Open Church

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7.

I don’t know about you, but I find prayer difficult. Not so much the act of praying, but holding on to a verse like this one. Experience says that we don’t always receive what we ask for. Sometime we can justify that by accepting that what we asked for was inappropriate, but other times the things we ask for in prayer will be worthy, valid, right and still we do not seem to find the response we sought. Some will say, “Ask more”, like a persistent child; or “Ask louder,” and I’ve certainly been in some prayer meetings were I’m convinced everyone believes God is deaf. Some will say my faith is faulty, that even asking these questions means that I don’t have enough faith to receive what I seek from God. Yet I know many with great faith who don’t receive what they seek. 

At the same time I get annoyed when people trivialise prayer, “I needed a car park place, said a prayer and there it was. Thank you God.” No, I don’t think God is your personal Genie, especially when we look around at the brokenness of life and wish God would magic that away as well. 

Yet, I also know that prayer can calm me when stressed, encourage me when disheartened, clear my mind when a million thoughts compete to be heard and can open up opportunities that I would never have thought possible. I particularly believe in people  coming together to pray. It allows us to hear one another’s prayers and get a sense of the things others seek. Sometimes we can hear a prayer and know we are not alone, or be awakened to a need we hadn’t noticed, or realise that we might be the one who can respond to that prayer in some way. Experience tells me that a church that is not praying together is in terminal decline, for we are not listening for God’s voice within our congregation or our community, we are operating in a vacuum and listening to no one but ourselves. It is not a healthy state for church.

So I was glad that we have re-started Open Church on a Thursday and that key to that time is spending time in prayer. In doing so we hold the whole community in prayer and ask questions of ourselves  “What is God saying to us?” Where is God leading us?” “What is the role of this church in this town?” I

It would be lovely to see more people calling in for some of the time and joining us in prayer alongside general chat about the world we live in.

be blessed