Going Deeper 7


Being still. People today tend to value activity over rest. Many of us are never happy unless we are doing something. Life can be a whirlwind of both physical and mental activity as we rush from one thing to the next. Our thoughts never really centre on one thing.

Jesus speaks through the story of Mary and Martha to urge us to slow down. Mary quietly sat and listened at his feet whilst Martha scurried around visible and active yet missing out on hearing his words and enjoying his friendship. Mary wasn’t wasting time but developing a deep love and understanding. Jesus said she had chosen the better way. Do we feel that inactivity is a waste of time or an investment towards depth and fullness of life?

The psalmist knew the importance of stillness before God, just enjoying his company. He knew how refreshing it is to ‘lie down in green pastures’. Jesus said ‘Come to me, … and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). As we do this we can learn to relax and just be with him. As we allow the Holy Spirit to engage with us we can receive God’s words, his power and his love. We can be like a sponge soaking in his presence. When our time with him is focussed, he reaches the depths of our hearts and minds. We reach deeper understanding and tap into his everlasting supplies. As we rest and receive, our souls are nourished.


Praying for the lost. When we pray for the lost we are tapping in to something that is on God’s heart. Jesus told three parables in Luke 15 each of which show God’s concern for the lost.

If your only child was dying, you’d pray like you’d never prayed before. And you’d do all that you could to bring about a change in his condition. If we understood the pain that is in God’s heart as he watches the spiritual death of his children in our land, we would give ourselves to prayer much more fully. God wants all men to be saved. Behind the process of reaching the population with the message of Jesus, lies the bedrock of God’s love – which reaches to all people. Christ has suffered for all and we want him to receive his reward. Praying that all should hear is in accordance with God’s will, who desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9).


Thanksgiving. Whilst we may be only too aware of the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of our community, we can think of many instances of God’s ‘gracious hand’ at work: the provision for local projects; individuals within our church and community who faithfully and courageously work for God’s kingdom here on earth; even the opportunity of prayer together during these days. These are all God’s blessings to us for which we can be thankful. Let us give thanks to God who meets all our needs ‘according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19).

Peace and prosperity ‘ Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers you too will prosper’ (Jeremiah 29:7). In these words we are invited to pray for the place where we live.

We should seek peace for our communities. Specifically we can pray for reduction of crime in problem areas, for our police, for the causes of crime and for those who commit crime.

We should seek prosperity for our area. In Proverbs, wisdom and folly are portrayed as women competing for attention. We can pray for wisdom, rather than folly, to permeate decision-making, innovation, and provision in:








Pray words of blessing into each of the spheres of life outlined above. Thank God for the ways you have seen improvement. Thank him for new developments, new initiatives and ventures that are having a positive impact in your area.

But how can I live in God’s presence? See the next article!