Our President of Conference, Rev Loraine N Mellor, and Vice-President, Mrs Jill Baker, have chosen a theme for this Connexional year (from 1 September), ‘Day by Day – exploring the rhythm of mission and discipleship’. We have had lots of advice on eating healthily and having ‘5-a-day’, relating to fruit and vegetables, so that term is not unusual to us. But what of our spiritual health? Rev Loraine and Jill encourage us to think of a ‘Spiritual Five-A Day’. These are… Pray, Give thanks, Act, Read and reflect and Keep silence. Perhaps we can consider these in this and subsequent editions of ‘The Link’.
In no particular order, let’s look at Pray.
The booklet ‘Day by day’ prepared by The Methodist Church (www.mph.org.uk or 0845 07 8220) is a handy booklet to slip into your pocket or bag. It has suggestions for prayer in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at night. In the Methodist Worship Book there are resources for ‘Prayer in the Morning’ and ‘Prayer in the Evening’ that you may find useful.
In his book ‘The Rhythm of Life,Celtic Daily Prayer’ (London: SPCK, 1996), David Adam refers to the rhythm of life on the island of Lindisfarne as being not only ordered by the tides and the seasons, but also by the daily ringing of the church bell for prayer. The fixed pattern of prayer on the island appeals to visitors, who want to continue the pattern when they return to their homes.
What patterns are in your daily life that prompt prayer? If you are an early riser it may be the dawn chorus, or perhaps the school run, or a radio programme, meal times and coffee breaks.
As Christians, Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) and to “devote yourselves to prayer; keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4: 2-3). There is a sense of persistence and watchfulness. Not only is praying important, but so is the manner in which it is offered.
There are lots of references in the Bible to prayer (for instance, see Matthew 6:5-15, Matthew 14:22-23, Mark 6:46. Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46, Luke 22:39-46, John 17:1-26) and lots of resources are available – we can also use the hymn book and, of course, the Psalms.
As a weekly pattern you are very welcome to join us at the Monday Prayer Group 7.30pm, and theWednesdaymorningPrayerMeeting 8.45am, both in the Church Lounge. Here we offer prayers for our church family, community and the wider world.
May our rhythm of prayer resonate throughout the day!
Psalm138:2 “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your
name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness”.
God bless, Ann