TAKE IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER
Every one of us, regardless of who we are or what we believe will be driven into praying at some time in our lives.
Whether this is because of a personal crisis, bereavement or loss - or because of bigger issues in our world such as poverty,
hunger or the atrocities of war. Whatever the cause we all find ourselves at some stage asking, often in tears, in desperation,
"why, Lord?" or "why me, Lord?".
Before I sat down to write this piece I made sure that I had the necessary materials, that my computer and
printer were turned on and that I had a fresh cup of coffee brewed. I also dealt with those important items like closing the
door and turning off my mobile phone to try to avoid interruption. But even these preparations were not enough. Before I could
really get started I needed to focus my mind on what it was I wanted to say and the audience I wanted to address (and that
was by far the hardest bit). If such careful preparation is needed for a simple magazine article, then how much more necessary
is it that we prepare for our time of prayer.
As well as being St. Valentine’s Day, February 14 this year will be Ash Wednesday when the season of
Lent will begin. This year we will be guided in our lessons and teaching throughout Lent by the book Say it to God
by Luigi Gioia [the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2018]. The author says that our prayer can only be heartfelt
and sincere when it stems from the right place. Preparation for prayer is like preparing to write a letter on a sensitive
point to a dear friend. Not only do we need to have the right materials to hand, we need a sense of connectedness with our
friend, because it is only then that the letter will sound heartfelt and sincere.
I hope that many of you will be attending some of the special services or activities planned
for the Lent period to hear our reflections on this important book, but even more I hope that you may take a little time to
consider your own connectedness to God.
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in
Eric Wright (Reader)