Prayer is none other than an expanding of our hearts in the presence of God
– John Calvin
If you’ve been involved in the church for a while, it is likely that you have heard a sermon on prayer, been asked to pray, and have heard others pray aloud. What we take away from these experiences of prayer form our understanding of how to pray, who can pray, when to pray, and the definition of prayer itself.
Prayer involves both speaking to God and allowing God to speak to us. The corporate practice of prayer is one form of communion with God, where we come to God in humility and honesty with ourselves and our faith community. By praying together, we encounter God in the tangible love and care of the community who journeys with us.
Individual prayer is an intimate communion with God, who knows us and knows our every weakness, and loves us still. Prayer can take many forms but is always an invitation for us to hit the pause button on our own agendas of life and place ourselves in a space where we can realign ourselves with God.
If we understand Sabbath to be an exchange of our daily rhythms for holy rhythms, then prayer becomes the threshold to Sabbath-keeping. Prayer can function like a pause button on our anxieties, fears, concerns, and troubles. It is key to entering into a Sabbath rest, allowing us to let go of those things which bind us or keep us stuck.
Sabbath, like prayer, can be both individual and communal. Sabbath offers a space for coming together in celebration of the communal bond we have in Christ. The practice of prayer in community is an opportunity for reconciliation with God and with one another so we may go back into the world to bear witness to God’s reconciling love.
We will offer our prayer vigils in the prayer garden beginning in April, and I hope that you will join your us for a time to pause from anxiety, fear, concern, trouble, and encounter God.
Third Thursday of the Month at 7pm
The Prayer Garden