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Faith

The most important decision any person can ever make is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s the best thing anyone can do.”
Archbishop Justin Welby

Belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is at the heart of our faith. Christians believe that Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus reveals to us that God is our Father, and that God is available to us through the Holy Spirit.

You won’t ever be asked if you completely understand all this. But you are asked whether you believe and trust. This is called faith. It is a different sort of knowledge. It is the knowledge of being known and loved, and of loving in return.

The Christian faith is not a human invention. There are signs of God’s existence and handiwork in creation for anyone to read (Acts 14.15–17). But we believe in the way we do because God has come to seek us out and has made himself known to us.

God has revealed himself through the Bible. God has revealed himself most clearly through the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ. God makes himself known personally to each believer through the work of the Holy Spirit.

When someone becomes a follower of Jesus they are baptised. (Or, if they have already been baptised, they will confirm for themselves the promises made at their baptism.) During this service a series of questions will be asked – in most respects the questions asked today are the same as those new Christians were asked in the earliest days of the Church.

Everyone answers with either a simple ‘I believe and trust in him’, or by reciting the three parts of the Apostles’ Creed, one of the most ancient summaries of the Christian faith.

Being a Christian means responding to Jesus’ invitation to enjoy a relationship with God here on earth and for eternity.

How do we Pray?

Prayer is giving our attention to God in a two-way spiritual relationship where we talk to God and also listen to Him. Prayer is like a child’s conversation with their father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things they need, or to ask for advice or guidance. 

The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, when they asked him how they should pray.

Watch how to pray The Lord’s Prayer in British Sign Language:

Most Christians know the prayer by heart in their own language, and it is used today by every Christian tradition, though there are sometimes minor variations in the wording. It has a place in every Anglican act of worship, and forms a pattern for prayer for Christians:

  • We bless God and pray for our world, our communities and our lives to be shaped by God’s will;
  • We pray for daily needs to be met,
  • For forgiveness for wrongdoings, strength to resist temptation and protection from danger.

Prayer is a discipline – it can be difficult at times, just like keeping fit, being on a diet, or keeping weeds down in the garden. Little and often is best, but don’t give up! No prayer, however inadequate you may feel it to be, is ever wasted or of no value.

Going to Church

 

As Christians we believe the full purpose of our lives is to praise God. As we do so we begin to recognize more and more that everything comes from God and to feel even more thankful and full of praise.

Worship helps to recognize who God really is, it opens our hearts to what is good. It catches us up into the life of heaven. It is something we are called to every day of our lives and is fulfilled, among other ways, when we say the Lord’s Prayer.

For Christians, offering praise to God is a daily calling. We are called to worship not only with our lips but in our lives.

That calling is sustained as we say our prayers, and especially the Lord’s Prayer. However, our daily worship also needs to be sustained by gathering with God’s people in praise and worship on Sundays and on other days of the week.

The Church gathers primarily for worship, to celebrate all that God is and all that God has done, to be drawn into the life of the Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We offer God songs and words of praise in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

We attend to God’s words in Scripture. We gather around the table of the Lord in the Holy Communion. We offer prayers for our own needs and the needs of the world. When we do this we join our prayers – thin and weak as they often are – with the great hymn of praise of the Church in both earth and heaven, in time and in eternity:

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.
Amen.