Prayer Scripts
from SASRA

 Prayer Disc Script

October 2011

 ASR Gary Sinnamon

 Catterick Garrison


This is Scripture Reader Gary Sinnamon recording the SASRA Prayer Tape for October 2011.

 

For just over three years I have been stationed at what constitutes the largest military garrison anywhere in western Europe, namely Catterick Garrison.  Having a responsibility to reach some 10,000 soldiers, never mind spouses and dependents, brings with it some fantastic opportunities as well as some daunting challenges.  I will briefly illustrate the former opportunities.

 

Opportunities

Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes in Catterick.  Due to the privileged fact that I have little restrictions placed upon what I do, just over two and a half years ago I was able, in conjunction with the Salvation Army Red Shield Centre to open a "drop-in café”.  We open the café on a Monday evening, provide some food, and engage whoever comes in with the Gospel. The Lord has really blessed us and brought a lot of soldiers under the sound of the gospel For example after addressing around 20 soldiers with the Gospel one Monday, a young soldier of Middle Eastern origin asked me about salvation.  Despite liking aspects of the grand narrative expounded by Shia Islamic belief, he was essentially agnostic.  He is university educated and thankfully his agnosticism does not prevent his diligent questioning concerning "truth”.  Truth is in inverted commas due to the fact that this young soldier seriously doubts there is such a thing that transcends the local community outside of objective subjects such as mathematics.  Whilst acknowledging the locally bound nature of much knowledge, I was able to sit with him for an hour discussing the nature of the Christian grand narrative and how its accounting for the diverse nature of reality constitutes evidence towards its veracity.  This led to me being able to present the Gospel to him in its essential form.

 

Not all opportunities consist in conversations with university educated agnostics.  I am privileged to be able to talk to a lot of soldiers’ children about Jesus.  I often take school assemblies at four of the primary schools based in Catterick Garrison.  This enables me to teach hundreds of kids about our God, His nature and His demands.  Under the guidance of my colleague, Mark Reynolds, I am also able to preach the Gospel at the SASRA Goods News Club held every Thursday night.

 

Opportunities also arise by spending time with soldiers in various localities listening to their problems and complaints.  I have been spending time recently with a group of soldiers who are being discharged from the Army for conduct unbecoming.  The consequences of their actions and a certain feeling of ostracism for what they have done leads very naturally into gospel conversation.  They have received the full counsel many times.  I have also been spending time with M.  He is facing very serious circumstances that could see his life changed negatively for a very long time.  I have shared the Gospel with him many times.  He always listens intently and asks very pertinent questions.

 

Opportunities also come by answering questions posted to me by soldiers I bump into: one soldier told me that he saw his girlfriend’s aunty in his girlfriend’s house on Friday night.  I asked him why he was telling me this.  He replied that she had been dead for years.  He then asked me what it meant.  Apart from telling him it probably meant he was drinking too much, I told him what he needed to hear, that Jesus Christ died vicariously for his sins and that he had a choice to make in terms of how he responds to that fact.  I am privileged to preach the Gospel to many people in many different circumstances.  However I am very aware of the fact that this privilege we cannot afford to take for granted.

 

 

In Colossians 4:2-3 the apostle Paul asks for prayer.  His request for prayer presupposes two beliefs.  First it presupposes that open doors for the Word for the Gospel are opened doors by God.  Secondly it presupposes the belief that prayer plays an effective part in those doors being opened.  In closing I would urge you to do for Catterick what Paul requested of the church in Colosse, please pray that the privilege we enjoy in being able to speak to many, many soldiers about the Christian faith would continue and please pray that new doors would be continually opened to the glory of our God.  Thank you for your continued support.