Well I have just been down to the church centre to pray on our day of prayer. I must admit that I am an early bird type of pray-er. I prefer the early morning when it is peaceful and quiet (I also tend to be more awake then!).
The rhythm that we have established as a church for a monthly day of prayer and twice a year a week of prayer can never be set in stone but there are great advantages in having a regular rhythm in the church for this. Regular rhythms allow us space and time to get beyond the busyness of every day life. They allow us space to reflect and receive and grow.
I am certain that one of the reasons that we grow and develop is through the practice of prayer. Prayer is not just a list of requests (although it can include that as part of it) it is an opening ourselves to God. It is an opening to the possibility that God has a mind and a viewpoint and that He wishes to draw close to us to speak to us, to challenge us, to nudge us, to love us.
Prayer opens us up to the possibility that there is something else that might be about to happen.
This rhythm of prayer allows us regularly to soak in a life of prayer. To spend time stilling our minds and our thoughts. To spend time just praying. Not worrying about the jobs and tasks that are needed to be done. God knows how much time is in a day. What we all too often neglect is the more important thing of time with God.
Too often in our lives we are people who believe in God but don’t act out a belief in God. We acknowledge that He is there, we believe in His existence, but we all too often don’t take time to let Him mould us, to form us to live life in His presence.
These days (and weeks) of prayer are vital to us to help us grow a sense of His presence and to let Him to speak to us even into the hidden dark places of our lives. It may not be comfortable or even always pleasant – but it is always loving and always for our healing.
I have been struck how time and again at how when people have taken time out to be alone with God that they have met Him. It has often happened in these days and weeks of prayer.
Someone mentioned that the BBC are showing a series on 5 people going on a silent 8 day retreat. I haven’t had a time to see it yet but I know form personal experience the great value of silence in a life of prayer. I have several times taken a week of prayer on my own and they have been very rich experiences.
If you can’t make today’s day of prayer – then take some time out in the next few days to find a quiet space and let God speak to you and feed you.