As a particular focus of Lent is a return to Prayer, I thought it might be helpful to remind ourselves of some different patterns of private prayer, drawn from the Church’s rich treasury.
Many find it helps to set aside a particular time for prayer each day, say 15 minutes initially. Find somewhere quiet, where you can be focussed and still. You may wish to light a candle, and to have a crucifix or an icon close by; if you are able, you may care to burn some incense. Spend the first few moments breathing carefully, laying aside the busy-ness and cares of the day, letting yourself come consciously into the presence of God.
This first model uses the acronym PACTS, which encourages us to divide our prayer time into 5 aspects:
Praise: Here we offer God praise and worship for who God is. You might choose a Psalm of praise, eg Ps 150 or Ps 148, or a favourite Hymn of praise, eg Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation.
Adoration: Here we hold ourselves in the presence of God, opening our hearts to him, listening, and offering our love. Repeating slowly a particular verse of the bible is often a way in, eg “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name”, or “Be still and know that I am God.”
Confession: Spend some time reflecting on the day that is past, on times when you have not loved God, your neighbour, or yourself, as God calls you to do. Bring to God your penitence, then ask God’s grace of forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Again, look back on the day that is past, and bring to God your thanks for all gifts of love shared, those whom you have met, all you have been able to achieve. You may create a list of particular thanksgivings for each day of the week.
Supplication: Now make your prayers of intercession, asking God’s guidance, bringing before God particular needs: the world’s; those of your neighbourhood, family and friends; your own. A list of intentions for each day of the week is useful here too.
We’ll look at another method next week.
Every blessing as we journey through Lent together,
Download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Lent 1 Feb 21 2021
The Annual Vestry Meeting will take place via Zoom on Saturday 27 February at 10.30 am. The Zoom line will be open at 10.15 am. A separate email is being circulated with the papers, and more details of how the meeting will work.
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