Prayer and Pentecost…
Yesterday twenty folk from across the Strathclyde circuit gathered to focus on the question asked of Jesus by one of the disciples in Luke 11, “Lord, teach us to pray”. As people arrived they engaged with a series of prayer stations then Andrew presented some radically new ideas on how we understand and apply the Lord’s Prayer. Maybe familiarity to the text of this prayer has severely blunted our ability to recognize its revolutionary nature? In small groups we were asked to discuss whether or not we felt our circuit (and we as individuals) were ready to ask the same question, “Lord, teach us to pray”. If we did so, I wondered, would Jesus still give us the same wording as he gave the disciples two thousand years ago, or would there be a different emphasis? A “prayer circus” followed in which we were led in tiny cell groups in various approaches to prayer. This included a wonderful half hour focussing on, and sharing in, silent prayer – something I feel very drawn to and hope to explore further.
This morning we celebrate Pentecost and the all-inclusive gift of the Holy Spirit who, as Paul reminds us in Romans, is the very One who teaches us how to pray. Thank God! I will be leading worship at Woodlands in Glasgow later this morning and then at Clydebank this evening where the Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship in Glasgow will meet for a Pentecost celebration – no doubt with much singing and dancing.
The weather has been Pentecostal this past week here in Glasgow, with warm and even hot sunshine almost every day and I have been glad to grab a few hours to do some weeding and mowing of the lawn. All around us the gardens are blazing with Pieris plants, also known as “Flame of the Forest”. Like Moses, may we “turn aside to see” the wonder of God’s Spirit at work wherever we are.