Dear Christ Church,
The church, the world, our nation, our households, and ourselves—we need prayer more than any other time in recent memory. In the earliest church, “the disciples devoted themselves to . . . prayer” (Acts 2:42). We are too, for the next few weeks of our DEVOTED series.
Beginning to Pray is my favorite book on prayer. Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not just for beginners (though, to be honest, I still feel like a beginner!). In this profound little book Orthodox Archbishop Anthony Bloom reminds us that absence is the beginning of prayer, an absence of peace, health, unity, justice, joy, and even the perceived absence of God. Where do you feel absence in your life, our local koinonia, the nation, the global church, or our world? Let’s allow those stirrings to be not so much a cause of anxiety, as a prompt to prayer. We can trust in the strong name of Jesus, and declare with the multitudes from every tribe, tongue, and nation “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (Rev. 7:10).
Here are 4 ways that we, Christ Church, can grow as a people of prayer over the next 15 days:
1] 24-hour Prayer Vigil. Let’s join together in unified corporate prayer for our church, the nation, the suffering, and the world. From Friday evening, Oct. 30th to Saturday evening, Oct. 31st we will keep the Benedictine hours, taking shifts to pray together. This is our third time to do this since the pandemic started, and it’s one of the sweetest times I’ve experienced with others, coming together with one voice to cry out to God. See here for how to sign up!
2] This Sunday in our DEVOTED series we will talk about Common Prayer, forms of coming together as the body of Christ to converse with the living God.
3] The following Sunday in our DEVOTED series we will talk about Personal Prayer, what it is and how we can meet God in our own prayer life.
4] Use our DEVOTED devotional guide. Just this morning the Vestry and I used it to begin our time together. It’s so good, and not only for our own time with the Lord, but also great to do with one or more others!
One more thing . . . if you want to re-watch the amazing presentation on Holy Eucharist Dr. William Cavanaugh did for Christ Church, you can catch it here. I’ve had the privilege of five viewings, and am still learning from it.