Prayer is deeply important to the community of St John's. Along with the Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion or Mass) and the Bible, prayer is the bedrock of our faith. Prayer is really "conversation" with God. Like all conversations, sometimes we talk a lot; sometimes we listen. Sometimes, as in all very close relationships, we sit quietly with each other simply enjoying the other's company.
Jesus prayed whenever he had any serious decisions to make, whenever life was really hard and painful and whenever he simply wanted to be with his Father. His disciples (apprentices) asked him to teach them to pray and Jesus gave them the Lord's Prayer.
Prayer is something that you can do on your own at any time and anywhere; or with others; in church, round kitchen tables or out walking. There are no rules to praying except to do it. It is one of the major ways in which our life with God grows.
We try to help people learn about prayer in many ways. We have had and will have again Weeks of Accompanied Prayer (where someone guides you in praying), Open Door Retreats (like going away on retreat but for busy people who just can't get away or can't afford to go away) and Quiet Day. We have free prayer leaflets in church suggesting different ways you can try to pray. We do sermons and talks on prayer. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY WE DO IT in our home groups, before our church council meeting, with individuals who ask for prayer and with each other.
Starting to pray can seem difficult if you have never done it before but there are lots of people at St John's who will help you, so just ask.
Prayer Ministry Team: The people in the Prayer Ministry Team have been specifically chosen and trained to pray with and for others. They are people who are sensitive, discerning and trustworthy. They know how to keep a confidence. They work in pairs and are available to pray with anyone about anything during or just after communion at the main 9.30am service on a Sunday.
Prayer Triplets: We have a couple of prayer triplets - three people who agree to meet together on a regular basis to prayer for each other. People who meet like this usually become really good friends. Of course, anyone can be in a prayer triplet simply by finding two other people to pray with them but if you want the rector's help to find others to pray wit you, please ask her.
Cursillo: When people have been at St John's for a little and it seems right, we sometimes suggest they might like to go on a Cursillo weekend and Cursillo is another place where people learn about prayer. After the weekend the participents can join a little Cursillo group at St John's if they want to. These little groups meet regularly and the members share what they want to share about their Spiritual Journeys and pray together. People really love these groups and find them very supportive. If you want to know more about Cursillo in the UK you can visit their website at londoncursillo.org.uk