Prayer

A prayer on entering Church

Time to pray together
Each week on Wednesdays at 6 pm the church is open for congregation members and visitors to come together to pray. Feel free to join the Rector and others for about 30 minutes, whenever you want or need to.

Sunday School Intercessions
The Sunday School children prepare and read the Intercessions on occasions.

What is prayer?
The following extracts are taken from a short article by the Rector - follow the link to read it in full - What is prayer? (.pdf):

The Bible, from its opening page to its last page, is the story of God’s engagement with human life. One of the chief things that it records is that there is constant communication between him and us: that we can communicate with him and he does communicate with us. Prayer is that communication or conversation between human beings and God.

There are two types of prayer – public and personal.

Personal prayer is the ‘coal-face’ of prayer; it is where the deep work is done. The subject of personal prayer often scares people. They can think that they don’t know enough, aren’t holy enough, don’t have enough time, aren’t clever enough, or many other things, none of which are true.

All anyone needs to be able to pray is the ability to formulate a thought, even of the most basic kind, and direct it to the Lord. We can express our thoughts silently or aloud, it makes no difference. In both we speak to God the Father through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.

How long should one take in personal prayer? Well, how long is a piece of string? There are no rules, it is entirely up to the individual. A Scottish Episcopalian writer of the 19th century, George Hay Forbes, wrote that nowhere in Scripture is there any mention of the time the Lord requires of us – that is for us to decide. Anything from a second (saying the name of Jesus, or crying out, ‘Help me, Lord!’ are both perfectly valid prayers) to hours.

But it is by engaging in personal prayer that a person gets to know the Lord, and that a genuine personal relationship takes place. It is also the place where in getting to know him, we learn that we can put our trust in him absolutely, as the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, testify.

Praying for the Christian Departed
‘We Scottish Episcopalians have a long history of praying for the Christian departed. Our practice is founded on the teaching of the Bible and Christian practice from the early days of the Church, as attested to by the Church Fathers. We pray for them particularly at every Eucharist, but also at every funeral.’

This short paper by the Rector explains why we pray for the dead, and why we have a long tradition of doing so: Praying for the Christian Departed in Scottish Episcopacy (.pdf)

 

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