During this half term, we have been looking at prayer. We have prayed for unity, community, endurance and leadership. During times of trial, trouble and busy-ness we have prayed for strength and clarity to make wise decisions.
Has prayer made a difference? Today in briefing we prayed for strength for the coming week, for wisdom and for us to be able to focus on what we need to be doing to get through this busy period. At the end of the week, when we reflect back and ask how we got through, remember that prayer. Remember the gift of others that you have been able to rely on.
During the exam period, we prayed daily for our students as they prepared for exams. We prayed for calmness, peace, remembrance and for their futures. When results day comes round, will we remember those prayers and thank God for being there in those moments of silence.
Looking back at this past year, I hope you have seen that what you have achieved has shaped you and prepared you well for what lies ahead. Some of the prayers submitted have been for protection from problems. The good news that Jesus brought was the gift of eternal life and a connection with God, through the forgiveness of sins.
But Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 16 prepare them for what is ahead.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
This world is full of trials and sorrow, but Jesus is ‘The Prince of Peace’, and this peace he offers to his followers. He also offers the reassurance that this world is not all there is, that he has prepared a place for them in heaven (John 14:1).
What trials are you facing this week? James (the brother of Jesus) wrote about trials. He said “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2).
My prayer this week is that we know the peace of God that goes beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7), so that we can face our trials and sorrows, having the faith to believe that God is doing what we cannot see.