Do We Value Prayer?
“Of course we do!” someone may protest at that headline.
But … after one of those manic days yesterday, I just wonder. I was picking music and readings for two services, I had two funerals, Debbie and I visited a mother and her new baby, a hoped-for peaceful lunch time turned into a frantic time of arranging emergency help for someone in dire need, we had to get the children to their annual eye tests, and the sugar fondant coating was Circuit Meeting in the evening. It made me remember those people who value ministers according to their busyness.
How different that is from the concept of being paid a stipend, not a salary, because a stipend is a living allowance that is to free us from want so we can pray. Yes, pray about how we should follow our calling as ministers, but pray.
Oh, we are asked to pray in public worship and include certain individuals in our private prayers, but even that is prayer as achievement, not prayer as waiting or contemplation. The busyness bug even infects what prayer we do practise, or which is approved. Are we really Pelagians at heart, or might we still just about believe in grace?