Musings From The Manse: Winter 2009
The start of Advent this year, not only sees most of us frantically preparing for the festive season, but also heralds in the second stage of the ‘Vision4Life’ programme.
The new church year will focus on a ‘Year of Prayer’ and like the ‘Year of the Bible’ that we’ve just concluded, it is an opportunity to think more deeply about our prayer-life, both as individuals and as a church.
It doesn’t mean that we suddenly forget about The Bible – it’s really important as Christians to actively engage in reading the whole of our Bible (even the bits we don’t understand or find a little obscure!) so that we can wrestle with its meaning for us today.
The ‘Vision4Life’ team have produced various resources that will soon be available – something for everyone, you might say. Here’s an excerpt from ‘Praying our days’ – a resource written by the V4L Prayer Group, which is to be sent out very soon, and gives us a place to start…..
Ways into prayer
As we go through life we all learn different things in different ways. Sometimes we learn by watching someone else. Sometimes we listen to a talk on a subject and take notes. Sometimes we look for new information on our own – in books or on the internet.
How do we learn about prayer? Reading books about it is not everything and even if we find good teachers we can’t just copy what other people do and expect prayer to come alive for us. That’s because prayer is not a skill we learn, or an idea we understand, but a relationship we grow into.
In prayer we try to draw closer to God, and learn how to let God come closer to us. Praying in this way is about recognising how God is with us all the way on our life’s journey. It’s also about tuning in to the ways in which God communicates with us and listening for God’s guidance.
Many of us worry that we don’t do this well and never ‘get it right’. That’s quite natural, because we human beings do things imperfectly, no matter how hard we try.
Thankfully, God is expert at dealing with our mistakes and encouraging us to try again.
Let’s use this time to try new ways of growing in relationship with God through prayer.
I believe that the ‘Year of Prayer’ will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore how we pray and why we pray, as well as how we can become more effective as a congregation in corporate prayer.
But it’s not all down to me!!!
If you have any ideas or suggestions that you’d like Christ Church to consider, then tell me about them and let’s explore together!
I will leave the last word to Mother Teresa, who is quoted as saying….
‘Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself’.
Yours in Christ, Helen <><