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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Start:Stop - Prayers on the Move

Bible reading

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” (Matthew 26. 36 – 39)


Jesus prayed on the night before he died but his disciples struggled to pray with him. It might seem difficult to know how to pray, but it may easier than you think. After all, Jesus simply spoke to God about the anguish he was feeling. We could think of praying as being a bit like Facebook: wherever you are you can check in to share your status, you can show you ‘like’ something, and you can share information about causes close to your heart.

Prayers on the Move is a project, which you may have seen advertised on public transport networks around the country, that encourages people to give praying a go, or to try doing it more often, because praying helps develop our spirituality and enables us to connect with something bigger than ourselves.

Jesus prayed while he was ‘on the move’; here he prays after the Last Supper and just before his arrest. You could also try praying ‘on the move’: when you see a homeless teenager on the street, or as you walk to meet a friend who’s just found out that his dad’s got cancer. In these prayers you’re responding to real situations in real time, and asking God to be a part of them.

Once you’ve done this for a while, or if this approach doesn’t work for you, you may want to try to carve out a moment or two each day when you can take a deep breath and think and reflect on what’s going on, deep inside, at the edge of your consciousness. It doesn’t matter when this time is, but if it’s possible to make it roughly the same time each day, this will help you to get into a rhythm.

Like Jesus in Gethsemene, you may find it useful to reflect on:

· What has the past 24 hours been like – good or bad?
· Was there anything stressful or upsetting? Did you handle it well?
· Is there anyone you’ve let down? Did you let yourself down?
· Is there anyone who needs help, either people you know or people in the news?
· Is there anything, however small, to be grateful for?

This moment of prayer in a busy day may be just what you need to calm your mind and refresh your spirit, and it may also help you to focus on something beyond your own immediate needs and worries.

See where you can find a prayer booklet and download a free ‘Prayers on the Move’ app, which includes one-minute audio files of prayers and allows you to set an alert to remind you to pray.


O Lord, you know how busy I must be this day. If I forget you, do not forget me.

Father God, teach me to pray not what I want, but what you want.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Father God, teach me to pray not what I want, but what you want.

So many voices all around tell me what to do. Help me to listen to the still, small voice of truth.

Father God, teach me to pray not what I want, but what you want.

I’ll never earn enough if I measure my wealth in numbers. Make me rich in love.

Father God, teach me to pray not what I want, but what you want.

Give me a heart for simple things, friends and family, justice and love, food and wine. And make me thankful.

Father God, teach me to pray not what I want, but what you want.


Being remembered by you, serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what can be changed, hearing the still, small voice of truth, becoming rich in love. May all these blessings of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always. Amen.


Prayers on the Move with Archbishop of Canterbury - How to Pray.

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