Whenever I am involved with a small group study, it energises me. It is a real privilege to be able to journey with others as we seek to support each other and grow in faith.
In the past year in the Benefice, we have held a course on Climate Change and considered our responsibility as Christians to care for the creation that God has so generously given us. We have held a SHAPE Course where we worked together to discern what it might be that God is calling each of us to do in his service. And, now, on Tuesday evenings, every two weeks, we are holding a course called ‘The Prayer Course,’ which is being very ably run by two of our church members, Phil and Lisa Anderson.
The Prayer Course has been developed by 24-7 Prayer, which began as one simple prayer meeting in 1999, and is now an international, interdenominational movement. Each week there is a video, some discussion questions and practical prayer activities, all done in a friendly and encouraging environment. No prior experience is necessary; it is a course where we can all learn wherever we are on our faith journey.
The course is divided into 8 sessions covering the following topics, each using a line of The Lord’s Prayer as the basis.
1.Why Pray? “Lord, teach us to pray”
This first session unpacks the importance of prayer and the different topics covered across the course.
2.Adoration: “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name”
This session explores how we can enjoy God’s presence in praise and worship.
3.Petition: “Give us this day our daily bread”
This session unpacks the significance of asking God in prayer.
4.Intercession: “Your kingdom come”
This session explores the power and importance of praying on behalf of others.
5.Unanswered Prayer: “Your will be done”
This session tackles the challenges and realities when our prayers aren’t answered.
6.Contemplation: “On earth as it is in heaven”
This session considers how spending time with God in silence can enrich our relationship with him.
7.Listening: “Give us this day our daily bread”
This session unpacks the practical ways we can tune into hearing God’s voice.
8.Spiritual Warfare: “Deliver us from evil”
This session looks at the ways we can pray for God’s kingdom to come in the midst of a spiritual battle.
Prayer is something that we can all do. It doesn’t require super skills, just a desire and a willingness to engage with God. If you haven’t been along to the Prayer Course yet and have missed the first session it’s not too late! Just pop along to the Orsett Churches Centre on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, the next meeting being on Tuesday 2nd November at 7pm where you will find a warm welcome.
On the subject of prayer, I do encourage you to commit to praying for the COP 26 Summit, in Glasgow, taking place in Glasgow from Sunday 31st October until Friday 12th November, for governments from around the world as they meet together to discern the best way forward to reduce global emissions. You might like to use the following prayer from CAFOD:
We praise your name with all you have created.
You are present in the whole universe,
and in the smallest of creatures.
We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us
as stewards of your creation.
May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they
seek to embrace the changes needed to foster a more sustainable society.
Instil in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions
for the poorest and most vulnerable,
and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.
As ever, take care and God bless,