The Power of Prayer – Pew Sheet for 28th July

Tomorrow (Saturday 27th July) the Willesden Area Mothers Union have organised a Family Fun Day at Holy Innocents Church Hall in Bacon Lane, Kingsbury from 11am – 3pm. There are details on the attached flyer. Entry is FREE and there are FREE games and activities. Without doubt, the organisers will be praying for fine weather – but perhaps not the kind of extreme hot weather that we have experienced this week. Some of us may well have been praying for some respite – particularly if you were caught up in the travel disruption on Thursday when the temperatures soared to over 38 degrees!

I wonder how much each of us thinks about prayer? Not the actual task of praying … we do that all the time: in church, at home, at work … wherever and whenever we get the opportunity. Our time to talk with (and listen to) God. Of course, that is the subject of the Gospel reading from Luke’s Gospel this Sunday, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray – and Jesus replies by giving them the basis of “The Lord’s Prayer”. It’s the prayer that is known the world over and is said by all Christian traditions and often in each person’s own language, and as such it is the prayer that brings each of us together as one body of Christians. It’s said at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, at the beginning and at the start of each decade of The Rosary and of course at every Mass. Perhaps it has become so familiar to us that we no longer think about what we are saying; that we repeat it mechanically without dwelling on what we are asking of God.

There is no doubt that prayer is very powerful. Not only does the response to Psalm 137 remind us: “On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord” but there are many Christians who will testify to this. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take more time than many of us have patience – and it may be that the answer to our prayers isn’t always what we wanted or were expecting! As Jesus says: “…how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

David Griffiths