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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

30 August 2017: Patsy Robinson, Petersfield Methodist Church

Why pray?

Recently, a pair of sparrows helped me to sort the compost heap as they collected food for their young. It was fascinating to watch their skill as they flew into the wheelbarrow, diving into a feast of millipedes, centipedes, tiny slugs, and eggs. However, they had no concept of why this abundance was freely available; no idea that I was deliberately stopping work each time they appeared, so that I wouldn’t hurt them. And I couldn’t explain that in half an hour I would take it all away and cover it up again. In the same way, although we don’t understand God’s plans, we can appreciate and enjoy his blessings, and remember to thank him in prayer.

Moppet the dog could only think about one thing - chasing a ball. I kept hold of it once, in order to walk round a big patch of mud. I couldn’t explain to him “I’m waiting till we get round the obstacle then I’ll throw it again” His little eyes just kept on pleading with me “Throw the ball; throw the ball.” And maybe sometimes when we keep on at God in prayer “Please, please, please” it’s not that he doesn’t hear, but that maybe he’s waiting for a completely different issue to be dealt with first, before he can answer. So we need to trust him in prayer.

Watching a bee as it moves from flower to flower, I realise that this interdependence is the way God designed it to be. He didn’t make the flowers and the bees independent of one another, but vitally dependent. And our prayers can be part of God’s plans in the same way. Like the bee, as we move in our prayers from person to person, we seem to provide some vital link for God to work as we pray for others. Like the sparrows and Moppet, we can’t understand why God does or doesn’t do things, this is just the way he’s made it.

So let’s keep on thanking, trusting and bee-ing in prayer.

See photographs of the Service in The Square on Sunday 27 August

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