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Words of Wisdom and Insight

The following pearls of wisdom were shared with us from the June Friday Fast and Prayer Day. If you feel God stirring anything in you as a response, or something you could add to our discernment, do tell us:

Life Giving Fellowship

As we were praying for the Movement as a whole and its momentum we were reminded of the Fall and how God cursed the ground and said it would be through painful toil that we would struggle to produce fruit from it all the days of our lives. It made us think about the hard work of producing fruit from disciple making. 

Jesus never said it would be easy…in fact he promised us challenges and difficult times. We shouldn’t be surprised when challenges come our way. But a home-grown apple tastes so much sweeter than a shop bought mass produced one. Putting time and effort into growing your own fruit and veg is rewarding in so many ways. It would be easier to go buy some potatoes from the supermarket but the effort of growing your own, earthing them up to get the best crop, making sure you water them enough during dry spells so the potatoes swell evenly then digging them up and scrubbing them yourself – that is life giving.

Just like walking alongside others, living a life that reflects Jesus to them, feeding them with the gospel whether they realise it or not, nurturing them and spending time with them, is often hard work. It can be difficult but the result of fellowship with them is life giving and so much better than the ‘shop bought’ fellowship at church.

Healthy Growth?

As we were praying for the Movement as a whole and thinking about this coming year, we were looking out into the garden at the geraniums that had just finished flowering. The plants were bushy and green and healthy, the flowers had finished but the leaves were still looking healthy. I was told if I cut them back to the ground they would flower again in late August. That seemed a bit brutal! There was nothing wrong with the plants, they weren’t diseased, they weren’t stopping other plants from growing or flowering and they didn’t look out of place or bad. In order to get more flowers though the best thing for the plant was to cut it back to the ground. 

Sometimes as Christians we can be tempted to ‘do’ so much! Church meetings, committee meetings, mums and tot groups, alpha courses, prayer meetings, multiple services each Sunday, house groups, prayer triplets, coffee mornings etc. none of these are inherently bad but does supporting all that apparently healthy growth inhibit a second round of flowering!? 

As a Movement are we supporting green growth that isn’t necessarily bad or wrong but is inhibiting a second flowering? What/who do we need to prune, perhaps apparently quite brutally, in order for new fresh growth and flowering to come? 

As an aside, I put off cutting my geraniums back because it felt too harsh…after a week or so I decided to do it because, although the green growth was okay, the flowers are the reason I have those plants. For a day or two it looked awful, I thought I’d made a big mistake. It didn’t take long though for new shoots to grow, for fresh bright green leaves to spring up, for new even healthier, brighter green leaves to come through…there aren’t any flowers yet, but the new life is already springing up and making me smile. The flowers are coming!!

When it is Too Hard to Pray

The following was shared on the Inspire Prayer Messaging Group. You can read more about our prayers for Rhoda and Timothy in the Inspire Prayer Bowl. SUBSCRIBE HERE

We thought you might find this refection helpful for your own prayers.

Sometimes it can be hard to pray for people. It can feel like a struggle to pray for Rhoda and Timothy. We DO pray for them often!! But sometimes we just don’t have words to those prayers or we feel such mixed emotions about how to pray.

This verse in Romans has been at the forefront of our wrestling in prayer.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 NIV

As we pray for Rhoda we find ourselves thanking God that she knows He is in control. Whether He promotes her to glory or restores her to health on this earth, we pray that peace and assurance continues.

And we give thanks that as we pray together in this community of believers here, we find the Spirit inspires other people to pray when we cannot, just as we will pray when they do not know how to. That is the miracle of real Christian fellowship!

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