Hands together, eyes closed?
Think of the apostle Paul – what springs to mind? That he didn’t think women should be permitted to speak in Church? That he had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus? He was a prolific writer of letters? Was imprisoned for his faith? Belonged to the tribe of Benjamin?
All of these things are true of Paul. But here’s another – he was a pray-er.
Thanksgiving: “I thank my God every time I think of you.” (Philippians chapter 1, verse 3)
Petition: “Pray also for me, that I may be granted the right words when I speak, and may boldly and freely make known the hidden purpose of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador – in chains. Pray that I may speak of it boldly, as is my duty.” (Ephesians chapter 6, verses 19-20)
Intercession: “… I urge that … intercession … be offered for everyone, for sovereigns and for all in high office so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life, free to practise our religion with dignity.” (1st Timothy chapter 2, from verses 1-2)
Not everyone is as confident as Paul was in their ability to pray, nor in the sheer power of prayer.
From tomorrow (Ascension Day) until Pentecost (31st May) – 11 days in all – Christians of different denominations around the world are being urged to join the movement known as Thy Kingdom Come and to pray for people to come to know the Lord Jesus and for the empowerment of the Spirit to enable us to be effective in our witness. In so doing, we should ourselves benefit, through a deepening of our own relationship with Christ.
There are lots of different ideas on the website, which are as varied as tying 5 knots in a piece of string – a reminder of the 5 friends you commit to praying for – to using the app on your phone.
Last year we opened our doors in Meadowside St Paul’s in order to take part in this event.
This year we must do it in our own space, without the special atmosphere which we may associate with the sanctuary.
Even if you don’t want to follow any of the suggestions given, a little extra prayer from each one of us will surely go a long way.
“Peace to the community and love with faith, from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with undying love.” (concluding verses from the letter to the Ephesians)