Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.” - Saint Teresa of Avila
Gathering to pray, or corporate prayer is the very practice that defines church life. Each church has its own ways of offering prayer. In the Episcopal Church, it is liturgical, following an ancient pattern that includes scriptures and sacraments. Corporate prayer is a vital part of our varied gatherings. It is used not only during worship, but also when opening meetings, giving thanks before a shared meal, and in times of collective joy or grief. Personal prayer is also essential to our faith. Our Book of Common Prayer (BCP) offers many options for individual prayer and times of praying with our family. Suffice to say, our prayers are not limited to those we find in the BCP. God intends for us to offer prayers of gratitude and seeking throughout our day. Many churches maintain a prayer list, helping the whole community hold particular people and needs in prayer. This list can help connect our corporate and individual prayers. The prayer list at Ascension has been circulated among Pastoral Care for many years. More recently, we have included our prayer list in the weekly e-newsletter, as well as in our bulletin. We hope this helps the entire congregation stay connected and stay informed of prayer requests. Most people on the prayer list are simply listed by their first names, allowing them to maintain some anonymity. Please know that the clergy has notes about these individuals, including last names and more details about the need for prayer. While this information does not necessarily need to be published, often it can be shared upon request, so please feel free to reach out if you would like to know more. God has placed us in a supportive community of prayer at Ascension. Your prayer additions and updates are important, so please reach out to keep us in the loop. You are a critical part of the Word made flesh for each other, for me, and for the world.