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“Those who wait upon the Lord . . “

In a world of frenetic busyness, how can we cultivate the ability to wait upon the Lord?   How does waiting for God in prayer lead me to ‘renew my strength?’  What does the call to wait mean for the Church today?

Join the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer as they discuss how the discipline of waiting can enhance our experience of God in prayer.


November 25th, 2017
9:15am – 3:30pm
St. Francis, Airdrie
132 Albert St SE, Airdrie,

 A free will offering will be taken to cover the cost of lunch lovingly provided by the people of St. Francis.  Please mention all dietary restrictions at the time of registration.

Register today!

Register by e-mail at:

bettynadurak@gmail.com

Come pray with us – 2017

Lord teach us how to pray Luke 11:1

Now in our 34th year, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (Canada) continues to encourage and support the development, understanding and practice of prayer for individuals and communities, always looking for new ways to respond to current needs and trends in the church and in the world around us.

AFP (Canada) YouTube Channel:

As providing resources are central to our mandate, we are always looking for ways to share as broadly as possible materials that can be used to encourage prayer in a wide range of situations. This past year we have been working on the development of an AFP (Canada) YouTube Channel. In the months ahead, materials will be posted on this channel that could be used for local events and gatherings of all sizes. For more information about this, and accompanying support materials, please visit our YouTube channel.

Prayers of the People:

This was a joint initiative with the Society of St John the Evangelist, in the format of an online prayer wall, challenging prayers to share a daily themed prayer on social media. We started with “Canada Prays” in autumn 2016. Anyone can sign up to receive a daily prayer in the email at www.prayersofthepeople.org

Thy Kingdom Come:

Similar in structure to prayersofthepeople.org, this initiative by the Archbishop of Canterbury encourages a global wave of prayer, online and through a variety of prayer events and vigils. Anglican Fellowship of Prayer participated in 2017; plans are already underway for 2018. www.thykingdomcome.global

Resourcing the Newly Ordained:

Did you know that since 1996, thanks to the generosity of Nan Henderson, and the tireless efforts of our Resource Co-ordinator Paul Dumbrille, the AFP has been making resources available to the newly ordained? While we are tweaking exactly how this is done, ensuring that resources are in the hands of those beginning new ministry is of key importance. If you are newly ordained or know of someone who is, and have not heard from us, please let us know and we will be in touch.

Oh My God: Making Prayer a Priority – June 4-8, 2018 – St John’s College, University of Manitoba.

Every three years AFP (Canada) sponsors a national gathering where diocesan representatives and others interested in prayer, come together to consult, to encourage, to learn and to be inspired in their work. In 2018 we will be meeting in Winnipeg around the theme of Making Prayer a Priority in our lives, in our parishes, and in our world. Please set these dates aside and plan on attending.

As the work of the National Executive has no outside means of financial support, we are instead extending an invitation to our praying partners, to invest ourselves through the resources that God has given us by sharing our energy, our prayers, and our money, and, in this work to which God has called us all by making a donation of any size for which you will receive a tax receipt.

This donation can be made by clicking below,

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!\

Or by sending your gift including your name and address to:
Anglican Fellowship of Prayer,
P.O. Box 78084,
Meriline,
Nepean, ON
K2E 1B1

We thank you in advance for your commitment to this important work. If you have anything that you would like to share with us at any time, we are always pleased to hear from you. See contact information below. Yours in prayer and service,

Ven. Paul Feheley
AFP (Canada) National Director
director@anglicanprayer.org

Rev’d Valerie Kenyon
AFP (Canada) Executive Chair
chairperson@anglicanprayer.org

RISKING EVERYTHING

Scripture for reflection: The Book of Esther

We are surrounded by dazzling power. The Persian empire is at its height, one hundred and twenty seven provinces from Ethiopia to India. At the centre of power is Ahasuerus, king in his capital at Susa.

The empire is celebrating a royal marriage. The emperor has chosen a bride. Esther, niece of a prominent Jewish leader named Mordecai, has been elevated to a position of immense influence.

Precisely at this moment Esther’s life becomes complicated by a threat to the Jewish community. A dangerous and powerful member of the court named Haman is determined to institute a pogrom that will have tragic consequences. To read Haman’s words to the king is to hear the chilling patterns of anti-Semitism down the centuries.

“There are a certain people scattered and separated in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people. They do not keep the king’s laws, so it is not appropriate for the king to tolerate them”. Only after this careful and nuanced statement does Haman lay bare his real intention in plain and brutal language. “If it please the king,” he continues, “let a decree be issued for their destruction”.

The king agrees, opening the way to the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

Mordecai desperately contacts his niece. Only she can get the king to rescind his decree. The request deeply distresses her. She has not revealed to the king that she is Jewish. Now she must choose between losing everything or remain silent while her people are destroyed.

Through a messenger Esther contacts her uncle. He responds by sending her the documents that Haman has written that condemn all Jews to death. Esther responds. Her reply is full of anxiety and helplessness. She cannot go to the king unless he summons her. Again Mordecai replies. His note is stern and adamant. Its language is chillingly modern, echoing many voices that spoke before and during Hitler’s holocaust.

“Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish”. Then, with unerring precision Mordechai pinpoints the heart of the matter for Esther. “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this”.

This magnificent message with its implied reference to Esther’s own integrity has the desired effect. Esther agrees to go to the king. She makes it clear that she has no illusions about the possible consequences. “I will go to the king”, she writes to her uncle, “even though it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”

Three days later Esther makes her move. Dressing in the grandeur of her royal robes, she waits in a gallery where the king is likely to see her. Her plan succeeds. Esther does not bring up the subject of the pogrom at this point. Instead she asks that the king invite Haman to a banquet that is being planned. . During the banquet the king asks Esther the nature of her request. Without mentioning the king’s own decree she offers evidence for Haman’s hatred and treachery as the real reason for the threat to her people.

Hastily the king rescinds his decree, sending messages across the empire. Haman is summarily executed. Esther’s uncle Mordechai is given the royal signet ring that makes him a powerful figure at court.

In this long ago political struggle, scripture gives us a glimpse of a people struggling to survive. It also introduces us to a courageous and resourceful young woman who placed duty above personal gain, even above personal survival.

Herbert O’Driscoll

B.C. Anglicans among those displaced by wild fires

Friends:

I have had a chance to talk to Bishop Barbara Andrews in the Territory of the Peoples area of British Columbia. Her diocese sits in the heart of the raging forest fires. She has asked that AFP members offer particular prayers for Williams Lake as another lightning storm is heading their way. There are about 1000 people in her diocese and every one of them has been affected in some way. Many parishes are offering shelter to those displaced . Please remember all of their communities in your daily prayers.

Archdeacon A. Paul Feheley,

Principal Secretary to the Primate,
National Director of The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

BC Anglicans among those displaced by wild fires – from the Anglican Journal

The Daily Office Evening Prayer for July 13

Prayers for Canada Day

From Stephen Reynolds Book For All the Saints

Canada Day 1 July Canada Day is a national holiday, not a feast of the Church; and yet it is right that we Christians offer prayer and thanksgiving today, because all the good things which we enjoy as Canadians have their origin as gifts of God. The resources of our land and the oceans which border it, our diversity as Canadian people, the heritage of Confederation and our nation’s continuing efforts to ensure peace and justice for all its citizens — all these things call the Church to remember and celebrate the God who gave them. At the same time, we as the people of the Church must accept an immense responsibility as citizens of Canada. We believe that divine grace seeks to fulfill what divine power has created. We are the servants of this saving purpose of God: we do not leave the concerns of Canadian society behind us when we enter our churches; we enter our churches in order to gain fresh strength for the work of making God’s justice, compassion, and wisdom ever more present in the life of our nation. On Canada Day, our task is to dedicate ourselves to the mission of bringing all our country’s resources — natural and human — within the circle of God’s redemptive love in Jesus Christ.

(From the Canadian Book of Alternate Services)

Collect Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

There are also two collects in our Book of Common Prayer

O GOD, who providest for thy people by thy power, and rulest over them in love: Vouchsafe so to bless thy servant our Queen, and her Government in this Dominion of Canada, that thy people may dwell in peace and safety, and thy Church serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, who didst lead the fathers of our nation into this land of Canada, and hast increased us by thy favour: Grant, we beseech thee, that we who now enter into their inheritance, may prove ourselves a people mindful of thy mercies and ready to do thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Inventory

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it Matter if We “Take Stock” of our Prayer Life?

I think it does. Regardless of the way we pray, or how often we pray, God does not want our relationship with Him to stay the same. He desires us to come closer to Him and to grow in our love for Him, for others, and for ourselves. It is therefore appropriate that from time to time we “take stock” of how we are communicating with God, and how our relationship is developing. This article will ask you to pose a number of questions to yourself. There are no right or wrong answers. The results are intended to provide food for thought and in the hope that you will be spurred to take stock, and make changes if they are necessary to improve your relationship with God.
Continue reading “Inventory”

Intercession Preparation

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I prepare ahead of time to lead Prayers of the People?

Yes, I believe it does. It matters that the person who leads the prayers has an understanding of the purpose of the prayers, their place in the liturgy and the role of the Intercessor.

In a previous article of Prayer Matters, I wrote that Intercession is a relationship in which we share our concerns with each other and with God. It is appropriate that we should hold before God those people and situations in need of prayer. The Intercessory prayers should focus on God’s reconciling, transforming, and healing love. The Prayers of the People are the prayers offered as a Christian community. The worshipping community’s prayers are an expression of our belief that people, and the circumstances in the world that affect the human family, can be touched and changed through Jesus Christ and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. The prayers are given shape both by our awareness of human need and the Gospel vision of God’s Kingdom.

The Prayers of the People Gathered

In acting as an Intercessor in public worship one is bringing before God the prayers of the people gathered together. Ideally, the Intercessor expresses or vocalizes the prayers that the people have presented to him/her to offer on their behalf. The challenge facing parishes is to find ways in which the Intercessor can truly act as the gatherer of prayers and the encourager for others in the congregation to express the prayers that are in their hearts.

The Prayers of the People Are: an expression of what we are concerned about; what we are excited about; of our joys and of thanksgivings; about the world in which we live; about the concerns for the whole human family – both local and wider church concerns; brief, but clear; intended to challenge people to continue to pray about issues on their own; and a response to the church season and theme for the day.

The Prayers of the People Are Not: a sermon; long; the announcements; an occasion for promoting a personal point of view on issues; or a monologue in which the people have no part.

Preparing the Prayers

When preparing, the leader should pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, remembering that prayer is a gift from God. St. Paul says, “The spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 – NRSV). Prayer is more than what we do; it is what God does through us.

When preparing: the bulletin should be checked; the order of service read; the appointed Scripture readings read, and the prayer focus they suggest, noted. The intercession format for the day needs to be chosen. Often churches use different formats each week with seasonal emphasis appropriate to the occasion. Individual parishes have different ways of encouraging parishioners to include particular prayer requests into the Intercessions. In some congregations, before the worship service begins, people are invited to indicate a name or situation for which they want prayers in an Intercession Book that is placed near the entrance to the worship space. The Intercessor expresses these needs when offering the Prayers of the People.

Various formats can be used. If special prayers have been prepared, or adaptations of the chosen form used, including the parish, diocesan, and world-wide Anglican cycle of prayer, they should be written out ahead of time. This will help to keep the prayers an appropriate length as well as avoid any embarrassing lapses of memory or confusion. The prayers can creative, and include current events, local, national, and international. Both thanksgivings, as well as petitions should be included.

There is sometimes a tendency to focus on prayers for local concerns and the healing of the sick. It is important to look beyond the immediate local concerns and pray for our political leaders, for business people, teachers, scientists etc., whose decisions affect the whole human family.

Leading the Prayers

It is important that the congregation understand that the Prayers of the People truly come from all of the people. Therefore, if practical, the Intercessor can lead from the midst of the people gathered. However, as with the Scripture Readings, it is very important the prayers be heard by the whole congregation. If a microphone is necessary to accomplish this, it should be used. The place from which the Prayers are led would be selected with this in mind.

When introducing the Prayers of the People it should be made clear to the congregation what the expected response to each petition is. In order to reinforce this, the Intercessor can introduce and join in the response. The response could also be printed in the bulletin or projected on a screen. During the Prayers, members of the congregation should be given the opportunity to express their concerns, and the intercessor should make space and time for them to articulate their cares and joys, either aloud or in silence.

Let God Work

Leading the Prayers of the People is a privilege and a responsibility. Be assured that, having been prepared well, God will hear the prayers and honour all that has been offered.

Intercessions

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I pray for others?

Yes. I believe that it does. It matters not only in our Anglican worship services where we traditionally include “Intercessions” or “Prayers of the People”, but also in our daily lives. Several years ago, a friend asked me: “Why do we pray every week for peace in the Middle East when history shows us that people have been fighting each other for thousands of years and the prayers for peace over the centuries have not made any difference?” How you would answer that question? The question caused me to think deeply about why we pray intercessory prayers for others.
Continue reading “Intercessions”

Reader Preparation

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter that I prepare ahead of time to read a Scripture Lesson

Yes. I believe that it does.

The scriptures are given a prominent role in Anglican liturgy. The church’s worship services are full of scriptural phrases and sentences. This prominence reflects the Anglican church’s emphasis through the centuries on the primacy of the scriptures. “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching , for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 – NRSV). If we are to respect this prominent role, we should understand the role of the Reader, or “Lector”.
Continue reading “Reader Preparation”