John 1: 38
Turning round, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’
Ephesians 3: 14-17
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Our little four year old son posted his letter to Santa Claus last week. There were no less than ten items on his list! However, in the few days since the letter was posted, he has changed his mind again and again. Every time he sees a new toy or game, he wants it also to be added to his list. We've told him that, since Santa has a limited budget, for any new item to be added, something has to be removed, which throws him into a major dilemma. The reality is, he doesn't know what he really wants. His desires are fickle and prone to change.
In John 1 Jesus asks two aspiring disciples: "What do you want?"
What if Jesus was standing in front of you in this moment asking you the same question? What do you want? Would you know the answer? Would your initial response be a truly honest answer - would it really reflect the deepest desires of your heart?
For some of us, that would be much easier to answer than for others. We would know immediately what we long for most, we wouldn't hesitate for a second. Why? Because we, or someone we dearly love, is living with a prolonged, serious illness or debilitating condition, and what we want most is healing, wholeness, complete restoration, to be free of all symptoms and sickness.
As a church family, we currently have a number of families in this situation as we approach Christmas. The church is a body, so when one parts hurts we all feel it. We are also a family – loving, supporting and caring for each other. Therefore, we want to join in praying with and for those parts of our body, our family, who are earnestly seeking healing and wholeness as they undergo medical treatment and ongoing tests.
In particular, we would ask that you please pray for Ivan Alcorn and Jane Quinn as they are both journeying cancer in its different forms.
Pray for complete healing and recovery, that God would sovereignly and supernaturally remove or restore all cells which have been damaged or affected by this disease.
We believe God heals both through our prayers and through medical skill, so please pray for those who are treating Ivan and Jane. May they have special wisdom and insight as to how best to progress with their treatment in the coming weeks.
Please pray for the families of Ivan and Jane. We think especially of Ivan’s wife Gillian, Jane’s husband Kieran, their children, and the wider family.
Pray that over this Christmas season, they would find relief from pain and would be able to enjoy the festivities. Also, for any travel plans they make, that they would know God’s presence and protection at all times.
I know Ivan and Jane will be so encouraged to know that their Vineyard family are surrounding them with prayer. And be encouraged, our God hears and responds to the prayers of his people. On Sunday, at the conclusion of our 11.30 am service, we took time to pray for Ivan and Jane. The following morning Jane reported that it was the most pain free night she had experienced in a month and that she is so thankful for the improvement in her sleep.
Thank you so much for being a community who are deeply committed to caring for one another and for how you express this in so many ways, both tangible and unseen.