Each fall, Nassagaweya Presbyterian, St. John’s Anglican, St. David’s Presbyterian and Ebenezer United host a “Week of Guided Prayer”. This year it will run from November 10th to 16th. The “Week of Guided Prayer” is a retreat in the midst of daily life with the purpose of focusing our attention on God’s presence in our lives.
The week begins on Sunday with opening worship where participants are given instructions for the week and the daily scripture material for prayer based upon a theme. This year’s theme is “Abundant Life”. Monday to Friday, participants covenant to pray 30 minutes privately each day, and to meet with a “Companion” 30 minutes daily to be guided in prayer experience. Companions support participants by seeking to keep them attentive to God’s leading, and guiding them through questions, suggestions and shared experiences. The week is then closed with worship on Saturday when we celebrate how and where God has touched us through the week.
“Week of Guided Prayer” has touched many lives and is a wonderful way to renew your relationship with God. We hope you will be able to find the time to take part.
For more information or to register, email Reuben St. Louis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Reflection on a Week of Guided Prayer
Every year at this time something amazing happens at Bracebridge United Church. For ten years there has been a prayer phenomenon happening here. A group of committed volunteers offer their time to act as companions to others as they participate in a week of daily retreat in the midst of everyday life.
This is the third year I have been part of the Week of Guided Prayer. As a participant, each day I am given a reflection with some suggested scriptures passages. I choose one of those passages and spend a time of reflection and prayer. Each participant is encouraged to write in a journal as part of the reflection. Then we each spend half an hour at some point in the day talking to our companion about whatever emerged in our prayer time.
There is a very peaceful and comfortable feeling to the week for those of us that spend most of each day in the church. The rhythm of the five days means that the companions arrive in the morning and spend a good part of the day here. The companions meet in the various rooms to talk and pray with the participants. Gentle laughter can be heard from time to time as folks gather by the book display. Today the sound of softly playing music floated up the hallway from the auditorium as people were given the opportunity to walk the labyrinth.
But the best part of the week is the delight and amazement that appears when people talk about their experiences. For myself God has come to me in the reflection on the scripture and even more fully in the conversation with my companion. It is a rich and wonderful time. I am so grateful for the gift of this week and the people who make it possible. If you aren’t participating I hope that next year you do.
Rev. Nancy Knox, Bracebridge United Church