July 2020

July 2020

Praying the Psalms.

In our homes, there are 150 prayers which will help our prayer whatever we feel. These 150 prayers are very human, very much rooted in our condition. I hope this next item helps you.

 

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

The first three verses are of orientation: “The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing (or I shall not want).” Life is good, happy, blessed.  The Lord provides us with lush green pastures and refreshing waters. God is known to be reliable and a source of all our needs.

Verse four suggests disorientation—the “darkest valley”— a description of the trauma and suffering we go through as humans and communities. Then, later in verse four, there is re-orientation. The psalter declares, “for you are with me”. There is an expression of trust and confidence in the presence of God in spite of suffering.

These are uncertain times.  The future feels out of our control. In many ways, we have just moved from orientation to disorientation. Brueggemann’s words below are, I feel, very helpful when slowly reading the psalms.

 

Walter Brueggemann, in his book, The Message of The Psalms, categorizes all 150 psalms into one, or more, of three movements — orientation, disorientation, and reorientation.  Each of these movements exemplifies a fragment of the human experience:

  1. Orientation: when everything feels right and content in our lives.
  2. Disorientation: when life feels difficult, dark, and broken. There is a lament. There is despair.

III. Re-Orientation: when God pulls us out of the brokenness of life and we are brought to a deeper sense of awareness and gratitude.

 

 

Scripture and Prayers for our children.

 

In the uncertainty of life, give thanks that God has good plans for your children.  He will give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you that all good gifts come from you. I thank you that I can trust you for the future of my family. Please guide my child (children/grandchild/niece and or nephew as appropriate) in every step they take. I pray they would know your provision and protection. Make steady their steps, I pray. Amen

Take encouragement from the fact that our God is fully in control of all things. Remind yourself that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Prayer: Lord God, we praise you that you are fully in control of all things. I pray you would protect my child/children (grandchildren/nephew nieces). Keep them healthy and help them to thrive. I thank you that you know every hair on their head. You know exactly when they rise and when they fall. Watch over my child in every area of their life and keep them safe I pray, Amen.

 

(As schools officially break up for the summer after the strangest few months ever for teachers, pupils and family let’s hold the in our prayers.  May September herald a safe return to school for all. Chris)

 

Quotes about Christian education

 

The most important Christian Education institution is not the pulpit or the school, important as those institutions are.  It is the Christian family; and that institution has to a very large extent ceased to do its work.

 

The purpose of a Christian education would not be merely to make men and women pious Christians: a system which aimed too rigidly at this end alone would become only obscurantist. Christian education must primarily teach people to be able to think in Christian categories.

 

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

We cannot pursue a classical and Christian education as a fad. We are not purchasing intellectual hula hoops for the kids.

Douglas Wilson

 

With Kind Regards and every prayer.

Revd. Stephen Monk 

(Rector Darley Dale, South Darley & Winster.)