How much power do you have?
It’s a question that has been behind a lot of the things that have been happening recently. People marched under banners declaring ‘Black Lives Matter’ because they feel that some people don’t think they do.
Students receiving A level grades felt that they were powerless to change anything. Some arranged demos, others crowdfunded to take the government to court.
And overseas, in Belarus and Hong Kong, citizens have taken to the streets to protest against the use of power by their governments only to be met by the force of armies and police.
What do you do when you feel powerless? It’s not wrong to take any of these actions, but as Christians there is something else we can do.
In Acts 12, to most people looking on, it’s clear who has all the power. There is a populist leader in charge. He makes decisions on what will please the people, on what will keep him in power, of what will make him admired.
And if that means arresting some suspicious-sound religious nutcases, and even executing one of them, then that was very well worth doing to protect his position of power.
One of those nutcases was Peter, the apostle, one of the leaders of the church, forced to sleep chained to two guards in a cell in a palace cell.
The rest of the church could do little to change that situation. They couldn’t go on a march, or storm the prison, that would have been suicide. They couldn’t appeal to Herod’s better nature, he didn’t have one.
So they did what they could. They prayed. Earnestly.
Prayer: the last resort of people who look pathetically powerless. And I guess they didn’t feel particularly strong. They don’t even seem to have totally believed that God would get Peter out of the hole. In the middle of the night after an amazing angelic-led escape, there’s a comedy of errors as the earnestly praying church forget to open the door to let him in.
But it’s all they had. So they prayed.
I wonder whether our prayer-lessness is because we feel there must be something we can do. Because we want to be practical and active and powerful. Maybe we pray the best when we know that things are beyond us, when we don’t have enough strength, or wisdom or resources.
Praying together isn’t normally exciting, entertaining or enthralling. It’s often a bit awkward, hard work, sometimes dull. But if you think it’s your only hope, you give yourself to it.
How else do you think we will be the church that God wants us to be? Where else will the power come from?
So join us this week. We will be praying:
On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 All Church Prayer Meeting
The link is here:
On Friday 10.30-12.00 in a non-Zoom meeting! Using Whatsapp, contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
Interview August is soon coming to a close. We start the interviews again in September. We started doing them to give you a chance to get to know people in the church community. And we have interviewed about 20 folks. So there are still plenty more of you! If you’re willing to chat with Neil on film, then please let him know!
1. Our Gatherings
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
Or join us live on YouTube.
2. Prayer Ministry on Sundays
Over the past few months we have trialled a virtual prayer room via Zoom every Wednesday with the aim of offering a space for people to be prayed with.
We have decided to try moving it to Sundays from September to coincide with our services on Zoom. There will be a few of the prayer team available in breakout rooms immediately after each service to pray with anyone who has need, just as we would do if we were meeting in the church building.
You can either let Ian know in advance or just wait around after the service.
If you have prayer requests but don’t want to be prayed with, you can also let Ian know and the prayer team will use that time to pray on your behalf.
3. Stay Connected: ‘Virtual Coffee Morning’ – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz. So, whilst it’s not as good as being together in person, there’s an opportunity to do it all online.
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in ChurchSuite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: http://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
4. You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058
Links and Resources
1. Kids Resources
Here’s this week’s Kids Resources from Morag, with a variety of videos, crafts and other useful to help your child/ren read and learn from this week’s Bible passage.
2. For those of you who learn from podcasts
I know some of you learn best from listening in to podcasts. Here’s a recommended list of 8 of the best and most popular Christian podcasts available at the moment.
3. Reading along with an author
One of the books that has been really popular this year is ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ by John Mark Cormer. It’s a good book that offers both help and provokes thinking. It’s a non-technical book that’s easy to get into.
To accompany the book is a new venture. Starting on 21st of September for 6 weeks we will be releasing weekly exclusive content by John Mark Comer to enhance your reading experience. Each week you will receive access to an exclusive video, reading plan and discussion questions for you to use as an individual, a small group or a whole Church. You can find out more and sign up for the experience here.