In May, there is a period especially for the church to focus on praying, which we have marked over the last couple of years at Holy Trinity. It is called Thy Kingdom Come (taking the words from the end of the Lord’s Prayer) and this year it will be held 10th to 20th May. There will be more information about what is happening in Blacon and Chester, and at Holy Trinity during that period. Whether or not we go to one of the services, or one of the special events held during that time, every one of us can pray. Prayer is such a powerful tool Christians have, because it calls on the Lord of heaven and earth to join with us in care and concern for the world.
When we think about prayer, we want it to be straightforward. It is no use to us if it is complicated, or so remote that we cannot connect with it. We also want prayer to be something that we can each of us actually do, every day. It is no use placing demands on ourselves that are impractical, or out of our range. And we also yearn for our prayers to be answered – after all, that is why we pray! So, a summary of what we want of prayer is for it to be simple, practical and effective.
Prayer is most often effective when it is targeted at particular things, or particular people. This year, we are all encouraged to ‘pray for five’. In other words, to identify five people (could be family, could be friends, could be acquaintances) – five people whose lives you feel need to be particular touched by God. It could be someone who does not currently have faith in God, or there could be some other reason. We do not have to tell anyone else who those five are, or why we are praying for them – God will know, and that is all that matters. If you are unsure who your five are to be, ask God to help you choose.
Praying consistently for people takes some discipline. Here are five easy ways to pray for five people regularly (courtesy of www.thykingdomcome.com )– choose one that suits you best:
PIECE OF STRING
Take a piece of string or cord, and tie five knots in it to represent each of the five people you have committed to pray for. You could carry the knotted string in your pocket, tie it round your wrist or place it somewhere that you’ll see it regularly. Use the knots to remind you to pray for each person on your list of five.
Find five small stones (light coloured ones are best) and write each of the people on your list onto each of the stones. Place them on your desk, bedside table or fireplace as a reminder to pray. Alternatively, you could place each stone in a different room of your home and pray for each person as you enter or leave the room.
PRAYER CARD OR BOOKMARK
Grab a piece of card that will easily fit inside your wallet, purse or book. Write your list of five names onto the card before putting it in your wallet or book. Use this card as a daily reminder to pray for them.
Add your list of five people to the alerts section of your phone and set reminders to pray for them. You could choose one name per day, or pray for all five across your day. Remember to set alerts for a suitable time where you can stop to pray for your list.
Use five post-it notes and write one name onto each. Stick them onto your mirror, above your bed or somewhere that you’ll see them regularly and will be reminded to pray.
You might like to use the following prayers as you pray for others:
- Loving Lord, Please work in me so I can share your love, life and message with… (name).... Reveal your love to them, that they might know, follow and witness to you, for Your glory. Amen.
- Loving Father, send your Holy Spirit so I can share your love, life and message with… (name)... Reveal Jesus to them, that they might know, follow and love him, for Your glory. Amen.
- You build your church through the power of your Spirit. By the same Spirit enable me to witness to… (name)... your love, beauty and grace, that they may come to the fellowship of the faithful for Your glory. Amen.
- Lord, I pray that you will lead… (name)... to you. Thank you that you love them. I pray that you would break into their life and show them your love, grace and peace, for Your glory. Amen.
Choose 5 people to pray for during Thy Kingdom Come, and write their names here: