Wednesday, 21 October 2009

There are days ...

There are days like today when I don't get to chapel for morning prayer. They happen more often than I like and not normally for good reasons (I would consider staying in bed a bit longer in the morning usually a good reason but staying in front of my computer to work not necessarily a good reason ... though with a touch of the Calvinist I feel a bit guilty about that). Today with two German visitors groups and colleagues away on holiday I knew I needed to use my time carefully this morning. Even so, particularly now at the end of the day I miss that I did not pray with others this morning.
I'm a minister of religion but I'm not a particularly holy or pious person. I don't go to chapel because I want to be seen by others, I go because I find it easier and more meaningful to pray with others. Communal prayer is in many ways personal prayer for me. Sharing in a daily discipline holds me together. Even on the rare occasions when I go to prayers and noone else is there, the fact of being in a space where we are often together helps me to pray with and for others and myself, helps me to praise and lament. Perhaps sometimes I also go out of a misplaced sense of responsibility - a need to keep something going.
Anyway when I don't pray in a disciplined way I feel a bit unstitched and out of touch - with God, myself and others. Writing this has been part of my evening prayer, my more personal Ignatian examen.
And this is my prayer tonight and in the morning, it helps me to know that others are also praying it this week, Good night.

O Creator and Mighty God,
you have promised
strength for the weak
rest for the labourers
light for the way
grace for the trials
help from above
unfailing sympathy
undying love.
O Creator and Mighty God
Help us to continue in your promise.