A Reflection for Trinity 7 from Revd Charmaine Host
One of the best illustrations I have ever heard about how prayer works was from Richard Forster the author of many books on spirituality including, Celebration of Discipline; I had the good fortune to hear him speak, many years ago, at Spring Harvest. He said this: “Imagine a two-year old approaching her parents with a painting she has just made. How will they react? Will they say, ‘that’s rubbish, what on earth is it’ or will they say, ‘that’s beautiful darling, I can see what you have made, and I love the colours.’? We immediately know the answer to this imaginary conversation, don’t we? A good, loving parent will be delighted at the child’s efforts and even more so that she brought it to them for approval. So it is with prayer. With the reading from today’s letter to the Romans we have arrived at one of the ‘purple passages’ of the New Testament. We can almost sense Paul’s vigour as he writes with passion about the God whose love holds us through all that life and even death throws at us. This love is at work in us through the agency of the Holy Spirit who helps us in prayer; this divine, creative spirit is the one who makes sense of our inadequate paintings in prayer. All those times when we don’t know how to pray or can’t find the words to articulate what is needed are exactly the times when God is closest urging us to turn to him and bring our jumbled brush strokes in prayer. So, maybe prayer is little to do with the words we say but much more about the movement and intention of a heart turned towards God. And those intentions and thoughts are not always pretty. A cursory reading of the psalms reveals the sacred act of ranting! It often amazes me how often we see the psalmist almost spitting words of rage towards the almighty wanting him to smite those who are making his life miserable. Even in our most sacred texts we find a humanity that we can relate to, or at least I can.
Vs. 28; ‘We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.’ This verse alone is a good starting point in prayer. Trusting that nothing is wasted in the economy of God when it is offered to him to work in and through. So, this week, I recommend that this passage is read and re-read, and out of it many ‘prayer paintings’ made and presented to the one who will delight to see them, and somehow use them for his deeper purposes. Thanks be to God.
Prayer During the Week.
Pray that we may always seek that treasure which is the
kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 13: 44)
Pray for those in refugee camps with no income because
of the virus
Pray for a good response to the DEC Coronavirus Appeal.
Pray for local authorities as they take over protection
against the virus.
Pray for local surgeries as they consider how to manage
the flu jab later this year.
Pray for the relationships between the major
powers to improve.
Pray for would-be immigrants still crossing the Channel in
Please remember those who have asked for our prayers
Sarah Stephenson, Lisa, Julia McCormick, Morgan,
Michael Concannon, Heather Gent, Jean, Robert Brooks,
Margaret Ward, Joy Waistell, Sarah Aldridge.
Those who have died
Brenda Ann Mason, Sheila Bates, Edna Bucknall, Margaret
Hatton, Berenice Pickering, Mitchell Brooks and David Kingston.
Sunday Worship at St Benedict’s
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