• James

Food for Thought: Prayer

Each month we’ll be looking at a particular theme drawn from the Methodist Way of Life, a way of living out and applying Our Calling as the Methodist Church. We’ll do this via this mailing, and also via our social media. We’ll be releasing a series of short talks over the course of the month on our Facebook page so please do keep an eye out for those. See a brief interview introducing the idea of our Short Talks series here.

For our first month we are looking at the theme of prayer. In this particularly difficult time, we find that prayer becomes a real resource to help us as we journey through this season of uncertainty. As a wider Connexion we have various prayer resources designed to help you during this period.

Prayer has been a heartbeat in the Church since its inception and is threaded throughout the Scriptures; whether it be Jesus praying The Lord’s Prayer, or Paul writing to the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing”. Over history we see a variety of ways to engage in a practice of prayer; from the more meditative rhythm as seen by St Ignatius of Loyola to the ‘boiler rooms’ of C.H. Spurgeon’s church. There are many different aspects and facets of prayer, with many a debate and essay being written on the topic. However, for me I find a great simplicity and beauty in the prayer of the everyday, and the ability to commune with God in the mundane and well as the hard pressed times or times of joyful exuberance. In this space I find that this John Wesley quotation particularly resonates:

“All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice.” — John Wesley

The President and Vice President of Conference have called this a year of prayer, and you can find out more about that and how to engage in it here. However, as we journey through this month in particular I invite you to reflect on the three questions below:

1. How would you describe your prayer life and why would you describe it that way?

2. In what ways do you engage with a rhythm of prayer?

3. How can you include prayer in your ‘eating and sleeping’ as John Wesley writes?

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