Planning, setting up, running and then clearing up after Messy Church is hard work! It’s usually so full on that finding time in all that busyness to pray can be a challenge. In a recent short video clip about prayer Lucy, Jane and I talked about this and made some suggestions which we hope were helpful.
All of us know that prayer is absolutely foundational to the mission and ministry of Messy Church, and especially as it’s not just about coming up with new ideas, fresh ways to tell the story or inspiration for the meal but also about the ongoing pastoral care for and discipling of the adults and children who come along month by month. The busier we are, the more we need to support each other in prayer. But coming together to pray on top of everything else seems like a bridge too far for many of us, so could there be another way?
At our recent BRF Messy Church team meeting we talked about this, and Jane has come up with a novel Messy solution which she is putting into practice at her Messy Church in Liverpool. We also want to do it as a team and we thought we’d recommend it to you as a possible way forward that you might like to try.
We’ve called it ‘watch and pray’ because it’s to do with choosing a clock time once a week and then, wherever we are, just for a few moments, intentionally praying for some aspect of Messy Church. Perhaps your ‘prayer at o’clock’ might be 5 pm on a Thursday. Let everyone on the team know that this is your Messy ‘watch and pray’ moment and then, whatever you’re doing – whether walking around the shops, sitting at a desk or preparing to watch Pointless on TV, it’s the time to link up in prayer for the next Messy Church maybe or for a particular planning or pastoral issue which you’ve decided on beforehand. You could even send a group text to the team as a prayer reminder!
It’s a messy form of prayer but it makes sense – after all, God is beyond time and space as well as being intimately close to each one of us wherever we are, and as we link up with him in prayer we link up with each other at that same moment.
We’re going to try this as a team and choose our own ‘prayer o’clock’ for our ‘watch and pray’ with a particular focus over this next month on the Messy Church Conference taking place from 16-18 May.
Maybe you’d like to choose your own time and join us with the same focus. Or else choose each month a different aspect of Messy Church to pray for as a team at the appropriate ‘prayer o’clock’ in the week. Let’s get busy… praying!
‘Pray about everything… with thankful hearts, offering up your prayers and requests to God… and God will bless your Messy Church with the peace that passes understanding’ (based on Philippians 4:6-7).