Ann Widdecombe, when asked if God has ever spoken to her, replied, “God speaks to us all in different ways – it’s up to us whether we hear Him”. The problem is that most of us like to talk more than we like to listen.
When Jesus taught his followers how to pray (Matthew 6:5) He told them not to make a big show of it, but to do it in private, and not to babble like pagans who think they will be heard because of their many words. He then went on to give them a very simple prayer that we know as the Lord’s Prayer. He told them to look upon God as their heavenly father; to try to do God’s will; to ask God to provide their needs for each day; to forgive anyone who sinned against them and to ask their heavenly father to forgive their sins, and to help them resist temptation.
If we can remember to keep our prayers simple by asking God to help us in everything we do; trusting that God will help us; waiting patiently for that help and trying to do whatever feels right, then God will be communicating with us.
We agreed that God communicates with us in a variety of ways – through something we happen to read, or hear, or see. We just need to be alert and receptive. A piece of religious literature, or something in a church service can often speak directly to us.
We shared the joke about the drowning man:
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.” To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He said to God, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!” To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Future meetings are as follows:
12th July Fear (Matthew 14:22)
19th July Living Life to the Full (John 10:10)
26th July Patience
NO MEETINGS IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST
Meetings each Thursday at 1.30 pm in St. Helen’s Parish Centre.