Dear friends,

How gentle and kind is God in his urging us to pray! Peter presents the simple but deeply moving motivation to cast our anxieties on him: “because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He is echoing David’s exhortation: “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). The promises of God to his people are powerfully good. Consider his gracious invitation. Is it possible to be unmoved by his call?

How strange it is that so few of us are moved to pray, and so many of us are moved to pray only occasionally, or half-heartedly. I am speaking of myself! Let us give our attention to the voice of God, his promise to hear his children, and let us not hesitate to approach our heavenly Father with our anxieties, not only for ourselves, but also for the needs of our troubled world.

We receive the goodness of God’s care for us by believing his word and approaching him with the confidence of this faith.

The alternatives we so easily pursue, when the good word of God does not touch us (how can we disregard it!) are pathetic. We worry. We try to forget our fragile weakness and mortality, and soldier on. We become callous to the needs of those around us. Or perhaps we think that our own ingenuity and goodness can change the world for the better. When will we stop and listen? “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

I hope that these little Bulletin letters might be an encouragement to you to pause and hear the Lord’s kind and gentle words, and turn to him and PRAY — eagerly and confidently — for our church and our world. Pray for the wonderful goodness of learning and growing in the grace of God, of developing Christ-like characters, and of participating in the glorious gospel of God advancing throughout the world. And pray for our confused and confusing world, for God’s mercy on us all, for his provision of wise and good leaders, for the alleviation of suffering. God himself graciously invites us to pray. Let’s do it.

Your brother in Christ
John Woodhouse
Acting Senior Minister