A great blog from Mike Frost for Easter reflection
We encourage you to tune in to the bible study series presented by Dr Greg Elsdon at our Magarey Lectures in August 2016. These can be found in our sermons & seminars section.
Greg presents 4 studies on Mark 8:22-10:52 - "Jesus and his Disciples at Cross Purposes". MP3 audio, study notes (PDF) are all available.
May this be a valuable resource for your study group
Scripture tells us that when two or three are gathered in Jesus name he will be there also. It is good to pray and share together, as a community, as one. But community also means praying for our wider community, internationally and locally.
So today try praying in community, for community. For our brothers and sisters serving in mission or those who are struggling in persecution for their faith. Or our partners overseas who face challenges every day doing Gods work.
You could do this at your youth group, or organise a time to pray with your friends, make a night of it!
“by myself, in bible study, in church - for community”- Olivia QLD
“I pray with my family, and my friends, in my small group and by myself. I find community prayer really powerful, as it enables us to join together in our struggles, our hurts and our successes. It makes me feel supported and encouraged to know that there are people praying with me and for me, for my world and the wider world.” – Mitch from Melbourne
Where should we be praying? Is it something we have to do in private? Is it something that we should only do when we are inside? Or in a certain setting? Or is it something we can do anywhere and at any time?
Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing, that means we can and should pray anywhere and anytime. So today, try something different, pray somewhere where you wouldn’t usually. Something that we suggest is a prayer walk.
This attitude in prayer is really helpful when it comes to our international focus. Changing the place in which you pray can shift your mindset in praying for our partners.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Stories from our Community
“Anywhere”- Olivia from the Gold Coast
"I pray more at youth or church, mainly through music" – Jordan from QLD
“His praise shall continually be in my mouth..”
Prayer is a wonderful way in which we can praise God, but it does not need always be with words, and with your eyes closed, sitting down. When you love someone and you want to show them that, you will use your skills and passions to bless them and show your love, right? You don’t just sit with them all day talking to them or being still with them (even though that is important to do). Well it is the same with God, he loves it when we use our passions and the skills he has given us, to bless and praise his name.
This can be done in heaps of different ways, you can paint, draw, sing or if you want to be more like king David, dance around in your underwear! (Read 2 Sam 6:14). Whatever you do, do it with praise in your heart.
Our Partners often send us praise points every month you can sign up and see both prayer and praise points at: www.inpartnership.org.au/subscribe
2 Samuel 6:14, Psalm 34:1, Philippians 1:3-6
"I praise God predominantly through prayer, always being thankful for the gift of life, and the ability we have every day to build into other people's lives and share about Him. I always try, to the best of my ability, to praise Him through my actions, and shine a little bit of His light everywhere I go."- Luke from Melbourne
"I praise Him through worship and offering of time, resources and my service"- Simon from the Gold Coast
Everyone has different reasons for prayer. We pray before making major decisions we request things in prayer we are called to pray for others. But why do YOU pray?
As a practical exercise today read these verses and stories, and think about why you pray and what you pray for and make note of it. Do this every day and at the end of the week, revisit your thoughts and see how it changes.
If you’re stuck for things to pray for keep our Zimbabwean Partners in mind. They are struggling through terrible drought, and really need our prayer and support.
1 Timothy 2:1, Luke 6:12-13, 1 John 5:14-15
Stories from our Community
Prayer for me is constant thing, positioning of my heart. Its not really a dedicated time rather as life unfolds and things come to mind I commit them in prayer. Often I try pray out of not just wanting "needs" met, but rather thanking God for who I am in him and that all my needs have been met through Jesus. Prayer for me activates faith because rather than depending on my own strength my life and its outcomes are committed to God- Jason from Southport
Sometimes I pray to cry out in need, sometimes it's to praise him for his faithfulness, sometimes for gratitude, sometimes to ask for his peace to wash over me, sometimes for confirmation that I'm following his plan for my life - Emily from Tweed Heads
Day 1 - Listen
Be still before the lord..
We want to kick off prayer matters with listening. The reason for this is, that we should always start our days or our weeks listening to God and what he wants to say to us. It is the same for Prayer Matters, what does he want to say, what does he want you to see through this week.
Everyone will listen to God differently; some people may struggle listening to God. So today read these verses and these stories from some of our embody community, and listen to God in your own way. We encourage you to write down anything you might hear from God.
In this quiet time, think about new ways in which you can pray for our partners overseas!
Job 33:14-15, Romans 10:17, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 1:2
Stories from our community
So at the moment I really don't understand what it means to listen to God I don't know if it's sitting down and being silent waiting for something or is it just reading his word or is it being open to change throughout your day and the steps that god wants you to take – Taylor from Queensland
I don’t think I’ve ever heard the voice of God, but certain people will come in to my life, or certain actions occur, that trigger different responses. I know through those things, what God is saying and wants me to do- Luke from Melbourne
For more information go to www.embody.org.au