Thought for the week

Thought for the Week provides a Verse, Thought and Prayer for the week ahead.  We trust you will find these helpful and encouraging in these times.

Prayer and reflection from Christian Aid

God knows… and cares.

 

Something to read

 
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

– Psalm 139:1 from full reading of Psalm 139
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Something to think about

The idea that an all-knowing, all-seeing God knows everything about you can appear, initially, a little scary.  Like the eyes of certain portraits that seem to follow you around the room, God is watching you, says the psalmist. He knows every word even before it forms on your tongue. No wonder, he exclaims, that ‘such knowledge is too wonderful” for him!

But the psalmist does not find this threatening but the very opposite. It reminds him of God’s abiding love and presence so that whether he is going through good times (‘if I ascend to heaven’) or bad times (‘if I make my bed in Sheol’), at home or far away (‘at the farthest limits of the sea’) he knows that God will lead him and that the right hand will hold him fast.

All this comes from having a right understanding of God. God is not some angry, vindictive, petulant, absentee parent, but a loving creator who ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ makes us in his image and likeness, able to relate not only to one another but especially to God.

There are dangers, however, and we must avoid going from the one extreme – God is watching, so watch out – to the other – God is watching, don’t worry! There must surely be room for talk about responsibility too.

God wants us to bless the world through us. But what happens when we don’t? What happens when we keep our money and possessions to ourselves and ignore the poor and needy? What happens when we curse instead of bless others? What about when we are selfish, unkind, greedy and hard-hearted? What then?

The answer is simple. God is watching. We are, as his people, responsible and answerable to him. How we behave, and what we do, is important.

 

Something to do

Practicing the presence of God is a spiritual exercise made famous by Brother Lawrence a Carmelite monk of the 17th Century. Everything he did, from washing dishes to running errands, he did in a continual awareness of God’s presence.

Every time you need to make a decision about something, try and do it whilst thinking about God. Ask yourself, ‘Will God be pleased with this or not?’

 

Something to pray

Heavenly Father,
teach me how to live every day in your presence every day,
and show me what pleases you. Amen.

 

Today’s reflection is by Rev Mark Williams, minister in St James’ Church, Uplands, Swansea, Diocese of Brecon and Swansea.