Try Prayer – a new initiative for our community

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This is a new initiative that we’ve set up in our community to invite our friends to try prayer.

“When you pray, say: Father…” Luke 11:2

When thinking about prayer, what words come to your mind? Something detached, a thing to do or something you feel guilty about? We so easily forget that prayer is about a relationship with God. Mike Reeves in his book Enjoy your prayer life says this about prayer. “To know you are a beloved child of God protects you from thinking of prayer as a ladder to God or an exercise by which you work your way into his favour“. Its so easy to view prayer in this way, rather than approach God as a loving Father.

In Luke 11 Jesus wants us to know that the relationship Jesus has had with his father is now being shared with us. He teaches us to pray and to remember “when you pray, say: Father”. God shows us and reminds us of his character as we approach him in prayer. These words about God and who he is, are very dear to me “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” 1 Corinthians. Throughout this last year, God has comforted me as I’ve turned to him, my Father in prayer. But its not just me. During the pandemic many people have turned to God in prayer. I noticed this both amongst friends but also in our nation too. Read more here about this “British public turn to prayer as 1 in 20 have started praying during the crisis” May 2020.

As I reflect over the last year, so much has changed. One thing for me is the growing understanding that the church needs Revival. One key element to Revival through history has been prayer. Michael Green in his book When God breaks in says “Revivals never appear when all God’s people are apathetic, prayerless, unconcerned about holiness, flippant or despise the authority of scripture”. So for me as we ease out of lockdown, I wanted to commit afresh to praying for our community.

I invited 6 friends from 6 different churches to join me. Together we decided that we wanted to love and bless our neighbours by praying for them. I felt it was important that this initiative was about our community so we’ve intentionally kept it small. But we also felt that this was a great opportunity for unity across the churches. Mike Reeves says “Communal prayer is the Christian life in a nutshell. The family of the Father coming together to him to share his concerns”. We want to gather together as Gods family in our area and share in his concerns for our friends and neighbours. So, together we’ve started a new initiative called Try Prayer.

We want to gather together as Gods family in our area and share in his concerns for our friends and neighbours. So, together with friends we’ve started a new initiative called Try Prayer.

“Communal prayer is the Christian life in a nutshell. The family of the Father coming together to him to share his concerns” Mike Reeves

What is ‘Try Prayer’?

Try Prayer will offer anonymous prayer to anyone of any age, faith or background. We’ll gather once a month to pray for our friends, each other and our neighbourhood. We met on Sunday night and 13 Christians joined us from 5 different churches.

How do you promote Try Prayer?

In the lead up to our gathering I told my friends that we were praying for our community. I invited them to send us prayer requests. I did this publicly on social media and privately by whatsapp and conversation. I was amazed by our friends responses…

thanks so much, that is so kind, I’ve not prayed since I was a child, please do pray for…” “thanks, please do pray for our community, for safety and individuals“thanks for asking, I’m not sure, but I’ll have a think and get back to you

We’ve printed our own postcards and bought copies of Try Praying. Over the coming months we’ll be giving these out to friends. We want to write individual notes and invite friends to try praying.

I’d been chatting with a friend (from another city) about this idea. He texted me a few days later and said… “I just spent the evening with 3 friends in our town. They’d all become distanced from church during lockdown. Thanks for the encouragement. Was meeting them anyway but praying together was wonderful”. I also heard of a friend that during lockdown put a whiteboard outside her house. She simply put “can we pray for you? please leave any comments”. They had so many requests from friends and a great opportunity to chat to friends in their community.

Our hope and prayer is that through this each of us would know and experience God as the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

Order copies of our Try Prayer postcards here on my Etsy shop – Houses of Light Order copies of Try Praying books here or Mike Reeves Enjoy your prayer life We’d love to hear your story of inviting your friends to Try Prayer, please get in touch.

Published by Nay Dawson

Nay works with IFES Europe as their Regional Training Co-ordinator, training staff and students across Europe. She works on the European Regional leadership team for the charity. She was the Revive Extra Plenary Director for one of largest Student Conferences in Europe. Nay is the founder of Passion for Evangelism. PfE is a network of creative, public female speakers. Helping hundereds of women grow in confidence in public communication. Nay set up an initiative called Community in a crisis. CIAC has been helping churches and charities across Europe get online during the pandemic.

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