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Ask and it will be given to you

In 2019, one of the focus points for the Church Support Workers is prayer.

We want to focus on and encourage prayer throughout the family of independent churches that are networked through the Congregational Federation. With this in mind, we draw your attention to Congregational Prayer Hour which happens every Friday between 12 noon and 1pm.

People often find it difficult to pray. There are times when the words won’t come easily; sometimes even silence is too noisy. Try not to worry; prayer is an opportunity to offer all your concerns and hopes to God, who knows our needs before we ask. Some people find it easier to pray if they do a little preparation, perhaps put their hands together, or kneel, or take a few calming breaths or even repeat the phrase Be still and know that I am God. But there are no rules. Everyone can find their own way to pray.

prayerIt might feel that everyone else knows how to pray and when you try you just don’t know what to say to God. Try not to worry; God has made us all unique and so we all pray differently and in various situations. Prayer is the way in which we open up to God so that God can work in us. If you love someone, you keep in touch - prayer is the same. If we love God, we desire to stay in touch. We talk to God and we listen to God. Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God. And conversations can take time, time to say things like thank you ... sorry ... guess what? I love you or whatever else might be on your mind; remember, you can say whatever you like to God. Time is also needed for God to reply. Good conversations take time and patience. God will always reply, although not always in the way we want or expect.

Prayer can also be something we do with other people or churches can meet together and pray together for the fellowship and the issues which affect them. We encourage fellowships to pray together at some time of the week other than when the church meets for worship.This may be meeting face to face and praying together but if that is impossible for you and your church then simply agree a time, once a week, when everyone will pray and so be joined in prayer for your independent congregational church. To begin with, agree on just five minutes but keep it going, have patience and perseverance and PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens.

For those who would like to go further and deeper we can visit and facilitate some guided prayer or spend time discussing and trying out different styles: liturgical prayers, prayer walks, labyrinths, pilgrimage or prayer hunts. We could even provide and plant a prayer tree in your church grounds. We are prepared and ready to deliver prayer days to share, discuss and try out some ideas around prayer together.

Try Praying BookletWe also have some try-praying booklets to encourage personal prayer and can send your church as many as you need. The try-praying booklet is a seven-day prayer guide and is being used by many to pass on to friends and family with a few words of encouragement, ‘Why don’t you try praying for a week and see what happens in your life?’

For more information click on the image.

And finally this beautiful poem might be an inspiration.

Praying by Mary Oliver
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

We hope that you will be encouraged to pray and if you have any stories you’d like to share or questions you’d like answering, please contact us

Johnny & Judith