Hey, God…I'm here
Collect 82. FOR QUIET CONFIDENCE
O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP2019, p670)
Hello again friends,
Last Sunday I took some time to encourage you to join me in an adventure of saying “Hey, God - it’s me”. And so it has begun! This August, we’re going to have a series of conversations about prayer using the P.R.A.Y. acronym from How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People by Pete Greig.
Week 1: P=Pause
This week I learned that you all love a good story! Well, to be fair - who doesn’t? Seriously tempted by all your encouragements to start reading Narnia FT….. Simon has agreed to read Aslan. I’ll keep you posted. But what else? I also learned that taking time to pause is hard. It’s hard to truly be present. It’s hard to simply allow one’s feelings to surface. It’s hard to trust that God is close by….
So this week - keep working on the whole ‘pause’ thing. Can you look for a space every day where you simply sit - asking God to be present to you, as you are to him? And then, can you begin to take note of any feelings you sense rising within you? Can you name them? Can you maybe write them down?
And then - move on with your day, remembering to be as present as you can to all those people in little boxes on your screen, remembering that their stories are way more complex than you can imagine. Living in a pandemic world is robbing us of so many of those daily interactions which help us to develop our community and hold on to our humanity: the casual conversation, the news of daily sorrows and joys, the subtle or not so subtle body-language cues. And so as you spend time being present to God, I hope that you will also then find time to be deliberately present to the people you encounter day by day.
So what else is happening?
Firstly: we continue to mourn with the people of Beirut. We are praying, but we’d also like to financially support the ongoing relief work there, so if you'd like to contribute to an Incarnation donation: Text a dollar amount plus the word "Beirut" to 84321 (e.g., $5 beirut - and it's not case-sensitive) or Click the orange "Beirut Relief" button from https://www.incarnationanglican.org/give
Talking of prayer. Do you check out the prayer doc each week? It’s normally updated on a Sunday evening or Monday morning and it is an excellent place to learn how to pray for others in our community and to add your own prayer requests.
Also, this week could you please send me a pic of something that makes you praise God. Anything. It may be too hard to photograph, but I also hope you’ll spend some time staring at the stars this week. On Tuesday the Perseid meteor shower should reach its peak. Space can be very awe-inspiring.
Testimony time is back! Remember to bring your brief stories of where you’ve encountered God this week to the announcement slot on Sunday - we can’t wait to hear them!
And finally - you know that friend you’ve been wondering whether to invite to church? Do it. Just ask. You’ve got nothing to lose :)
Got questions about prayer - send them to me.
So grateful - as always - to be your pastor,