As I continue my sojourn of churches in Barbados this year, I visited the church on the hill St. Silas. We spent a good 15 minutes searching for this elusive place of worship. We drove on and on looking for a sign and those whom we asked told us to continue driving through g through the affluent district of Apes Hill St. James. It was through perseverance and faith that we found the Church and it was worth the search. The refreshing breeze came across the hill and cooled our fevered brows as we alighted from the car. The service was well underway at 9:15. We had called the day before to enquire about the service times and the person informed us that church began at 9:30. Imagine our surprise as we were ushered to our seats in a well packed church. Two reasons accounted for the packed congregation. First they were celebrating the Church’s festival and second one of the members of the congregation was turning 50 years old. He had invited several family members and friends, including the Barbados cricketing legend Desmond Haynes.
For those readers of my blog who are not aware of Desmond Haynes, he was a talented Barbadian cricketer who was one of the opening batsmen for the West Indies cricket team. His was a golden age as the opening duo of himself and Gordon Greenidge saw the West Indies team to many victories during the 1990’s.
Yet I digress, for the theme of this issue is communication. Communication is displayed in the rambling nature and lack of road signage to mark the location of the church. Communication is experienced by the people telling us to keep driving and we will get there. It is further seen as miscommunication by the mixup in the starting times of the church service. Communication is the purpose of the many people who were worshipping. Communication is seen in celebration of the Church’s festival, the gentleman’s 50th birthday and the contribution of Desmond Haynes to West Indian cricket. All stem from the same source: communication is key.
The priest in charge Reverend Desmond Ward used the platform of the Gospel reading which was themed: Lord teach us to pray. Reverend Ward highlighted that Jesus led by example which was more effective than leading by opinion. Jesus was a man of prayer. On various occasions in the four gospels in the Bible, Jesus prays. He prays for his disciples, He prays before performing miracles and He prays in times of trouble and need. Most importantly, Jesus sets aside quiet moments for prayer. He extracts himself from the crowd and busyness of His life and strengthens His Spirit through prayer. We who call ourselves Christians must follow the example of Jesus.
Prayer is communication between God and person. How do we pray? When should we pray? Why do we pray? These questions are pertinent to our spiritual development. We remember that God answers prayer and the hinge of that answer is according to God’s will. So as Reverend Ward implored us, I ask you to take some time out of your busy schedule and pray to God.
We must not only speak our prayer but take time to listen for God’s voice. In order for communication to be successful it must have these elements: a sender, a message and a receiver. In order for that message to be clearly received distractions need to be ignored and focus planted firmly on the sender. Prayer is a conversation between God and person. God speaks to us in a variety of ways: nature, His Word and people in our lives. The key is to listen for God knows what is best.