Let us Grow in Prayer
A routine of prayer is the heartbeat of the church and the inner life of our faith.
This month’s message is simple: Let us grow in prayer.
When I was at theological college, the then-principal said to us would-be-clergy, “if I am going to try to get you to do one thing while you’re here it’s this: to get you to make a prayer shaped hole in your lives.” He succeeded. I strive to begin every day with a time of prayer, normally this happens in church as I say Matins, but when I’m not in church this might be at home or out walking the dog. If I don’t do it, I miss it. For prayer to be beneficial it needs to become a habit. If you want to grow in prayer, you need to set aside some time to do it. The danger is that sometimes we can slowly slip out of the habit; but, like realising you’ve been busy and missed a meal, a healthy habit of prayer will bring you back on track.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, was once asked the simple question, “What is prayer?” He responded in his wonderfully accessible and yet profound way - “Prayer is simply putting yourself where God can get at you.” I am convinced that before we begin explaining the doctrine of our faith to potential converts we ought to teach them about the reality of prayer and how to do it. It is prayer which is the heartbeat of our faith and life in God because, as Martin Luther once said, “you can no more be a Christian without prayer than be alive without breathing.”
So this month’s message is really just an invitation to pray. A church that prays is a church that grows both in number and in depth. I encourage you to reflect on your spiritual life and ensure you make the space for God to find you in the course of the day. I would love if more were able to join me for prayer in church during the week and I invite you to do so when you can (although I fully realise that this is not possible for most of you). But wherever your week takes you, work on the habit of prayer. Be assured of my prayers for you all, and if there is anything you would like to know about how, when or where to pray, then please get in touch.