24-7 Prayer Event Feedback
Here are some examples of the feedback we have received about the 24-7 prayer event. If you want to share your own experiences, please email Janet Lee the V4L coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
- At Homewood Road Church in St Albans we had a ‘quiet time’ of prayer starting at 12 midday yesterday. About 12 of us reflected on various prayers, which we had put on a table in the shape of a cross.
- It seemed a wonderful hour of peace in our busy lives and I thought it was powerful to think of all the other churches that were doing something similar at the same time.
- We just completed out hour of vigil at St Andrew’s West Kilburn. THANK YOU so much for the invitation to join – a real blessing to us!
- Thanks for organising yesterday. Although I was not there for the whole session it was lovely to experience the peace of that quiet time praying with the group
- Just to say that (although we did not formally sign up as such, but did use the downloadable material from the V4Life website) we did our 2.5 hours on Easter Saturday, from 12 – 2.30pm. We have a monthly community café (called Manna Café) at the Church, which is always on the 1st Sat of the month, and being on Easter Sat this year I/we decided to make use of the 24/7 prayer year, alongside the café part of the day. We used the prayers and pictures from the website, offered the opportunity to light candles, and some anointing oil (which came from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – allegedly [it says it is from there on the small bottle]; at least I know it was bought in Jerusalem anyway because I bought it in 2004..). People came and went, but overall about 40 people took part, from various local URC Churches in the area and other backgrounds. The most encouraging part was the young people, most of whom wanted to light candles and write prayers (I had post-it notes; orange/red if there was something you wanted to give thanks for, Blue (if you were ‘blue’ about something and concerned about)). We used these prayers (on display) as part of our communion prayers on the Sunday. On Saturday this prompted many of the young ones to ask about prayer; why were we lighting candles, do you have to light a candle to pray, what is prayer – and other subjects, we even had a brief discussion about whether there was a difference between Catholics and Christians (one of them [a cousin of one of young people] is being bought up Catholic) and creationism [one had a friend who was atheist at school, who insists that science is the creator, not God; try dealing with that in a hectic 10-15 minutes, when you are trying to keep an eye on Candle lighting hoping they are not going to burn the place down!]. They quite got into the prayer writing, and understood the idea of the different coloured post-it notes prayer themes better than the adults! Out of the mouths of Babes, eh!?Some of the other people took some of Jane Mortimer’s prayers away with them (about worrying and not sleeping etc). The ‘Saturday/absence’ themed prayers were useful as well. So all in all a very useful spiritual exercise; the material was pretty good. We got to do something they have been talking about doing for a long time – having a prayer time, during the monthly café; and also marking Easter Saturday, which most of them don’t really do (they jump straight from Good Friday to Easter Sunday).
Re my other Church at Claremont: I put up the prayers for each day of the Holy week on the notice board in the Old Hall we have to use in the Claremont premises. I have had no feedback from anyone as to how much use was made of them, but I do know that many people use the hall during the week – and so hope and pray that someone may have found them useful, or at least been prompted to think about the Christian/Easter message, if they read the board – which I think some people do.
Thanks for all the material and work that went into setting this up.
May we all be blessed by the answers to prayer that will hopefully result.
Rectory Rd URC, Stoke Newington
Claremont URC, Islington.
It seemed appropriate in this Prayer Year of the United Reformed Church to be involved as a congregation for one hour on 29th March. Once the planning began it became crystal clear that the word “appropriate” in this context was anything but! The event proved to be challenging, exciting, stimulating, moving and inspiring for the small group of people who took part.
Silence predominated, those participating being led into prayer through listening, looking and thinking. With opening and closing hymns the hour was divided into four sections, separated by singing ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord…’ In the first section, Praise, we were guided into prayer by listening to quiet music. Section two, Confession, focused on the seven deadly sins, each briefly explained in turn, followed by silent prayer and the singing of the Taizé song ‘Jesus remember me…’ In the third section, Thanksgiving, ten very different images, each with a biblical text, were projected onto the screen for one minute each; the first Dürer’s picture of hands folded in prayer and the last a painting of the crucifixion. This brought home the many and varied things for which we have cause to be thankful. Finally, our Intercessions: we were invited in turn to place a night light on a black paper cross lying on a white background whilst introducing a topic for prayer with the words “I invite your prayers for…” There were some unexpected but thought-provoking juxtapositions.
We said the Grace together, then sat for a while in silence reluctant to break the prayerful atmosphere and the sharpened sense of fellowship.
Who can tell what the result of a week of continuous prayer will be? Those of us who took part know only what effect one hour of directed prayer had on each of us as individuals.
Dorothy Postle – St Andrew’s Monkseaton – 8/4/2010