This Sunday it’s the third instalment in the Unanswered Prayer Course, as well as our monthly Communion Service. Service premieres at 10-30am and will be available on demand for about 28 days afterwards.
As in the two previous weeks, we do not have a full transcript of the course video, but hopefully the items for discussion and reflection, and the readings will help you to get a flavour of the session.
For Reflection & Discussion
Bible passages from the session: Mark 15:33-34, John 14:12, Genesis 17:17-22, Ephesians 6:10-17
On the cross Jesus asks God “Why have you forsaken me?” Can you describe a time that you felt abandoned or deserted by God when you needed him most?
God’s will: In the book of Isaiah, God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8)
Looking back on past disappointments, does anyone have an example of a time when God knew best, even though you didn’t think so at the time? Why do we find it so hard to trust God?
God’s world: Pete Greig quotes C.S. Lewis saying that, “the very conception of a common, and therefore stable, world demands that [miracles] should be extremely rare.” Do you agree with this? Should we pray less for miracles or simply trust more when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want?
Is it possible for a tragedy not to be God’s ‘fault’? Do you agree with Pete Greig’s statement that we tend to blame God for things that are Satan’s doing? Does anyone have an experience of spiritual warfare that they can share?
Pete Greig says that “it’s possible to trust even when we don’t understand”. Pray for one another if you are able to do that with someone. As you do so, you may find it helpful to remember God’s words to the apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9)
Today we’ve tried to understand better the things we can, and to trust better when we can’t understand. Here’s a prayer of relinquishment written by George Macdonald. It’s not an easy prayer but you may like to open your hands as a sign of surrender.
Afresh I seek thee, lead me—once more I pray— Even should it be against my will, thy way.
Let me not feel thee foreign any hour,
Or shrink from thee as an estranged power.
Through doubt, through faith, through bliss, through stark dismay,
Through sunshine, wind, or snow, or fog, or shower, Draw me to thee who art my only day. Amen