Posts by Julian Stedman

Posts by Julian Stedman

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 28

The final collect in our Morning Prayer is for Grace – a prayer for protection from sin and danger, with an intention that we may live Godly lives: O Lord and heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for bringing us safely to the beginning of this new day: defend us by your mighty power that we may be kept free from all sin and safe from every danger; and enable us in everything to do only what… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 27

As we come to the closing sections of Morning Prayer, we are prepared for emerging into our home and community, re-energised for the challenges of our daily life. First, we have two special prayers or “collects” – the first for peace: O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life, to serve you is perfect freedom: defend us in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in your protection, may not… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 26

Last week we thought about the characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven. This week we take up the aspects of the Lord’s prayer that relate to those who are members of that Kingdom. But first we need to affirm that membership of God’s Kingdom is open for anyone. However, it is far easier to come in simple faith: Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 25

The Lord’s prayer could be the subject of several reflections in its own right and many theologians have given it their close attention. I will focus on two aspects – the nature of God’s Kingdom and the implications for those who have chosen to become members of the Kingdom. As we come to Our Father in prayer we ask: “Thy Kingdom come“. What do we mean by the Kingdom of God – or the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 24

By now, we should have the motivation to pray and no doubt have assembled a good list of people to pray for. But how should we go about praying for all these needs? On the face of it, this may seem a straightforward proposition, but in my experience, engaging in prayer often challenges both our ability to concentrate and to find the right words. When we pray, It is helpful to find a suitable location, preferably where we can get… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 23

Having addressed the reasons for committing ourselves to intercessory prayer last week, we now consider what issues we should address in our prayers. We have already given to God our praise and thanksgiving – so this is the time to pray for other people and for our personal circumstances. There will always be the temptation to pray spontaneously for our own needs and neglect the bigger challenges facing the world and other people. In this reflection, we will use Scripture… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 22

After responding to our readings from the Bible, we come to our time for intercessory prayer. During the next weeks, I will address three issues which may be in our minds when we come to pray: why do we need to pray? what people/topics should we pray for? and how should we go about praying? Throughout the Bible, prayer is not regarded as an optional extra for the super-spiritual, but as the mainstay of our daily walk with God. Paul… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 21

We have come to the first section of Morning Prayer where we have some discretion. This is not a time to be wasted – we can move straight into our intercessory prayers – but that would be to miss one of the most valuable opportunities we have – to reflect on the Scriptures we have been reading. What is God saying to me today? At the beginning of his leadership, Joshua was given these words in order to lead the… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 20

What can be said about the New Testament in a short reflection? Firstly, we can ask the question, why were the books written? John sums up the reason for writing his gospel and his first letter, thus: … these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20. 30,31 I write these things to you who believe in the name of… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 18

If we have followed the liturgy, we will have now prepared ourselves really well to receive what God has to say to us through reading the Bible. The Anglican Church sets great store in encouraging everyone to read scripture regularly in their own language. However, the words themselves are only the means of communication – they only truly become God’s Word to us as they are in-breathed and applied to our hearts and minds through the work of the Holy… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 17

It is time for us to respond to the glimpses we saw last week of God’s glory: Worship the Lord.All praise to his name. Worship is often used as a generic term for the hour or so we spend together on Sunday morning. The format and content of the service may be familiar and predictable, and we may have half a mind set on our Sunday lunch arrangements… However, I’m sure we would all agree that worship should not be… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 16

We move on today to reflect on the refrain that is used at key stages in many of our worship services: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen. Glory is a word we use colloquially when someone has accomplished a notable success in their life, often of a sporting nature – but it has to be enjoyed at the time, as… [Continue Reading]