StAG Mag June 2016

StAG MAG June 2016 • • Alasdair Paine standrewthegreat • @StAG_Cambridge DEAR FRIENDS… Our studies in 1 Timothy (Sunday mornings) this term are helping us see what a really useful church looks like. Timothy, you will remember, was tasked by Paul to get the church in Ephesus back on track after people who “want to be teachers of the law, but do not know what they are talking about” were influencing the church. So Paul writes to Timothy to show how to get back on track, and what being on track looks like. What has struck me more than anything as I’ve prepared has been the Apostle’s concern for the church’s witness to the non-Christian world. Three times in the letter he calls God “Saviour”. Paul reminds us of his own conversion, which is glorious evidence that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He gives us a window into God’s own heart desire: He “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” He shows us why coming to Christ is essential: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” This, then, is the background for the many practical concerns of the letter: the church’s prayer life, the complementary roles of men and women, the qualities of leaders, the church’s public reputation, the defeat of false teaching, the nature of the minister’s task, practical arrangements about widows and leaders - and a warning about greed. Paul wants this to be a church worth joining, a church that really lives out God’s truth. May God use this letter to help us walk in His ways! Catch up on all the sermons from this term’s 1 Timothy series at Rachel Wadsley WHY WE PRAY What do you expect from a book on prayer? A “how-to” guide? A list of what to pray? Well-meaning but disheartening quotations like : “A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more” and “I have so much to do that I shall spend three hours in prayer” that make you want to give up before you've begun? Well, this book does none of those things. William Philip realised that to learn to pray we must learn about God because God himself is never depressing or disheartening. It's as we focus on Him that we gain immense encouragement in our relationship with Him and real help in the chief expression of that relationship: prayer. So he doesn't focus on how to pray, or what specifically to pray, but rather gives us four truths about God that made me want to pray. How refreshing this little book is! I came away from it with delight that I can confidently approach my Heavenly Father. My eyes were lifted away from my own feeble performance and onto Him. I plan to meet with a group of women from iHUB together to read it, discuss it using the questions at the end of each short chapter - and get on and pray! ‘Why we pray’ is available now at a discounted price from the StAG bookstall. -1- Why we pray By William Philip Inter-Varsity Press. £7.99 £7.20