Our Bible Study and Prayer Evening on Thursday 15th July 2010 was yet another wonderful evening on Prayer. Our Minister, Stephen Thornton, started the study with a sunflower, giving us many facts about it: some well known, some obscure. He went on to say that there were many sermons in this flower, and gave us a brief outline of one. Then, using the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication) as a guide, he constructed a prayer inspired by the flower. Many of us thought: ‘So easy, when you know how!’
We then divided into four groups, and each group was given an everyday object to study: a computer; a compass, a map of Fleet and Church Crookham; and a £5 note. We were instructed to consider our object in depth and what it might be saying to us. Then each member of the group was invited to write part of a prayer, following the ACTS model.
It was a thought-provoking exercise, especially as we came to a realisation of how much we take for granted, without considering what commonplace items might be able to teach us about our relationship with God. For instance:
- The computer reminds us how much we have come to rely on modern technology and pushed God out of our lives;
- The compass teaches us about direction: are we truly focussed on God, or are we following the paths of the world?;
- Likewise, the map reminds us about direction, and also questions our relationship with our neighbours. Do we really love them as we love ourselves? Do we have a real sense of community, or do we go home from church and close our door with little thought of the people who live around us?
- The £5 note is a reminder of our Head of State, the Queen; but do we also see the King of Kings? Do we use money for good or for evil and do we use it to enhance not only our own lives but also those of others? It is underwritten by a promise of gold, but this is nowhere near as precious as the golden promises of God.
Let us all pray that this evening of study we shared will stay with us. Let us pray that we will rely on God, walk with Him and be guided by Him; that we will always remember the commandment ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your being, and love your neighbour as yourself’. Let us pray that we will never worship money, but use it wisely, and that we will be mindful of all the blessings we receive daily.