Thought for the Month (March 2010)

March brings breezes cold and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.

I'm fed up with the cold, and the white stuff, and winter clothes, and..and..and..

But soon comes the dancing daffodil. I love daffodils and really enjoy seeing them on verges around the town. The sight of daffodils brings a lift and a joyous feeling of hope.

We're well and truly into Lent. As we look at Jesus preparing for his life's work we can join him by looking at our life at present, where we are going and how we can improve the ways we do things. We read of Jesus being tempted by the devil to rely on quick remedies – turning stones into loaves, relying on angels to bear you up and quickly becoming king of all you survey. Jesus chose a slower way for his ministry – a way of living out God's love, which apparently ended with a cross.

Jesus was in the desert 40 days – the Jews were in the wilderness 40 years and Lent is 40 days (Sundays are not counted). Lent gives us time for a little more praying, reading, thinking, worshipping….. It's a good time.

Here are some paragraphs from the Vision4Life booklet on Prayer, which will come in useful for Lent.

Ways into Prayer
"As we go through life we all learn different things in different ways. Sometimes we learn by watching someone else. Sometimes we listen to a talk on a subject and take notes. Sometimes we look for new information on our own – in books or on the internet.

How do we learn about prayer? Reading books about it is not everything and even if we find good teachers we can't just copy what other people do and expect prayer to come alive for us. That's because prayer is not a skill we learn, or an idea we understand, but a relationship we grow into.

In prayer we try to draw closer to God, and learn how to let God come closer to us. Prayer in this way is about recognising how God is with us all the way on our life's journey. It's also about tuning in to the ways in which God communicates with us and listening for God's guidance.

Many of us worry that we don't do this well and never 'get it right'. That's quite natural, because we human beings do things imperfectly, no matter how hard we try. Thankfully, God is expert at dealing with our mistakes and encourages us to try again. Let's use this time to try new ways of growing in relationship with God through prayer."

Audrey Mitchell

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church