"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

UK General Election, the Christian Faith and my own prayer journey

What an extraordinary and exciting week this is proving to be, for the UK in this election roller coaster and at a faith level both national and personal. Whilst the various elements of the media have been falling over each other to be the first in breaking any news at all during the shinanickins that is the aftermath of our General Election last week,  (and what an exciting climax today as I write this!) I am on a spiritual prayer journey that is proving to be hugely rewarding, and I have also witnessed the biggest evidence one could possibly find in one place of the enormous relevance of the Christian Faith to so very many people in this country. God and His Son are most certainly and definitely not dead!

First my prayer journey. prayer
This morning I met my Prayer Companion again to see where my scripture text I had chosen from Paul's Letter to the Philippians had taken me. In preparation, I first  meditated on verses 8 and 9:

...v.8 whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. v.9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

What a lovely way of starting a day with thinking on these things - and where better than where I start most days - again at the allotment!

 Then I continued the theme from yesterday that I find prayer in hymns. This was brought to the fore convincingly in the service last night for the induction of our new priest as Team Rector and the licensing of our new team vicar. There were wonderful hymns - full of prayerful jewels:

Jesu, Thou art all compassion...
Pure unbounded love thou art;

As the deer pants for the water,
so my soul longs after you...

You alone are my strength and shield,
To you alone may my spirit yield...

Christ triumphant, ever reigning...

Oh Lord my God, when I, in awesome wonder... Then sings my soul....

I could go on and on - our hymn writers have left us a wonderful poetic legacy, and continue to do so in wonderful hymns such as ...

You shall go out with joy
and be led forth in peace.... a really joyful way to end any service.

Finally as I  looked at the Order of Service again I was drawn to the prayer for parish priests by Frank Colquhoun printed out for us to use in praying for these two priests in their vital new ministries ... and I realised that in reciting or reading a prayer such as this there is a real danger, at least for me, that there is no spiritual connection - that it does not become a prayer. For me to be really spiritually prayerful I need to make my prayers from within my mind, my soul, not restricted by the printed word. Does this make sense I wonder? I always fear that too many people read from their service sheets without that real prayerful connection. Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. But I for one know that a service becomes very much more spiritual for me if I am not bogged down in words I do not know or are not familiar with. Surely this is the joy of Taize chants - simple to learn and spiritually meaningful.

Before tomorrow's meeting I have to consider images of God - how I understand Him, what images appeal, which don't, whether I see Him as Healer, Consoler, Saviour, Father, Creator etc...The list is quite long. So hopefully tomorrow I will be able to report back! 

After my prayer session I went over to the International Christian Resources Exhibition being held at Sandown Race Course, near Esher, for the rest of the week. I don't know why I have never been before. So much inspiration, so many wonderful people to meet and chat with, such a strong witness to the relevance of Christianity in this world today.

And while there I called in to the Association of Christian Writers at stand P55. I am after all a member and they had given me my free ticket! It's a wonderful source of encouragement, information, conferences and courses, and  prayer support through the prayer encouragers. If you are Christian and write, whether your work is secular or religious, then the ACW is for you. These photos show our chair Lin Ball and Vicki Howie manning the stand. Plenty of visitors came up whilst I was there - hopefully to convert into members - to be strongly recommended.

More on my prayer journey tomorrow!

No comments:

It's Time you knew - by Transition Rachel at YouTube

Many reasons to love La Gomera



with vapor trails


Total Pageviews