If you would like more information about Fr. Wooley’s book
you can contact The “I AM WITH YOU FOUNDATION” via Mrs Ros Kraushar,
2 Lauradale Road, London N2 9LU (0208 883 2665) or Mrs Ellen
Hawkes at 7 Kildoon Drive, Maybole (01655 883765) if
you live locally.
It is some time since the Ecumenical Prayer Group has updated
the internet due to busyness with many other things. The group still meets on
Tuesdays for Prayer and Praise and Bible study. We all went of in February for a
Lenten retreat to Skelmorlie in Largs. The theme was “The power of God” and we
looked at where that power was evident in our lives. Compared to the power
displayed in the life of Jesus and even in the book of Acts, we felt we had a
long way to go. However, we were convicted that in all of our lives that power
has been and is evident when we are obeying God’s word – not just the bits we
chose to obey but all of it. We believed it had become easy for us as
Christians to fall into worldly values and even although we had decided the
previous June to measure ourselves against God’s standards and not man’s, living
in modern society with its selfish interpretation of love and its bewildering
political and media messages, had dented our original enthusiasm somewhat. We
had to rediscover the vision of living here and now in God’s kingdom.
Currently we are beginning to see some very positive fruits
of this return to Christ’s values. We are being clearly told through Scripture
that we must fervently desire to please God, not ourselves and not others. No
matter what people say or think, we must obey God’s word in our own lives. There
are constant failures, but we are finding that the powerful presence of the God
who loves us, encourages us to start again. There is new joy and peace evident
in the group. Individuals within the group report this in their own lives, where
there is a renewed desire to read God’s word and a growing freedom from fear of
what others might think of them. There is an underlying excitement in the group
– we know God always hears and answers our prayers ( even when No! is the
answer) but there is a feeling that he is about to be present with us in a new
and powerful way to help us get our vision right so that his kingdom can really
reflect his promises. Instead of doing it our way, he wants us to do it his way.
This could lead to conflict with traditional ideas we have held on to for too
long, could make us rather unpopular people perhaps – but we have come to
realise that we are in a spiritual battle, for our minds and for our souls, and
we are being prepared so that we can fight back.
We believe we are being given new directions in prayer in our
Intercessory group which meets on Fridays at 4pm…not just praying for our town,
our country and our world but being led to pray for specific areas. Recently we
spent the whole time praying about Christian marriages, when we had initially
intended to pray for the Christian Church. The following week, we prayed for
prisoners and families and were led on through a very powerful word in
Corinthians 1 : 10 to pray for Christian people, many of whom are wounded or
even dead due to the crisis in faith they are experiencing. There is a sense
that the Lord is not pleased with the splits and divisions among us.
Unconsciously, many of us betray Christ by our lack of love and by cementing
Our healing group still meets on Thursdays, at lunch time,
and there is never any lack of sick people to pray for, including ourselves.
Here too we feel the direction we are being led in is to meditate on the Passion
and death of Christ, from which so much power was released for humanity.
by E Hamilton
October sees us
well into the theme of maturing in our living of the Christian life.
Well into but still
struggling. We know what we should be doing but doing it seems to be the
problem. All of us are faced with the fact that we are less devoted to Christ
than we want to be. Our Prayer Group reflections over the past few months have
really challenged us to measure ourselves against Gospel values 100%, not 50%
not 25%. And we are recognising how much help we all need from God to even keep
this goal in focus. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
The events of
September 11th have focussed our attention back to prayer power which the
Scriptures tell us constantly activates the almighty power of God into our
situation. We are therefore trying to renew our prayer life and pray expectantly
and confidently that the dark days in which we find ourselves may become an
opportunity for God's power of forgiveness and reconciliation to reach the
hearts of leaders and peoples on all sides. We looked at Elisha (2 Kings 6 : 13
-23) who prayed in a situation of war that seemed impossible and we believed the
words were being spoken right into our hearts in the present day crisis by God.
We are to pray as earnestly and as confidently as Elisha. We reflected that if
the 2 billion Christians in the world prayed like Elisha, the conflict would be
over in an equally short time with similar results - lasting peace!
Over the past two
to three weeks the group has reflected on and been encouraged by the spiritual
journeys of other great Christians who have trodden the same paths as we do and
it is amazing how similar the journey has been.
St. Augustine who
lived some 1,700 years before us, had trouble giving up worldly habits. He
wanted to but struggles "in two minds" for years, almost getting there and
drawing back from complete dependence on God. Brother Lawrence, a humble French
lay brother, who started his spiritual journey around 55 years of age and spent
the next 33 years working in a Parisian monastic kitchen, struggled for years
with his "practice of the presence of God". Each almost gave up but perseverance
won out in the end. Both studies filled members of the group with encouragement
and new determination to carry on the struggle towards holiness in the 21st
century in Maybole.
We now consider
Augustine and Lawrence to be honorary members of our group!
The group hope to
continue looking at some of the great spiritual examples of Scripture and later
times, in the weeks ahead.
continue to pray for those who ask us. A separate healing group meets on
Thursdays and an intercessory group on Fridays. Anyone who wants prayer can
reach us on e-mail email@example.com
The group are
hoping to arrange transport for a conference on Brokenness and Healing at Our
Lady & St Meddan's Church Troon on Friday 2nd (7.30pm to 10.45) and Saturday 3rd
November (10.30am to 4pm) and for an evening concert by Ian White at St Meddan's
Troon on Thursday 15th November.
June 2001, the Prayer Group resolved to take a serious look at Christian
risks involved, the possible hurts or misunderstandings, the opportunities for
justification, and the likelihood that the group may not persevere until fruit
was evident, the members nevertheless resolved to pursue the theme, because of
the challenge it offered.
Text : John 12 : 20
–26. Are we willing to let those character traits/habits in us, which sever us
from close union with Christ, die? Are we willing to take an in-depth look at
We agreed that over
the next few weeks or months we will try prayerfully to listen to what is shared
by group members, hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us, and discern
where each of us needs to change. Change is the way ahead to holiness. Signposts
along the way challenge us to put the other first, to be humble, to check our
motives, to be courageous with one another, to look at our own selves first
under each and every topic shared.
"The kingdom of God
is within you " – so we have to start here!
The Challenge is to
listen, to pray, to persevere, to forget others faults and be self-examining, to
change. TO BE HOLY which is very unfashionable language today. We will be trying
to find out what exactly it means.
2002 – we will review progress.
Members of the
prayer group looked at Luke 6 : 27 –36, and one member had a translation of 1
Peter 1 : 17 which read " Look anxiously to the ordering of your lives while
your stay on earth lasts." We agreed we should keep on track and the first part
of the meeting took on a different format, with members sharing how they had
coped during the week with a new awareness of self.
However, the Luke 6
reading challenged us to "turn the other cheek" and this is one area where we
all have a lot of growing to do. We felt it meant no getting back at people who
hurt us, who criticise us or who oppose us. We came to the conclusion that as
Christians, in such matters as loving one’s enemies, we went by our own
yardstick rather than God’s, as Christ outlined it in this passage. It came as a
revelation that we were all settling for, and living, standards far less than we
ought to aim for. The Christian life is not easy, even impossible, where such
high standards are demanded. But rather than being discouraged, we believed that
with the Holy Spirit, and our renewed efforts and awareness, together we could
aim for Christ’s standards. So this week, we hope to respond in love, no matter
what the provocation.
We look forward to
sharing at next week’s meeting and seeing where we go from there. It may be a
hard journey, but it is a stimulating and exciting one and one which will draw
us closer to Christ, if we let him in. It has only taken us twenty years to get
this far, but we hope the pace will accelerate, now that we have wakened up to
where we really are.
Prayer Group this month varied in numbers from six to sixteen, largely due to
the weather. The theme this month was prayer and the spiritual battle which
Christians are engaged in, in an increasingly hostile world. The group looked at
an Old Testament story one Tuesday evening, when Elisha's servant was daunted by
enemy hordes and the prophet told him not to be afraid and prayed that God would
open his eyes to see the vast army of heavenly angels encamped around them. The
passage was new to some and led to a great deal of sharing and encouragement.
In these days of
emptying churches, political intrigue, world wide disasters, and now the
spreading foot and mouth disease, it is easy to lose hope and to become very
anxious. The group are being made aware of the great weapon of prayer which
Christ gave to his people, a spiritual weapon, which is so often unused. We were
reminded of the great pray-ers in Scripture - Moses, who changed God's mind by
prayer, Elija who brought down fire from heaven, David the great psalmist,
Solomon who prayed for wisdom with such great effect and who led his nation in
prayer, Daniel who prayed and fasted while in captivity, and Nehemiah whose
prayer rebuilt Jerusalem. Then the group considered the number of times Jesus
went out alone to pray. His style of prayer was so different and so effective
that his followers asked him how to pray as he did. And then the great prayers
of the Passion - at Gethsemene and Calvary. The followers had largely fled by
then and we looked at the people of God today to see where we were when trouble
So the month of
February, which included the start of Lent, was one in which people felt
re-called to expectant prayer, to belief in an almighty God who wants his people
to pray. Isaiah 65 : 1 " The Lord said, ' I was ready to answer my people's
prayers, but they did not pray. I was ready for them to find me, but they did
not even try. The nation did not pray to me, even though I was always ready to
answer Here I am. I will help you.' "
The Prayer Group
conducted the service for Christian Unity in Our Lady and St. Cuthbert's Church
on Tuesday 23rd January. After praying about texts to use and the format of the
evening, it was agreed that we used the texts from Ephesians 4 : 3- 8, 13, 16 in
which Paul exhorts us to remain united and work together like different parts of
the same body. Bennett sang the psalm "Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and
renew the face of the earth" to Fr. Jim's accompaniment on the guitar. This
was followed by John 17 : 21 -26, the great High Priestly prayer of Christ
encouraging his church to be one. A short reflection (see
attachment) was read from an address to clergy in 1994, and from the 2001
address of the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.
We finished the
evening by praying together for unity among God's people nationally and in our
town, and then everyone lit a candle, got up and placed it near the Bible on the
altar , and quietly said a short private prayer. One of the group read a
beautiful Celtic blessing asking God to renew us in the quiet watches of the
There were about
forty people present from the different denominations and four of the local
pastors. A collection for El Salvador victims realised £92 which has been sent
to the relief fund.
The prayer group
continues to meet on a Tuesday evening and to pray for Christian Unity. One of
the group has a dream of opening a small High Street drop-in centre where people
can come and rest or just for a quiet prayer. We will be praying that if God
wants this to happen, we will be ready.
topics, "adopted" by the group are local hospitals, hospices and
schools. We also pray for any sick, and prayer cards were distributed at the
Christian Unity Service. All we need is a name and a request.
The healing group
continues to meet at Thursday lunchtimes and has embarked on a prayerful study
of Francis McNutt's suggestions for healing ministries. The Intercessory Group
meets on Friday, early evening, and we cover topics as the Spirit prompts us to
Many of the group
are involved in outreach such as Prison visiting, visiting the sick and other
parish ministries. As a group we have agreed to pray continually for the Alpha
Outreach to non- Christians and to work with the Maybole Council of Churches to
continue Alpha courses in the autumn.
Many of the members
of the group are taking part in the Alpha outreach being undertaken by Maybole
Council of Churches. We have been meeting for the past six weeks on a Monday
evening in Maybole Castle. We start with a light supper, a praise time, teaching
on Christ and his Good News and then small discussion groups. Last Saturday
18/11/00 was the day dedicated to teaching about the Holy Spirit - Who He is,
How He acts in the world today, and How to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The whole day was
very special with thirteen people in all attending. The day was held in the home
of a member, which is a converted school. Some years ago she and her husband
felt the Lord calling them to a new ministry and they bought the Old Schoolhouse
in Kirkmichael, renovated it and offer it to Christian groups for spiritual
purposes. Their hospitality was much appreciated.
Much of the
teaching was being heard and put into practice for the first time. We had a
prayer time afterwards during which we each asked God to fill us with His
Spirit. Several people were very moved, there and then, and we hope to hear more
of how faith is growing in the weeks ahead.
On Tuesdays the
group continues to meet faithfully, though not as large as in pre-alpha days. It
always amazes us the variety of ways in which the group interacts. We always
expect the Holy Spirit to be there, and we are never disappointed, although at
times we ourselves get in the way. Recently we are being brought into a new
awareness of the importance of our human relationships and how often we fail to
witness to God's love in this area. We are being taught not to seek to justify
our actions all the time, to pray for people rather than criticise and most
importantly to listen -really listen - to others. "Never judge a man until
you have walked a mile in his moccasins"
We have agreed to
pray constantly for Alpha which we regard as our outreach work, to cover the
local schools and hospitals and we have left notes in the churches encouraging
people who would like us to pray for special intentions to let us know. We
always dedicate time to this kind of prayer every week. Last week, as there were
so many people ill, the meeting concentrated on prayer for healing of the sick.
Members of the group also asked for others to pray with them as individuals for
healing or for guidance.
Two weeks ago, we
had an evening which ended up praising God for most of the meeting. We have
never been blessed with a music ministry, but recently one of our number has
learned to play the guitar and he is now confident enough to start us off. We
accompany him on the tambourine and other simple instruments - at least we try
to. We recognise our frailty but look forward with expectancy to the happy day
when we will all sing in tune, accompanied by the heavenly choirs!!
The word of God
which seems to be re-iterated in the group during November is to learn to trust
him more than we do.
"Not by might
nor by power, but by my Spirit" says the Lord
The smaller groups
continue to meet most weeks. The healing group prays continually for people who
have asked for prayer. The intercessory group prays as the Spirit leads but
members have particular burdens to pray about Abortion, people who have cancer,
the high suicide rate among young men in Scotland, and the interest in the
occult. The group studying the gift of prophecy has not been able to meet for a
wee while but hopes to start again after Christmas as they consider there is a
great need for the authentic gift of prophesy so that we know what the Spirit is
saying to the Churches - and ourselves - today.
The group is very
happy to pray for anyone who would like prayer and will pray for their intention
whenever they get the request at the meeting that week. All prayer requests are
confidential and only first names need be given.
God bless and keep
anyone reading this news page!