Pam's Paper Blog - November 2016

posted 29 Nov 2016, 03:51 by Richard Jones   [ updated 29 Nov 2016, 03:51 ]

Dear friends, 

Samlesbury War Memorial Hall was awarded some lottery funding to research the names of those who had died in WW1 and are commemorated on the plaque there and in the local churches. It includes names of men who were both Roman Catholic as well as those who were Anglican from local parishes. It was a surprising mix of people with some having quite loose connections with Samlesbury.

As part of this research I looked at our parish magazine records for this period. We’d had our first magazine published just before the beginning of that war and it was a rather thin affair predominantly full of administration. What really did surprise me was how long it had taken them to use the magazine for spiritual matters. It’s not until 1916 that there was a list of men involved in the war to pray for. What was the church up to? Had it not cared until then?

Sometimes we are very guilty of missing the obvious. We believe sincerely in God and we trust Jesus to guide us and then forget about using this wonderful facility of prayer. Yet Jesus tells us:

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22.

 So often we worry about things forgetting that we can use prayer to help us; forgetting that God’s will runs through all things in life, great and small.

  There is an initiative similar to the Alpha course that is available right now. It’s called trypraying: http://www.trypraying.co.uk/try-it . It’s aimed at people that ‘don’t do church’ because a recent survey showed that 1 in 3 people pray for others usually when they’re in dire circumstances. It’s a natural thing to reach out to God when you feel there is nothing else you can actually do. On the website there’s an app or a booklet to get you going.

 

 Yet as church members we’re also inclined to dismiss prayer in our private lives as if Jesus only listens to others more holy than us. Yet prayer should be a daily staple in our lives like breakfast and not just for when things aren’t going well. Last year I started writing my prayers down and even I have been surprised at how much has been answered. Now I find I start more of my prayers with a thank you rather than a please!

 

 War is such a pestilence on the face of the earth. Yet when we watch the news and look at pictures of Aleppo in Syria somehow it just doesn’t seem real; as if we’re looking at an old picture of WW2. But people are besieged in that city right now and we know about them, but feel powerless to do anything about it. Yet we can pray and it truly is not a waste of our time; it’s entering the war with God.

Pam Daunton.


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