Culture, Discipleship, Prayer

Sirens and Buses


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I’m approaching the end of a year at Holy Trinity Richmond serving as worship pastor, come September. The time for Mairi and I has been a cultural shock in many ways but mainly of adjusting to the relentless busyness of living in London….going to bed with the sounds of sirens and buses…waking up to the sounds of sirens and buses.

One of the effects of the busyness and noise on us has been a felt sense of pressure from not being able to properly find a quiet place to find God in prayer. But we have still found God in the noise and the traffic of life, by His grace.

Reflecting on this breathless living that seems to be suffocating at times, I’ve noticed a steeliness about us when it comes to flowing with God (having found Him or stumbled upon Him) in the undulating rhythms of frenetic life:

  • We think about God a lot
  • We talk about God a lot
  • We have friends over a lot (who love God and each other a lot)
  • We pray (though not as much as we would like to)
  • We desire to pray increasingly
  • We’ve been blessed and looked after by God

But the base-level of our devotion has been challenged because of the noise, challenges in ministry within and without, our proximity to a busy road and an even-busier garage directly opposite where we live.

What I’m trying to say is that there is a huge difference from ‘finding God’ amidst the noise, the drama, the melodrama, the sirens and buses and in actually finding Him in a quiet place of peace. I think He wants us to be able to do both (ie when we’re on the front line or in a boat in a storm to still know Him With Us)

However, the primary model of prayer and devotion that Jesus gives us is in the New Testament is one of seeking/enquiring after God in lengthy, lingering times with God away from the crowds and the traffic and the emergencies that seem constant.

Over the next few months I am going to be focusing my writing on the primary model of prayer that Jesus challenges us all with in:

Luke 5:16: But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

 

3 Comments

  • That’s a good point and one I relate to in the midst of a (possibly) even busier part of London. I think that’s why we have to withdraw to find God. We can not simply do this as part of our regular life “in amongst the crowds” (although we can draw close to God at every moment). But, interestingly, Jesus didn’t go off and live in the desert as a hermit, he withdrew to a quiet place away from the crowds, long enough to then re-enter the crowds. I wonder if there is a large park, near you, perhaps up a hill where you can get away from the crowds 🙂 ??

    • Hi mate, yes! But was His motivation of withdrawing to be ‘re-charged’ for the crowds or simply because He had to be with the One He loved? If I go off into Richmond park mainly because I need a refuelling for ministry, then I’m kind of missing the point. And if I spent all night in there I’d probably be arrested or charged by a massive stag! Hope to see you one day soon, sir!

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