Earlier this year Archbishop Ron Cutler called our Diocese to a season of prayer and discernment. We are asked to prayerfully consider where God is calling us, to assess our own spiritual lives, and to contemplate the future.
It is important that we intentionally engage in prayer, and ask God what’s next? What’s next for our church? What’s next for our society? And what’s next for our diocese? This page includes a variety of resources to help you deepen and also discover new ways to pray. These can be used for your private devotional time or whenever your community is gathered.
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DIOCESAN SEASON OF PRAYER COLLECT
O God our Creator and Redeemer, it pleases you to invite us into the mission of Jesus, establishing the reign of God on earth. You promised through your Son to send the Spirit upon us, to teach us everything. We pray that you will send a fresh outpouring of your Spirit on this Diocese. Grant us clear vision and wisdom to discern what you are now calling us to do and the courage, love and creativity to perform it to your glory. We ask it in the name of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (By Rev. Michelle Bull)
This is intentional prayer of people unified in Word and song to seek guidance and empowerment for renewal, mission and advancement of God’s Kingdom. It is called "concert" (from the word origin "concerted"), meaning that the faithful are united in sustained commitment to the Lord, to one another and to the answers they seek. Usually these larger prayer gatherings are diverse in their make-up, thus like music concerts, they involve the dynamics of a harmonious prayer-like symphony. Community and citywide Concerts of Prayer are usually broad based and representative of the whole body of Christ. These events draw together people from various theological frameworks and unite people from different denominations, expressions of worship, as well as a mix of social, racial, cultural and economic demographics within the community. People pray, blending their hearts, minds and voices searching for the understanding of the will of God.
Concerts of Prayer may include such components as hymns/praise songs, scripture readings, periods of silence, prayer triads (three people praying in groups) and varieties of formal and extemporaneous prayer. A concert of prayer is marked by a spirit of hope and celebration.
This tool for prayer and discernment within the Christian tradition has been used since the 4th. century. Labyrinths symbolize our life journey with turning points, times we feel we are walking away from the Centre of Being into the unknown and times we are more deeply connected. It is a space and opportunity whereby we can reflect on our journey with our body as well as our heart and mind. The centre is a holy space that reminds us God holds us and calls us to wholeness of being with God and all creation. A Diocesan labyrinth mat may be borrowed from the office of The Cathedral Church of All Saints’, Halifax (902-423-6002 or email@example.com).
REVIVE: Equipping Lay People to Be Spiritual Leaders
Revive is a discipleship program to help active lay leaders grow through spiritual formation. The first 6 sessions are focused on prayer. Two copies of this series are available from the Diocesan Resource Centre. https://revive.forwardmovement.org/
The Gospel in the Centre of our Sacred Circle has become an important and dynamic part of the growing spiritual movement among Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. Any event or meeting is organized and carried out with the Gospel in the centre. GBD may be used by a regular study group, to begin a meeting of a vestry or other group, as a form for worship, or as a personal devotion. Download in pdf: A Disciples’ Prayerbook
This is a contemplative way of reading the Bible. It dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church and was established as a monastic practice by Benedict in the 6th century. It is a way of praying the scriptures that leads us deeper into God’s word. What is Lectio Divina? - Anglican Communion
ANGLICAN FELLOWSHIP OF PRAYER - CANADA
Serving, supporting, and encouraging prayer. The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (Canada) is inclusive of all forms of expressions of Christian church life, whether they be lay or clerical, catholic or evangelical, monastic or secular, formal or informal. AFP (Canada) seeks to be a teaching resource to assist both individuals and congregations to grow in the life of prayer. http://anglicanprayer.org/
PRAYER AND RELIGIOUS LIFE: Nothing transforms us more than prayer – ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Find out why the Archbishop has made the renewal of prayer and Religious communities his first personal priority. INCLUDES: Take the risk of prayer - What happens when we pray? Read a message from Archbishop Justin on how prayer helps us find our true identity.; How to pray - If you’re wondering how to pray, here are some simple ways you can start. https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/priorities/prayer-and-religious-life
THE SISTERHOOD OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, CANADA
SSJD is a contemporary expression of the religious life for women within the Anglican Church of Canada. They are a prayer- and gospel-centred monastic community, bound together by the call to a vowed life in intentional community. Called to be a sign of Christ, the Sisterhood offers retreats, workshops, spiritual guidance, a Companions Program and other resources. https://ssjd.ca/
EXPLORING PRAYER: A 5-PART SERIES ON SPEAKING AND LISTENING TO GOD
Over five lessons, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby explores different ways of praying. From asking for things and giving thanks, to expressing deep sadness and anger, Exploring Prayer helps you begin – or develop – your conversation with God. https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/exploring-prayer
LISTENING HEARTS MINISTRIES
Teaching people the practice of spiritual discernment through prayerful listening in supportive communities. A variety of resources, programs and online supports for contemplative and discerning prayer. http://listeninghearts.org/
SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, CANADA
SSJE is a community of men living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rooted in the ancient monastic traditions of prayer and community life, while critically engaged with contemporary culture. They offer free seasonal devotionals, teaching videos and other prayer resources. https://www.ssje.org/
THY KINGDOM COME
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer. Join the global wave of prayer calling all Christians to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. May 21st - May 31st 2020. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/
THE CANADIAN CHRISTIAN MEDITATION COMMUNITY
Meditation is a universal spiritual wisdom and a practice that we find at the core of all the great religious traditions, leading from the mind to the heart. It is a way of simplicity, silence and stillness. The CCMC is part of the World Community for Christian Meditation. Explore this site to learn about meditation basics, tips, the use of mantras, praying in groups and more. https://www.wccm-canada.ca/how-to-meditate
Contemplative practices facilitate and deepen our relationship with God. The more we practice and allow the transformation process to happen, the more we are able to experience the Indwelling Presence in everything we do. Contemplative practices give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear God calling us to the banquet that is our lives, as they are. The site includes articles, courses, teaching videos, and a free Centering Prayer App. https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/
CENTERING PRAYER FOR LENT - Facebook Group
A community of radical grace that follows the Liturgical year. They have a new spiritual practice with each church season. For Lent 2020 they are emphasizing Centering Prayer, featuring a free app for your phone. The group includes discussion, resource sharing, etc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/513973978788876/