Prayer: Lesley StewartNews
Pray the Lord of the Harvest was launched as our 2018 Convention theme. To reflect on the importance of prayer to the Bangor Worldwide, we are asking some of the committee members and those associated with the Convention to share their thoughts and experiences on what prayer means to them. Today we chat with our Secretary, Lesley Stewart
Ok Lesley, the first question is a simple one to answer, tell us when you became a Christian?
I became a Christian at Ballyholme CSSM nearly 50 years ago this July.
And over that time, what have you discovered about prayer?
Prayer is my relationship with God my Father, Jesus my Saviour and Friend, and the Holy Spirit, my guide. With all relationships you want to spend time with, and get to know, the other person. Prayer is my time with God, praising Him for all He is, thanking Him for all He means to me and then bringing requests to Him to work in the lives of those around me and for His world.
Can you share a time when you received answered prayer?
God answered our prayers was when I was expecting our third child. Luke was born 12 weeks early at 28 weeks weighing one kilo, his middle name! In 1983 the viable age was 28 weeks and I prayed he would get to 28. And that is exactly when he was born – Easter Monday 1988.
We also prayed he would live. We came very close to losing him as he picked up septicaemia and it took 3 different courses of antibiotics for him to improve. It was around the time of my 30th birthday and I asked the Lord that saving him was all I wanted for my birthday.
He turned a corner that weekend and is now 30 and has his own family.
Everyone has their own time they like to pray depending on their schedule and family duties. Do you have a favourite or preferred time of day to pray and if so, why?
It’s great to know we can pray at any time of the day but it’s always good to commit the day to the Lord and to end it with thanksgiving. Sometimes when my sleep is disturbed and rather than “toss and turn” I will pray, bringing family members, friends and situations to the Lord.
Why is prayer so important to Bangor Worldwide?
As well as giving financially to mission, we can contribute to the work of mission in the world through our prayers. The Bible teaches us that prayer accomplishes God’s Will, to reach the world for Christ and our prayers can makes a difference. We may be separated physically from those “on the mission field” but we can join them by praying “Your will be done, Your Kingdom come.”
Prayer is an integral part of Bangor Worldwide. We commit each committee meeting to the Lord in prayer before we discuss the agenda. We finish by praying through all aspects of what we have discussed ranging from praying for our speakers to all the practical details like PA, catering, hosting etc. All of our decisions about choosing speakers and new initiatives are prayed over. We are very conscious that we can make plans but the Lord directs our steps.
We start off the Convention each year with the Convention prayer meeting where we take an hour to pray through every aspect of the Convention and we start off each day Monday – Friday with a prayer meeting led by one of our speakers. This year on Monday afternoon, we have a seminar on prayer led by Geoff McIlrath – “Praying our part”. This will be another opportunity to pray together as we let the Scriptures guide us.
Lesley, we really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us on prayer and we’re delighted to hear that Luke made it through – God really does answer our prayers!