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Prayer strands

Do you pray?

When I think about prayer I mean praying to the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Prayer is so easy a child can do it, but it can also be difficult. It can be difficult to be honest. It can be difficult to find time. It can be difficult to listen in case God is speaking or showing us a picture.

I recently had a half formed idea about the strength of groups of people praying. Jesus said, Where two or three are gathered in my name…

I wondered about a sort of plant rising from people towards God. We are supposed to be branches in his Vine – a sort of network. I thought about the strength of intertwined creepers. There is also reference in the Bible to a three-stranded cord.

Then I saw a picture on Twitter of wisteria in Kew Gardens. I have permission from Isabel Hardman to share it here.

Wisteria

Wisteria

I am not claiming to understand what happens when we pray. God wants us to treat him as our Heavenly Father and talk to him. We should expect to hear from him too.

Perhaps our prayers have substance, becoming a strong interwoven fabric or a tangle of creepers. Perhaps in praying for a person our prayers build up a barrier against evil. Prayer is something of a mystery. Does this picture resonate in any way with your experience? Can you shed any light on these tentative ideas?

 

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B is for Blessed

This April on Sue’s Trifles the theme is the names of God.  There may be more than one name for some of the letters.  There may be others I have omitted.  I hope that by going through the alphabet together we may learn more about the nature of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Letter A

The names or descriptions of God beginning with B, which first came into my mind were Blessed and blessing, Bountiful and the Bread of life.  These are mostly rather specialised words and phrases.

Many people use the expression Bless, or sign something they have written with blessings.  “Bless you”, often follows a sneeze.

God’s blessing is worth receiving.  In his generosity (being bountiful) He is willing to pour out blessings on people.  He desires that people should bless Him.

Bread of Life is a description Jesus gave himself.  John 6:48

The final name I remembered for this letter is Brother.

This is the easiest of these ideas, but in some ways the most difficult.  People belong to families.  Male siblings are brothers.  What is amazing is that God (in the person of his Son) could be our Brother.  Matthew 25:40, Romans 8:29 and other passages of the New Testament use this idea.  We cannot be equal with God, but he came down to earth to be our Brother.

Here is a well-known prayer, which addresses Jesus as our Brother.

The prayer of St Richard of Chichester

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly
and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.

Further reading:

Holy Bible (If you do not possess one there are online resources and free translations for Kindle.)

Paradoxology

How can it be all right when everything is all wrong?

Forgetful Heart by Lucy Mills, who is taking part in the A to Z Challenge.

New day dawning

New Dawn

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

If I go to bed at my usual time and sleep well, I may wake up just as the sun is rising.  I do not look out of our east-facing windows, though.  Instead I sit next to the west-facing ones and have my quiet time.

Last Friday morning (22 Aug) I was surprised to see pink-tinged clouds in the west at around 06:15hrs.  I switched on my tablet computer and took a few photos.  Here is one for you to enjoy.

Reflected glory

Reflected glory