Now Lent has begun a reminder to try Dust and Glory: A Lent Journey of faith, failure and forgiveness which invites you to find God in the mess of everyday life through a daily Bible reading, a short reflection and a practical challenge, as well as a prayer linked to the week’s theme. The easiest way to listen is to download the Church of England app for iOS or Android .
If you have previously installed the app for an earlier Lent or Advent course you should automatically get the Dust and Glory Lent update. The reflections will also be available via email and also via the Church of England’s smart speaker apps – as well as on the free Daily Hope phone line (0800 804 8044). Alternatively you could order the booklet from Church House Publishing where an accompanying children’s version is also available to help children and their families explore how we can live well together.
C of E Daily Prayer
The goal is to have some kind of ‘Prayer Time’ every day during Lent. Very few of us will achieve that 100% however and the key is to be realistic and not to be disheartened or give up when we fail.
On Sundays taking part in the online Parish Sunday Service on YouTube should be your prayer time, and there will be opportunities to pray with others on Zoom such as Take Time every Tuesday, Benefice Morning Prayer on Wednesdays, and the Lent Group on Wednesday Evenings. Full details and links are in the weekly Shere Spirituality newsletter.
On other days (or as well as the above) we should be trying to create our own prayer times and spaces. Choose whatever time works best for you, but if early evening works well then aim for 6.30pm and you will know that others are praying at the same time. Remember what we have said in the past about setting the scene (a comfortable spot, lighting a candle and/or playing some music etc.) and perhaps re-watch Sarah’s introduction to the intercessions in our online service from October 18th (St Luke and Intentional faith) which contains some good tips (she starts 31 mins in).
Of course, you can also pray while out for your daily walk, and/or call in at St James’ or St Mark’s en route.
It is important that your prayers include times of silence for reflection and listening to God (prayer is supposed to be a two-way thing) and times when you simply offer up to God what is on your own heart. Some days that may be all your prayer time consists of, but other days you may want to use some set prayers and liturgy as well.
We have included in this pack two prayer sheets. A Daily Prayer sheet which is based on liturgy from the Church of England (and so is very Anglican), and a Morning and Evening Prayer Sheet from Lindisfarne which is in the Celtic tradition.
You may be more comfortable with one than the other – or you may want to use them both at different times or on different days or weeks.
Alternatively, you may use something completely different – there are lots of resources available including specific Lent ones such as the Church of England’s #LiveLent, or more general daily prayers from The Northumbria Community, Hopeweavers or Layola. You can find all of these (and others) by Google, but email any of the clergy team if you’d like the direct links.
Finally, it’s important to pray alone, but it’s also good to pray with others. If you’re lucky enough share your home then do agree to pray together sometimes. You may find that easier when using a set liturgy (some of them include responses that you could take turns with) but don’t feel you have to follow every word of a liturgy – it’s OK to leave bits out (e.g., a reading) or even use different bits from different liturgies.
Sarah Hutton, 10/03/2021