Switching off and tune into God

My friend Jon Butler blogged a few months ago about escaping from technology to spend time with God here: http://jonbutler.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/time-to-hear-god-speak-as-ifast/  I think this is a great idea.

Often, for me; tasks at work may overflow into an evening or weekend as I am trying to research a particular software for projects I am doing at the moment, or using social media, or looking at comedy, news and other things the internet has to offer.

This often means some stuff get put aside by all the things the digital age has to offer.

I have been thinking, something I think helps with this, is a some sort of zone or isolated spot away from everyday routine.

Back in Portsmouth there’s a cemetery near my parents thats quiet for walking through, but also Old Portsmouth and its seafront makes a good place to pray and walk around.

This a really idyllic place to spend quiet time, this is Ashurst in the New Forest, its a small town on a main road, not much more than a few shops, couple of takeaways, a pub close and a hospital I used to work at, down this little lane on the left…

This is Ashurst’s camp site, a place I spent time camping as a teenager, during the winter its shut, and its used as a drive in Christmas tree store about this (beginning of November) time of the year, and certainly also it seems when Google took these pictures as these forest ranger chaps are busy (click to get a better view)  you just drive in the entrance, pick a tree and stuff it in your car. 🙂

The truly best part of this, is the woods you can walk around and places to pray in solitude during my lunch break back in the job I was doing in 2008.

Lately despite being last couple of years in Jerusalem, I find myself just indoors on Saturdays just wanting to relax, although its Shabbat (Saturday is day of rest for Jewish culture) and until a month ago, it gets fiercely hot during midday in a climate like this, I really need to get out and find places of quiet to contemplate and seek God I think…

This my balcony on my flat.  I really like it, I think from now on this is the perfect place to sit with some coffee and pray before leaving the house in the morning.  Actually my old room mate was a smoker so this part of his routine was being out here.

Would be interested from anyone on suggestions on how you cope with quiet places to spend time with the Lord…

Worship event on the Haas Promenade

The Haas Promenade, close (1.5km uphill from my house) also known as the peace park had a special event on the sunday before last.

A worship event was on with several churches and Christian organisations jointly together.   There was a speech by the Mayor of Jerusalem, and one of the city’s chief Rabbis, and this was filmed on God TV.  There was speakers from different Christian charities here and also a few Arab believers too.

This was a really good event, although I had to leave part way through, as it overlapped with the normal service at my regular church at 6pm.

praying with a genuine heart or as a Pharisee

Read something interesting this week that asks Christians who are critical of Obama’s administration.  It may be about the Middle East conflict, the NY mosque or overhaul of the US healthcare system.

Obama has been rumoured to have Muslim background, as there is some uncertainty over his background and if he is even a US citizen or not.  To be honest I have seen all kinds of people in the media, even some of the British Royal family taking interest in Islam.

As a Christian I think this is more to do with a spiritual darkness that is blinding people from the true Messiah Jesus.

This week I read this very challenging article really drives it home if as Christians we are praying for our leaders who just wanting to be Pharisees wanting something to moan about.   The point about seeing  a wicked politician like Yasser Arafat changed really quite moved me.


In times of the bible, things happened to leaders of nations that changed their hearts, look at at Persian leader Cyrus the Great who took pity on the Jews, see Ezra 1 in the Bible.

I think our modern day leaders can easily change from good to bad or vice versa, for that reason prayer is needed for them whatever circumstances there could be.

“Never be silent” – the modern day Watchmen of Jerusalem

Last sunday morning I went on a prayer walk on the walls of the old city.

Bart and Joan Repko have been doing this walk 6 days a week (except Shabbat) for some years now, alternating between each half of the edges of the wall, as you can start from either side of the Jaffa gate and finish just behind the Al Asqa Mosque.  You can get a ticket for 16 Shekels and its valid for two days so you can do the other half the next day, just need to start just inside the Jaffa gate.

The aim is to pray over this city and for the frequently volatile atmosphere here.   Often when we are here we can hear the sound of the minarets (Islamic prayer towers) boom out loud voices from different parts of the city.

These steps are quite hard work especially with the fierce midday heat here and it is quite easy to slip as they have hundreds of years of wear…

My friend Marcel is often on this tour.   Check his blog here.

Stunning views into and out of the old city are guaranteed….

Its quite amazing doing this walk as you get to see over into yards, gardens and roofs of all kinds of places.  People in both Arab and Jewish cultures use their roofs as yards, and usually characterised with satellite dishes, old sofas, solar panels (used to run hot water tanks) and various junk.

Gardens are quite popular, whether its a handful of hanging baskets or something quite a bit ambitious, here this person has their own vineyard, think it belongs to an Arab Christian.  I often see orange and lemon trees too.

The group’s name ‘Never be silent’ is taken from Isaiah 62 : 1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”

See more about the Never be silent old city prayer tour walks here: www.neverbesilent.org/en/