Keep Praying


'Keep Praying' is a thread of prayer to weave through all we do in our churches and local communities throughout 2021 and to help us stay connected in prayer across our diocese. There will be a different theme for each liturgical season, and 3 simple ways to pray that theme in our personal prayers, our gathered worship and our reaching out to those around us.

Join Bishop Rose as she introduces our Keep Praying Lent theme, Jesus with us Through the Wilderness

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Bishop Rose invites you to join her for our second 'Keep Praying' diocesan prayer gathering from 7:30-8:30pm on Thursday 25th March on Zoom.

The Prayer Gathering , led by Bishop Rose and facilitated by the Changing Lives Prayer Network Team, will be an opportunity to pray together around this theme, reflecting on its meaning for us and using it to prompt and guide our prayers for mission and renewal.

Get a flavour by watching this extract from our ‘Keep Praying Epiphany’ gathering here.

Please register for the Prayer Gathering and you will be sent the Zoom link the day before the event- book here

Keep Praying Lent – ‘Jesus, with us through the wilderness’

‘I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert’ (Isaiah 43:19, NRSV)

4 ways to pray the theme:

A picture to reflect on

A prayer to say

A prayer practice to try – drink a glass of water

A picture to reflect on

Image: Jesus with us through the wilderness,
Primrose Northrop, watercolour 2021

•    Reflect on the image. What do you see? What catches your attention?
•    When we think of wildernesses we often think of physical deserts – hot, arid landscapes – but what might wilderness mean in our context? When our landscapes are green and fertile, where are the wildernesses – the places where it’s hard to survive?
•    When has God surprised you by providing unexpected refreshment in a dry place?
•    Draw your own picture in response to our Lent image.
•    Use the picture as a focus for prayer in gathered worship or at the start of a meeting. Invite people to look at it and notice what God is drawing their attention to. If time allows, invite them to share their reflections.
•    Use the picture on your website or social media pages, accompanied by a few sentences on Lent or on what it might mean to bring refreshing to those who are weary and thirsty.

A prayer to say

Jesus, with us through the wilderness,
Be with us as we wrestle with loss, 
Be with us when we lose our footing, 
Be with us as relentless days cycle round and round,
Be with us as we face uninvited reality and uncomfortable truth, 
Be with us to reveal something new, 
Show us the water flowing right under our feet.

Amen

  • Begin a meeting or time of gathered worship by sharing the prayer together and lighting a candle.
  • Take a line from the prayer each day and reflect on it in your prayer time.
    • What is God saying to you through these words?
    • What does each word / line mean in your life?
    • What might God be calling or prompting you to do?
  • Are there people around you who might need the comfort and reassurance contained in this prayer? Write the prayer in a card, email or message and send it to them, assuring them of your prayers for them.

A prayer practice to try – drink a glass of water

•    Bring a glass of water to your prayer time, sipping it from time to time as you pray. Each time you sip, enjoy the sensation of cool, fresh, clean water and give thanks for the many ways God has refreshed you on your walk through the wilderness.
•    Have a jug of water on the table at a mealtime. Pour each person a glass and pause to pray as you drink together, remembering those who don’t have enough water to drink.
•    Buy bottles of water and give them to people you know who are going through hard times. Stick a label or card to the bottle, assuring them of your prayers that God will refresh and strengthen them.
•    Put a water feature in your window, along with a card displaying a blessing or a Bible verse about God bringing fresh water to dry places.
•    In an online meeting, ask each person to bring a glass of water. Pause at regular intervals during the meeting and give people a moment to take a sip of water and to pray. You could pray in different ways with each sip:
o    Thanksgiving for God’s refreshing
o    Prayer for God to revive us where we’ve become dry
o    Prayer for those living in water poverty
o    Prayer for our world, for sustainable water use
•    Reflect … What would ‘streams in the desert’ look like in our local communities and how might we help them flow more freely?