We are a community of Christian believers in Benfleet, Essex, who desire to encounter God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
God is about restoring relationships, renewing the heart and redeeming the soul.
Church is a place to feel accepted, supported and grow in the knowledge of who we are and how God wants us to live life.
Please feel free to visit us at one of our church events or services.
We hope you feel at home....
SUNDAY SERVICE TIMES
All services in-person are currently suspended due to the high raters of infection in our area. Services are available online instead - please see Pete's Facebook page above or the YouTube page on this website.
We believe in the power of God to heal and to give us all kinds of spiritual gifts. We always offer prayer at our services for anyone with any kind of need, even if it's simply for more of Him!
For the latest information and news from the parish, please use the above links to Facebook, where the most current information is placed.
Apologies to those without Facebook accounts.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
As we all know the days through which we are living are difficult for all. In these times of challenge the Church must find herself on her knees praying for ourselves and others - or if not to be indistinguishable from the world and unworthy of the name “church". The bible is full of encouragement for God’s people to pray such as in the passage above and we must take heed of these urgings at all times but especially in times like these. I do not wish to imply by quoting the above that the virus is any sort of divine retribution but it perhaps should be seen as an opportunity for us to recognise our need for utter dependence upon God. If we do that then some good will come out of such a dreadful time and we may find ourselves drawn nearer to God through the prayer in which we engage and which will inevitably connect us more closely to the God of heaven who works all things together for good for those who are called.
Although at present we are under a “Stay at Home” order I would like to call us as a church to pray in our homes each Friday beginning this week. We can obviously pray alone but I’d also like to encourage you to pray with others as much as your grasp of technology allows. Some ideas are suggested below but you may have your own thoughts too. Please be as creative as you can and share your ideas on Social Media, by email or a good old fashioned phone call or letter! You might want to consider:
• Forming a prayer triplet or couple so that you agree a time to come together to pray over the phone or by Skype, Zoom, Teams or FaceTime. (Other members of the congregation may be able to help you with the technology if you are new to these so please just ask!) • Set aside a special place in your home as a “prayer corner” which may help you focus on a special time of prayer in the day • Pray as members of a home group using one of the methods above • Pray individually through the day and then share your reflections by email or other media with your prayer triplet, home group etc. • Choose a person you know who is a front line or essential worker and regularly ask them how you can pray for them and their colleagues. • Take time to listen in prayer to what God may want to share through you with the wider church and share this with me by email etc. • Fasting is a biblical principle you may wish to explore in tandem with your Prayer Friday. This is a safe practice for most healthy people but please be aware of your own physical health before doing so. If you are unable to undertake a full fast why not fast something you normally indulge yourself with instead (sugar in tea, coffee etc) • Maybe get up earlier than normal to set aside a special time to pray? • Go for a prayer walk alone or with another as part of your permitted exercise praying for schools, surgeries, essential shops etc as you pass?
Whatever your do, just pray!
Of course you don’t have to be creative or inventive, the most important thing is that we just pray! It can feel very lonely at present so share your experiences as much as you are able which will encourage everyone in the tough days ahead.
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
Lord God, As I come to you in prayer I rest on your promises in scripture, that when I draw near to you, You draw near to me. Lord Jesus may my prayers join yours, may the Holy Spirit make me of one mind with you, that I may share your heart, speak with your words and hear your voice. Amen.
Worship & thanksgiving
• Perhaps begin by spending some time in worship. Tell God how much you love Him and offer yourself to Him afresh. Give thanks for God’s provision and His goodness to you and yours. Your inner life • “Inward” - Bring before God the things which affect you personally. How you are feeling, the stresses and strains of life. Don’t be shy about being honest with God. He already knows in any case so the sharing is for your benefit not His! The household of faith • “Around about” - Perhaps pray about the life of the Church. These are challenging times for the wider church but for St George’s too. As you pray about your concerns ask God if He has anything he wants us to hear from Him by way of a picture, word or scripture. Make a note of what God may be saying and share that with the wider church via the church email. The world • “Outward” - Now spend some time interceding for the community in which we live, the wider nation and the world as we struggle as humanity in a time of great challenge and difficulty. Remember to pray in light of the greatness of our God, not the greatness of the challenge!
Thank you Lord for time I have been able to spend with You today, may I never take for granted the privilege I have in coming into your presence in prayer. Take that which I have offered and answer I pray as seems good to you Lord God. I surrender all to your good and perfect will for my life and the lives of others. Send me out now in the power of your Holy Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory, In the name of Christ. Amen
Here are some things you may want to try which are new ways of enhancing your experience in prayer. They are not all for everyone so do or do not - entirely up to you! • Meditate on a piece of scripture for a time and ask God to speak to you through the bible passage. • Make a note of any words, pictures or scriptures which come to you in prayer. Do not be too hasty in interpreting these. Maybe sit with them for a while and/or share with someone you trust to “test”/interpret the words and bring clarity from another source so it is a shared experience of hearing God’s voice. • Adopt a different physical stance (standing with hands open, kneeling, lying face down) to help you to focus on the task in hand. • Light a candle to symbolise coming to God in prayer and denote this as a special time you have set aside. • Write down your prayers on paper and leave them in a special place to symbolise the echo of prayer which continues into eternity long after you have stepped away from prayer yourself. • Use some quiet music you find helps to relax you and move into a place of prayer. • Use the Jesus prayer with some beads or knotted string for a contemplative time of prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”