With true stories to prove that grace conquers guilt, Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts’ The Grace Outpouring tells of God's 'outrageous blessings' poured out on Ffald-y-Brenin's house of prayer.
There’s no shortage of spiritual growth books that tell you how to organise yourself, your group and even your whole church for growth. Refreshingly, Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts’ ‘The Grace Outpouring’ isn’t one of them. While there are plenty of practical things to be learnt from how they established a place of prayer and retreat in the Welsh hills, this isn’t a book of organisational tips, leadership advice or motivational guidance. In a way, it’s almost anti-admin in its sense of prioritising what you need to create the conditions and opportunity for God to break through.
And God does break through for one clear and obvious reason; the visionary founders of Ffald-y-Brenin (The King's Sheepfold) are prepared to let him. This is ‘Grace Outpouring’ that the hilltop community have witnessed since they moved onto the ground where a sixth century Irish monk, Brynach, found his place of intercession and prayer for the local pagan and heathen community. The book tells how the community’s insistence on speaking blessings over everyone who visits – Christian and not, continues Brynach’s tradition in what is primarily a house of prayer. “God’s desire to bless is absolutely outrageous,” says Roy Godwin. And they’ve seen the results in their guests and in the local community. “We’re the inheritors of a remarkable spiritual history,” he writes.
This is a book written with extreme modesty. The authors make no claim for themselves, but merely retell their stories of grace experienced, and grace observed in the changed lives of others. It’s a refreshing redirection from searching for the effects of grace and faith, to watching for the source of all grace to turn up in person; which He regularly does. Even amid all the evidence of this outpouring, Roy takes no credit: “I don’t put a huge value on these astonishing events… they can encourage our faith, but our faith isn’t in these things… we are seeking His face, not his manifestations.” I don’t think ever read anything like this in any other spiritual growth book.
This is also a surprisingly easy book to read. Like grace itself, it makes no claims on the reader and imposes no conditions. The authors simply tell their story and the stories of the people who visited Ffald-y-Brenin and found themselves bathed in grace. And it doesn’t make you feel guilty if you’ve never had that sense of grace outpoured and God experienced.
Thinking about that yearning for a sense of God’s presence, I’d give ‘The Grace Outpouring’ its five stars for this short paragraph alone: “If you feel that cry welling up within you, I want to suggest to you that the Father himself has put it there. Because that’s what he’s doing, right at the moment, with his people. If that’s your cry, you are echoing the cry of the Holy Spirit who teaches us to pray even when we don’t know what to say.” Doesn’t that make you feel better already?
February 12th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison