Blogs

A journey through prayer

By Anonymous

I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God.

A couple of years ago I began to question some of the thoughts in my head more than I normally would and, how I was spending some of my time.

I am grateful that I have been in the Anglican church since I was born. I had enough sense to pray about what to do because I figured I was going crazy and I might act in a way that would destroy my marriage.

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The Priority of Prayer

By Paul Dumbrille.

Christians are called to do their best to bring God into their daily lives. Prayer, in its many forms, is the way we establish and maintain a connection with God. If we are to be the best we can be, and follow Jesus, we need to make prayer a priority in our lives. Personal prayer is central, but prayer in our family, church congregation, Diocese and community is also important. This is not done without making prayer a priority in all of these settings.
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What is in a Name

By Paul Dumbrille

Names are important. When we meet someone for the first time, the first question we usually ask is what that person’s name is. To start a relationship, we want to find out the name of the one we are communicating with. Once we learn the name of another person, we associate that name with the circumstance(s) in which we met them; how long we’ve known them, and what our relationship is with them. Sometimes we give them nickname. In my case, my last name has invited a variety of nicknames, usually starting with “Dumb”. Sometimes we add a modifier to the name or nickname (e.g. “Crazy Canucks”). One of the first things we do when we acquire a pet, is to give it a name. Names are important. In the English-speaking world, we most often use the name “God” when referring to, and addressing, the Divine Presence (a name in itself), and we often add a modifier such as “Loving” and “Gracious” to the name of God, to express what we feel are the characteristics of the God we know. The words we use cannot adequately describe the mystery of the Divine, even though we try. In connecting with God, it is important to consider the name(s) we use in prayer. The word(s) we use in addressing God often reveal what our image of God is, what we consider God’s character is, and/or our feelings about God at particular times.
Continue reading “What is in a Name”

Registration form for the 2018 national consultation

Oh My God: Making Prayer a Priority

June 4-8, 2018 – St John’s College, Winnipeg.

What are you doing on the first week of June, 2018? Why not consider joining us at our national gathering where diocesan representatives and others interested in prayer, come together to consult, to encourage, to learn and to be inspired by their work. Continue reading “Registration form for the 2018 national consultation”

Is God Always There?

By Paul Dumbrille

If your experience of prayer is anything like mine, at times you wonder if God is really there when you pray. Sometimes we have a deep sense of God’s presence, and sometimes we have no sense of the Divine reality. We can’t imagine that God exists. Sometimes we have deep feelings about God’s goodness and love, and sometimes we feel only boredom and distraction. Sometimes our eyes become teary, and sometimes they wander to our wristwatch to see how much more time we still need to spend in prayer. Sometimes we would like to stay in our place of prayer forever, and sometimes we can hardly wait to look at our smartphone. Prayer has a huge ebb and flow.
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Prayer and Place

By Paul Dumbrille

Does it matter where we pray? Yes and no. If one trusts that God is in everything and everything is in God, then God is available to us in prayer at any time and in any place. The important thing is not where we pray, but that we pray, and in what spirit it is done. However, my experience, and the experience of many others over time, is that physical place makes a difference. The outer place impacts our ability to tap into our inner space, where we can more easily access the Divine Presence. In seeking a meaningful relationship with God through prayer, it can be helpful to ask ourselves some questions related to space and place. Where are we most comfortable in prayer? What does our prayer space look like? We may find that the place or the space we normally use for prayer is no longer working for us. Maybe there are distractions within our spaces and places of prayer that did not initially exist. In past eras when crime inside churches was rare, the church sanctuaries were open most, if not all, of the time, ready for anyone with spiritual needs to come in and pray in peace. Sadly, the fears, expense, staffing and effort to keep churches always open today is too much for most congregations. But then, where can we pray? Anywhere, but often our lives and our world get in the way. There is still a need for a place to go, set aside for prayer, set up to help us in the act of praying. Continue reading “Prayer and Place”

“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

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