On the first and third Wednesdays of the month people from across the Leeds Sanctuary communities gather for Lunch and Prayers. It’s what it says on the tin – we pray together and then eat our lunch together. It’s a quiet and reflective space where prayers, psalms (from the Bible) and silence create a restful and joy filled moment in the middle of the week.
Prayer is at the very heart of Christian discipleship and in A Methodist Way of Life, the first station is the Pray station with the commitment “we will pray daily”.
For me, prayer is joining in an ongoing, worldwide, multi-stranded conversation with God that has been going on since creation was formed, and will go on for eternity. Whenever we pause to pray, on our own or with others, we begin another strand of the conversation with God. What is amazing is that in our strand of the conversation God is completely present to us; open to hear from us and ready to speak to us, and at the same time God is equally present to everyone else who is spending time with God. Each strand of conversation with God, each moment and time of prayer, is different. We offer prayers in so many different ways; some will be spoken, some will be silent, some will be voiced; others will be in our hearts or minds; some will use prayers written by others; many will use prayers using our own words, images or emotions. Each time of prayer will offer different sorts of prayer; some of praise, some of asking for God’s help, some of saying sorry, some of thanksgiving for all God has done. Each time of prayer is unique and different; some last a moment, some go on for a long time but each join the beautiful ongoing stream of prayer that holds the people of God in relationship with God.
One of the questions I’m often asked is, “Why should I pray with others, I can pray anywhere on my own?” My response to this is that when we come together to pray, we weave those strands of prayer together. Our prayers are no longer just us and God talking together but us and God in company with others. In weaving the strands together the prayer is richer; the conversation is one where we can sense more of what God wants to say to us and share that together; we can listen together to what God is calling us to hold before God; we can sense more of the Holy Spirit when we weave our silence together; others can pray for us the prayers that we cannot find the words or strength to pray ourselves. At its most basic, when we pray together, we have more perspectives and can therefore glimpse more of God and offer more to God.
You might be reading this and thinking, “You’ve got it all sorted David” – fear not, I haven’t! I don’t find prayer easy and can be easily convinced that others would be better praying without me! Yet the more I follow Jesus, the more I am reminded that we are called to live out faith together and praying together is part of that. I’m learning that to pray with others is to weave those strands together and in doing so with God we are blessed and a blessing to others who we pray with.
So why not come along to Lunch and Prayers, 12:30pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s of the month at 43 The Calls to share that blessing as part of Leeds Sanctuary. Find the upcoming dates on our Events page.