Thought for the Month - Holy Trinity, Prestwood

DH-1 A thought for the month by our Rector, Deiniol.

Last month I challenged you to tell me what your favourite prayer was. To date, four of my loyal readership have replied. So, thank you, you four. What is that number as a proportion of the readership? I do not know. In the hope that rather more than four people read these articles I shall repeat the challenge. And this time I’d like you all to respond.
A Christian without a favourite prayer is like a racehorse without a jockey. Unless you have that way in, that familiar bit of direction and guidance which gets you to God, you are likely to be one of those brave tryers in the Grand National: those horses whose riders have fallen off who gamely try to keep in the race, all puffing nostrils and pushed-back ears, but are ultimately doomed to be unplaced and DNF—Did Not Finish.
Repetition, practice and routine are pretty important when it comes to prayer. Don’t be fooled in to thinking it’s all about spontaneity. Like most things in life, for it to be successful, spontaneity must be carefully planned. It’s a lot easier to be spontaneous when you know what you’re doing.
In this month’s Herald you’ll have been given a prayer bookmark. The point of this is to help you get a bit of routine, repetition and practice into your prayer life. The bookmark gives you a simple guide, a simple way to organise your prayers. It’s a model you can use or amend as you see fit—but one I hope you will find useful.
A great way to start your prayers is to say the Lord’s Prayer. If you never get beyond that, you’ll be doing pretty well. The disciples didn’t know how to pray, so Jesus taught them. And this is what he taught. You can say it fast or slow, think about each line or rattle through it, depending on what you need at the time.
But if you get beyond it, here’s some thoughts. Praise God for his goodness and mercy. Find some things to be thankful for, whatever is happening, and say thank you. It could be something in your life, or someone else’s. You might surprise yourself! Ask for forgiveness—for yourself and for the world. You know what’s wrong. Forgiveness is part of putting things right. Bring your own needs, your friend’s needs and the world’s needs to God. Don’t be shy. Be honest and be bold. Set your sights high! Listen silently in God’s presence. This is important, because prayer is a conversation, so don’t monopolise it. Finishing praying can be tricky, like putting the phone down on a new boyfriend. So you can bring things to a neat close by Saying the Grace. It’s a simple prayer, and it wraps things up nicely.
Every Monday a small group gathers in church at 11.45am to pray for 15 minutes. We’ve started using this model. No doubt we will vary it in time, but why not join us? Why not? You can join us in church. You can pray with us, together, at the same time, wherever you are. You can add your prayers to ours whenever suits you—whenever you can devote 15 minutes to God. Why not join us? And in your 15 minutes, don’t forget to pray your favourite prayer.

Holy Trinity, Prestwood is an Inclusive Church. We are part of the Church of England.
We are in the Oxford diocese and the Wendover Deanery.

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

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