Prayer at Newton Highlands Congregational Church, UCC
One of my favorite authors, Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, writes that "prayer changes the way that the world is, and therefore changes what the world can be." So I believe in prayer. For it changes me, to be sure. Indeed, it changes our future. And I agree with both Suchocki and Jesus: it gives glory to God. It pursues conversation with the Holy.
This is an invitation to pray.
Yet this invitation only begins to scratch the surface of all the ways that we might pray in our congregation and all the ways that we do. At NHCC, we practice public prayer, healing prayer, private prayer, children's prayer, sung prayer, traditional prayer, walking prayer, and much more. So we invite you to know that we are a people of prayer, and we invite you to bring your prayers to us as we commit to pray for many and much in creation: ourselves, our neighbors, our church, our enemies. We invite you to learn with us and to teach us. We long to be together in prayer.
Jesus teaches His disciples a simple prayer in Luke 11, which we repeat to this day. Paul told the Romans that even when they didn't have the words right, the Spirit would help them, and we believe that still. (See Romans 8:26)
So where do we begin? George Buttrick suggested "a silent self-preparation" or what we might call finding stillness. Buttrick goes on to say that since prayer is "friendship with God" -- a wondrous claim -- that after silence comes "an act of faith." That is, we believe we can pray.
We believe that you can. We pledge that we will. We offer to unite to learn more and be more and do more, when the Spirit introduces us, in person or in prayer.
Following we attach occasional prayers. Some from worship, some from poetry, some from scripture. Whoever you are, wherever you have been, please pray for us, as we will for you.
See you along the way.
Prayer offered in worship, 2010 January 24