Sharing Our Faith Together

Thy Kingdom Come Here Part 2

by Rev Jacky Quarmby 6 November 2023

We have been thinking about how we can pray for our communities using the Lord’s Prayer as our framework.  Last week Andy looked at the first three Days of prayer using the first three phrases of the Lord’s Prayer.  Today I will be looking at Days 4 – 7.

Day 4:  Give us today our Daily Bread
Please provide what this community needs to flourish.
So what do we need to flourish?

Roy Godwin, who has written a lot about blessing our communities has a lovely Acrostic to help us think about what it means to flourish as a person and how we can bless people.

Here it is …
Body – praying for health, protection and strength.God wants to restore us and renew our health

Labour – praying for work, reward and security – because God cares for the whole person in every part of their daily lives
Emotional – praying for joy, peace and hope and emotional well-being

Social – family, friendships, love, marriage, parenthood – we all exist in community and find joy in spending time with others

Spiritual - salvation, faith, grace – whoever we are, God wants us to discover the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ

BLESS - Body, Labour, Emotional, Social and Spiritual – all different aspects of a person’s life – that we can pray for – so that they might flourish.  

Day 5:  And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
We say sorry on behalf of this place, come and fix all that is broken.
John writes, in 1 John 1: 8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  The fact is that we are all sinners and the brokenness of our community and the brokenness of our world is the outworking of that sinfulness in us and our fellow human beings – so if we want to fix the brokenness of our community – then we need to start with ourselves.

If we are careless or apathetic in the way we do our work – then we can hardly complain if we get poor service from our bank, or local garage.

If we are selfish and unwilling to do things for other people – then we should not be surprised if we see our leaders and politicians primarily concerned to further their own interests, rather than those of the British people.

If we are always wanting more and more money and are never content with what we have – then we can’t really object if our hospital appointment gets cancelled because the doctors are on strike for more pay.

When we look at the brokenness in our world – it might make us feel better to point fingers and apportion blame to other people – but it doesn’t really fix anything.

In a world, in which God has granted everyone free-will – we don’t always get to choose what happens to us or around us in our community – but we do get to choose how we respond to it.  We get to choose whether we are willing to forgive – we get to choose whether we continue to believe the best in one another, we get to choose whether we continue to live positively and hopefully – even when we feel disappointed.

The only person whose behaviour we have the power to change is ourselves. To fix the brokenness in our communities we have to start by fixing the brokenness in ourselves – by looking at the sin in our own lives - and asking God to help us change.  So that we can be a source of hope and light in our communities – a person whose presence makes a difference for good.

Day 6 Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
Protect this place and the people who live here.  Help us to live your way.
In this prayer, we ask God to protect our community from the impact of greed, exploitation, prejudice, hatred and fear – in other words, from the effects of the sin that is in our lives – the sin that we talked about earlier.  And we pray … help us to live your way

Paul writes, in Colossians 3: 12-14
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

This is God’s way to live.  When we bear with one another – and forgive one another – we stop resentment and bad-feeling building up.  When we show kindness and gentleness – we help people to feel cared about and cherished – so that they don’t feel isolated or forgotten.  When we are generous and compassionate to those in need – we can help to relieve people of anxiety and strain.  When we show humility – the people around us are not fearful of being judged or criticized.

Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness are beautiful qualities – together they are the antidote to selfishness, arrogance, greed, prejudice and resentment.

The monastic view of happiness is not about “feeling good” but “knowing what is good” and “doing what is good”.  

As God’s chosen people, we “know what is good” – we know that it is good to be compassionate and merciful, kind and humble, gentle and patient.  We know that these lovely qualities will change our lives and have a positive impact on the lives of the people that we meet – we just need to do it.

So, let’s take the time to pray that we will see more of these beautiful qualities in our lives and the life of our community.  Because it will make all the difference.

Let us pray,
Loving God,
Your Son Jesus came into the world to show us a new way to live
A way that brings freedom and blessing to all people.

Forgive us the Greed which exploits human labour and lays waste the earth.
Forgive us the Envy which fuels our desire for more and more things
Forgive us our Indifference to the plight of the lonely and sad
Forgive us the Prejudice which divides community from community and race from race

Loving God, forgive us …
And give us a new vision of our community as your love would make it 
A community where the weak are protected and none go hungry or poor;
A community where we can enjoy friendship and trust with our neighbours
A community where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love;

Loving God, 
We thank you that everything belongs to you and that one day this place and people will too.  For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen

Rend Collective  - Build your kingdom here

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