveal God’s loving presence to you. Then reflect on who has helped you get to this point in your faith journey. Also read Psalm 104 where God is revealed in his natural world. All is a gift to us and with the psalmist lets give thanks for the glory of God’s creation. Consider: Where do I see this awesome glory revealed in my life and the larger world?

 

Wherever we are on our journey, we can take some action to make this world a better place. N.T. Wright says here: “What you do in the present — by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbour as yourself — will last into God’s future.These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a bit less beastly, a bit more bearable, until the day when we leave it altogether. They are part of what we may call building God’s kingdom”.

 

 

Biblically, the trouble of being a prophet in Eisha’s time was that everyone expected you to know how to say the right prayers — the kind that would rescue terrible situations. So, when the people of Jericho started dying because of a polluted water source, the most obvious course of action was to go to the prophet and get him to pray the right prayer (2 kings 2:19-22). What came to him in the end was not a poetic utterance; it was an action. His prayer was to throw salt into the spring. Elisha’s friends must have got used to his rather physical approach to prayer. His prayer to rescue a lost axe-head was to drop a stick in the river (2 Kings 6:1-7), and his prayer to neutralise the poison in a stew was to mix flour into it (2 Kings 4:38-41). He even persuaded Naaman to wash seven times in a muddy river, as a prayer to have his leprosy healed (2 Kings 5:9-14).

 

 

How about you ? Have you ever tried to pray without using words? Trying it: *Our lives are full of activities, many of which make good ‘action prayers’ if we do them prayerfully. Think of a difficult or unpleasant practical task in the house or garden that needs doing. Before starting, think of a difficult situation that you’re praying for currently. Then, let your physical actions become prayers for that situation. Perhaps the scrubbing of ingrained dirt expresses your longing to see forgiveness and reconciliation; perhaps repairing something expresses your desire to see God rebuild broken lives; perhaps the business of weeding, digging and planting expresses your prayer to see new growth in your church or family.

 

 

Talking it: *Have you personally, seen someone do something with such heart and determination that its felt more like a prayer than an action. I have! * When we pray together in church or in our small groups, what can we do to become more active and less wordy in prayer? Over to you! But we would really love to have your feedback on this or anything else in this newsletter.

 

Sustaining it:* One of the easiest prayer actions is prayer walking, which we do at St Margaret’s. It’s the simple, physical act of praying for a place by being there. Elisha may have used his salt, sticks and flour, but we use our bodies, planting our feet on the ground in the roads of Barming , where we long to see God’s kingdom come and him helping people with their problems. Pick a place - Is there a route you walk or drive often, or is there a part of Barming you long to see transformed? That’s the best place to start your rhythm of prayer walking. Each time you go to that place or follow that familiar route, travel it as an act of prayer.

 

 

Be the prayer:* You will probably find that all sorts of thoughts and ideas bubble up in your mind, but try to resist the temptation to make prayers out of words. This is a prayer action, so your prayer is your physical act of walking! As you take each step, imagine it’s a prayer. If the place needs peace, walk slowly and calmly; if you’re longing for a breakthrough, stride out purposefully; if your prayer is thankfulness and gratitude, walk with a spring in your step. Letting your physical actions be the prayer. On a more general note, please pray about, joining our Road Prayer team who would really welcome you joining them collecting prayers or praying whilst they are out.

 

 

What’s your hobby? Mine are walking, pilates and running. Make some time in the coming week to do something you love. If you’re particularly busy your hobby may be the thing you do to wind down or switch off, but this time it’s going to be an act of prayer - not switching off from the world, but switching on to the presence of God. Before you begin your activity, thank God for it; it’s a gift from him after all. Then invite him to join you in it, by his Spirit. As you do your activity, give it your best, as a sign of your love for him. Most of all - really enjoy it.

 

 

It’s easy to assume that praying for people involves formulating a few sentences about them, and then speaking them to 

God. But what about praying for someone through your actions instead of your words. Next time then, you do something for someone - make them a cup of coffee, give them a hug or carry a heavy bag for them - let your action express to God the prayer in your heart for them.

 

 

Finally please pray for residents living in Hermitage Lane, Oakapple Lane, Edmund close, Barming Walk, Robinson Ave, Copper Beech close and Fullingpits Lane. There were several prayers for guidance with schools, churches and various health problems.

 

 

Praying God’s blessings over you

 

David (and Fliss)

Ps. Please remember you are always welcome at Wed evening prayer 7-730pm and Fri morning prayer 7-8am in St Margarets

July & August 2019

July 30, 2019

Dear fellow Pray-ers,

 

 

I (David) have just come back from a great walking holiday in the Austrian Tyrol and feel really refreshed. I pray that you too find time, whether you are able to get away or not - to be refreshed spiritually and physically!

 

 

Our theme in this newsletter is Intercession, again using ‘Prayer in the Making’ by Lyndall Bywater. The word ‘intercede’ comes from two latin words: cedere, meaning ‘to go’ or ‘to move’, and inter, meaning ‘between’. So to be an intercessor is to be a go-between. Intercession is bringing people and situations to God, and doing all of it through prayer.

 

 

She talks first about Shoulder Prayers - the things we know God is asking us, to pray about, but which we find more of a duty than a joy. The apostle Paul definitely believed in the importance of intercessory prayer, and one of the words you’ll find in his teaching is the word ‘all’. We’re to pray for all people (1 Timothy 2:1); we’re to pray in all situations (Philippians 4:6).

 

 

The first challenge is stepping out of our prayer echo chamber, asking God to show us new prayer responsibilities, he’d like us to shoulder. The crucial thing being to realise that this kind of prayer takes time and discipline. When praying for a loved one who’s ill, you already know the situation inside out. When you’re praying ‘shoulder prayers’, you’re praying for people you don’t necessarily see often, or for things you don’t know much about. Both take time and we need to be intentional about it. When praying for people in your extended family, or members of our church, we need to stop and think about each person, praying a specific prayer of blessing over them. if you’re praying for a situation you don’t know much about,then we need time to research, and to pray about what we have discovered. Prayer is most effective when it is specific!

 

 

Talking it: * Have you ever seen God answer prayer in a miraculous way? (Small and large miracles are happening all the time and sometimes we don’t notice them).* What do you find easy to pray for, and what are the things you find more difficult to get motivated to pray about? (It helps me to occasionally keep a note of my prayers in my journal then I can see how God answers them).

 

 

If ‘shoulder prayers’ are a form of intercession that primarily engages our minds then ‘Heart Prayers’ are more likely to engage our emotions. Paul recognised that some prayers run so deep in us that we can’t simply articulate them.If you have ever felt truly heartbroken about a situation, or if you have shared even a tiny bit of someone elses grief, then you’ll know that feeling. It’s not that you don’t want to pray, its that you have no words. In one of his most poignant pictures ,Paul describes what happens in these moments: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26). Our shoulders can probably bear a lot of weight, but our hearts are more fragile, and sometimes simply get overloaded.

 

 

Trying it * If you have a heart prayer, then the chances are you’re constantly lifting it to God, but its still important to set aside time to focus on it in prayer. So choose the situation that most preoccupies your prayers,and then begin to pour out your heart to God, being completely honest. Talking it * Are you carrying a heart prayer at the moment? How long have you been carrying it, and have you seen God answer it in any way yet? ( Personally, I know that God works wonders beyond our imaginations and if this stirs something up for you please feel free to talk it through with a member of our ministry team), * Have you ever been aware of the Holy Spirit helping you to pray when you weren’t able to? What happened and what was it like? (Again, feel free to share this with Fliss, me or any of the ministry team, so that we can encourage others). 

 

Finally Enlarge your heart * Our heart prayers are often about those we love, or situations we are close to. Yet there’s a world out there that desperately needs our heartfelt intercession. Is there something that God is asking you to take to heart - a nation or people group perhaps, or an issue such as people trafficking?

 

 

During this holiday lets pray (and give practical help) to the elderly, those who are unwell and single parents in our community. Please also pray for residents living in the Springfield estate including a recently bereaved family, for those being oppressed in any way and people suffering from dementia and in particular those living in the Abbotsleigh Care Centre.

 

Praying God’s blessings over you

 

David ( and Fliss)

Febraury 2019

February 01, 2019

Dear fellow-prayers,

 

 

I’m just reading “Dirty Glory” by Pete Greig which I’d recommend to any one wanting to deepen their prayer life. ( He is the founder of the 24-7 prayer movement, which has established prayer rooms all over the world).

 

 

I found his book very encouraging and am giving a few quotes to help us in our walk with God: He says that: “The presence of God can sometimes be carried contagiously by those who seek Him most passionately in prayer.”

 

 

Also that our Father in heaven longs for us to seek out his presence in the Holy of Holies without an Agenda. Not out of duty. Not because we have favours to ask or things to get off our chests. He wants us to seek him out simply because we are happier in his presence than anywhere else.

 

 

He also mentions that: “Whenever I am flagging in my faith, I find it helpful to remember saints whose lives, have inspired mine, are watching my choices, applauding my efforts and crying out,’Come on!.’ I can imagine Christine and Maggie Smith, the two elderly sisters who prayed until the Hebridean awakening began, standing in that great cloud of witnesses, applauding the young intercessors praying night after night in 24-7 prayer rooms.” And that’s you and me as well!

 

 

Adding to this he says that the most important discovery, that we can ever make is the love the Father has for all of us. And that your power in prayer flows from an inner certainty that the one who made you, likes you. He is not scowling at you. He is on your side.

 

 

I also like a prayer he gave based on Psalm 46:10 which you might like to use, right now: I pause now to become more aware of your presence in the stillness of this moment. Grant me ‘epiphanies of the ordinary’ today - glimpses of your presence in the places I go, the people I meet, the routine things I do. Teach me to perceive and receive your presence in all things. Amen

 

 

There are many ways to draw close to God’s presence in prayer. A couple I find helpful are: Choose a holy word such as “Be Still” and breathing in deeply closing your eyes say these words inwardly or alternatively imagine you are in a cocoon, surrounded by love and peace, breathing in deeply and hearing Jesus say occasionally “Be Still”

 

 

The other day I heard a song by Josh Wilson called “Dream small” which made an impression on me. A couple of verses went like this: Dream small, don’t buy the lie you’ve got to do it all. Just let Jesus use you where you are. One day at a time. Live well, loving God and others as yourself. Find little ways where only you can help. With His great love, a tiny rock can make a giant fall, so dream small.

 

 

Keep loving,keep serving, keep listening, keep learning, keep praying, keep hoping, keep seeking,keep searching. Add up the small things and watch them grow bigger. The God who does all things makes oceans from rivers.

 

 

What does your small dream look like? As the song says you haven’t got to do it all, but there are many ways of getting more involved in the prayer-life of our church .e.g. Road Prayer collections or being part of the Prayer Team during the collections; Wednesday night prayers 7-7.30pm; Home Groups and prayer walks. Please prayerfully consider getting more involved in our prayer life and then fulfil your dream.

 

 

Finally please continue praying for people in our parish, especially this month for people living in Tonbridge Rd, Priorsdean close, South St and Church Lane. In the prayer requests we received, several people were awaiting treatment for different types of cancer.

 

 

Praying God’s blessings over you,

 

David (and Fliss)

January 2019

January 31, 2019

Dear all

 

It seems ages since the last prayer email. January has flown by for me. I'm nearly getting back into a bit of routine following the fun but full on 'festive season'!

 

Before the main content of this email i'd like to take the opportunity to invite you to tonight's extended prayer session in St Margaret's 7-8pm. As you may or may not know, every Wednesday a small group of people meet to pray from 7-715 in silence and then corporately from 715-730. I know that those who attend find it peaceful, uplifting and encouraging. Do feel free to join for this informal gathering as and when you can. Tonight's format will be the same but with more time for corporate prayer, to share our needs and concerns as appropriate with each other and to life them to our loving heavenly father.

 

Last Saturday 19 women gathered at the Rectory for breakfast and then a short Bible Study in church cross house. Our theme was 'Cleanliness' (we had a some lively 'ice breaker' questions about house work, new years' resolutions etc!) and the passage was from 2 Chronicles 29:1-11. We learned about good King Hezekiah and how he led the people in a cleansing of the temple and to recommit their lives to the Lord. Although a clean and tidy house can be a joy, what the Lord values is a clean heart! He loves it when we come to Him in humility, repenting of our sins, accepting the grace he offers us through Jesus and with determination and the help of the precious Holy Spirit to have a closer walk. May we this year like David make the following part of our daily prayer 'Create in me a pure heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me' (Psalm 51:10).

 

Also in your prayers please remember the residents of Heath Road, Mill Walk and Belmont Close asking God for his presence with each person, especially drawing near to those who shared their health problems with us, or those of loved ones. Please also pray for the residents of South Street, Church Lane, Priors Dean and the Tonbridge Road houses opposite, and the prayer team as this area is visited next weekend.

 

Thanks for your friendship and fellowship as ever. Do let us know if you have any prayer needs and/or ideas for this monthly mailing. 

 

Love in Christ,

 

Fliss (and David)

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(01622) 726263

Church Lane, Barming, ME16 9HA

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Rev Wil North.  Email:- revwilnorth@hotmail.co.uk 

The Rectory, Church Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9HA

Telephone:- 01622 726263