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Teaching Bethlehem Believers

October 2, 2013 by Open Doors in General

Grace, teacher at the BBC

How does a teacher in the West Bank equip students to serve in a world that has been torn apart by conflict? Grace, a young teacher from the Bethlehem Bible College (BBC), shares in a blog about her work.

“The first month of this semester has already passed at BBC. Days go by so quickly, summer has already changed to autumn; the beautiful leaves of the trees are starting to fall and the smell of rain has started to sweep in. New faces have appeared all around the corridors-a total of about 50 students this year-diverse faces, young and old, some mature and some not very much. Praise God that He is able to change and work in the lives of everyone. This is one reason that prompts us to pray, to pray without ceasing, to pray faithfully and from our hearts.

In one of my spirituality lectures, I was discussing with my students about the importance of prayer as the first discipline of the course we’re studying. I could see many guilty faces looking at me. Some of my students perhaps haven’t prayed in a long time, and for others, the concept of talking to God like one would talk to a friend is completely alien. I had their complete attention while I was going through my Power Point presentation slides; but there is technically no point in talking about praying and not actually practicing it. Bring it on!

Towards the end of the class we had a time of prayer where everyone had the chance to talk to God and say anything they wanted in their prayers. Many of these first year students have actually prayed this way for the first time in their lives. When everyone was finished, one of the students commented joyfully, “For the past 23 years of my life, I’ve been praying the same prayer I learned at my church, I’ve been repeating the same couple of sentences for all those years; but I am so happy that I now understand what it means to talk to God.” Needless to say, it has really encouraged me to hear her say that. Now I know that whatever her day-to-day life holds, she can approach God with confidence and assurance, and that she knows He listens to her and that He answers too. I shall keep an eye on her and see how her prayer life further develops.

It is very important to continually remind one another of the importance of prayer. When you live in the little town of Bethlehem, it is easy to look around and get discouraged. It is easy to keep your eyes focused on the circumstances rather than on God. People, things, circumstances and aspects of nature change, but God doesn’t. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Spring, summer, autumn and winter go by, and God is still the same. He is steady in His love towards us; He yearns for us to be close to Him. He desires for us not only to be alive but thrive in Him and through Him. When prayer underpins everything we do, miracles happen, lives change, students grow, walls fall down and Jesus is glorified. When was the last time YOU prayed?”

Father, as we come before You in prayer, we come knowing that we don’t pray enough, that our prayers are limited by the extent of our faith. Teach us to know You more, to explore the length and breadth and height depth of Your love, righteousness, compassion, power, holiness. As we pray, show us Your purposes that we might pray according to Your will. Increase our faith that we might pray boldly with power and authority. As we consider our fellow Christians, students in Bethlehem, we pray that You will strengthen them in prayer and prepare them to live lives fortified by faithful prayer in whatever circumstances they find themselves. As they increase in prayer, help them to see the miracles You make happen, to see lives grow and change, to see walls fall down and to see Jesus glorified. In the name of Jesus who prepared the way for us to enter into Your very presence, a holy sanctuary of prayer, Amen.

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