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March 10, 2019: All Souls Pray • Praying in Community

by Linda Mahler

Four years ago, a small group of people met at All Souls to start a prayer group. At that first meeting we could not have foreseen the deep and lasting bonds we would form as we prayed with and for each other.

One time this group was especially meaningful to me was the day my father passed away, just over two years ago. My sister phoned to tell me he had died about two hours before the prayer group was scheduled to meet. I called a member of the group to let him know what had happened, and how much it would mean to me to be with everyone that evening. The word went out and all of them came. We read scripture and poetry. We prayed together and shared precious memories and stories. Their love and prayers got me through that most difficult day.

In the years since it started, the prayer group has remained strong. A few members have moved on, and others have joined. We currently have seven members, but have had as many as nine. Some come nearly every week, while others come when they can. If you would like to join us Monday evenings in the small meeting room across from the parish office from 7-8:30 p.m. to read and discuss a scripture passage and pray together, you are welcome.

Some people are hesitant to let others pray for them because they think, “This problem of mine isn’t that big a deal.” Or perhaps they say to themselves, “I don’t want to be a burden.” If that sounds like you, I urge you to reconsider. I wholeheartedly believe that in reminding us of the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, Jesus asks us to recognize our interdependence. Praying for others and allowing them to pray for us reminds us that every person, no matter his or her situation in life, has something of value to give, and that everyone, no matter who, sometimes needs support. Praying strengthens our mutual connection and draws us ever more deeply into loving community.

As part of its ministry, the prayer group will soon provide a new way to make confidential requests for prayers for yourself, your loved ones and friends, or any issue close to your heart, and to receive an acknowledgement that the prayers you asked for have been offered. More details about that will be shared with you soon.

This week’s Message is the first in a series reflecting on different prayer practices as they are experienced at All Souls.

Click here for more resources for praying for others from The Upper Room. We're collecting online and print resources related to prayer. Send your favorites to Mother Diana at diana@allsoulsdc.org

Last Published: March 6, 2019 3:28 PM
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