“Forty Days with the Risen Lord” is a new program that has been launched this year as the Diocese’s next step in our mission.
The Diocesan Mission is summarised in the Mission Prayer:
Our Gracious God, we pray that you will help us to proclaim our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, so that everyone around us will hear his call to repent, trust and serve Christ in love, and be established in the fellowship of his disciples while we await his return.
The “Forty Days with the Risen Lord” program comes in two halves. Leading up to Easter we are to concentrate on Prayer. After Easter we are to concentrate on the Proclamation of the Gospel
It is always a help to be encouraged in our prayer life. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts of life. It is one of the simplest things to do. Even the small child can pray. Yet prayer is often difficult for us to understand. Worse still some of us find it one of the hardest things to do.
Over the next five weeks the sermons on Sunday morning will be concentrating on prayer. We must try to understand this great topic so that we may enter into the great privilege of being able to make all our requests to our heavenly father.
Yet the real difficulty of prayer is not answered by information alone. The real difficulty of prayer lies in our willingness to humbly depend on God. Prayer is faith in words. It is expressing our dependence upon God by asking him for what we need. In asking we acknowledge his sovereignty and our inadequacy.
Some people have intellectual difficulties with God’s sovereignty. Successful people have difficulty with understanding let alone expressing their inadequacy. Jesus warned: “Children how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Those with wealth and power find it increasingly difficult to humbly depend upon God.
As we seriously approach proclaiming the gospel to every person around us, we are driven to God in prayer by the utter impossibility of the task. Our inadequacy is obvious. God’s sovereignty is all that we can rely upon. We must pray.
The second part of the “Forty Days with the Risen Lord” program turns our attention to proclamation. After Easter we plan to have five or six sermons on Proclaiming our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our mission prayer is for help to “proclaim our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, so that everyone around us will hear his call”. Most of us quake at the idea of proclaiming our saviour to those around us. We need to understand what God is doing through the proclamation of his Gospel. We need to prayerfully rely upon him to enable us to participate in such a mission.
So Prayer and Proclamation are the two issues that will take our attention as we follow the “Forty Days with Risen Lord” program.