REV RICHARD ENGLAND: It’s amazing to see how many people say they pray

Christians taking part in the prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come
Christians taking part in the prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come
Jean Crabb with her UGG boots which have a water stain after she wore them out in the rain      ''Picture:  Malcolm Wells (180516-8907)

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The vicar of Holy Rood and St Edmund’s Churches, in Stubbington, on reaching out beyond ourselves

Over the next week, our churches are participating in Thy Kingdom Come, an international, cross-denominational prayer initiative launched two years ago by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

So why is prayer so important?

It’s always amazing to me how many people say that they pray. The number is far higher than those involved with any kind of faith group.

Something about being human makes us reach out beyond ourselves in hopeful communication, even if we’re not sure who’s on the other end of the line.

Prayer is the communication necessary for a deep relationship with God. In any relationship – marriage, family or friendship – good communication is essential. It’s good to talk, as the old BT advert used to say.

The same is true of a relationship with God. Whether it’s using set prayers from a prayer book or just chattering away about whatever’s on your mind, learning to pray can be one of the deepest joys of life.

The Psalms are the prayer book of the Bible. In the Psalms, you find every human emotion lifted up to God in prayer.

This reminds us that you can talk to God about anything; you don’t have to put your best face on.

During Thy Kingdom Come, Holy Rood Church will be open most days for anyone to come in and pray.

We will gather to pray every morning from 9am-9.30am.

In the evenings, we will gather across the parish from 7pm-7.30pm – at Holy Rood on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at St Edmund’s on Tuesday and Thursday.

Finally, we will say the Lord’s Prayer each day at midday.

If you want to join in, simply set a reminder on your phone. Then, wherever you are, stop and take 30 seconds to pray the Lord’s Prayer, reminding yourself of God’s loving presence with you.

In prayer, we experience the love of God for us and those around us. We seek the good of our communities, lifting each other’s needs up. We receive courage and comfort to follow Jesus, whatever life may hold. My prayer for you is that you discover the joy of prayer for yourself.

Holy Rood Church is in Gosport Road, Stubbington.

Call 01329 661154 or office@croftonparish.org.uk. Or go to croftonparish.org.uk.