New Year

One of the online Sunday reflections that really stood out during lockdown was all about prayer. The pandemic unleashed many feelings which were experienced both physically and spiritually. The feelings of isolation, distance, loneliness, questioning purpose, doubts, anxiety, and fears about the future, making the activity of prayer more challenging. During this service they shared accounts from people in varying situations, who each persevered through their individual feelings and rediscovered the hope and sense of peace prayer brings. Phil Togwell, Director at Prayer Spaces in Schools describes four simple steps to help us reconnect and pray:

P.R.A.Y: Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield.

Pause – ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’. Let your mind rest. Find a quiet place. Release the thoughts and busyness of your to do list. Simply be.

Rejoice – ‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your hearts’. Talk to God about the things and people you are grateful for, and give thanks for them. It could simply be the weather, a connection in nature or a kind act experienced that day.

Ask – ‘Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you’. Ask God for what you need. It might be strength, healing, wisdom…
whatever you need to overcome the challenges being faced. Talk to Him about your situation and circumstances.

Yield – ‘You are all I need, it’s Your face I seek, in the presence of Your light, we bow down’. Bring everything to God in prayer, lay it at His feet. When you let go you will see new opportunities

Happy New Year!

It’s the final day of the 12 days of Christmas – a great reminder that the Christmas message goes beyond that special and magical morning.
This traditional and popular song has many hidden meanings which
remind us of our faith and the many gifts God provides; love being the
ultimate gift for each and everyone of us. God is referred to as
‘My True Love’; and the ‘me’ – that’s for everyone!

– Partridge in a pear tree; Jesus who gave his life for us on the cross
– Turtle doves; peace / the two testaments, old & new
– French hens; faith, hope & love / Holy Trinity
– Calling birds; the four gospels spreading the word of God
– Golden rings; first five books of the bible
– Geese a laying; six days of creation
– Swans a swimming; seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
– Maids a milking; eight beatitudes
– Ladies dancing; nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
– Lords a leaping; the ten commandments
– Piper’s piping; eleven faithful disciples
– Drummers drumming; the twelve statements of the apostles creed*

As the warmth of the fire opens a fir cone, may God’s love open your heart this Christmas time and last the whole year through. May the glow lead and guide you when you lose your way to a place of safety and comfort.
Wishing you a happy and blessed new year.