Thursday, December 22, 2011

Watchful and Thankful

Do you ever do something that seems a complete waste of time that you think even the stolen locust verse will fail on? Yesterday, I drove to the 'Parking shop' in Twickenham to get a new permit only to find it had closed. Then I sat in a traffic jam for nearly an hour. Now, like you, I have a lot on and I don't know if anyone's told you but 'this is a very busy time of the year' for us Vicars what with all those oranges, candles and midget gems :) Anyway, I turned on Radio 4 and you'll never believe it but there was a program about John Peel called John Peel's Shed. What are the chances of that in the week I write about him ? I have to tell you it was pure radio joy and the story about 'Sandra' is a complete must-listen. The narrator is a comedy genius in my opinion- don't miss it.

Now onto weightier things. I also listened to this interview with Jerram Barr about The Heart of Prayer which blessed me. What a delightful and wise man who also wrote the super The Heart of Evangelism 

Here's a thought for some pre-2012 praying.

'Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful' 
Col 4 v 2

1. Be Devoted: Sometime over Christmas gather your family (or some friends) and devote a segment of time to prayer. Organise it or it won't happen. Maybe allocate a meal to talk things through and pray at the end.

2. Be Watchful: Do a review of the year. Let your kids reflect on what they have learnt in life and what has been going on in their hearts. Ask them how church has been and school and their friendships. Really listen (turn off your phones!) What have they struggled with and what has gone well. What have they read in the Bible that has impacted them or what talks can they remember. How have they been praying? Has Jesus answered? If you want to do an amazing thing in 2012 read The Jesus Story Book Bible with your kids. Truly DO THIS AS A FAMILY OR ON YOUR OWN (EVEN AS A GROWN-UP IF YOU WANT A FRESH WAY TO READ SCRIPTURE) IT WILL BLESS YOU UNIMAGINABLY. I have been reading it to our Primary School and we have near-on unleashed a revival. All the kids are now badgering their secular parents for Bible stories. How cool is that.

Anyway - share your 'watchful' stuff of the year and then pray together. Be honest. If you are a parent do be sure to repent in front of your kids. In your 'watchful' segment where you have messed up tell them. Admit fault and be honest with your failures and struggles. If you don't and are not in the habit of doing this you will just raise pious religious kids who think Jesus is about rules and having to get it all right. Religious kids almost all end up rejecting faith when they leave home.

As an aside, I have been blessed this year by Note to self which I have on Kindle via my phone. I recently read a chapter in a bad moment shopping in the Westfield Centre. A chapter every now and then, particularly on those bad days, really reminds you of grace. It's a real tonic.

3. Be Thankful: At another meal why not have an annual review of thanks. You could even be a bit American and start a Christmas tradition of having a thanksgiving meal where you do this. It might be become a nice family tradition if you always cook the same food etc. There is so much to say thanks for isn't there? Again, get the kids doing this thankful thing early.

No comments: