Praying for Favour (from others)


Five

Posted on: 20th May 2019

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Luke 6:38

Have you ever received a gift from someone when it wasn’t your birthday or a special occasion? How did it make you feel? I find receiving a gift quite awkward. I was talking to a member of staff recently about how we like best to be recognised. According to the author Dr Gary Chapman, there are ‘5 love languages’. These are ways in which we prefer to receive adoration form others. My challenge for you this week – find your love language and the love language of the people closest to you.

My eldest daughter (now 14 years old) used to do ballet. On a Saturday morning I would drop her off at ballet in Accrington and go to Annie’s tea room for a brew and a scone (other tea rooms are available). When I arrived one Saturday morning with a pram and my young son in it, I decided to celebrate by ordering a Full English Breakfast. At the end of the meal I was informed that it was ‘on the house’! A great saving of £4.95. My response was to go to the local florist and buy a bunch of flowers for £5 and a box of chocolates for £2.99. The mathematicians reading this will recognise I paid 160% more for my meal that if I had just bought it myself.

Giving to others is not about the amount, it’s about opening a channel of flow from you to others. Jesus talks about the link between us giving and us receiving. My challenge this week for us all is for us to think about what we are holding on to, that we could be giving away.

In your prayers this week, be generous. Ask for God to bless those around you. Ask God to give you opportunities to be a blessing to others. If we all did that then we may be the recipient of someone else’s blessing.

Love to Serve


Love to serve

Posted on: 28th Jan 2019

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

When my wife and I got married seventeen years ago, Grandad spoke at the ceremony. As a retired Baptist minister, he had officiated at countless numbers of weddings but it was special that he spoke at ours. One of the readings we had was ‘that old chestnut’ from 1 Corinthians 13. I would love to remember everything he said at our wedding, but unfortunately, the part that I remember most vividly was that he had left the tag on his new tie and would be able to return it after the event (which I know he did not do).

1 Corinthians 13 is a poetic piece of scripture that describes what love is. It is often used as an inspiration to newlyweds as to how they can build a strong marriage:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Last week we looked at ‘Love to Challenge’. Maybe there is no greater challenge than being able to replace the word ‘love’ in that passage, with your name. What would my relationships be like if I was patient and kind? What would it look like if you were not easily angered, were not self-seeking or kept no record of wrongs? What would your community be like if those around you always protected, trusted, hoped for the best and persevered to achieve their best?

It was a privilege to know Grandad, Tasker Rhydwyn Lewis, who went to be with his Lord just a few weeks before his 94th birthday. Part of the tribute paid by his friends and family who celebrated his life commented that he had lived this challenge to all he met. From the family grieving over a loss to the joy of newlyweds. Grandad was love. To love is to serve. As a relay runner runs their leg of the race, there comes a time to pass on the baton.

My prayer this week is that service becomes a part of your race that you come to love.