Loving Father, bless the community of St. Martin’s with your love, compassion and care. Fill us with your Spirit that we might walk in your ways. Open our eyes to see your hand at work in our lives and glorify your name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Upcoming special events for Lent:
Ash Wednesday – 5th March
We will mark the start of Lent with services at 12 noon and 6pm on Ash Wednesday. Both services will include the opportunity to receive the imposition of ashes as a mark of this season of penitence. The 6pm service will be Holy Communion. All welcome.
Last week 27 Anglican bishops wrote an open letter to the government to protest about people going hungry in the UK. This is part of the End Hunger Fast campaign (see www.endhungerfast.co.uk). The Lent course is called Parables & Possessions and looks at issues of poverty and our relationship with money.
It will be on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm in the Training Room starting on Wednesday 12th March. Please speak to Dom if you are interested.
It was like a spring day when we had our HOTS session at St Martin’s. We even enjoyed the sun warming our faces at times. The Market place was busy and there were lots of people from all faiths, cultures, social and economic backgrounds.
This is an extract of last March’s HOTS feedback. How weird this is – I could write this all over again for this year’s feedback .The weather was just like a year ago!!!!
The Bible reading for that day in the Church of England lectionary was James 5: 13-end. We read that ‘Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it didn’t. Again he prayed that it would rain and the heavens gave rain and it produced its crops…’
Two things called my attention in this reading:
Elijah was a man like us
He prayed for something and it happened and then he prayed exactly for the opposite and it happened too!
Why? What is going on here? Without turning this feedback into a sermon, I’d just like to say this to encourage us as we pray for others, for ourselves, for families and friends.
We are like Elijah.( Elijah was a man like us)
I think before Elijah prayed those two contrasting prayers he prayed,
‘Lord, what do you want me to pray for? What do you want to do today?
These were the people and things we believe God wanted us to pray for:
A lady whose husband left her who was suffering with emotional pain and hurt
A man suffering from back pain and stomach ulcer
A man with headache. The team members prayed for it to go. After a while he stood up and said. ‘It’s gone’
A lady with skin cancer
A man asked prayer for his mother who is waiting for a triple bypass operation. He received a book of Matthew Gospel.
A man with a kidney tumour
A bereaved wife
A lady with pain in her knees and back. She felt some improvement. She said she wanted to start coming to church and we directed her to a church near where she lives
A man who previously gave his life to God at HOTS last year came back for prayer. He says he continues to read the Bible and loves it.
A man with blocked arteries in his leg causing him pain. After prayer he stood up and felt no pain. He asked for prayer for his wife and mother. The team shared the Gospel with him and gave him the ‘Why Jesus’ booklet.
A lady with breast cancer
A lady suffering from leukaemia is looking forward to her diamond wedding celebration. We prayed against the cancer. She is already outliving the doctor’s prognosis. We prayed for a great diamond wedding celebration.
Lastly – A lady who has been coming to HOTs for over a year has this to say:
‘I went for a check-up and tests and inflammation in my eyes decreased. The doctor was encouraging. I know God had a role in this’. She has a condition called epiretinal membrane. The wonderful thing about this lady is that every time she comes we see her growing closer to God and opening her heart to receive his love and to know him as her personal saviour and Lord.
All these prayers are a result of asking God, ‘What do you want to do today?’