We believe that it is God's will that his people should pray, and not just as individuals who pray but as we are collectively gathered in Christ, it is vital to pray together, collectively as a whole body... At all times in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests (Eph 5:18)... That we should devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Col 4:2)... Being confident in approaching God, because if we ask anything according to his will he hears us (1 John 5:14).
On the first Tuesday every month, we gather at 7:30pm in the main hall for 'Whole Church Prayer'. Then throughout the week there will be various opportunities in 'Homes For Prayer' to gather with others to pray. Please check in the Church Calendar to see where it is this week.
Something often overlooked is the strength and encouragement we gain from being together. So, whether you are comfortable praying out loud or not, it is both to your benefit and others when we are together. You can pray aloud, you can write a prayer beforehand and read it, you can pray silently, or simply reflect and be encouraged by the prayers of others. It cannot be said enough the encouragement of simply just being together.
Recommended Prayer Resources
Since last summer we have been devoted to growing as a church in prayer. We have been speaking about it, praying about it, preaching about it and finding various ways to encourage each other in prayer, whether through gathered events or with resources. Everyone has been given the excellent little book '5 Things To Pray For Your Church' by Rachel Jones, which is one way we encourage our members to be praying for each other and the various ministries of the church.
Also you can listen again to our 10-Part Sermon Series on The Life of Prayer as we explored the biblical understanding of prayer. You can find them here in our sermon resources, simply search 'prayer'.
Here is a word on Prayer from Pastor John:
PRAYER IS THE ENGINE ROOM
Don Carson in his excellent book 'A Call to Spiritual Reformation' opens with a question, "What is the most urgent need in the church of the Western World today?" There are many answers that people may cite to the question but my own observation drawn from our local church life and from our partnership with like-minded churches and other churches in the Scottish Baptist family is an overwhelming need for churches in our Nation to mobilise their people to become people of prayer.
It has long been one of my own prayers for the church here in Calderwood to make prayer the engine room of all that we do and to this end as a Leadership Team we want to press pause on our Small Group activity in the months of September, October and November to create the space for a variety of different prayer opportunities. These opportunities will be many and varied and the first of them is the book enclosed. '5 Things To Pray For Your Church' is an excellent little resource for mobilising prayer and on page 9 there is a list of ways in which you can use the material. I particularly like praying for one of the prayer themes each day Monday through Friday and I welcome the fact that this little book is scripture soaked.
I recently asked both the leaders and the staff team for ideas to mobilise our prayer lives and there was no shortage of creativity and a sensitivity to the fact that as different people some of us respond well to corporate gatherings whereas others like reflective spaces and still others pray best in solitude. I want to encourage you over these months to engage at different times with the provisions we will make and to feel free to volunteer your services if God puts a particular burden upon your heart. This is also the reason why we have put our Sunday morning service series on John's Gospel on hold, because we believe God has something to say to us at this time concerning the priority of prayer.
Robert Murray McCheyne said, "What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is and no more." As we delight to create space for an increase in prayer, may we all grow more deeply into the people God has called us to be and may we find ourselves naturally longing, as did our Lord Jesus, for the times when we can be alone with our Father.
With love and prayers,