of The Bishop of London granted him by the Crown in 1634
St Alban’s (Grand Cayman) & St Mary’s (Cayman Brac)
Church & Office - 461 Shedden Road
P O Box 719, Grand Cayman KY1-1103, CAYMAN ISLANDS
Tel (345) 949 2757
2 October 2016
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Habakkuk 1: 1-4; 2: 1-4 2 Timothy 1: 1-14 S. Luke 17: 5-10
Today: 8.35 am Matins & Litany; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP
This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers.
Next Sunday: 8.35am Matins; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm E. Pr.
FAITH IN FOCUS: DOES PRAYER REALLY WORK?
The first four Sundays of October this year invite us to consider different aspects of prayer.
We can sense the frustration in today’s first reading of someone who seems to be calling on God in distress and yet nothing appears to be happening. Is prayer nothing more than mouthing words that can have no real effect on our situation? Is God simply playing with us?
A good question to ask is “What do I think I am doing when I pray?” Often we are letting God know what we feel and asking him to change things to the way we want them to be. At worst we end up thinking that we are informing God, and at best we find ourselves pouring our heart out.
Pouring our heart out is no bad thing. In fact, it’s what Jesus asks us to do in prayer. We don’t actually have to use any words to do this: we can simply and silently place ourselves consciously in God’s presence. And when we do this, we may find ourselves listening to God rather than talking. God is able to penetrate our busy thick skins and communicate his word to us.
When we are aware that God wants to get through to us, we are on the first step to letting him change us. For prayer is not about changing God but about conforming ourselves to the will of God. This does not mean that we stop praying for people in need, for things to be otherwise, but it does mean that we start to ask God to mould us, to allow ourselves to be used as part of his plans. God will often turn our ideas upside down in prayer, especially by pointing out that we don’t understand the whole picture.
If we seem to pray and pray and nothing happens, then either we are doing something wrong or God couldn’t care less. It’s more likely to be the former. Prayer does work when we put our own interests second and ask God to change us.
WORD OF GOD
How long, Lord, am I to cry for help
while you will not listen;
to cry “Oppression” in your ear
and you will not save?
(Habakkuk 1: 2)
WORD FOR TODAY
Sometimes it can seem as if God has taken his eyes off the game and fouls are being committed with impunity. Yet the Lord promises to be faithful to those who patiently wait for him to act, and tells us today that if justice appears to be slow in coming, come it will.
THE NEXT FOUR SUNDAYS of the Lectionary are dedicated to prayer. There’s many a preacher who has not planned ahead and has used up all his or her “prayer material” on the first Sunday homily, storing up sleepless nights for the next three weeks!
In fact, Luke presents us with four clear aspects of Jesus’ teaching on prayer. The first week is about the effectiveness of prayer, the second about thanksgiving, the third about perseverance and the final Sunday about humility in prayer. (Oliver Todd)
PRAYER DOES NOT CHANGE GOD, but changes him who prays. (Soren Kierkegaard)
WE ARE ALL WEAK, FINITE, SIMPLE HUMAN BEINGS, standing in the need of prayer. None need it so much as those who think they are strong, those who know it not, but are deluded by self-sufficiency.
(Harold C Phillips)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: 2 Kings 17: 24-end, Phil 1: 1-11, John 13: 1-11
Tues: 2 Kings 18: 1-12, Phil 1: 12-end, John 13: 12-20
Wed: 2 Kings 18: 13-end, Phil 2: 1–13, John 13: 21-30
Thurs: 2 Kings 19: 1-19, Phil 2: 14–end, John 13: 31-end
Fri: 2 Kings 19: 20-36, Phil 3:1 - 4:1, John 14: 1-14
Sat: 2 Kings 20, Phil 4: 2-end, John 14: 15-end
NEXT SUNDAY : 2 Kings 5: 1-3, 7-15c, 2 Timothy 2: 8-15, S. Luke 17: 11-19