The life of prayer at St Mary’s
‘Pray all the time’ says St Paul in the Bible. He can’t have meant that we should do nothing else but pray so surely he is talking about the way in which all of life can be lived in communion with God. The life of the church should be like this with prayer silently woven into every aspect of our community. In order for this to happen we need formal times of prayer, times when we gather together to remind ourselves that this is the heartbeat of every Christian. At St Mary’s this life of prayer is of course central to our worship – on Sundays and midweek at Morning Prayer and Holy Communion – but it is also seen in lots of other ways.
For example there is the work of our Prayer Ministry Team, a group of people at St Mary’s who are dedicated to praying for the life of the church, for those in need and for the world. Members of the Prayer Ministry Team are available in the Side Chapel during our Parish Communion for anyone who wishes to share their concerns or joys in prayer.
The Prayer Request book which is kept in the Side Chapel is there for anyone to write their prayer requests and is brought to the altar by a member of the Prayer team during our Parish Communion. St Mary’s Church is unlocked all day every day and many people come and light a candle and sit quietly to pray.
“Prayer is like sunbathing. You simply have to be there where the light can get at you. On the beach, it is no use screwing up your eyes and concentrating: you wouldn’t get a better tan. And yet people often treat prayer like that.
But this wasn’t Jesus’ advice.
‘Say, Father’, he tells them. Just be confident that you’re welcome as you would be at home. All you need to do is to be where the light can get at you – in this case, the light of God’s love.”