A NOTE FROM MARION THOMAS
Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
John Wesley famously said:
"Whether we think of, or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him."
With this definition, it should be perfectly possible for Christians to follow Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians. On one hand I take heart from the thought that whatever I am doing has the potential to be prayer - but on the other I am conscious that this fallible human being has mixed motives for most things, including those that come under the heading of the desire to please God. We are all human, and even when we are most focussed on God we are all easily distracted. The important thing is not to let our failures discourage us from trying.
My job is to offer encouragement to those of you who want to deepen your prayer life, in the broadest sense of the word, and I hope to do that in a number of ways. I have resources that I can recommend, information about quiet days and retreats, and contacts with people who offer spiritual accompaniment or “soul-friendship” of various forms.
I also try to offer occasional events where those who are interested can come together to experience some of the riches of both new and traditional ways of praying. In 2018 we planned a big event aimed at bringing together people from all over the Synod, but unfortunately this had to be cancelled due to lack of response. It feels right that something on a smaller scale and more local would have been more appropriate, so for 2019 we are planning a series of smaller pilgrimage walks in three of the Areas of our Synod. The idea will be simply to meet up and walk a route together, stopping for prayer at points along the way - simple fellowship with “..no other object than (God’s) love, and the desire of pleasing him.”
There will be more details on this in the New Year. In the meantime I encourage you all to keep thinking of and speaking to God, and if I can be of any support in your prayer journey please feel free to contact me.
Synod Silence and Retreats Co-ordinator