Firstly, many thanks to all who were involved in Prayer48 in any way; those who distributed prayer cards, planned and led services, helped with Messy Church - including those who provided our wonderful picnic - or who came to pray over the weekend. It was an inspiring 48 hours!
From the moment the candle is lit on Friday evening until the moment it is blown out on Sunday evening the church is filled with unceasing prayer! We received around 80 cards asking for prayer and we estimate that at least half of those came from people who are not members of our regular congregation. I have created a word cloud of the themes of those prayers so you get a flavour of what we were asked to pray about. It is such a privilege to be asked to pray for our friends and neighbours and these cards were each prayed through several times over the weekend.
One of the highlights of the weekend was Messy Church, it was lovely to be able to share prayer stations with the children and then to be joined by those who had been on a 'walk of witness' between St Andrew's Cherry Hinton, St James' and finally arriving at St John's -led by a piper, no less- in time to share a short time of worship followed by a lovely picnic on the church lawns.
Prayer48 is a time for us, as a church, to think about our own need for prayer and to pray. As Martin Luther said 'To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing'. It is also a time for us to reach out to our parish, to let them know that we exist and are not just a holy huddle of eccentrics but, as a previous vicar used to say, 'the body of Christ on Hills Road' with all that that implies about reaching out to those in need.
We will be having a 'debrief' meeting to discuss Prayer48 in the near future, if you would like to be involved in this or have any suggestions for the future please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org