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'Look what God has given you'

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jul, 2020 05:15 PM

Prayer is at the centre of all we do as a Diocese and in despite these changing times, new prayer initiatives are still springing up.

'Look what God has given you'

Laverstock prayer tree

With social distancing and some churches unable to reopen due to the restrictions, our ministry teams have have needed to get creative.

Our Local Prayer Spaces initiative encourages churches to use outside spaces for prayer and whether these are in quiet corners of a churchyard or on a busy roundabout, they are proving to be very popular.

For St Mark's Church in Salisbury, their location provided a gift they just couldn't overlook.

Jo King from St Mark's takes up the story:

"If you want to know what God wants you to do, look at what He has given you!

"Near the busy St Mark’s roundabout local people pass, cut through or simply sit in our garden. We realised it could become a place of prayer.

"Ribbons on trees, prayer requests tied to our porch gates, small plaques with Bible promises, a cross on which to put ‘prayer-ribbons’ and a prayer cairn all offered people the chance to think and pray or be prayed for. Later, when the porch opened we decorated it with quotations and provided helpful literature and ‘Try Praying’ booklets."

And, as Jo explains, not all prayer spaces are now needing to be outside:

"At St Andrew's Laverstock, the prayer tree was created with ribbons and potential prayers provided on the table. It remained in post for several weeks; some ribbons had prayers written on them. Overall the tree caught the attention and imagination of the community, particularly in the aftermath of a tragic murder in the area.

"The church porch became a drop off point for a foodbank collection. One person mentioned she was grateful for the opportunity to 'do my bit' at such a difficult time.

"The Breakfast@9 service has a weekly video that is accessed through the church website, followed by a Zoom discussion meeting on Sunday morning. Sunday evening we meet in the churchyard (come rain or shine!) in groups of 6, socially distanced, to discuss the reflection questions raised in the video.

"Our hope is that some will meet God in a new or fresh way. Like Jacob in his trouble (Genesis 28:16) they will be able to say ‘The Lord is here! He is in this place and I did not know it.’"

Pictures below!

'Look what God has given you'- gathering in LaverstockGathering in Laverstock

'Look what God has given you'- St Mark's Kwame reads Scripture
St Mark's Kwame reads Scripture

'Look what God has given you'- St Mark's prayer tree
St Mark's prayer tree

'Look what God has given you'- St Mark's Amanda praises GodSt Mark's Amanda praises God

'Look what God has given you'- St Mark's prayer visualSt Mark's prayer visual



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