Top Prayer App
Click here to read more about The Lectio 365 Resource
Lectio 365 contains devotional content to help you pause and pray at the start and end of every day. Find out how to make the most of our morning and evening prayers through the app and take it with you during the day.
It comes highly recommended
Wendy’s August Prayer Thoughts
Venice is known as the city of canals and bridges. Thinking of the latter, you will immediately think of the famous Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal. It is the only pedestrian bridge crossing. It is also renowned for housing many small shops. There is only one covered bridge in the city, the equally famous Bridge of Sighs built in 1602. Its name in Italian is Ponte Dei Sospiri. Annunciating the word ‘sospiri’ is like uttering a sigh. This beautiful bridge, built of white limestone in decorative baroque style spans the River Palace. Its 12 windows have stone bars. 20 Macrons – faces – adorn the bottom arch, 10 on each side.. The faces are meant to scare off evil accessing the building and the people. I viewed it from the Bridge of Straw. The bridge was built to connect the new prison, (considered to be the 1st prison in the world), to the Magistrates Interrogation Room in the Doges Palace. Various theories exist for its name. One is that as men walked across to imprisonment in the cells, so losing their freedom. They gave a deep sigh as they caught their last glimpse of the outside world – St George and the Lagoon. Those sighs were not of wonder but of despair.
I am sure that we have all sighed many times, for different reasons, and on varied occasions. It may have sprung from a sudden surprise, from abounding joy, or when we have been left speechless on the receipt of bad news. Pain and frustration may cause us to sigh, so may witnessing or hearing of a broken relationship, or observing a wrong act it can also signify delight, relief or resignation. Whatever the reason, every sigh is a breath from deep within. As God’s people sighs have meaning as prayers. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word anach translates as ‘sighs, groans’. In most cases they are used in prayers to God for destruction of the enemy. “Let all their evil done come before you and deal with them, for my sighs are many and my heart is faint.” Lamentations 1:22. David who often prayed knowing he could speak to God with transparency in his anguish, sorrow and sin said: “O Lord, all my longing is known to you, my sighing is not hidden to you.” Psalm 38:9. In Psalm 55: 16-17 he prays for the ruin of his enemies. “I call to God, God will help me. At dusk, dawn and noon I sigh deep sighs – he rescues.”
Jesus confirms how God accepts a sigh as a prayer. He had moved into the Gentile area of the Decapolis when he was met by people bringing a deaf man with speech impairment. Mark 7:31-35. They begged Him to place His hand on the man and heal him. Jesus was most sensitive to the Man’s condition and the situation, so he took Him away from the gathered crowd. Aware that the man could not communicate through speech, He resorted to actions. First, Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears, and then He spat and touched his tongue. At that point I’m sure that the deaf man was aware that Jesus understood his restriction and isolation, and was about to perform a miracle it’s the next action of Jesus which is key. He looked up to heaven. Then He exhaled a sigh from the depth of His being, expressing the sadness and compassion. He felt for the man’s plight. Jesus lifted him to God in prayer and giving a deep sigh utters the Aramaic word ephpatha. “be opened.” “His hearing was clear and his speech plain.” MSG.
The Son of God offered prayer through a sigh We can too. It is just as effective as words. God hears and understands the deep emotion within our hearts. In1818 the Moravian James Montgomery, poet and writer of over 400 hymns, penned a hymn about prayer in which he shows how natural and uncomplicated it is. It begins’ “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire” The second verse reassures of the relevance of a sigh as prayer.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.
Wendy’s September Prayer Thoughts
Many people call the Niagara Falls the 8th wonder of the world. They were created by a glacier 12,500 years ago. It was the distant roar, which grew louder and louder on approach, that first excited me. A stupendous spectacle awaited. It was night time and already dark.. The Falls were illuminated in their national colours – the American Falls and Bridal Falls with red, white and blue, the Canadian Horseshoe Falls with red and white. The water rushes and tumbles over into the Niagara River below at the rate of 6 million cubic feet every minute in day light hours. It’s difficult to avoid the spray when going close to the edge to photograph. Sailing on the Mist of Niagara to go behind the water of the Horseshoe Falls, results in most of the passengers getting thoroughly drenched, and the water is cold!
5 years before my visit, on the evening of 15th of June 2012, Nik Wallenda, a dare devil and high wire artist, had walked across the Horseshoe Falls, from Goat Island in America to table Rock in Canada, on a 2” diameter steel rope. He needed nerves of steel too, even though he was wearing a safety net for the first time in his life! Statistics reveal the Horseshoe Falls to be 188′ high, and 170′ deep. Spray can rise in the air up to 390′. He walked across the widest part. Nick had been born into a circus family, and had taken his first steps on a tight rope at the age of 2. At the age of 4, he had given his life to Christ. Aged 8 visited the Falls with his parents.. From then on, he dreamed of being able to cross it on a tight rope. Hordes of people gathered to watch that dream come true, – tens of thousands on the American side. and 120,000 on the Canadian side. The event was televised, and Nik was fitted with a microphone to relay his thoughts. It took him 25 minutes to inch across the1,800′ of slippery wire, whilst praying and praising God. At the half way point he was 36′ lower than when he had started. Wind gusts of 14mph hit him in the front, then from the back. Commenting afterwards Nick said, “It was more peaceful than you could imagine. I trust in Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. That’s where I find the peace that passes all understanding.”
Nik proved the validity of God’s peace in his daring feat, because he knew its source. Before undertaking the venture he had prayed with his wife and 3 children Why? His answer is simple. “The Bible says ‘pray without ceasing,’ and I’m always praying.” Are we lacking peace because we are neglecting prayer? There is only one source of peace. It is found when we turn to God, whose divine nature is peace; to Christ, the Prince of peace who cares about peace in our hearts. Just before His crucifixion He made a promise to those who would follow Him, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27. The peace He offers is distinct from the world’s peace which soon evaporates when circumstances become unfavourable and challenging.
Taking time out to rest in God’s peace requires us to sit still for a few moments, in moments of waiting, to allow our minds to rest, before we utter any words. It’s an invaluable exercise that the Psalmist shared with us. “Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth.”46:10.”Be” is a verb of command. “Be still.” The Hebrew word for “still” is raphah which is better translated by looking at its background in the Psalm with ‘let go, stop fighting, cease striving, and submit.’ So we are advised to draw closer to God, and in the stillness with deeper awareness, give thanks to God, the Almighty One, who is in control. The peace we have in Him is an inner peace. It is not dependent on circumstances or emotions, but solely on our relationship with our heavenly Father. The Message reads, “Step out of the traffic. Take a long look at your high God, above politics, above everything.”
Isaiah, who had prayed in the temple in Jerusalem and witnessed the holiness, and cleansing of God, spoke of how the righteous would sing God’s praises again over Jerusalem and would know His peace. They are words of assurance for us today. I quote from chapter 26:3 from the Amplified Bible… “You will keep in peace the one whose mind is steadfast (that is, committed, focused on you in both inclination and confident expectation). You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” NKJV. How blessed we are to have a constant source of peace through experiencing Jesus beside and within us, especially when we make time to pray, and talk, and listen to Him.
The Prayer Course
The prayer course which is presented by Pete Grieg of the 24/7 payer movement. It is a great general guide to different types of prayer.
Ignatian prayer is a way of praying which sometimes involves imagining yourself in a Bible story and having an encounter with Jesus.
The take time website has some excellent meditations of different lengths which you may like to try. There is a charge on this website after an initial free trial.
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)
UCB produce a great daily devotional which is recommend by our church. It is a helpful reflection on a very short daily Bible reading which helps readers to apply Biblical truths to their everyday lives. Click on the link below to read or listen to the UCB ‘Word for Today’ They are free to use.
Pause/Pray is a free series of Bible reflections, available as a podcast or download. They include original music, guided prayers and themes related to daily life. A new one is available each fortnight. To stream or download the episodes or subscribe to the podcast go to iTunes or your regular podcast app.https://www.engageworship.org/pausepray
Three Minute Retreat
Do you feel that it’s hard to find time for prayer?
Even a short time spent in prayer can help you to refocus and to connect with God. Rev’d Sue and Reader Diane recommend this website which offers a guided 3 minute retreat. There’s a time to pause, a short reading, two questions to get you thinking and a little prayer. You can get it as an app for different types of mobile phone too.
Our Diocesan Prayer.
Heavenly Father, we embrace Your call for us to make disciples, to be witnesses and to grow leaders. Give us the eyes to see Your vision, ears to hear the prompting of Your Spirit and courage to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. AMEN