It’s strange that the idea of giving up something has become the major theme of Lent. I’d prefer us to concentrate on our prayer lives. Prayer is never a solitary or personal occupation. We never pray alone. In that sense all prayer is ‘church prayer’ because it takes place in the context of who we have become by baptism. Through baptism we have been made citizens of the Kingdom, and the visible shape of that Kingdom is the Church.
As the Church is made up of the living and the dead, bound together in communion (read the last paragraph of the Creed) we never pray alone. Prayer then, should never be self-centered. Someone else is praying for you and for me, so I can concentrate of loving God in prayer, and loving others in prayer. I can mention my needs briefly, but my concerns and needs shouldn’t elbow out prayers for those in need, prayers for the parish and praise and glory and love for God and of course personal and corporate repentance. In prayer we seek also the ‘communion of saints’. Their prayers and the prayers of all the departed are an enormous force, an enormous strength into which we need to link ourselves.
One can almost take the temperature of a parish by the prayer life of its people. The things we do together in church, our ability to embrace new people, to seek out those who are in need are all energized by prayer. 
So day by day in Lent, set aside a specific time, and reach out in the silence of your hearts to the glory around you.

One Response

  1. […] Tony from the blog Shreds and Patches encourages the faithful to add prayer to their lives during Lent, rather than just giving up a favored food or […]

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