4 P's to live by. Part 1.
09 January 2018
On Sunday morning, during our Vision Sunday, Malcolm explored four P’s: prayer, presence, prophecy and proclamation. Together, they form four ways in which all Christians and all churches should be engaging with their communities and with our world.
During this week, we are going to dive really practically into each of these, and explore ideas of how we can bed them into our lives and witness more fully. Starting with…
Charles Spurgeon said this: “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.” In other words, prayer may seem small, but it has huge power because we pray to a huge God. Put even more simply, prayer changes things!
So I want to encourage you to think about how you can invest more deeply in prayer, and I have a few practical suggestions you could try.
1. Use prayer prompts
Sometimes we want to pray, but the stumbling block is not being sure what to pray for! So find a way to capture things you want to pray for and then use them as prompts. That could be:
- Writing down people or situations to pray for on slips of paper, putting them in a jar in your house and pulling one out each day to pray for.
- Getting the prayer sheets from Gold Hill on a Sunday to pray for our church family, or sign up to prayer emails for the persecuted church through an organisation like Open Doors.
- Using an app like ‘PrayerMate‘ which allows you to input areas to pray for and then guides you through a prayer time each day.
- Browse the news headlines and pray for things going on in our world.
2. Invest in a prayer journal
If you’re anything like me, you might have heard people talking about prayer journals before and thought ‘That’s not for me!’ Whether it’s because you don’t feel creative enough, or aren’t good at writing, or whatever it is, I’d encourage you to give it a go. When I’ve used prayer journals, I’ve found them really helpful.
And they can work however you want them to. You can get all creative, write poems or draw your prayers and worship to God. If your brain doesn’t work like that, you can pray in mind maps or lists. You could use it simply to capture a list of things you have prayed about with nothing more complex going on. It’s for you and God, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like or even if anyone else will understand it!
The beauty of a prayer journal is being able to go back through it, to see where God has moved in areas you have prayed for, to be held by your past words and prayers when times are harder, and to celebrate the journey God is taking you on by being able to see it.
So grab an old notebook, buy a simple journal or start a document on your computer or phone called ‘Prayer Journal’ and give it a go!
3. Engage in Gold Hill's prayer life
As a church, we are committed to being prayerful. That means as individuals but also together. I’d like to encourage two ways you can get involved in Gold Hill’s corporate prayer life.
Join a prayer group. We have groups meeting to pray for specific things, whether that is one of our mission partners, a part of the world or for individuals to return to God. They are great groups! So if you’d like to know about them, get in touch. If there’s a passion you have and you’d like to start a group for it, let us know and we can see what we can do to connect you with like-minded folk.
Commit to Days of Prayer. During 2018, the last Tuesday of every month is set aside as a Day of Prayer. That means we are asking the whole church to be deliberately seeking God in prayer. We have times together early morning, at lunchtime and in the evening (every other month that evening time is a church members meeting). So why not go through your diary or calendar app right now and add those dates to your diary so you can join in with praying too.
So those are just some simple ideas to try for our first P, ‘prayer’. Tomorrow, some thoughts on being the ‘Presence’ of Jesus in our world and communities.