Each day in August this year we’ve put a prayer for the day on our Church Facebook page. This has been part of our encouragement to people to consider prayer in the restful month of August. Most of the prayers have been chosen by church members who were asked to nominated a prayer that is special to them. We asked a wide variety of members and we received a wide range of replies.
The response was wonderful and insightful. If you have time it is well worth reading the prayers through the facebook page, and reflecting on them.
What became clear is that prayers learned in childhood, or learned at school, often stay with us, and although we may become more sophisticated at times of sadness, or need, the comfort of a childhood prayer is strong. This must be an encouragement to parents, and teachers, to encourage children to learn some prayers by heart.
It was also clear that traditional prayers have a strength and support through the generations. Many of the prayers, even from younger members of the congregation, were written centuries ago and have a use of image and concept which still speaks today to the person praying.
Some of the prayers offered were very short, and clearly were intended to be memorised and repeated regularly. Clearly such prayers have provided some people with strength in stressful situations.
Many of the prayers were notable for their simple beauty, and many of them were prayers of worship, adoration or thanksgiving. This was particularly encouraging when sometimes prayer is seen only in terms of petitioning God.
As we pray for others so some of the prayers sought the prayers of the saints – especially Our Lady. For several members of our church it is clear that they are encouraged and supported by Mary’s prayers.
Clearly people of a wide variety of backgrounds, and faiths, are nourished by prayer and it has been a delight to read the special prayers offered in this simple and enriching initiative. A special thank you to all who contributed.