Keep Praying


'Keep Praying' is a thread of prayer to weave through all we do in our churches and local communities throughout 2021 and to help us stay connected in prayer across our diocese. There will be a different theme for each liturgical season, and 3 simple ways to pray that theme in our personal prayers, our gathered worship and our reaching out to those around us.

Watch Bishop Rose introduce our theme for Epiphany – God, light in our darkness:

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Bishop Rose invites you to join her on Zoom for the first of our 'Keep Praying' diocesan prayer gatherings: 7:30-8:30pm Thursday 21st January 2021.

This will be an opportunity to pray together around the theme of God as light in our darkness, reflecting on its meaning for us and using it to prompt and guide our prayers for mission and renewal. Register for the Prayer Gathering by clicking here.

Keep Praying Epiphany – God, light in our darkness

‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ (Psalm 119:105, NRSV)

4 ways to pray the theme:

A picture to reflect on

A prayer to say

A prayer practice to try – light a candle

A video to reflect on

A picture to reflect on

You’ll find a full size picture in our Calendar of Prayer (page 3)

  • Reflect on the image. What do you see? What catches your attention?
  • The wise men had seen Jesus, Emmanuel, with their own eyes. They were filled with his light, which they carried with them as they travelled back home. How can we be carriers of light?
  • Draw your own picture in response to our Epiphany image.
  • Use the picture as a focus for prayer in gathered worship or at the start of a meeting. Invite people to look at it and notice what God is drawing their attention to. If time allows, invite them to share their reflections.
  • Use the picture on your website or social media pages, accompanied by a few sentences on Epiphany or what it might mean for the church to be light in the world. (Please include Primrose Northrop’s artist credit if you reproduce the picture anywhere.)

A prayer to say

Lord of the years, as we bear your light through thresholds of uncertainty,

Dispel the shadows and give us courage and wisdom.

Release within us your gifts of grace,

And journey with us as we share your light,

Confident in your ever-loving presence.

Amen

  • Begin a meeting or time of gathered worship by sharing the prayer together and lighting a candle.
  • Take a line from the prayer each day and reflect on it in your prayer time.
    • What is God saying to you through these words?
    • What does each word / line mean in your life?
    • What might God be calling or prompting you to do?
  • Are there people around you who might need the comfort and reassurance contained in this prayer? Write the prayer in a card, email or message and send it to them, assuring them of your prayers for them.

A prayer practice to try – light a candle

  • Open your prayer time by lighting a candle and reflecting on the warmth and light it gives you.
  • Light your candle at the beginning of meals to welcome the light of God into your family time. Talk together about where you’ve seen God’s light shining.
  • Use your candle to shine out hope to your local community. Place it in a window where passers-by will see it. You could add a sign with some words of blessing or an assurance that you’re praying for your neighbourhood.
  • During gathered worship (face-to-face), invite each person to light a small candle from the central one, to remind each other that our light comes from God and that we should share God’s light with others.
  • In an online meeting, invite each person to bring a candle. Invite everyone to turn off their lights then, one at a time, light their candle so it can be seen on camera. The effect of the ‘windows’ lighting up can be powerful. You might also ask people to pray a prayer as they light their candle, bringing to God someone who is in need.
  • Reflect … Where are the places in your community that need God’s light?
  •  How could we share God’s light to dispel the shadows?

A video to reflect on