How do we pray?
Just before I started my education for the ministry, I found a lovely flat to rent through mutual friends. The owners had gone off to Australia for a trial run and left everything I could possibly need in order to live comfortably. In the hall cupboard was their scuba diving equipment, including two dry suits.
With their agreement, I borrowed one of the dry suits for a children’s talk at the church where I did my first placement. With the help of an elder, I did a quick change in the vestry and came in, somewhat awkwardly it has to be said, wearing the entire outfit, from head to feet.
This certainly got people’s attention!
My point was this: we can pray at any time, anywhere, no matter what we are doing.
Being 20+ years older now, I probably wouldn’t feel like donning another dry suit during a service of worship, but I would give the same message about prayer.
During times of crisis, church goers and non church goers alike have been known to enter the house of God in order to enter into a closer relationship with him. It is ironic that the coronavirus has made this option unsafe, even prohibited.
But the message of the student in the dry suit still stands: we can pray at any time, anywhere, no matter what we are doing.
The February issue of Life and Work featured as its “Big Question”, HOW DO YOU PRAY? The answers from the five individuals pictured were many and various and arguably cover the range of answers which would be given by a wider trawl of people.
· I have a particular routine.
· I pray on the move.
· I pray spontaneously.
· First thing in the morning.
· Last thing at night.
· In the garden.
· With others before the service of worship.
What’s also worth saying is that we don’t have to put on our posh voice or hunt about for unfamiliar churchy words in order to talk to the Lord. After all, what would be the point of that, when he knows us through and through??
Here I am, Lord.
At home because it’s the safest place to be right now.
But thinking of others who are not with me:
family members I’m really missing
friends I usually see at least once a week
workmates, and neighbours
the people who work in my local shops, bank, library, park, post office . . .
May each of us feel you near us.
Please give each of us whatever we need right now.
We ask this in the name of Jesus
who loves us in spite of our faults
Sometimes lighting a candle helps.