June 2022 Magazine Letter
Email: Mary Henley
I loved Elsie Baum’s art exhibited in the church in March, possibly all the more because I struggle with any artistic expression myself. I gave up a long time ago. A friend whose gifts lie richly where mine are lacking once observed to me that whatever age we are when we stop drawing or painting, then our skills remain at that stage of development. Hmm, certainly true of me………
I wonder if the same is true of prayer. Some of us may have been grounded in prayer as children: ‘Thank you for the world so sweet’. When at secondary school, I went along to some Christian Union lunchtime meetings where I was briskly instructed to use the book of Acts as an aide memoire to prayer:
A = Adoration C = Confession T = Thanksgiving S = Supplication
Not a bad guide I have found and I have fallen back on this at times during my adult prayer life. I wonder what has or does still work for you? What is your prayer story?
‘Prayer’ is a huge topic! The church, in all its forms and denominations, has prayed with and guided those who seek to pray in a multitude of ways. Spiritual writers from within and beyond the church have detailed their journeys: their struggles, their wildernesses and their ecstasies. Members of all major religions pray. And unbelievers will find themselves muttering to God as the plane lurches and splutters.
Prayer is for everyone. God is for everyone.
And just as God has made a wonderfully diverse world so we, as His creatures, will all find our own ways of drawing close to Him and experiencing His power in our lives.
Prayer is for everyone, and I write here not as an expert but as a layperson sharing a few observations which may encourage. The last couple of years has given me the opportunity to read and study a little more about prayer. I would encourage you, when you feel able, to try out further ways, styles and forms of prayer. Just as we wear different clothes and eat different foods for different occasions so we can pray in a variety of ways to meet the circumstances of our day or the season of our life.
This month’s magazine features a ‘Prayer Corner’ replacing the usual Prayer Prompts. Some of you may welcome a change, for others, it might not work; but however you react, use this as an opportunity to reflect on your own prayer story.
Finally, I end with a short challenge quoted from Anthony de Mello,
‘ “So spirituality does change?”
“People change and need change. So what was spirituality once is spirituality no more.”’ With my best wishes,
With my best wishes.