as The Good Shepherd Anglican Church, is to
cultivate life-giving patterns of prayer.
The core of it is
That is – I am convinced, that now more than ever, we need as Christians to commit to prayer: That only intercessory prayer will cause things to be changed – by God – how they need to be changed, in our society and in our city. Only through prayer will our lost friends and family be brought to a knowledge of God. Only through prayer will our lives be set free from the sin that so easily entangles. Prayer, as our Lord taught Martha, is the better way.
But not just any old prayer,
PATTERNS of prayer.
Prayer that is structured and shaped by the prayers of the church, the rites and liturgies. Prayer that is regular and constant, a pattern in our lives, and not just an occasional after-thought. A prayer life that is strong, and varied, and robust, like the architecture of the great cathedrals. Prayer that is real. Prayer that is intercessory, but also worshipful. Recognizing that the Sunday Liturgy is just one big prayer, and praying it like we mean it. Praising like the Angels praise in their prayers.
And not just patterned, our prayers should be
Our prayer needs to be life-giving, to our own souls. If the liturgies of Church ever start to feel worn out or repetitive, then we need to double-down and seek the face of the living God with them, panting for him as the deer pants for water, using the patterns of prayer that the Church puts on our lips. Prayer should be life-giving for us, and also for others. Our prayer for others, in our intercessions should be a source of life and salvation for those for whom we pray. It should be life-giving on all sides.
And these life-giving patterns of prayer, they need to be
That is, they won’t just spring up in our lives over night. We don’t pray – as the Bible tells us to – unceasingly, with just a little effort. Like gardeners, we need to work the soil of our lives so that these patterns of prayer take root and bloom. It is a labor, for which all our effort, and the power of the Spirit of God himself is needed. But it is absolutely worth it: Cultivating prayer in our private lives, and cultivating a deeper spirit of prayer in our corporate prayer life here at Church.