Posted by Roberta J. Egli
“How’s the prayer time for your Messy Church team?” is a question posed by the recently released Messy Church session Everywhere Prayer. This resource was created for Thy Kingdom Come, a global prayer movement for the ten days between Ascension and Pentecost begun several years ago in the Church of England. (Link for both Everywhere Prayer and Thy Kingdom Come Family Prayer Stations)
I believe that creating a prayer team is the first and best practice to start your own Messy Church. Occasionally, I receive feedback that prayer is a given and too basic of a concept but I continue to mention the importance of prayer. Developing a regular prayer practice in your Messy Church team is vital to building a sustainable local Messy Church. When we come together to listen to God and each other in prayer we are led to prayerful action.
I read an article by Joy Gabriel in The Washington Post regarding the negative reaction to the phrase ‘sending thoughts and prayers’ in the midst of a tragedy. Gabriel makes the argument, through sharing personal examples, that prayer itself is not the problem but rather the view that does not translate to action. Read more here.
So, “how’s the prayer time for your Messy Church team?” It is easy to get caught up in what needs to be ‘done’ when you get together as a team. Here are some possible ways to expand your team prayer practice.
• Take ten minutes at the beginning of your planning time to reflect on three questions: 1) What went well at our last Messy Church, 2) What could have gone better and 3) How can we pray for each other and our Messy Church families?
• Read the upcoming theme scripture followed by a moment of silence before discussing as a team
• Gather as a team prior to the start of Messy Church and pray for each other, the people who will be coming as well as those who are not able to be there
• Include a prayer station at each of your Messy Church sessions
• Invite members of your ‘Sunday Morning Church’ to pray regularly for Messy Church
• Share Facebook posts of family prayer activities
• Share a brief story about how a prayer led you to action with your team
• Share how God has answered a prayer in an unexpected way
Your turn! How does your team incorporate prayer? Write me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your thoughts on our Messy Church USA FB Page here.
Loving God, thank you for the opportunity to listen deeply to You and one another when we take time to gather in prayer. Guide us in translating our spoken and unspoken prayer into action to share your love with a hurting world. May your kindom of grace come today and in the days to come. AMEN.