Barming Prayer Movement

March to April 2020

March 01, 2020

Lent to Easter. Where will this journey to take me?

 

Dear Pray-er’s

 

LENT is the period of time from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Historically a period of prayer & fasting in remembrance of the 40days Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil. Luke 4 1 – 13.  Now it is less strictly observed and has become a time of reflection, preparation for the passion and death of Jesus. There has been a shift from fasting to ‘giving up something for Lent’. So how as Christians can we make Lent a time of blessing rather than just giving up ’beer & chocolates’ Perhaps by trying some of the following:

 

Make a special time in your day to take time out to sit before God with a silent mind.

 

Biblical examples; Moses, Ex. 3. Ex 19. Ex 33 v7.  Elijah, 1. Kings 19 v 1-18. Jesus, Mtt. 4. 11. Luke 5. 16. Luke 9.28-36. Luke 22.39-46.

 

Jesus’ ministry is full of examples. It is our nature to ask for things when we pray, so flip this to allow God to speak instead.

 

Reflect:   Where your relationship is with Him in the faith? Are you stationary or going forward or nowhere?

Reflect:  Where are you in service of Him, in your prayer, in the way you live?

Reflect:  Give rather than deny. Give some of the time you use for treating yourself to serving others or praying for them. Ref to Simon Rogers article in the Barming Link (March).

Reflect:  on what the cross cost Jesus and God the Father. Isaiah 53.v5

 

Look at the passion and Cross. Reading the accounts in the gospels may help.

 

Ask God to help you learn from Him and show you how he would like you to use your time with him. Ps 139. 23-24. Jeremiah 29.13, Col.3.15. He gives us peace if we let him Ps 37.7. John 16.33. Leave time for Praise Ps 86.12 -13. 

 

‘Between Friday and Sunday is Saturday. Between death and resurrection is mourning. Between uncertainty and certainty is faith. Between pain and celebration is hope. Between loneliness and community is love’ by Graeme McMeekin. Tear Fund.

 

EASTER. We treat Easter with eggs, chicks, flowers and joy, rightly so for it is the celebration of new life, hope and salvation. For the first Easter it was a dark gritty time of suffering, violence, grief, bereavement and fear.

 

Mtt.28.1-10. The women experienced, earthquake, afraid yet filled with joy.

Mark 16.8, trembling and bewildered the women fled.

John 20.10 Mary didn’t see or recognise Jesus standing with her because of her tears.

Luke 24.13 the disciples didn’t recognise Jesus ‘their faces were downcast’

John 20.19, the disciples were in a locked room for fear of the Jews. 

 

Today we look at Easter with hindsight. One of the truths of Easter is that Jesus was with his people in an awful experience, they didn’t know or understand what had happened to him or where he had gone. We have the tremendous assurance that Jesus is with us in the hard scary experiences that are part of life for each one of us as we walk its path. Jesus says ‘Never will I leave you or forsake you’ it is one of the messages of Easter, as well as the joy and assurance of sins forgiven and life eternal after our earthly death. What an amazing message to reflect on. Thanks be to God.     

 

So during the next two months let us walk with Jesus and see where he leads us. We all have different paths to journey, some with rough boulders to climb over, some with a smoother path. Equip yourselves with the things that will help you practically to keep focussed. & the patterns of ways to help you spend time with God.  Be active in thought, prayer, and study the bible following up the thoughts and ideas God puts in your mind. 

 

God has a way of linking things up, I had written this letter before I read the March Barming Link, --see Wil’s letter & Simon’s article. Prayer is amazing & encouraging.

   

Val Eeles (Member of the prayer team and new email contributor!)

 

P.S

Please pray for the Road Prayer Team collecting prayers on Sunday 8th March at 2.30pm from the residents of North Pole Rd. Beechwood Rd. North St (part)  Heath Rd. (part) and do think about joining the Lent Bible Course starting this Thursday 5th March 7.30pm Church Cross House

Feb 2020

February 01, 2020

Dear Pray-ers,

 

Thank you for praying whilst the Road Prayer team went round the Orchard Fields Estate. We had a very encouraging and fruitful time. If you would like to commit yourself to praying for the specific prayers received each month, please Fliss know when she will add your name to this circulation list. 

 

This month the theme is 'Scripture for building up our prayer lives'.

 

Resources Fliss and I found “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson very inspirational and it certainly boosted our prayer lives. We would love yours to be boosted too so please consider buying or borrowing a copy of this book (Summary notes on this book are available from either of us.)

 

A couple of one-liners to whet your appetite: * Pray through the Bible. There are around 3,000 promises in scripture! (Pg 96) and *Keep God in mind always. Shoot prayers up about everyone you pass, everything you see.(Pg 162). Whilst the main thing is to pray, some books like this one can help us in our prayer lives. Please give us names of books on prayer ,that have you found helpful, so that we can share this with others.

 

Biblical comments on ‘What we should pray for’. Recently I found a Talk at the ‘Evening Praise’ service very helpful and thought it would be good if we all looked up these references, using these areas in our daily prayers. So do try them with me!

1. Mt 6; 9-13 God’s name to be honoured, His kingdom to be on this earth, His will to be done; Our daily needs, forgiveness, and to be led away from temptation.

2. Mt 5; 44 Those who persecute us.

3. Eph 1; 15-19.

4. Eph 3; 14-18 Those who come to know God, that they may grow in their knowledge of God and receive the Holy Spirit and God’s love in its fullness.

5.Mt 9; 36 Mt 28; 18-20 For the workers in this world as God’s witnesses.

6. Lk 11; 13 For the Holy Spirit in our lives

7.James 5; 13-18 For the ill and troubled.

 

Prayer Exercise suggestions (Source: Prayer in the Making by Lyndall Bywater)

Here are a few prayer suggestions. I’m praying that one or more of them are helpful for you. 

Trying it: Next time you stop to pray, try savouring a few words from the Bible. For instance savour the phrase ‘The Lord is my Rock.’ Say it to yourself several times over, each time putting a different emphasis on the words ‘The Lord is my Rock.’ Stop after each phrase reflecting! Then ask God which version of the phrase he is emphasising to you at this time in your life.

Sustaining it: 1) Get into the habit of stopping to pray, even for a minute or two, after you read scripture. Give God space to angle the lamp, so that it shines where he wants it in your life. Give him time to show you other layers of meaning that you may not previously have noticed or 2) Sow a promise: Praying for your local community, can be discouraging and hard-going, if you don’t have a vision for how things could be. Change for change’s sake is never enough to motivate. We need to know where we’re headed. Ask God to give you a phrase, verse or passage of scripture as a promise for Barming.

 

Faith building feedback In the January Prayer letter I gave a prayer exercise, paragraph 4: stating: If you are feeling worn down write a list of the obstacles you are facing, things that seem insurmountable & oppressive, then balance each problem with Gods truth. Here I received the following feedback: “ I decided to try this exercise, listing all the problems on one side of the page & balanced verses that God had given me in the past next to them. It took time and effort hunting through the Bible, but I was amazed by the result. For each problem I was spoilt for choice!.So many verses to choose. Each problem was supplied by God’s bountiful provision, more than I could ask or imagine.”. Hope and pray you too find this response faith building!

 

News & Events Scripture enhances our prayer lives, so why not join our Lent course starting on Thursday 5th march at 7.30pm. (Contact Wil if you want more information or to put your name down). Our Road Prayer Team had an excellent welcome going round the Orchard Field Estate and the prayers included several prayers for people who are very unwell.

 

We would LOVE to have your feedback for all or any of these sections, so please, please don’t hold back! We certainly don’t have all (or perhaps any!) of the answers but we are passionate about our faith in Jesus and in His ability to transform lives through prayer –ours included!

 

David (and Fliss)

Dec 2019

December 01, 2019

Greetings one and all!

 

As we approach the busy time of advent I hope and pray that you'll not be overwhelmed by the pace of life, asking God to give you strength and wisdom to make it a time of happy memories made with family and friends, a true celebration as you remember that Jesus came down to earth for you! This Advent I thought it would be good to take up a challenge as we spiritually prepare ourselves for Christmas.

 

The first part: is to download the free ‘Follow The Star’ app, 12 Days of Christmas Wonder – the Christmas journey from the Church of England, featuring short Bible readings, reflections and prayers with a welcome from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The app also includes full audio for each day, including the Bible reading. (Alternatively , you may like to sign up for the free e-mail version of the reflections via www.churchofengland.org/ followthestar).

 

The Archbishops in their welcome say “ Let’s follow the star together this Christmas and find ourselves in that humble stable, in a place where you are known and loved in the presence of God. We hope that you have a blessed Christmas and pray that your journey following the star leads you ever closer to the joy and peace of knowing Jesus Christ” Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu.

 

Recently I had a problem and didn’t know where to turn and God gave me this scripture:

 

“ He reached down from on high and took hold of me, he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy….They confronted me on the day of my disaster, BUT the Lord was my support” (Psalm 18 vv16-18)… Two hours later someone out of the blue emailed me and that made all the difference! Have you ever thought here that your encouragement and your prayers can also make a world of difference to someone? Who are you going to reach out to today/this Advent?

 

The second part: Choose one or more of the following prayer suggestions for each of the four weeks of Advent:

 

1) Light a candle each day and pray Psalm 61. Let it be a sign of your longing for God. (If you feel there is an area of your life that you are not giving Jesus top priority, talk and pray to Him about it).

 

2) Try and write a prayer for use daily, which could be along the following lines: “Dear Jesus, help me to be steadfast today. Fill me and those I meet with your gentle love. Help me to be continually strengthened by your Word, prayer and the Holy Spirit working in me AMEN”

 

3) Draw a Christmas tree or make one out of clay. Write or place signs on the tree that name the promises that God offers to you. (Some of these might be freedom from fear, companionship, joy, guidance and so on.)

 

4) In prayer, enter into the world of the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the refugees, the homeless ….Think about what you might do this Advent to be more closely united with

 

these groups. …….Think about sharing something from your spiritual &/or material abundance with them.

 

5. Christmas is a time for generosity. The gifts we give do not have to be expensive or extravagant – sometimes the gift of time spent with a neighbour or a smile at someone we see on the street can be just as meaningful. In prayer ask God to show you, who to reach out today in your family, church, and community.

 

6. Advent calendars are not just for kids! Instead of (or as well) opening daily doors with pictures or retrieving small gifts from pockets, adults and children can mark the day-by-day journey to Christmas by praying/drawing on a blank calendar template. For your free Advent calendar just google: 26 ideas for Advent (with Sybil Macbeth).

 

Recently the Road prayer team went round part of Tonbridge Rd, The Hollies and Halfpenny close. Please pray for the residents in these roads and for their prayer needs. If you would like to join the group who are given detail for more focused praying please email or speak to us about this. It's an area of ministry which is a great privilege to be part of and also one where great sensitivity is needed. 

 

In closing like many things in our lives we need commitment! So why don't you right now print off this newsletter and secondly email Fliss & me saying that you are taking up this Advent prayer challenge. Fliss and I would love to hear how you got on with this Advent challenge!

 

Love in Christ

 

David (and Fliss)

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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