“And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14
And one of my favourite ‘pray big’ quotations from CS Lewis:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
In these weeks when communal worship and prayer has not been possible we risk losing sight of the fact that those who are in relationship with Jesus Christ are never alone.
I’m thinking of the hermits of the early Christian centuries. Many of them lived alone in the desert for many decades, but the healthiest of them could always name their community, their town or their monastery. This sorted out those who were escaping the world from those who were following a vocation to solitude.
A village or a monastery knew who their hermits were (note “their” hermits). The hermits were a part of their community. And a central part of the life of the hermit was to pray prayer of intercession for the needs of anyone who asked.
Many people phone or write to a monastery of nuns or monks to request prayer. Earlier this week I invited FFF readers to share their prayer intentions and the response was immediate and enthusiastic.
A couple of problems with our prayer, indicated in the quotations above
- We lack confidence in prayer, forgetting that Jesus says: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
- We don’t pray big enough. (refer Lewis above). If we are healthy we will come before Christ as beggars, knowing our dependance on Christ for everything, and asking everything of Christ.
Of course our prayer is not always answered exactly as we hope – but this is because Jesus is wanting to give us more than we ask and works in a way that is better for us and for those we love than the plans and images we carry for ourselves and for those we love.
The emails that accompanied most of the prayer requests I have received have been moving and inspiring. They have included requests for prayer for family and friends of FFF readers who ask us to pray for:
- those who have lost work as a result of the lockdown and who now fear being unable to support their families.
- people asking for prayer for seriously ill family and friends, including two young people facing terminal illness.
- people who are experiencing relationship break-down.
- those struggling with addiction and at risk of losing everything.
- some preparing for and anxious about surgery.
- people who work in business and who worry for those they employ.
- those who live without faith but who know there must be more to life.
- people who have received bad health news in recent weeks.
- people suffering loneliness
- those who experience severe depression
- those who have no-one to remember them in prayer
- those who are grieving the death of those they love.
- young people who fear the future
- elderly who are alone and struggle with poor health.
- Some who are in their last hours preparing for death.
When we pray for these intentions we are not praying alone.
- Send your prayer requests to email@example.com. Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to this list. Take a moment, perhaps 15 seconds, to pray in whatever way you choose for those whose initials appear below.
Let us pray today especially for:
AJ, MLJ, SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP, GRJP, JF, IC, RF, JC, LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG, GC, AW, DM, MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)
SS, BK, JKBP, CP, PP, BW, HT (RIP), SL, AW, DM, MM, PM, LH, TN, SF, SC, FM, T&TT, AR, HF, RF, JM, R&B, MC, MD,
from earlier this week
BH, SGS, JJHB, SJB, BB, MD, MB, JT, RF, SS, SS, PB, SD, JR, SQ, JL, MCSM, PR, MJ, MD,
LECTIO DIVINA FOR SATURDAY OF EASTER WEEK IV (9 May 2020)
The Lectio and Pray to Sleep recordings have been much more popular than I imagined so over the next few weeks I will try to improve the quality of these by getting some real recording hardware. Watch this space and thanks for coping with the low quality at the moment.
Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s church: St Faith’s Anglican Church Ohinemutu, Rotorua, The bell tower is part of the 1914 church – additions were added to the building in 1967. Thanks Ann
Saturday Easter Week IV (15 minutes)
Saturday Easter Week IV (25 minutes)