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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

26 June 2019: Rev'd Richard Saunders, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

Space to pray  

"I was hoping I’d find you. I was so excited to hear all the churches were coming together to pray"
" I’m definitely coming back with my mother"
"Thank you for writing a prayer for me"

Just some of the comments we received as all the churches in the town got together to create a prayer space for nine days in a currently empty shop on the High Street. Various prayer stations were installed around the space providing thought starters and different ways in to prayer. We hung prayers on a tree and floated them on water. We sat and listened to music and read verses from the Bible. We wrote prayers on the wall. We prayed for the world, the nation, the town, our families and friends and ourselves.

Over 250 people from many different churches and from no church enjoyed visiting including a Muslim who was pleased to feel welcome and be able to explore the space. Children enjoyed the events put on for them and young and old alike found it accessible and thought provoking. Traders we spoke to in the town welcomed the venture as we took round cards inviting people to write a prayer.

Some came in at 6:00 am on their way to catch the train to London while others visited in the evening. People said that they appreciated the peace and quiet and the opportunity to pause for a moment of reflection.

Which all goes to show that in busy, secular, 21st Century Britain we still like to pray.

Speaking for myself I’m not sure that I would survive without it. Being able to talk to God about the things I am facing, asking for his help, thanking him for the good things, trusting him to do the things I can’t do but others or I need is as important as breathing. I’m so grateful that Jesus encourages his followers to ask God for things. I don’t always receive everything I ask for. Sometimes he changes my attitude rather than the situation I’m praying about. But knowing he is there and can be trusted makes all the difference.

Whether or not you made it to the prayer space I pray that you will discover God’s goodness and presence as you find space to pray.

Rev Richard Saunders is Vicar of St Mary Magdalen, Sheet and Chair of Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) for 2019

The IMC (In Ministry to Children) Fun Day will take place in Ram's Walk on Saturday 6 July - come along to see what IMC are doing in Columbia and support their work.

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