A TIME TO PRAISE
“…. Our times are in your hands ….” Psalm 31:15
Like some other writers in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, David knew the ‘hardship’ of life as well as its good times when he was aware that God was at work for his blessing. In Psalm 31 David tells of his deep sense of anguish in his life as he faced up to personal attacks, threats as well as struggles with health problems. Such testings however became times when God’s faithful love was released with fresh understanding to David’s heart. David’s struggles became times when he was able to cope with what was happening to him and raise his soul to praise God even when life was dark and uncomfortable.
In Psalm 31 David reflected upon the real difficulties which pressed in upon him but was still able in faith to look up to God, trusting himself to God:
v14 “… but in trusting you, O Lord, I say You are my God. My times are in Your hands …”
David also speaks of God’s “goodness, of God as his shelter, his refuge” and in
“… be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.”
In this brief leaflet “A Time to Praise”, I have set out some of the thoughts and words of people’s hearts as they expressed what the Priory means to them – of the ways they sensed or sense how God has blessed them through His presence among us. I believe that it is a time to praise God and give Him thanks for all His faithful love shown us in Christ.
When life’s pressures and pains make us struggle with what is happening to us, remember our faithful God is present with us still. Carisbrooke Priory has a place in God’s loving purpose for all hurting, broken people – in His plan it is a ‘House of Prayer for Christian Healing’ – a place He draws people to as He furnishes it with His love.
… Praise be to the Lord for He showed His wonderful love to me …
In You O Lord I have taken refuge.
A TIME TO PRAISE
I praise God for the peace I find when I come into the Priory.
I praise God for the sense of being secure when I am at the Priory.
I praise God for the Priory’s quietness and the awareness of the Lord’s presence.
I praise God for the Priory being a place of joy and love for me.
I praise God for the garden’s stillness and calmness.
I praise God for the prayer ministry, of being listened to and my burdens shared.
I praise God for His presence here at the Priory.
I praise God for His being in this place.
I praise God for the ‘Open Door’ times of worship and meeting with God in His word.
I praise God for all that He blessed me with through the Priory’s life and ministry.
I praise God for the love I find in the place.
I praise God for the sense that He lives here.
Many of these thoughts have been expressed in similar words by numerous other people as they speak about the Priory and what it means to them.
We need to remember constantly that our God is with us – Our Emmanuel God is present and never leaves or forsakes – even when things seem hard.
As you read on, I encourage you to turn your thoughts to praise – lifting your heart in gratitude to him whose great faithfulness is renewed every morning!
The thoughts and words or praise set out here are offered by ordinary Priory members or visitors to the Priory. Our ‘Priory Family’ doesn’t think of itself as perfect by any measure but in His gracious love, people still can speak of God’s touch for them through the Priory’s life and ministry – ALL PRAISE BE TO OUR GOD!
Revd Canon Alan Brown