During Lent we have been looking at some of the tools we can use to deepen our faith and this week we looked at prayer and how it offers us the opportunity to spend time with God. Just like any relationship, spending time in conversation with God can only help to strengthen our relationship. Both listening and talking, this time is a core part of our faith.
Our challenge for you is to use a candle to focus your prayer time for the rest of Lent and beyond. If you take a candle and aim to light it once a day, or as often as you can, and spend some time in prayer while the candle is lit, think about how much prayer time that would mean you would have had before the candle runs out.
- Parenthood – The parable of the lost son gives us a glimpse of the kind of parent God is to us. Prayer gives us the opportunity to share with our Heavenly Parent our joy, our anger, our worry and to allow God to be part of our lives. A parent may intervene, they may advise or they may just listen, but unless we talk, how do they know?
- Reconciliation – The passage from Corinthians reminds us that Jesus came to tell us that nothing needs to separate us from God. We do not need to hold back from prayer because we feel guilty that we are not doing enough of what God wants us to and therefore we are not worthy to enter into the conversation. Paul here reminds us that nothing can stop us, we are reconciled to God
- Active – The parables show us God’s active nature, they show God seeking us. So our relationship with God is two-way, and this is what we should expect in prayer. Sometimes we may hear God – in words, in impressions, through a change in our emotional state. However it comes, are we making the space to make this happen? Through prayer we can receive what God has for us and allow the space and time for God to be active in our lives. We can come to prayer expectantly – ready for God to act in response.
- You are not an only child! There are two children in this story, both are valued by the father and it’s important we don’t forget this. We are made to be one family, so too we can pray as one family. God is parent to all and joins us all together, so when we pray together this gives us an opportunity to be together as a family too. Like all families we may have our differences, but we are stronger when we are together. There is some power to our corporate prayer, so let’s make sure that it is something we use and take seriously.
So as you take on our prayer challenge you can reflect on these things, but also know that at the time you are lighting your candle, other members of the River of Life family may be lighting theirs and we can join together in prayer.