Presentation on theme: "Pastors think people come to church to hear sermons. They dont; they come to… Pray and to learn to pray."— Presentation transcript:
Pastors think people come to church to hear sermons. They dont; they come to… Pray and to learn to pray.
Just Next Door She doesn't live here anymore In that small white bungalow Not fifty yards north, just next door. The lights have been lit for two nights now, The car is still alone in the drive. No one's at home and we're left wondering If there's something that could have been done.
Some word of friendship, some neighbourly wave Perhaps, some fudge brownies or an invite to dinner. Who knows? She never really spoke to us So we - we never really spoke to her. And no one really ever saw her. And no one in our house saw the cop cars come And no one in our house saw them cut her down
And no one in our house saw the ambulance Driving slowly, all too slowly, on its way back to town. And now. She doesn't live here anymore In that small white bungalow Not fifty yards north, just next door.
To be a prayer centred and prayer led church To have a prayer centred and prayer led life.
Language 1 Intimacy and relationship Names and petnames The basic language for love
Language 2 Information Recognising the world The basic language of school
Language 3 Persuasion and motivation It makes things happen The basic language of politics and advertising
We are well schooled in language that describes the world in which we live. We are well trained in language that moves people to buy and join and vote. Meanwhile, Language 1, the language of intimacy, the language that develops relationships of trust and hope and understanding, languishes. Once we are clear of the cradle, we find less and less occasion to use it.
There are short-lived recoveries of Language 1 in adolescence when we fall in love and spend endless hours on the telephone using words that eavesdroppers would characterise as gibberish. In romantic love, we find that it is the only language adequate to the reality of our passions. When we are new parents, we relearn the basic language and use it for a while. A few people never quit using it – a few lovers, some poets, the saints – but most let it slide.
Prayer is Language 1. It is not language about God or the faith; it is not language in the service of God and the faith; it is language to and with God in faith.
Help Here I am I love you Touch me I need you Abba! Father!
Prayer is keeping company with God. Clement of Alexandria
Prayer is best when it is a waste of time
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Prayer starts with desire Desire can be uncomfortable
Speak your own language – pour out your soul
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and 6 my God. Prayer is a discipline
Mark 1 32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Prayer is the root of our strength But it needs to be deliberate
Different strategies PCC – general life of the church Homegroups Teaching Personal response
You dont have to be clever.
You dont have to be ordained A monk Or a nun
You dont have to an extravert charismatic
You dont have to be intravert and contemplative
You dont have to be able to play guitar
Language 1 Abba! Father!
Open my eyes that I may see The Presence that is all about me. Open my ears that I may hear The voice that is quiet yet ever near. Open my heart that I may feel The love of God close and real. Open each sense, make me aware of the Power and peace always there.