Approaching God with the right attitude
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 5th July 2020
During the week we learned that our Vicar would not be with us for the next few weeks, his Doctor and the Bishop have agreed that he should take some time off and we are not expecting him to be on duty until at least the end of August. Vicar Mike, we are praying for you and your family.
This morning there were traffic lights at the end of our road and road works bins around the corner. On top of that, the clouds were scudding across the sky and wheelie bins trundling along the road. Just the peaceful surroundings needed for a virtual church service on the attitude needed to start praying.
Bev, a licenced lay minister led the service and John a retired vicar preached the sermon; the first in a sermon series P. R. A. Y., an acronym based on the book How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People by Pete Greig. Pause was the subject of this first in a series of four.
To start we must stop says Pete Greig’s book. Take time to be quiet before God. The sermon was based on Psalm 131:
1 My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quietened myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and for evermore.
Aproaching God with the right attitude. Psalm 131 starts in Hebrew with “My LORD.” That is how we start in prayer, with God. Jesus taught the same when he gave us the Lord’s Prayer which begins “Our Father.” Paul, in the letter to the Romans, said that we cry Abba Father, Abba being a child’s familiar name, like Dad. The Lords prater balances this familiarity by saying where God is, in Heaven, and that he is holy.
In order to pray we don’t just need the right attitude to God, but to others. “My eyes are not haughty,” said David in Psalm 131. We also need to have the right attitude to ourselves, to know our limitations and be content.
There are three things that stop us pausing:
A. Not being sure about God and our relationship with him. There’s a difference between knowing about God and knowing God.
B. Ourselves. Do not think that we can’t approach God. God loves us. The parable of the prodigal son shows the love of a father waiting for the son to return.
C. It takes time to pray, we are busy. If we are too busy to pray we are too busy.
Just sitting in comfortable silence is part of prayer.
After the sermon Bev said she was always always helped by God’s presence.
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