Mornings for Prayer and Reflection
When Jesus' disciples see him returning from his prayers one morning they ask him "Lord teach us to pray". Jesus' answer is what we call the Lord's Prayer and its profound simplicity has inspired the prayers of Christians through the centuries. Prayer is vitally important for Christians because it's the most significant way in which we communicate with God and maintain our relationship with him. We know from our human experience that all relationships need to be nurtured if they are to flourish. We've no doubt had the experience of a friendship that has withered and died because we haven't been able to meet or communicate regularly; and so we know that the best human relationships are those that are nurtured and kept alive through regular communication.
It's an enormous privilege for us to have a relationship with the Living God, the creator of the universe who has made us and loves us and so we need to nurture our relationship with him by allowing our prayer life to flourish. Of course, much of this is done privately in our personal prayers and devotions, but because we are members of a faith community, it's important that we also pray together. Prayer with others can inspire and inform and can encourage us to take risks by trying something new.
Each Tuesday morning some of the faithful prayer warriors of our church gather to pray for the needs of the world and for individuals. This weekly gathering is an important feature of the spiritual life of our church community and is a relaxed place where prayer needs are shared and prayed for.
As a follow up to the recent series on evening services based on the Lord's Prayer, the Spiritual Growth group are planning some Mornings for Prayer and Reflection each based on a petition of the Lord's Prayer. The first of these was on Saturday 15th October 2016 with the theme "Our Father, who are in Heaven, hallowed be your name".
There were 5 different prayer activities to try:
- Reading prayers written by others
- Creative prayer – making something as you pray
- Silent prayer – maybe using a candle as a focus
- Prayer using images and pictures
- Active prayer leading to a practical response
On each prayer morning people will be able to try as many of the prayer activities as they wish and spend as long as they want. For example if you feel most comfortable in praying by using prayers written by others you could 10 minutes on that activity followed by the creative prayer which might inspire you to be more creative in your own prayers. You might be able to give an hour or more to prayer that morning or you might only be able to pop in for a few minutes. But I would encourage you to come for some time if you possibly can.
So I urge you to review your prayer life, think about how you organise your personal prayer life, join the Tuesday morning prayer group when you can and make an effort to come along to the prayer and reflection mornings.