Alton Webteam: January 2019
I will never forget the day when, as chaplain in the hospital, a young couple came into the chapel. I naturally asked how they were and if I could be of help in any way. They told the story of when they had sat alone in the hospital chapel and tried to ask God for help. They had returned simply to say thank you to God for the support they had received. 'We don't know how to pray, we don't know what words to use, could you say a prayer of thanks on our behalf?' It was a pleasure to hear their story and to pray with them.
Whilst some will find prayer the most natural thing to do in the world, others of us may feel we struggle to know what to say and how to pray. We are not alone! The disciples felt exactly the same when they saw Jesus go off quietly by himself to pray up in the hills or away in the wilderness. They came to him and simply said: 'Lord, teach us to pray!'
During Lent we will begin a series of evenings led by members of our different churches, exploring and discussing the way Jesus responded to the disciple's question. Under the heading Thy Kingdom Come... we will, over five weeks, unpack Jesus' teaching on the Lord's Prayer, meeting in Alton Methodist at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome.
Praise — 'Our Father who art in heaven.' Thursday March 21st
Purpose — 'Your Kingdom come' Thursday March 28th
Provision — 'Give us today our daily bread.' Thursday April 3rd
Pardon — 'Forgive us our sins.' Thursday April 11th
Protection — 'Deliver us from evil' Thursday April 18th
We felt that this series will prepare us for the 'Thy Kingdom Come' prayer initiative introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2016 calling Christians to pray for the work of the church and the world in which we live. Not only that but to pray for people to learn, discover and come to enjoy the Christian faith. As last year, we are invited to especially set aside time to pray in the ten days between Ascension Day and Pentecost (May 30th -June 9th).
In a fit of wonderful enthusiasm our Superintendent Minister, Rev Chris Blake is going to lead a prayer walk around all the churches of our Methodist Circuit during those ten days. He invites us to join him on some or all of the walk!
The plan is to gather at a different church each day and begin with a short time of prayer. Then to walk along footpaths wherever possible to the next church, and as we walk to both share conversation and to pause and pray along the way. Some of the walks are just an hour long, others, for example from Rowledge to Alton a little more challenging! At the end of each walk the receiving church is asked to provide refreshments and again there will be a short time of prayer.
Details of the Prayer walk are now available, outlining Chris's plans and we would encourage you to consider either walking with him and/or sharing in the prayer times wherever possible.
In addition, there will be a Circuit Ascension Day Service at 'The Spire' Farnham on 30th May at 7.30pm to begin 'Thy Kingdom Come' and conclude with Sunday Worship on the Day of Pentecost.
Please do put these dates in your diary and wherever possible participate as we join with the disciples in saying 'Lord teach us to pray...'
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