In February I, together with my sister Elaine, who is also a priest down in Toxteth, went to the Isle of Man. I had not been there since I was about 13 years old. But we weren’t going on a holiday we were going to lead a weekend retreat for Les and Sylvia Lawrenson and their church. Do you remember Les? He was the priest here at St Marks Church over ten years ago. They don’t have a church building and now after prayer to God they meet in a pub before opening time on a Sunday…talk about church in the community!!
On the retreat was a time for prayer and reflection and Sylvia had put together prayer stations for people to reflect on and one of the stations had the following prayer.
“ Dear God,
Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart, and my life. Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind. Erase the will nots, may nots, and might nots that find a home in my heart. Release me from the could nots, would nots, and should nots that obstruct my life. Most of all dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart, and my life all the ‘am nots‘ that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that I am not good enough. Amen.”
It came to mind because I have just watched Pastor Joseph Prince on the God channel, he’s from Singapore and to my mind is a brilliant teacher and preacher. He was talking about the secret to the quality of life. And the secret was “Lose the worry”. (Apparently do not fear or be afraid is mentioned 365 times in the bible, not that I have counted but that is one for each day of the year).
He based his talk to the background of Chapter 4 of the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, whose name means God remembers. (which was the same name of the Father of John the Baptist, who kept his faith in God right up to his older age). The prophet spoke at a time when a remnant of people from Israel returned from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. They were filled with worry, helplessness and confusion. Zerubbabel the civic chief leader in charge of the temple was told this in a prophesy from Zechariah. “Not by might or by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6) will this temple be rebuilt, and the temple was indeed built despite many setbacks.
Just like that time the world gives us many setbacks, but we are told not to be of the world we are told to have faith in God as his beloved children.
So can we follow the instructions to Zerubbabel? Take time out to recognise the knots (nots) in our life and release them to the Lord? Pastor Joseph says when the devil comes and says “What are you going to do about that?” reply to him. “Me, what am I going to do? “ I have given it to the Lord. You go and ask Him what he is going to do about it if you need to know”. How uplifting is that? What brilliant advice.
Let it go and Let God. The least responsible thing you can do is hold on to your worry. The most responsible thing is to hand it to the Almighty God who can move mountains. The God who loves you!!
God Bless Love Rev’d Eileen