- Church Lane East,
- GU11 3ST
This devotional thought appears on the front page of the July-August 2019 edition of Park Life magazine.
I thought as the subject of this summer’s House Group was prayer and that the group is using the 3 sessions Peter Greig delivered at Spring Harvest this year, that I would share the notes I took at Spring Harvest of what Peter says in those sessions, to serve as a reminder for those who are attending and to share with those who can’t get there.
Peter is the Leader of Emmaus Road Church in Guildford and is the founder of the 24~7 Prayer movement. He was previously on the leadership team of Holy Trinity Brompton. He has a down-to-earth and humorous delivery style which makes him very watchable. But l really liked the way he was honest, vulnerable and less than perfect personally and in his prayer life; which made him very relatable.
The three sessions were focussed like this:
Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God.
Communication and time are measures of any relationship and relationship cannot be built without effective communication - which takes time. God believes in us, loves us and wants to spend time with us.
Prayer does not have to be long, complicated or fancy. We are merely to:
Keep it simple
Keep it real
Keep it up
Prayer can feel like throwing rocks into a swamp - they sink without trace. However, if you keep throwing rocks into a swamp, eventually the rocks stop sinking, and dry land will appear and change will happen.
lt can seem like God has two speeds - suddenly or very slowly. But in truth, even "sudden" answers to prayer usually have a slow build up preceding them, made of regular, private, personal prayer.
Peter advocates a simple 4 step process using the mnemonic - PRAY (other processes/ mnemonics are available)
P...pause - be still and know l am God. Focus on Him. Be present, be aware of yourself and your surroundings, breathe, chant, sing.
R...rejoice – worship, give thanks, pray a psalm, exercise gratitude.
A...ask - even Jesus had to make requests to God. Asking is relational and shows obedience - He told us to ask. Prayer makes a difference, prayer partners us with God in seeing His Kingdom come.
Y…yield - offer yourself to God, as a sacrifice and confess sin.
Prayer enables us to use the extraordinary authority that we have as sons and daughters, heirs with Jesus. We are seated with Jesus in heavenly places and as such have access to the throne room of God - where the prayers of the saints are heard. In prayer we partner with Gods purposes, so we use this confidence, knowing that God wants us to make demands of Him. Prayer is not just conversation with God but where we exercise authority to see reality changed. Those things that frustrate us or cause us pain are a clue to what we are called to pray about. We wrestle and contend with things now ~ and often only see in part - because although Jesus finished Satan’s power on the cross, he still is active and we have to fight - the battle continues so we must persevere. Perseverance is the key to prayer.
Prayer, Fasting, Giving
Jesus emphasised building our inner prayer life - doing things secretly. He gave equal importance to prayer, fasting and giving - and there is a reward when we do it. He does not expect us to be perfect and always get it right. Quite the reverse - he knows we are broken and that we mess up. But as His children, he is rooting for us, proud of us, on our side. But He still expects us to pray, fast and give because our spiritual authority comes by attending to our private spiritual life.
Fasting is a vital discipline that reveals the things that control us. In our age of consumerism, saying No is the antidote.
Giving- where you store your treasure, there your heart is. Generosity is not about how much you give but your attitude to what you give. Deal with debt. CAP and other organisations exist to help with debt
Enjoy enough - be content with what you have - remember Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Live to give - look tor where you can invest - in time and money. Peter summarised like this
Develop Holy Habits - including a regular private prayer life
Attend to your secret spirituality
Exist more simply
Press into His Love and Grace.
Past Focus Items
July-August - Prayer
June 2019 - Look, Enjoy and Give Thanks
May 2019 - A Change of Ways
April 2019 - Community
February 2019 - I Wanna Be Like You
January 2019 - In God We Trust
December 2018 - The Supporting cast
November 2018 -Collaboration
October 2018 - Do We Trust Him?
September 2018 - Community Outreach
July/Aug 20118 -Mission Impossible
June 2018 - Barnabas
May 2018 - Living Bricks
April 2018 - Togetherness
March 2018 - The Beauty is in the Present Moment and in the Seeing
January 2018 - Moving On
December 2018 - Christmas Lights
November 2017 - Autumn
October 2017 - The Red Box
September 2017 The Way Ahead - Part 2
July/August 2017 - Summertime
June 2017 - Steering the Boat
April 2017 - Change Ahead
March 2017 - One Way - Jesus
January 2017 - Beyond the Fog
December 2016 - Be Still and Know that I Am God
November 2016 - Autumn
October 2016 - Questions
September 2016 - Olympic Values
July/August - Follow the Leader?
June 2016 - Passports and Priorities
April 2016 - The Power of Love
March 2016 - Giving Up For Lent
February 2016 - What's At The Core?
January 2016 - The New Year
November 2015 - Back to the Future
October 2015 - Autumn
September 2015 - Standing in Their Shoes
July/August 2015 - Summertime
June 2015 - Free Gifts
March 2015 - Another Brick in the Wall
February 2015 - Distance Management
January 2015 - Changing Perspectives