Prayer for reconciliation - 20 July 2018

Hennie Symington

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sin against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

One of the pillars of our Christian belief is the concept of reconciliation. However, after more than two thousand years since the birth of Christ, the world has not come any closer to establishing complete and permanent reconciliation with our neighbours or fellow human beings. Yet, at the heart of our Christian belief lies the concept of personal relationships. Christ sums it up very clearly in the words: “Love God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).There’s no mistaking what Jesus says: He calls reconciliation by name and doesn’t beat around the bush about who your neighbour is. In these few words He covers the whole spectrum of relationships in which we as human beings could possibly be involved.

Now if this concept is difficult to understand or unacceptable to you, then you need a turnabout to either follow Jesus, or to follow your own stubborn heart, choosing to select your own “neighbours” and others that you find acceptable, thereby putting yourself between a rock and hard place or between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Reconciliation is non-negotiable in God’s Book. So strongly did He feel about this, that He sent his Son to die, in order to reconcile heaven and earth. The question to each one us is: What’s it going to be? Love God, but hate my neighbour, my enemy, anyone that doesn’t fit the category of “me, mine, and my own”? Or am I going to follow the summation of the ten commandments regardless of what it takes. So help me God!

Prayer: Lord, our natural instinct is to favour me and my own. How hard it is for us to think beyond our differences. But you did Lord. You left heaven to come to a world filled with sinners like me, and billions of others like me. Teach me every day what it means to humbly walk the second mile. Amen

Who’s standing in the need of prayer? - 19 July 2018

Hennie Symington

I urge you then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… 1 Timothy 2:1

"It’s me, it’s me oh, Lord, standing in the need of Prayer", is a popular hymn that resonates in the hearts of people everywhere. Here in Japan, I am often called on to pray for people requesting intercession for the many difficult situations they face in a society with few Christian friends to turn to. And even though, I am sometimes caught off guard, I cannot in all conscience refuse the request. From this I learned two things: firstly, that people are often in need of intercessional prayer. They feel safe and protected when someone whose faith they trust, prays for them, and secondly, that it is comforting to have some praying for you.

Christian fellowship lives and exists by and through the intercession of members for one another. Why? Simply because I cannot hate or condemn someone for whom I pray.

Often, I do not know the name of the person who asks me to pray for him or her, but the intercession makes them my brother or my sister. Bringing someone into the presence of God, means that we grant the stranger, or the brother and sister, the same right that we have received to stand before Christ to partake of his mercy.

Of course, prayers of intercession are required of every Christian, and as such is a gift of God’s grace to everyone. Therefore, it must be built into your daily prayer practice. By praying daily and systematically for others, we show that we are called not only to be faithful in the greater tasks of faith (according to our priorities) if we have not learned to be faithful in the nitty gritty of the daily practising of faith such as praying for others, as well as for ourselves.

Prayer: Lord, as our Intercessor, who stepped in for us by dying on a cross, teach me to intercede for the one who stands in need of prayer, but has no-one to look to guide and help him or her to meet you in prayer. Amen

Wie wag op gebed? - 19 Julie 2018

Hennie Symington

Ek dring daarop aan dat daar in die eerste plek met smeking en voorbidding en danksegging gebid moet word vir alle mense … 1 Timoteus 2:1

Dis ek, dis ek o Heer, wat staan en wag op gebed…” (vry vertaal uit: “It’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer….”)Hierdie negerliedjie, "Standing in the need of prayer", is seker een van die “spirituals” wat die diepste ingebed is in die hart van mense regoor die wêreld. Hier in Japan word ek dikwels gevra om vir mense te bid. Baie van hulle bevind hulle in moeilike omstandighede in hulle huislike lewe of werkplek, en met baie min Christenvriende om hulle by te staan. En hoewel ek soms effens onkant gevang word, kan ek nie weier nie.

Hieruit het ek twee dinge en nog meer geleer! Eerstens, dat mense ʼn behoefte het aan bemiddelingsgebede. Hulle voel veilig wanneer iemand wie se geloof hulle kan vertrou vir hulle bid, en tweedens dat dit vertroostend is as iemand vir jou bid.

'n Christelike gemeenskap leef en bestaan in en deur die bemiddeling van lede vir mekaar. Waarom? Eenvoudig omdat jy nie die persoon vir wie jy bid kan haat of veroordeel nie. Soms ken ek nie eens die naam van die persoon wat my vra om te bid nie, maar deur saam te bid word hy of sy my broer of suster. Om iemand voor die aangesig van God te bring, beteken dat ons die persoon dieselfde reg gee as ek en jy om voor Christus te staan en deel te hê aan sy genade.

Natuurlik word daar van elkeen van ons verwag om vir ander te bid en as sulks, is dit ʼn gawe van God. Gebede vir ander moet dus in ons daaglikse doen en late ingebed word. Deur gereeld en doelgerig vir ander te bid, beteken dat ons nie net geroep word om getrou te wees in die belangrike take van geloof (volgens ons eie prioriteite) nie, maar ook in die geringe.

Gebed:Here Jesus, as ons Bemiddelaar, wat vir ons ingetree het aan die kruis, leer my om in te tree vir die een wat behoefte het aan gebed, maar niemand het om hom of haar te lei en te help om U in gebed te ontmoet nie. Amen

Gebed om versoening - 20 Julie 2018

Hennie Symington

Iemand wat aan Christus behoort, is ʼn nuwe mens. Die oue is verby, die nuwe het gekom. Dit alles is die werk van God. Hy het ons deur Christus met Homself versoen en aan ons die bediening van die versoening toevertrou. Die boodskap van versoening bestaan daarin dat God deur Christus die wêreld met Homself versoen het en die mense hulle oortredinge nie toereken nie. Die boodskap van versoening het Hy aan ons toevertrou.  2 Korintiërs 5:17-19

Een van die grondbeginsels van ons Christelike geloof is versoening. Helaas, meer as tweeduisend jaar na Christus se koms, kon die wêreld nog nie daarin slaag om volkome vrede en versoening tussen ons naaste of die mense rondom ons te bewerkstellig nie. Dit ten spyte daarvan dat die konsep van versoening die hart van ons geloof is. Christus som dit sonder omhaal op in die woorde “Jy moet die Here jou God liefhê met jou hele hart en met jou hele siel, en met jou hele verstand, en jou naaste soos jouself” (Markus 12:30-31). Jesus draai geen doekies om oor wie jou naaste is nie. In hierdie paar woorde dek Hy die hele spektrum van verhoudings tussen mense.

Versoening is nie opsioneel in God se boek nie.

God het so sterk gevoel oor versoening, dat Hy sy Seun gestuur het om sy lewe te gee om hemel en aarde met mekaar te versoen. Die vraag aan elkeen van ons is: Waar staan jy? Is dit meestal ʼn geval van: Ek is lief vir God maar haat my buurman, my vyand, of enigeen wat nie inpas by my omskrywing van “ek, my en my myne” nie? Of gaan ek my laat lei deur die opsomming van die tien gebooie ongeag wat dit van my vra, so help my God?

Gebed: Here, natuurlik is ons natuurlike instink om onsself en dit wat ons as ons eie ag te beskerm. Dis so moeilik vir ons om verby ons verskille te kyk. Maar Here, U het. U het die hemel verlaat om na ʼn wêreld vol sondaars soos ek, en miljoene soos ek, te kom, om vir ons ʼn alternatiewe leefwyse daar te stel. Leer my elke dag wat dit beteken om die tweede myl in nederigheid te stap. Amen

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