Prayer stations, pilgrimages, 24 hour relays and travelling prayer.
What a week of Pentecost prayer across the county of Cumbria, as Christians answered the call to come together to pray for the evangelisation of the nation.
The Rev’d Mike Talbot, Evangelism Enabler in Cumbria, said: “It was brilliant, wonderful and enjoyable. Across Cumbria people gathered to pray in the week running up to Pentecost. In ones and twos, in large groups, around the clock, on the move, people joined together in praying that everyone in our county would discover more of God and his purpose for their lives. I’m hugely encouraged by what has taken place and we look with expectancy to what the impact will be as God is at work in our midst.”
Here’s just a flavour of what has happened and where:
“In Barrow members of the Mission Community prayer team initiated a wave of prayer by inviting churches across the town to host hour long prayer gatherings. There were two a day; 12 in all including, Anglican, Baptist, the Salvation Army ,Methodist and URC partners. Intercessions were based on the Lord’s Prayer as we prayed for the nation and Barrow. The primary purpose was to make ‘Christ better known’ throughout the nation. Four travelling prayer stations allowed people to ‘honour’ God at a throne, say sorry with a sorry bin, reflect in the word with a lit candle and bible and write something that God had laid on their heart on a flame designed cloth. The week culminated in a joyful service of thanksgiving. It was humbling to take part and BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS through Gods grace and smile of favour will change the spiritual landscape.” Kath Raven and Maureen Dale
“Our balloon service at the cathedral attracted several non-church families who seemed to enjoy it. A group of cathedral people and St Andrew’s Thursby’s confirmation class then went through a workshop in praying for individuals and then went out into the city centre with gas filled balloons and appropriate secular music. Over 60 people approached us in the city centre to write prayers, attach them to a balloon and release them. We had some good conversations about the accessibility of God here and now. And one teenage girl in particular wrote such a passionate prayer for someone in trouble, she didn’t want to release it but asked us to take it back to the cathedral and pray it again for her there. Several people were surprised we were encouraging them to approach God even though they didn’t attend church.” The Rev’d Canon Michael Manley, Canon Missioner
“A group from St. Mary’s Allithwaite walked up to the cairn on Hampsfell where we prayed prayers of blessings over the Cartmel Peninsula whilst another group prayed over the village from outside the church. We then gathered to share breakfast together. We are hoping this might become a regular event.” The Rev’d Rachel Stavert, Team Vicar Cartmel Peninsula Team
“We had a wonderful week, with the 24/7 prayer room being used pretty regularly by individuals, youth groups, home groups from several churches. This led into a mini mission over the Pentecost weekend, including a Cabaret Night, Fun Day in Lightburn Park, Youth Event and ‘Big Brunch’ in the parish church.” The Rev’d Canon Alan Bing, Rector of Ulverston
Burneside and Selside
Pupils from Selside CE Primary , St Oswald’s CE Primary and Burneside near Kendal worked on prayer stations for their churches. Pupils who attend St Oswald’s Torchbearers After School Club produced a prayer net and worked on a Fruits of the Spirit station and Selside Primary pupils prepared a prayer tree. The Rev’d Canon Nigel Davies, Team Rector the Beacon Team Ministry
“In response to the Archbishops call for a ‘Wave of Prayer’ across the nation between the 8th and the 15th of May we held an ecumenical Prayer Room that was open 24 hours a day for the whole week in St. Nicholas Chapel. The feedback has been amazing. Comments like: ‘It took my breath away’ and ‘I have never been so close to God in prayer’ and even ‘why can’t we stay open?’ I have to say that I loved every minute of it, especially the early mornings as I watched the sky change colour as daylight dawned. But even more special for me was seeing people engaged deeply in prayer. In the end well over 200 hours of prayer has taken place and, of course more importantly than numbers, people have grown in their prayer life – isn’t that wonderful! It is certainly something that we will do again.” The Rev’d Robert Jackson, Priest-in-Charge at St James Whitehaven
Personal prayer reflection
“I think everyone should be encouraged. There seems to me a great energy around this week. I was impressed with Staveley and Ings on Sunday who had with other churches printed up their own leaflet and knew all about the week. On Monday at Bishop’s Leadership Team we held the events of the week in our prayers, as well as praying that every person in Cumbria might hear the gospel. I took part in the 24 hour prayer relay and prayed for all the places where I know of exciting things happening, for the Mission Communities that I know about and for each member of the Reach team and BLT. Then I prayed for all the people and places where there are problems, asking for healing and a renewed vision. Finally I held in prayer the county and all its various peoples and activities. I was join in this pray by birdsong and lambs bleating, all very pastoral.” The Rev’d Canon Cameron Butland, Diocesan Spirituality Officer