Newsletter Aug 2016
23 August 2016
Martin writes …
The Prayer Meeting: the Importance of Asking. I’m a great believer in prayer, so I regard it as wonderfully significant that we meet together every month on a Saturday morning to make our requests to God. Thank you to all those who make time to come – you do make a real difference for God’s kingdom – and a warm welcome to others who may not yet be sure.
Here are two verses which teach us to ask God: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24) So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
Someone may ask, ‘Why would we keep on asking God for what we need? Our heavenly Father knows what we need before we ask him (Matt 6:8). Doesn’t repeated prayer show a lack of faith?’ Jesus very clearly taught that we need to ask in order to receive. This principle is shot through his teaching and ministry. James spells it out for us in no uncertain terms, ‘You do not have because you do not ask’ (James 4:2).
The great 16th century French theologian and Reformer, John Calvin, said: ‘We must repeat the same supplication not twice or three times only, but as often as we have need, a hundred and a thousand times’. In other words, don’t stop asking and don’t be afraid of persistently asking. Asking is God’s appointed prescription for need. Of course God, being God, could have designed prayer differently, in such a way that made asking unnecessary. But the Bible makes clear that our heavenly Father approves, welcomes and delights in the asking of his children. It is the asking that fosters our awareness of his presence and his sovereignty, that shows up our dependence on him. We don’t have to understand before we decide to agree with God!
John Dunnett, director of CPAS, says, “If there is one thing that the… church needs to learn afresh (and there are probably many things!) it is to ask God. To ask that men, women and children might come to personal repentance and faith. To ask that God would pour out his Spirit on congregations and communities. To ask for his blessing on our leaders… To ask for a fresh Pentecostal blessing on his church. To ask for revival”.
So, let us continue to ask together in prayer more and more, with boldness, persistence and expectation. Our monthly Prayer Meetings are vital; so do come if you can. Jeremy and I also think it may be time to hold another ‘Prayer Evening’ on similar lines to the one we held in 2015. Please tell us if you would be willing to support this. I asked above whether repeated prayer might show a lack of faith. In fact, it is the very opposite. Repeated prayer encourages a firm faith in God, and demonstrates our willingness to be obedient to him. Let us believe in prayer and do it together.
With best wishes