Getting up early to pray might be a laudable thing to do, but when the alarm rings and you haven't slept much, it can be the last thing on your heart. Today is the first shot at having a dedicated prayer day in the life of the church. I don't how many people have remembered it, and it probably didn't help that it wasn't mentioned on Sunday, but we're making a start.
I would say we've planned, but the truth is it's my idea and I've suggested a plan of having three times for corporate prayer through the day. The first was at 7:00am, the second will be at 9:30am (although I think some might come for 9:00) and the third will be at 8:00pm. The two morning times are half hours and the evening one a full hour.
My hope is that each month will have a theme or a focus that will shape part of the prayer time together. Today the theme is simple: Unless the Lord builds the house the labourers labour in vain.
Other times I hope we will focus on things like those who work in retail or those in care services, education, the business world, etc.
This morning three of us gathered at 7:00am, if you can call three a gathering! We had a great time. It was wonderfully quiet and peaceful as we shared our hearts with God. In fact I think it was probably the most peaceful it's ever been in church! Sometimes the noise from outside filtered in through the open door, but that simply served to remind us that we are in the world even if we're not part of it as Jesus might say. And yes I'll be honest I was expecting to be alone, so having two people with me was a great encouragement.
For next month I hope to be able to provide some basic information the Sunday before, just to keep everyone in the loop. But we really ought not to need too much paperwork in order to be able to pray.
All this reminds me of something I have buried away somewhere in my study about the differences between a church that is committed to prayer and a church that prays. While the differences might be obvious I've yet to work out a successful plan for making the journey from one the other, from praying to a deeper commitment to prayer. And that's as true for my personal life as it is for the life of the church. It's far easier to not pray than it is to pray. As the sign outside one church read:
Why pray when you can worry and take tranquillisers!
Speaking of which, sine I don't take the pills I'd better get to praying again.