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Revs Suzanne and Philippa received a letter this week from Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, our Archbishops. Amongst other things, they pledge their prayer support in this coming lockdown, as we try and navigate our way through, and they call us to pray too. Here is an extract from the letter:
“Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.
During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.
In the New Testament, Paul says to those who follow Christ that their “love must be genuine, that they hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.” He asks them to “serve the lord”, exhorting them to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12.9-12.) None of this is easy. Especially not at the moment. But it is our calling.”
Fasting means different things to different people – people often think it means missing a daily meal, and spending that time in prayer, but many people cannot do that, for a variety of reasons. In fact, fasting means taking time out from something you would take pleasure from, to concentrate on listening to God and to prayer. That might mean a social media fast, or a TV fast, or a food fast, or an economic fast. Whatever feels right for you this November.
When the nations pray, amazing things happen. Let’s pledge to fast and pray on Thursdays this month, and trust in our amazing God.