Tag Archives: Prayer

IPrayer

Cheesy name, I know. It seemed better at 1am last night when I was testing it out. You may or may not remember Tractor Girl posting a while ago about using your Ipod to pray – finding key songs which move you spiritually, making a playlist of them and listening to them through your ipod and let them guide you through prayer. I tried to find the post to link it but I couldn’t – it must have been longer ago than I thought it was.

At the time of reading it, I decided it sounded like a good idea – I’ve been going to an alternative worship community church who regularly use Ipods, powerpoint, poetry, art and silence to worship, so the idea of praying with an ipod didn’t seem bizarre. So that very day I made up a list of songs from my itunes – a mixture of quiet comtemptative songs, angrier songs with a message and anything that does tends to make me think deeply. But since making the list, I’d forgotten about it, and it hadn’t made its way onto my Ipod. This week however, with being off work sick, I’ve had more time to do odd jobs around my flat, and sorting out my Ipod was one of them.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about something, which was constantly buzzing around my head. I was thinking about every possible option and circumstance, and no matter how hard I tried to relax and stop thinking about it, I couldn’t. So I fished my Ipod out of my drawer and started my ‘Prayer Time’ playlist playing quietly in one ear.

It was amazing. When previously I hadn’t been able to concentrate on anything except my problem, through the music relaxing me and concentrating my thoughts, I felt more able to connect with Him. I calmed myself down completely. Put my problem in perspective. Prayed and relaxed. I was asleep almost instantly when it finished.

And this morning my problem got sorted. 🙂

Freedom Bound

As promised, below is a reflection I used in morning prayer during the SCM conference. It is my adaptation of a prayer Garth Hewitt wrote for Greenbelt 04, based on Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream Speech’.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

Let freedom ring for our own preconceptions of the bible and of this world, so that we may overcome the barriers that prevent us from grasping the true freedom provided by Jesus' message of peace, love and equality.
Let freedom ring for our hearts and minds and lifestyles, so that we are part of the community of love and justice that reflects the message and ways of Jesus.

Let freedom ring for the refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing to this land for safety but are treated first as criminals.
Let freedom ring for the forgotten children on the streets of Africa, Latin America and Asia so that the street children of today, may find dignity and a hopeful future.
Let freedom ring for the Muslims initially accused, and presumed guilty before being found innocent.
Let freedom ring from behind the wall in Palestine and across to the land of Israel so that all may live in safety, dignity and justice regardless of religion or race.
Let freedom ring for all those suffering with HIV and AIDS, so that suitable drugs will be made available to them.
Let freedom ring for our church and society so all are included with justice; regardless of ethnicity, gender or sexual preference.
Let freedom ring to every corner of our world.

This is our hope – this is our faith – and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every town, we will be able to speed up the day when all of God's children, black and white, women and men, young and old, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual: ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last'.

Greenbelt: Part 3 and Friends

The Sunday morning at Greenbelt is always special because its the only time when EVERYONE gets together, for the communion service. I love it when, as far as the eye can see, there are thousands of people, who have all come together for a common purpose – communion. This year, I was in a smallish group for communion, there was just myself, 2 friends and a family with two young children. We had brought bread and wine, and the parents of the family had bread and water – for the young children. After saying together the prayers, we passed around our bread in the traditional way, and then the parents gave the two boys their water. This water ended up being used by all of us, which I felt was important – it meant we were all equal. If the adults had used the wine, it would have been as if we were somehow better than the children. We were sat really close to the Prayer Tree, so it was amazing to watch it gradually increase with leaves throughout the service. Also, the picnic at the end of the service, distinctively reminded me of the feeding of the five thousand (except maybe it should be 20). Most people had brought something, which they shared, and everyone had plenty.

Sunday evening we went to the ceilidh, which was great fun, but very tiring. Throughout the weekend I constantly seemed to be bumping into people whose face I recognised, but couldn’t put a name to the face. This ceilidh was no exception, in the middle of one of the dances I exclaimed to a person I found myself dancing with briefly – “I know you!” That was all I got chance to say, as they dance moved on!

Generally, round the site I was very impressed with the busking. There seemed to have been a rota and small stages set up for buskers and almost all of the ones I passed were very good. It added to the atsmosphere around the site.

After not going to bed till 1.30ish on Sunday night, I was rather impressed that I made it to the Wild Goose worship with Christian Aid at 9am on Monday morning. This worship was amazing, especially the part where olive oil was passed round and you were asked to make a cross on your neighbours hand with it. Very moving.

Quote of the Day:
Random man helping to assemble the prayer tree: “The spirit of the Lord is Moving in this Place, but not around the tree”
Because we were sat so close to the prayer tree, we heard this comment. I don’t think he intended it to be heard by the general congregation!

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Being back in Manchester now, I have made an effort to arrange to see old school friends. This afternoon, despite feeling rotten (i feel like i have a golf ball in my throat, ballons in my ears and a rainbow bouncy ball, bouncying round my head), I met up with a friend from school who had recently broken up with her long term boyfriend. We enjoyed a three course lunch together before going to see The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – a nice girly film for a broken hearted friend. I thought it was really good. It demonstrated how important friendship support is, when life isn’t so good. As I was watching it, I thought about personal times that myself and my friends have needed and received this kind of support. Before I knew it, I had tears running down my face. I felt silly, because it wasn’t especially emotional. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I think I was crying because i felt lucky to have great friends and I know that we will support each other, whatever life throws at us. Thank you.