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April 16, Archdeacon Penny: Support the call to a week of prayer

Our new Evangelism Enabler, the Rev'd Mike Talbot, is encouraging us all to join together in a wave of prayer in the lead up to Pentecost. We are being asked to focus our prayers so that as many people as possible discover more of God and his purpose for their lives.

So why should we bother, what difference will it make?

Each time we pray either formally, informally on our own or in a group, we are setting aside time to place Christ at the centre of our lives, and if we do it often enough, even when sometimes it feels strange, difficult, or a waste of time – if we keep going - then Christ will become the centre of who we are. We will view things from His perspective; we will become more and more aware of those in need of physical things such as food, clothes and shelter or spiritual things such as a sense of purpose, of being loved, valued and discovering God.

Before we know it we will have become part of the life of Christ ourselves, discovering new ways of showing the love of God through our actions, our stories and our willingness to share our Christ-centred life with others.

I heard a wonderful story the other day about St George’s Kendal who have been offering hospitality to those made homeless by the floods in Kendal. Those who come for food, comfort, shelter and company will be soon able to return to their own homes. The church communities in Kendal have been praying constantly and guess what? People are asking what they will do without the love, security and warmth which they have experienced over the last few months at the church centre; here they have begun to discover more of God through the everyday love and care shown by the church communities in Kendal - how great is that and what a wonderful opportunity to help them discover more of God for themselves.

This is just one of many examples of why we need to bother, we don’t need to be theologians or experts, we just need to intentionally put Christ at the centre of our lives with this particular request in our hearts and who knows what can happen?

If all the Christians in Cumbria take part, not only will Christ become the centre of their lives, but we will be moving towards Christ being visibly present in the heart of Cumbria as well and we shall be on our way to fulfilling God’s vision

As part of this Mike is asking us to sign up to be part of a 24 hour prayer relay on May 11. You don’t just need to be in church, you could be at work, at home, or out and about! There are a wide variety of different ways in which each of us could join in. I am going to sign up for an early morning slot whilst walking Jess my beagle through the woods. Of course we need to go on praying after the wave if we wish to keep journeying towards being part of Christ’s life here on earth.

Penny Driver

Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness


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