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Paul urges us to ‘pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.’ (Eph 6:18) This implies that prayer can be varied in form and that we need to pray always as well as underlining that prayer is a spiritual activity. It’s not something we can necessarily explain or even understand, but when we connect with God through prayer, His power is unleased into our situations and our world.

We have two opportunities this week to join with other Christians in praying. Today is the World Day of Prayer, and a service will be held at the Parish Church in Goldthorpe, starting at 11.15 a.m. This service started in 1887, when Mary Ellen Fairchild James, wife of Darwin Rush James from Brooklyn, New York, called for a day of prayer for home missions, and Methodist women called for a week of prayer and self-denial for foreign missions. This international movement now gathers Christians from all over the world to pray on a particular theme on the first Friday in March. This year’s service has been written by Christians from Zimbabwe and calls us to pray for justice, love and reconciliation throughout our world. After the service, there will be the opportunity to join with Goldthorpe Parish Church in their ‘Lent lunches’ – an opportunity for fellowship as well as nourishment!

Tomorrow (Saturday 7th March) will be the first of our ‘Take Back The Streets’ prayer meetings, when we will be gathering to pray specifically for our local community and for revival. We’ll be meeting in church at 10 a.m. and those who are not physically very mobile will stay in the church building to pray whilst others will go out onto the streets and pray, asking God to speak into lives and situations and praying for the breath of His Spirit to come on our community. Join with us tomorrow until 12 p.m. as we pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests!

We can pray with a formal liturgy (as at the World Day of Prayer) or more spontaneously (as we will be doing tomorrow), but what matters is not so much how we pray as that we pray. Prayer is so important; it’s our means of connection to the Almighty God!