As a family we try and do Morning Prayer together after breakfast. Truth be told, if we kept an attendance report it would be far from perfect – but the intention is there! It is really important to us to pray together, as one family. We have developed our own little routine that the children understand and we all (hopefully) enjoy and get nourishment from. We start with a song; then we share a psalm together from a wonderful book that has the psalms re-written for children and includes a picture with each one (Psalms for young children; Marie-Helene Delval); then we share a prayer and the Lord’s Prayer; and then another song. The children, and Andrew in particular, love two particular songs – being ‘Praise Him’ and ‘We are Marching in the Light of God’. When we do the latter we do actually march around the kitchen, which is great fun. Any neighbours looking in must think we are mad…
I received an email from the Church of England today entitled, ‘Prayer – where to start & how to keep going’. I think sometimes we overcomplicate prayer; that there is a right way and a wrong way. That there is a way that works and a way that doesn’t. In my experience, prayer becomes difficult when we load that word with our own expectations. Essentially, we need to ask ourselves, why do you pray? If it is to seek a pre-determined answer or outcome (i.e. prayer as a means of ratification) then that is not prayer. If it is to simply be in a time and space of all possibilities with God, then that is prayer. It really doesn’t matter how that happens.
Indeed, as I was delighted to see Henri Nouwen quoted in the CofE message today saying that when we pray “we are asked to open up our tightly clenched fists.”
I think this is a really good approach. When we open up our clenched fists (physically or metaphorically) we are very deliberately letting go of whatever we are desperately clinging too. We are also stepping back from whatever is frightening us. But most importantly, we are opening ourselves to receive.
Why not spend some time this week just opening up your fist and being ready to receive from God?
PRAYER & WORSHIP
Thursday 22 April – TEZ:
Online prayer and worship on Zoom at 7:30pm. Thinking about Resurrection.
Meeting ID: 851 5624 4352
Sunday 25 April
10am St John’s, Tatworth. Outdoors Holy Communion. This is a relaxed Communion service being held on the grass outside St John’s. We will be able to sing, and there will be a ‘Sunday School’ activity for children. Rev Philip
10am St Mary’s, Thorncombe. Holy Communion (in church). Rev Judith
6:30pm St Stephen’s, Winsham. Service of Light. A lay led reflective service.
Wednesday 28 April
11am Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion; St Stephen’s Winsham
There will be a live Zoom online service at 11:15am on 2 May.
Parish Prayer Requests:
We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Jan Knott; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge; Fi Lillington; Di Nicholls; Izzie Luty-Wells; Tracy; Mary Butler.
We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved.
I would like to say a big thankyou to everyone involved in making the churches and churchyards so beautiful for Easter. We are in Easter Season until the end of May, so if you haven’t done so already, please do visit your local church and spend some time reflecting on the wonder of the Resurrection at the foot of the Cross.
Thank you also to everyone who made the churches available and helped in responding to the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory. If you want to watch our online Commemoration service it is available at our website; https://twoshires.wordpress.com.
The Collect for this week:
you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:
strengthen us to proclaim your risen life
and fill us with your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.