prayer

fasting, Prayer

Growing a Lifestyle of Fasting & Prayer


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Mairi was honoured last Sunday morning to take the church through some teaching on prayer and fasting from Matthew 6.

Towards the end of her message she tells a very powerful and personal story that serves as a great example of the importance of our persistence and tenacity in prayer! (see Matthew 7:7 NLT).

Here’s the photo from the very moment she describes.

We hope you guys are encouraged to explore cultivating a lifestyle of prayer and fasting in new ways – and we’d love to hear from you!

Love

N&M

*Please forward to 1 min 50 for the beginning of the visual/audio & apologies that the sound isn’t great.

 

 

Bible, Eschatology, Evangelism, Prayer, terrorism, Theology

Masquerading Messengers of Light


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In Matthew chapter 10, we read Jesus sending out His sheepish yet hard-core company of followers into a dangerous world with the gospel and an express set of instructions that are particularly interesting – particularly interesting because He usually didn’t prescribe formulas for miracles. There was no Visa, no North Face apparel, no weekending bag picked up for a snip at T K Max – just the gospel and a heart and mouth of Spirit-drenched faith.

Fledgling in their spiritual authority, Jesus told them to speak to the houses that they entered (v12), monitor the activity of their peace (v13), find the places that were deserving of their presence and to shake the dust from their feet in protest against the places that weren’t (v14). [Related reading: The Places We Call Home]

Church, Wake Up!

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faith, Jesus, Theology

Exercising an Exorcising Faith 


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I love thinking about Jesus. Because  His name is inextricably linked with infinite, creative power, even my thoughts about Him hold potential to change my heart. Indeed, the epic hymn Be Thy My Vision exclaims,

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night…

So, settling down with the Bible in hand and regularly spending time soaking in Jesus’ gospel stories – His words, actions, thoughts, prayers – is the best thing you’ll ever do.

He Could Not Be Hidden 

But there’s one moment in the life of Jesus that has always left me particularly confused. (more…)

24-7 Prayer, faith, terrorism, Theology

Manchester’s 23rd Body


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I write a lot. I actually write an average of thee blog articles every week including for several online magazines. This means that I can occasionally lapse into carelessness when it comes to forming ideas, concepts and sentences; or rush and take the proverbial half-baked loaf out of the blog oven before a post is really ready to be read.

So, I am deliberately approaching this article with a heightened sense of care for fear of upsetting, offending or being misunderstood, and from a sincere desire to help us all in these dark days. (more…)

Theology

New series: Ready


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To find someone in need who desperately needs your help, complete the following 5 simple steps:

1) Wherever you are about your day,  look up from whatever you’re doing

2) consider what you see

3) pray for discernment

4) pray for courage and wisdom and power

5) open your mouth/move your feet

We’re soon starting a new blog series called “Ready” because we’re convinced that most of us aren’t.

Ready for what?

For the second coming of Jesus Christ!

In Ephesians 2:12 a scene is painted that is unimaginably awful: living in the world without Christ and without hope.

The chronic brokenness in people’s lives is as obvious and constant as the rising sun and you and I are called to be life-giving hope in Jesus’ name!

Whether you think about it a lot, only occasionally, increasingly, infrequently or as little as possible, the reality is that Jesus Christ is en route to planet Earth as King and as Judge. We have to be found living ready, like a present, continuous tense.

We’re called not to bunker mentalities of passive, fruitless waiting, but to *urgent* lifestyles of prayer and worship and bold intention to tell of Jesus.

You know you are!

We’re looking forward to welcoming special guest writers to the blog so please join us over the coming weeks and make this blog series happen.

>>Sign up for this series here<<

Thanks so much for reading

Maranatha

faith

An Atrophy of Faith


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A Brave New World

An amazing Brazilian couple we’ve recently made friends with came over to our house last night for dinner. Monday evening isn’t exactly the usual time of the week for having friends over but it suited our guests who have a very hectic working schedule that involves them both regularly working into the early hours of the morning – via pretty unsociable patterns – and Monday was a day off. Having only previously met and talked briefly at church, we were about two minutes into conversation over dinner when it dawned on me that this beautiful couple sitting opposite us were mighty in faith!

About a year ago they had made the decision to radically relocate their lives, along with their two children, from Brazil to Scotland simply because God had asked them to. Now we were enjoying dinner together as they both shared stories about the goodness and the power of God in their lives. With all of the many challenges you can imagine in moving from one country to another (employment, schooling, food, weather, culture, language, friends etc etc), they are now prayerfully waiting on the Father to show them how He wants to use them in this brave new world.

Faith is a Muscle

In the natural world of exercise and health, when you regularly participate in resistance training your muscles get bigger (hypertrophy); when you don’t get involved in said resistance training your muscles waste and become weak and small (atrophy).

I had worked in the world of fitness and health for more than ten years so when my new friend used this phrase (faith is a muscle) to explain his understanding of the key difference between the Brazilian and UK churches, it struck me powerfully. But mainly it registered forcefully with me because it was a phrase that had come out of the mouth of a believer who was truly living by faith in front of my very eyes!

It was also because I am someone who does regularly lift weights to keep in good physical condition that this metaphor had a profound impact on me: it’s all very well training and looking after your physical muscles but if you’re not exercising your muscle of faith you’re weak on the inside. I hate the idea of being weak and flabby in the physical so how much more horrible is the thought of being a weak and flabby spiritual man of faith?

Primed by the miraculous, awe-inspiring stories of our friends, I wanted to start exercising faith there and then!

Comfortable Christianity

Thinking about this simple analogy for the spiritual life of faith, how healthy is your faith, would you say?

Chat to someone about it.

Do you feel like you exercise your faith regularly or perhaps you feel a little out of shape?

People don’t exercise in the natural for lots of reasons many of which are often very valid but perhaps God is asking you to talk to Him about starting to exercise your faith in a new way?

What does the Bible say?

“…faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17

Why not drop us a line or leave a comment to continue the conversation?

 

Culture, emotions, Jesus, Mental Health

In His Wings


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A Process of Healing

‘But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.’ Malachi 4:2

dsc06671

Four years ago I started praying for answers to major family difficulties that Nick and I had been facing at that particular time and that now, years later, seem ridiculous to still be praying about. I had (and still have) quite a naïve view of prayer and was holding out firmly for the moment when it would all make sense, when there would be full resolve and I could finally say “this is why this and that happened”. (more…)

Church, Culture

Into The Pray – Prelude


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Raw Disclaimer

{No, I’ve not gone vegan, but I would like to issue a WARNING that this series is going to possibly offend or insult if you’re religious or blinkered by denominational or institutionalised forms of control. The aim of writing Into The Pray is absolutely not intending to insult or offend in anyway (I take the subject of the church to be almost incomparably important) but I do want to deliberately ‘shoot in raw’ without ‘editing’ in order to process as best as I can}

_________________

“Once more into the fray…into the last good fight I’ll ever know.

Live and die on this day…

Live and die on this day…”

Ottway, The Grey

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Bible, Prayer, Theology

The Humanity of Prayer


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We were flicking through movie rental options on TV the other night when we stumbled across Kevin Reynolds’ 2016 film Risen – a film about the resurrection of Christ as seen through the eyes of a Roman Military Tribune, Clavius ((Joseph Fiennes).

Inititially I thought the film was going to be lame but was surprised by the way the film grew on me, particualrly when Jesus featured, as played by Cliff Curtis – I’d thoroughly recommend renting/buying the film!

Barging into the Upper Room

There is one particular aspect of the film that continues to speak to me powerfully:

As the Bible says, when Jesus rose from the grave, after Mary Magdalene had recognised Him by the grave-side, Jesus appeared to His disciples. Walls, Roman Soldiers, constanty conspiring Pharisees and the frightened bewilderment of His people weren’t a problem – Jesus met with his friends to prove his resurrection glory and to encourage His grieving mates. (more…)