pray without ceasing

Praying Without Ceasing

When my children were young, I made a decision to spend some time early in the morning in prayer, long before the busyness of the day began. Prayer soon became an important part of my life, and over the years my understanding of the ways in which we can communicate with God in prayer has shifted, evolved, and changed.

I now no longer feel the need to always use words in prayer, and often I sit quietly, focus on one situation, or concentrate on one person, and pray. There are certain places that feel spiritual to me for all kinds of reasons, and that I am drawn to in order to pray.

I often visit art galleries, and exhibitions that are of interest, and I spend time looking at the images, and pictures. It is perhaps a combination of the silence, and the visual stimulation that allows me to open my mind, and to offer prayers for all kinds of things that are happening in our world, in community, and in the life of the church.

Regardless of the type of art, whether it is modern, and contemporary or classical, there are so many scenes, portraits, landscapes, images, sculptures that depict life in all its beauty, joy, pain, and suffering. Perhaps we identify, and have an appreciation for pieces of art simply because within the subject we see a glimpse of our own lives.

I have recently spent time reading, and studying Matthew’s gospel with a group of students from Shipley College. Matthew’s teaching on prayer is subtle and scattered throughout the gospel. Jesus’ instruction on prayer is rooted within the Sermon on the Mount, and known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ (Matt 6:9-13). This prayer quickly became known as the Christian model for prayer, and after more than two thousand years it is the prayer that Christians throughout the world still pray each day.

In many ways ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ is a simple prayer, it has both vertical, and horizontal parts to it as we pray to God that one day His Kingdom will come, and His will be done. We ask for God’s forgiveness, to be protected, and delivered from evil. However, we also pray that we will be able to forgive others, and forgiveness is an important theme throughout Matthew’s teaching of building a Christian life through his account of Jesus’ life.

Looking back, one of the most powerful Bible studies that I attended was a six-week study of ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’ Each week we concentrated on a few lines, and as in most study groups, it was interesting to hear different thoughts and opinions of how each part of this quintessential model of prayer was viewed by others.

There have been many times in my life when I have not known how to begin unpacking a problem, and in saying ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ it has served to open my mind to the ways that I could approach certain situations. I have sat in public places where I have heard people reciting ‘The Lord’s Prayer,’ and that too has had both a profound and moving effect on me.

Matthew’s Gospel has often encouraged me to understand that prayer is an essential part of my relationship with God, and that I need to keep praying in order to continue to build on that relationship.

My Grandmother used to say, “The more you pray the easier it gets.” For a long time I thought that the ‘it’ in my Grandmother’s mantra was to help those who found ‘it’ difficult to pray, but I’ve come to an understanding that the ‘it’ is actually life, as the more we pray, the more life often seems to get easier.

 

With every blessing,

 

Rev’d Caroline Andrews

 

 

shipley christians together-2

New Website for Shipley Christians Together

Shipley Christians Together have a new website
http://shipleychristianstogether.org.uk

The website has details of some of the main Christian events happening in the Shipley area, also info on services and Christian organisations in the Shipley area. Please go on the website and have a browse.

 

Saltaire’s Christmas Carol Service

Saltaire’s annual carols by candlelight service will take place on Sunday the 20th of December at 6:30pm (2015) at Saltaire United Reformed Church. It is very popular so please come early to ensure a good seat! See you there.

For more information see the Saltaire URC website:

http://saltaireurc.org.uk/news/carol-service-saltaire-2015/

 

Carol Service Saltaire 2015

Saltaire’s annual carols by candlelight service will take place on Sunday the 20th of December at 6:30pm (2015) at Saltaire United Reformed Church. We have a beautiful big Christmas tree! It is very popular so please come early to ensure a good seat! See you there.

6:30pm
Sunday 20th Deccember
2015
Saltaire United Reformed Church
BD18 3LF

Titus Salt built this church in 1859 after building the Mill in 1853. He used his own money and it cost him £16,000. Today it is insured for £14 Million. Titus and his family are buried in the Mausoleum.

 

 

Carol Service 2015

Saltaire’s annual carols by candlelight service will take place on Sunday the 20th of December at 6:30pm (2015) at Saltaire United Reformed Church. It is very popular so please come early to ensure a good seat! See you there.

6:30pm
Sunday 20th Deccember
2015

Saltaire United Reformed Church

Advent and Christmas Services 2015

Come and join us as we celebrate this joyful Christian Festival

Saltaire’s annual carols by candlelight service will take place on Sunday the 20th of December at 6:30pm (2015) at Saltaire United Reformed Church. We have a beautiful big Christmas tree! It is very popular so please come early to ensure a good seat! See you there.

6:30pm
Sunday 20th Deccember
2015
Saltaire United Reformed Church
BD18 3LF

Titus Salt built this church in 1859 after building the Mill in 1853. He used his own money and it cost him £16,000. Today it is insured for £14 Million. Titus and his family are buried in the Mausoleum.

Sunday throughout the year at 10.30 am .We are always glad to welcome people of all ages to join our fellowship

 

 

Advent Praise Booking Form

carolingWe would love to see you at our advent praise service. It would really help us if you could let us know how many children you will bring and their ages. This helps with presents. Could everyone coming please bring some food to share. Thanks!

Gem Andrews Band – 28th October

gem-andrews-bandSinger songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gem Andrews writes and performs alt-country music with an honesty and rawness that gets straight to the point. Her songs take the listener on journeys, across countries, continents and oceans, seamlessly blending the shifting landscapes with the ups and downs of life.

Her own music is firmly rooted in her beloved Alt Country and Americana, with influences from Kitty Wells, K.D Lang, Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt. She is also a fine interpreter of other peoples work covering numerous songs by an array of different writers.

Gem was born in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton, Merseyside. A much travelled musician she has taken her music around the UK, Canada and across numerous European countries. 

See more info at facebook.com/gemandrewsmusic

Supporting Band – MUSH

mushMush is made up of long term collaborators Nicky Rushton and Sarah Van Jellie, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Last year they released their seventh album ‘Delicatessen’. Nicky Rushton was one half of the renowned band ‘All Because the Lady Loves’, touring the UK and Europe extensively throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Mush play delicate piano bass and haunting melodies.

Mush is made up of long term collaborators Nicky Rushton and Sarah Van Jellie, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. 
Last year they released their seventh album ‘Delicatessen’. 
Nicky Rushton was one half of the renowned band ‘All Because the Lady Loves’, touring the UK and Europe extensively 
throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Mush play delicate piano bass and haunting melodies.

CONSTANCE Film – Watch online

Constance tells the story of the first woman to be ordained in the Congregational church.

Harvest Service 2015

Sunday 4th October

10.30 am Harvest Service led By Rev’d Caroline Andrews Gifts of fresh produce will be received during. The service to decorate the front of the church. And will be taken to Bradford Food Bank.

Gifts of dried goods will also be welcomed to  Donate to Jubilee Outreach Yorkshire

These can include –

Packet soup powder, packets of pasta, spaghetti,

Dried lentils, peas, beans, dried fruit, sugar,

Milk powder, dried baby food, Complan & Horlicks.

And more important than all these gifts

You will be so welcome!

Come!  Stay for a warm lunch after the service.