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"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near." Isaiah 55.6

Last night I tuned into the annual Open Doors conference 'Standing Strong through the Storm', which was happening online rather than in a hall faraway. I was just going to dip in, get an idea what it was all about and then get on with the more important work of preparing for today. How time makes fools of us all!

I was riveted, couldn't tear myself away and stayed for the duration. Why? The programme was well-constructed, the presentation was slick, the worship was genuine and the content was informative. But the secret something which held my attention wasn't any of these, it was the way in which prayer was seamlessly woven into the whole proceedings, drawing us into a dialogue with Almighty God. Who would scorn that?

And because my preaching theme today is 'Prayer' whatever I lost in preparation was more than gained in experience. Indeed it drove me back to one of those books which one keeps in order to read over again: 'Prayer' by Richard Foster. I look forward to sharing it with you. In the meantime and throughout: "dèanamaid ùrnaigh" - the Gaelic invitation to pray (literally "let us do prayer") reminds us that prayer is a practical activity that we are called to engage in actively...



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