Every year at St C’s church is open for 24 hours, for prayer. Volunteers take an hour to pray. What is often remarkable is that we usually have little trouble in filling the night hours, and this year was no exception 12 Midnight to 7am slots were quickly volunteered for.
It’s an enriching time for all who take part. We’ve a couple of blog posts about the time. First of all here is a lovely reflection from someone who took part:
I didn’t think I was going to be able to make my hour as work had built up over the day. I wasn’t sure I would have the time to spare. In the end, with 20 minutes to go before my ‘watch’, something told me to leave what I was doing and go to the church to pray.
I was so glad I did.
I was delighted to see the labyrinth laid out and Mycah there to give me some guidance on how to walk it.
I took my shoes off and spent some time preparing to enter the labyrinth, taking heed of the written leaflets available in church to help.
I finally took the plunge and began my journey, clutching a stone with ‘Hope’ painted on it, not really knowing what to do but trusting that it would all be ok.
As I was walking along the curved paths, it made me think of my life in relation to God…with God at the centre of the labyrinth and me walking along parallel paths, sometimes close to the centre and sometimes further away.
It reminded me of how I was rather ‘thrown in at the deep end’ with my faith, not really having the chance to work it out for myself or come to my own decisions and conclusions about what or how I wanted to believe in.
I made the analogy of finally finding my own way and reaching the centre – with the delight of realising that standing in the centre of the labyrinth and facing the altar, I was completely centred (physically and spiritually) with God.
This was a very special moment and I spent some time standing there looking straight ahead, thinking and praying and realising.
I used the printed material to help me with my prayers – on the way in, at the centre and on my way out – but gradually found my own to add to these, making it more personal to me.
I then spent the rest of the hour sitting in the Anson Chapel quietly thinking and reading some prayers from a small prayer book there.
I went home afterwards feeling so different – its hard to explain – but uplifted, spiritually energised and above all glad that I had done it.
Psalm 122: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Indeed….I was glad when a little voice whispered to me…go and spend an hour in prayer. Leave your worries behind and walk the labyrinth. Glad to enter the Lord’s houseI did so. And I was glad.