SPA Bible Study

Bishop Michael MarshallSPA (Scripture, Prayer, Action) – a fellowship for spiritual refreshment and renewal, committed to times of silent corporate prayer issuing from a programme of bible study and leading to action, witness and service. It is the strong conviction of the SPA ministry that such a cell of men and women in all the churches can make a difference at a time of crisis, both for the church as well as for society. Open churches need open hearts – hearts open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit at work in the heart of cities and communities everywhere.
Click on the S.P.A. logo below to go to the SPA website.

The SPA Team at St Stephen Walbrook

. recordings of the current series 

SPA 1 – 15 Sept 2014
Week 1: “Sight and Insight” * To play CLICK HERE
SPA 2 – 22 Sept 2014 Week 2: “Trying To Be What I’m Not”  *  To play CLICK HERE
SPA 3 – 29 Sept 2014 Week 3: “Being Before Doing”  *  To play CLICK HERE
SPA 4 – 06 Oct 2014 Week 4: “Not What You Know, But Who You Know!”  * To play CLICK HERE
SPA 5 – 13 Oct 2014 Week 5: “What’s In A Name?”  *  To play CLICK HERE

. recordings of the latest series called  “GOD’S SUCCESSFUL FAILURES”:

SPA 1 – Summer 2014
Week 1: “Making a Name For Ourselves”   *   To play CLICK HERE
SPA 2 – Summer 2014 Week 2: “A Sign of Contradiction”   *   To play CLICK HERE
SPA 3 – Summer 2014 Week 3: “Redeeming Our Failures: Reaction or Response”   *   To play CLICK HERE
SPA 4 – Summer 2014 Week 4: “The Redirection of Our Failures”   *   To play CLICK HERE
SPA 5 – Summer 2014 Week 5: “Let Down and Raised Up”   *   To play CLICK HERE
SPA 6 – Summer 2014 Week 6: “Power and Powerlessness”   *   To play CLICK HERE

. recordings of the latest series called  “THE FREEDOM OF A FULFILLED LIFE”:

SPA 1 – Lent 2014
Week 1: “Prestige” * To play CLICK HERE
SPA 2 – Lent 2014 Week 2: “Substitute Gods” * To play CLICK HERE
SPA 3 – Lent 2014 Week 3: “The Delusions of Power”  *  To play CLICK HERE
SPA 4 – Lent 2014 Week 4: “A Foundation for Life”  *  To play CLICK HERE
SPA 5 – Lent 2014 Week 5: “A Personal Touch”  *  To play CLICK HERE
SPA 6 – Lent 2014 Week 6: “Free At Last!”  *  To play CLICK HERE

Please note: the weekly SPA series are held on Mondays. The service starts at 1.00pm promptly at St Stephen Walbrook, London EC4N 8BN and lasts 30 minutes.

BIBLE STUDY – with a difference!
The Holy Spirit inspired those who wrote the scriptures. The Holy Spirit is also in our hearts inspiring us and teaching us how to read and to listen’ to the words of scripture. (Thomas Keating: Introduction to Contemplative Christianity) Bible study is not only a process of the mind – important though that is in uncovering the literal and contextual meaning of a particular passage. That approach is fine as far as it goes. The trouble is that it does not go far enough! Reading Holy Scripture should enlighten the mind, but it should also warm the heart and fire the will. When the Risen Christ taught the scriptures to the disciples after his resurrection, we read that ‘he opened their minds to the scriptures.’ (Luke 24:45). However, we also read how Jesus ‘warmed the hearts’ of those two disciples on the road to Emmaus and turned their lives around. (Luke24:32) In preparation for times of silent contemplative prayer, whether in a group or alone, it is a good and helpful practice, after invoking the Holy Spirit, to read slowly a passage of scripture, – preferably aloud and even two or three times. In this way, quite frequently a phrase or even just a word seems to lift off the page and speak to us with a particular and immediate significance. In turn, this can carry us into the time of silent prayer, recollected and resting in the presence of Christ.

We live in an age when we are all bombarded by noise, words and information. Throughout the ages, but perhaps especially today and not least in our crowded and noisy cities, men and women have sought retreat into spaces and places of quiet – away from the ‘city’s crowded clangour’ – for what is sometimes called a ‘quiet time,’ when they can access the deeper well-springs of life, beneath the superficialities of busy and demanding lives. Undertaken as a daily commitment for twenty minutes or half-an- hour, such a practice of bible reading, leading to ‘centring prayer’ and contemplative prayer can and does transform lives. For days begun in this way, are no longer just ‘one damned thing after another’ but rather are overtaken by direction and purpose as part of God’s loving providence for us. Gregory the Great explained this whole Christian contemplative tradition as simply “resting in God,” or as the psalmist puts it: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46)

The ministry of SPA is committed to enabling the many thousands of people working or shopping in the area to find an oasis and space for quiet, reflection and prayer. Furthermore, we try to ensure there is a time of prayer, praise, biblical reflection and silent corporate prayer along the lines explained above. This is open to people of all traditions who are seeking a deeper spirituality. SPA is also anxious to be available to clergy who might wish to explore or to teach this alternative tradition of experiencing God.

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