Personal & Community Prayer
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Daily Office Prayer
In addition to our practice of corporate worship, we encourage people to engage in a habit of community prayer. Every weekday at 7:30am we offer Morning Prayer and at 5:30pm we share Evening Prayer. These two Daily Offices of prayer are found in our Book of Common Prayer. They help to frame our day as we begin and end in God’s presence. We can free ourselves from carrying things that are too heavy by offering them up in prayer and discover that we are set free.
This ancient practice of prayer involves emptying ourselves of thoughts and intentions so that we may become solely focused on God. Every Saturday morning a centering prayer group gathers for reading, study, and practice. The Center for Contemplative Outreach and Center for Action and Contemplation have wonderful resources to introduce and teach centering prayer.
Typically, practitioners seek to pray 20 minutes/day, twice a day. This habit shapes us for the rest of our day. The goal is not to achieve some kind of divine plateau during centering prayer, but rather to carry with us the habit of self-emptying even when we are not engaged in silent prayer.
The Labyrinth is a path painted on the floor of our parish hall to invite us into kinesthetic prayer, a prayer practice of movement. We enter the labyrinth, carrying an intention, a concern, a celebration, or maybe a heavy weight we need to let go of. As we walk, twisting and turning towards the center and never getting lost, a prayer is formed by our feet.
When we enter the center of the labyrinth we are invited to release whatever it is that we carried into God’s care. Sometimes, God places a gift into our now-empty hands. Sometimes, we walk out of the Labyrinth feeling lighter and unburdened. Sometimes, we recognize that our journey in life is just like the Labyrinth, and we must have faith that God knows the way to bring us toward the center.
Parish Intercessory Prayer List
Intercessory prayer is the practice of praying for others and situations in the world to connect our hearts with the heart of our community and God’s love for us all. Intercessory prayer is not an attempt to change God’s mind or stack up enough prayers to “win” the outcome we want. It is an opportunity to be changed as we let go of control and ask God to help us carry what is bigger than we can manage. We let go of expectations of outcome and ask God to help us journey through with our faith and trust intact. Prayer changes us, not God. Prayer deepens our relationship with God and each other.
Each week we update our prayer list to add the names of those who have requested our prayers. On Wednesday, at the healing service, we read the list of names out loud. We invite you to include the names of people being prayed for in your own prayer practice. Even if you do not know the person being prayed for, the practice of saying their name and asking God to care for them on their journey helps us live into the mystical connection of our faith community. God knows each of us and when we trust that God holds us together, then we are One Body whether we have ever met.
Sometimes we need something more than the verbal prayers said for us. Sometime we need to be wrapped in the prayers that have been offered for us with the warmth of a prayer shawl. This ministry has developed over the years into a community of knitters and crocheters who work on simple shawls and lap blankets while praying for the healing of the one who will receive it. We bless the prayer shawls during a worship service and then these are given out to those in need.
Once a month, on the first Saturday, the prayer shawl team has met in the memorial lounge at 10am for fellowship, prayer, and time to knit and crochet together. You may request to receive a prayer shawl for yourself or someone else by reaching out to the church office or the clergy.
You may want to join the prayer shawl ministry team! Whether you are an experienced knitter or a novice, this group will welcome you and guide you along your way. Contact Sue Fowle