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Building Prayerful Foundations

by Michael Ford last modified 28 Feb, 2020 09:14 PM

At the heart of Weymouth, St Mary’s Church is encouraging the broader community to unlock the power of prayer.

Building Prayerful Foundations

Photo courtesy Geoffrey Murray

Last year, 2 successful 24-hours of prayer saw a “prayer tree” introduced in the church welcome area. Currently, an 8-week course is exploring the deeper meanings of The Lord’s Prayer, with another 24 hours of prayer scheduled for May 30.

And it seems to be working, as growing numbers come into the church at all hours to seek help.

Vicar Revd Jo Haine says:

“Instinctively, people are seeking God’s comfort and help. We want to encourage them into a rewarding, prayerful relationship with the Father.”

Community Chaplain Neil Biles adds:

“The door is open daily, inviting people to come in to spend time in the presence of God, experiencing the meaning of prayer and writing a petition for the prayer tree”, reflecting the national “Say One For Me” campaign.

Building Prayerful Foundations- photos by Neil Biles and Geoffrey Murray
Photos by Neil Biles and Geoffrey Murray

Over a thousand have appeared so far. Each Sunday, church members gather before the morning service to pray for supplicants.

Lay Minister Carl Whitehouse says: “The petitions are heartfelt and even heart-rending. They show a need for God’s help, most valuable in our Sunday intercessions and weekday noon prayers.”

Meanwhile, in the prayer course, participants watch a 24-7 Prayer video produced by Pete Greig and hold small group discussions on such techniques as the four-letter formula PRAY he advocates:

P - “pause” to reflect on what one wants to say and why; 
R - “rejoice”, giving thanks for the good things of life, helped by a switch from a metaphorical microscope to telescope – looking up rather than down (big picture vs small); 
A - “ask” - not “turning up with a supermarket trolley full of [personal] demands” but exploring wider human needs, leading to saying 
Y - “yes” to all being united on a firm foundation of prayer.

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