Watch + Pray

8th February 2024

Christian prayer has a deep and wide range of traditions and expressions. From those words we say each week out loud as part of the Anglican liturgy, familiar and comforting, through to groans and tears too painful to put into words. We may pray as individuals, couples or families as part of our own faith journey outlived each day in the uniqueness of our lives. We also come together as a faith family in led-intercessions, and monthly prayer meetings where we bring to the Lord issues facing our world, nation and local community. In home groups or prayer triplets we may allow ourselves to be more personal and more vulnerable.

Each of these expressions has a role to play in deepening relationship with God, with one another, and with the world. I’m sure somebody else put it more eloquently but for a long time I have understood prayer to be far more for my own benefit than for God’s. Through prayer we listen and align ourselves with the will of God, opening ourselves up to the possibility of being transformed, of being the answer to our own prayers and the prayers of others.

For prayer is not a shopping list. Prayer is communication. It is a conversation. It is a wrestling with the realities and the issues that face us, our world and those around us. Sometimes prayer is anger and lament, at other times thanksgiving and joy, with questions in between.

Prayer, like so many elements of the Christian journey, can be thought of as a muscle. A discipline which needs to be exercised and stretched to strengthen and grow, given the space to reach its potential in our lives. I would encourage you in the coming weeks, as we begin Lent, to pray. Find a rhythm in your day or your week for communication with your creator. The Church of England have produced Watch+Pray reflection booklets for use during this season which you may find helpful. These are available at the back of the church. There is one for adults and one for children. You may wish to use them as a starting point to be creative in your prayers.

Joanne Meharg
Ministry Team and St Mary’s Churchwarden