January 13, 2022
From Pastor Joey
Beginning Thursday, January 27th, I will lead morning prayer beginning at 9:15 a.m. It will be for anyone who wishes to come, last 45 minutes, and have a simple structure. There will be time for silent prayer, joys and concerns, prayers for each other, the church, and the world. My urgency for this time began during Advent while I was preaching about Mary. I do not think her faithful response to God would be possible without a prayer life that was fed by scripture.
When I was pastor in Port Angeles, the congregation used the theologian Henri Nouwen’s Reaching Out for one of our small group studies. I was “caught” by the following passage:
Prayer is the language of Christian community. In prayer the nature of the community becomes visible because in prayer we direct ourselves to the one who forms community… Praying is not one of the many things the community does. Rather, it is its very being. (p. 112)
My translation of the last sentence is “praying is not what we do, it is who we are!”
At that time in Port Angeles, I began a prayer breakfast which has met every Tuesday since then. Since I do not live in Sequim we will forgo the breakfast, but folks are welcome to bring whatever beverage and food they wish.
Here are a few other quotes from Nouwen’s book:
The paradox of prayer is that we have to learn how to pray while we can only receive it as a gift. (p. 87)
There is probably no image that expresses so well the intimacy with God in prayer as the image of God’s breath. We are like asthmatic people who are cured of their anxiety. The Spirit has taken away our narrowness….and made everything new for us. We receive a new breath, a new freedom, a new life. (p. 89)
When God has become our shepherd, our refuge, our fortress, then we can reach out to him in the midst of a broken world and feel at home. (p. 106)
Prayer as a hopeful and joyful waiting for God is a really unhuman or superhuman task unless we realize that we do not have to wait alone. In the community of faith we can find the climate and the support to sustain and deepen our prayer and we are enabled to look beyond our immediate and often narrowing private needs. (p. 109)
Nouwen, Henri J. M., Reaching Out. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975.
I plan to continue morning prayer every Thursday (unless I am away) through June. I do hope that a few faithful ones will join me as we continue to be and become the Body of Christ for the world. Those interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer Concerns that we have:
- For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
- For peace in our country.
- For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.