Circle of Prayer
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”
This past weekend in worship, we began our stewardship focus of learning more about the promises we make when we join or belong to a faith community. Those promises including upholding the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. By intention, the first of these promises is prayer because all the others flow out from or are in response to our prayers.
How frequently we pray, what we pray for, what words we use, or the place or position we assume when we pray is as varied as we are as individuals and as varied as our highs and lows of life. Yet, it is said that all prayer begins with desire. In several places in the gospels, the disciples express the desire to learn about prayer from Jesus.
At a conference center in Green Lake, there is a wonderful piece of artwork celebrating children. I don’t know all that the artist intended for this work, but like most art, we can find our own interpretation in it. This circle of children holding hands in what looks like joyful play could be an image of prayer.
Notice in this sculpture that there is an open space for another to enter and grab the hands of children already in the circle. When we enter into prayer with an open heart and spirit, we leave space in our prayers to include others…we leave space for God’s presence…we leave space for Jesus to join us…we leave space for the power of the Holy Spirit to enter our prayers and transform us.
In a world that is hyper-polarized and divided and where power often has a negative meaning, the power of prayer is one the greatest gifts the church has to offer. I invite us to tap into this power and engage in daily prayer for our church; including our people, our leadership and the possibilities that our ministry holds. May our lives be lives of prayer lived for the sake of others and for the work of the church in the world.