Sunday 5 August

Author Philip Yancey has written over 30 books including Where is God When it Hurts, The Jesus I Never Knew and What’s so Amazing about Grace?  His books have won 13 Gold Medallion awards from the Christian Publisher’s Association; more than 15 million copies have sold in English; and they have been translated into over 50 languages. Here is a taste of his message from Saturday evening at New Horizon:

(NB: The notes from Saturday and Sunday evenings are abbreviated but for the rest of the week, we will provide full notes of the morning Bible Teaching and evening celebrations).

I have discovered that everybody thinks prayer is important but no one feels good about it. In prayer, we invite God into our lives and say, “Lord, correct my vision. Give me grace-filled eyes.”

Working on a building site with faulty equipment, Bud collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning. A friend kept feeling, “Bud needs you.” Eventually, reluctantly, he drove five hours, found Bud lying unconscious and saved his life. I asked, “Why didn’t God pick somebody closer?” Bud answered, “Maybe God did. But he was the only one who showed up.”

Prayer asks, “What is God doing and how can I be a part of it?”

It is not about what God can do for you but what you should be doing for God.

When God appeared to Job (Job 38:1 – 41:34) , he repented (Job 42: 1- 6). He realised God is God. It is not your job  to run the universe. We are not in control.  Psalm 46 talks about nations in uproar. Our response? “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

We need to get our vision of God straightened out. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus (Colossians: 13 – 16).

Water always flows down. That is a picture of grace… God’s grace keeps flowing until somebody receives it (John 7: 37-38). As we keep praying, that stream gets wider and wider until we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us! (Matthew 5: 43-48).

So many works of God begin with prayer. The most violent place in South Africa was the prison near Joanna’s home. She and her husband visited every day and things changed. She said, “God was already present. We just made Him visible.”

Prayer is about getting to know God so we can present Him to a world that is thirsty. May you do that in Northern Ireland!