Musings From The Manse: Winter 2011
You know, they say that one of the best ways to sustain a meaningful relationship is to keep talking to each other – whether that is just communicating the day’s events, or through a more in-depth conversation. It is an important part of keeping that relationship alive and fresh.
I would say it goes for all our relationships, whether it’s personal or communal – but perhaps it is particularly vital when considering what should be our number one relationship – our relationship with God.
Talking to God – aka Prayer – is the way we let God know how we are feeling – what we are doing – what we’d like to do – what problems we have…. and whilst it’s true that God already knows all of this before we even know it ourselves, God wants us to voice the words, to cry out in times of trouble, to simply let Him know how things are with our soul.
The Prayer-life we have, both as individuals and as a community of faith together, I believe, should therefore be at the top of our list of priorities in everything we do – but is it?
Instead of taking a few moments at the beginning and ending of each day to talk to God, we sometimes forget, or get distracted by the busyness of our lives. Talking to God then becomes an afterthought rather than a priority.
Rather than an on-going conversation with Him during our day, we try to squeeze in a few moments when we remember.
It’s a good job that God doesn’t really mind – He knows the failings of our humanity – but considering all the prompts and resources we have for prayer, both personal and corporate, do we really have any excuse worth voicing?
In Advent of 2009, the United Reformed Church – as part of the Vision4Life programme – began a year of prayer, with a booklet called ‘Praying our days’ – and followed that up this year with its prayer handbook entitled, ‘Still Praying’.
The Methodist Church is also focussing on a Year of Prayer in 2012, with many useful resources being produced.
Within Christ Church itself, there are many opportunities for both personal and corporate prayer. How many can you think of?
Perhaps the most recent development within the Prayer Life of our church has been the commencement of the ‘Prayer Breakfast’ – which takes place on the first Sunday of the Month (normally Communion Sunday). It starts at 9am with a time of discernment, reflection and prayer, led by one of the group. During this time, prayer can be spoken or unspoken – both are important, and as we are ‘amongst friends’, those nervous of praying aloud need not feel under pressure. It ends with the group leader bringing the time of prayer to a close – and the sharing of cereal and toast for breakfast.
Those of us who have attended Prayer Breakfast, I hope, would agree with me that this time of sharing together has been of immense value – and we would encourage everyone who is able to, to come along and try it out, because it’s not the same as being lead in prayer during the actual service.
Imagine if we had the whole congregation of Christ Church gathered together, praying together our individual and collective concerns and hopes for our church, sharing in the fellowship of food together – God only knows what it would lead too!
The next Prayer Breakfast will be on Sunday 4th December at 9am – God and I would love to see you there!
Yours in Christ,