Tuning in (by Cynthia Walker)

Now that I am leading life at a much gentler tempo, (having joined The Stewards’ Trust some sixty years ago), I often find it helpful to listen to the Daily Service, (Radio 4LW 9.45-10.00 a.m.  Monday - Friday). It is a quiet and reflective quarter of an hour with a weekly theme with mostly traditional hymns together with prayers and a meditation on Scripture on an appropriate theme for the time of year.

We are living in confusing and dangerous times, now that secular humanism has all but displaced our Judaeo Christian heritage. Seemingly, for some, there is no such thing today as absolute truth. In response, many feel God is calling His people to pray for our nation.

Yet prayer can be difficult, and many of us will have been through desert times when prayer seems impossible; some years ago, someone suggested that one way to grow in prayer was to think of it as ACTS. In other words, time given to Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. 

Adoration: God is insistent that we worship Him alone. It is the first commandment. We are the ‘people that he has created for himself that we might declare His praise’ (Isaiah 43:11).   It banishes negative thoughts and draws us into His presence. So make time to read the Bible and try to think of all the ways that God is described - Cornerstone, Rock, Prince of Peace, Bread of Life, True Vine, Living Water - make your own list.

Thanksgiving: Tell Him what makes life dear to you, your family, your interests, your friends, your health, and all the blessings of this life, and how He has guided your steps over the years in the good times as well as the bad.

Confession: The more open we are to the Holy Spirit, the more we will become aware of the failings in our own lives and the need for forgiveness both for ourselves and for others, and the more we will gain a deeper understanding of our Lord’s unconditional love. We need to tell Him exactly of our failings in right-doing and in any wrong-doing; when finding something, for instance, really difficult, what better than to read the General Confession in Cranmer’s matchless English. ‘We have offended against thy holy laws....and there is no health in us, but thou O Lord have mercy upon us miserable offenders. Spare Thou them that confess their faults, restore thou them that are penitent according to Thy promises declared unto mankind......’.

Supplication: Use this time to pray for our nation, our own particular needs, our protection in special difficulties in life or work or our families.  Ask Him to bless and take care of all who you love, all who are in trouble, and in need of prayer. Be Still before The Lord and trust Him as your dear and loving friend, and particularly “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice; The Lord is near, do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil.4:4-6).

May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you His Peace.