FOR many Christians, prayer is a bit like breathing – it’s just something you do all the time.
If there is a difficult situation, you might say a quick prayer, asking God to help.
If something goes well, you can thank him.
If you see someone in need, you might ask God to bless them, as well as actually doing something to help.
That’s what Christians mean when they talk about a ‘relationship’ with God – just talking to him and listening to what he says, just like a relationship with a partner or spouse.
But there are other times when it’s right to set time aside for prayer for specific things.
This week, of course, we’ve been praying for those affected by the terror attack in Manchester during our services.
And yesterday also saw the start of a concentrated time of prayer for something else. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York asked Christians around the world to pray for 10 days for others to experience God’s love.
After what happened in Manchester, that seems appropriate.
The initiative is called Thy Kingdom Come, and it will see churches all over the country hold special prayer events between Ascension Day – which was yesterday – and Pentecost Sunday, on June 4.
At Botley, Curdridge and Durley, we’ve already had one Thy Kingdom Come event – a Messy Church at Curdridge School, which involved families doing craft, games, food and fun together.
Tomorrow we’re walking around Curdridge, praying for the village as we go.
On Monday, we’re attempting 24 hours of prayer lasting into Tuesday.
Worshippers from the three churches in Botley, Curdridge and Durley will take it in turns to pray in relay at All Saints, Botley.
We’ll be using creative ways to pray, lighting candles, using prayer stations and allowing people time to reflect.
From today until June 3, we’ll pray together each day at midday at the three churches.
And on Sunday, June 4, we’ll have a Pentecost barbecue and bonfire as we think back over the 10 days of prayer.
You’re welcome to join us, and to find out just how powerful prayer can be. There are details of local prayer events on portsmouth.anglican.org/thykingdom.
n All Saints’ Church is in Botley.
n St Peter’s Church is in Curdridge.
n Holy Cross Church is in Durley.
For more information go to bcd-churches.org.uk.