Category: Simon’s Blog

Zacharias – Luke 1:13 – ‘But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’

As we pick up the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth, we don’t so much hear about the prayers that they prayed, but the incredible way in which their answer was given to them. (more…)

Tax Collector – Luke 18:13 – ‘And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’’

Contained within this simple parable that Jesus tells is one of, if not the most important key to understanding prayer, if not the whole of the Christian life. Elsewhere in the Bible it is summed up like this: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.In a world that is all about pushing yourself forward, working and fighting to be the best you can be, so that you can be ‘proud’ of all you have acheived – Jesus turns the tables completely and gives us a completely different set of values to live by. (more…)

Solomon – 1 Kings 3:5-9 – ‘At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”’

What an incredible situation this is! I wonder if you’ve ever sat around and thought about what you would get if you could have anything in the world. No limits, no cost involved – that would be, or at least ought to be a life-defining moment. Well that’s exactly the opportunity that Solomon had here – God turns up to him in a dream and asks him ‘what shall I give you?’ (more…)

Samuel – 1 Samuel 7:5-6 – ‘And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the LORD. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.’

The prayers we find Samuel praying in this chapter are in the midst of an incredible time of repentance for the nation of Israel. The leadership of the nation before Samuel had gone incredibly bad, with Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli committing all kinds of wicked acts when supposedly acting as priests for the people. (more…)

Samson – Judges 16:28 – ‘Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”’

The end of Samson’s life once again displays to an even greater extent the principles that have been on show his whole life – our God is more than willing to use some of the biggest failures to do His work and accomplish His purposes, and most importantly He will always display His glory above anyone else’s. Not only that but there is an abundance of grace for those same failures to cry out to God in their time of need and see Him answer in incredible ways. (more…)