Loving God, as your Son healed the sick
And brought good news to the needy
Be with us this day.
Loving Jesus as you taught us to
‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’
Be with all the medical staff this day.
Loving spirit, your gift is healing,
Bring your healing fire to our homes, our hospitals and our county,
But most of all, be with us this day.
(taken from the Carlisle Diocese bulletin)
The one thing, that this period of crisis is giving us, is time for silence. I don’t know whether this fills you with joy or loathing. At this time, I’m drawn to the words in 1 Kings 19:11 – 13 where we hear about Elijah who was running away. God was not in the great wind, nor the earthquake or the fire. God was in the sound of sheer silence. But how can we find him?
One way of praying is known as the Jesus Prayer, it’s a simple way of praying, deceptively so because it can have the quite amazing effect of helping us reach that stillness. It’s not an academic prayer, it’s very simple. But it has the effect of helping us to remove any distractions coming into our minds.
The words are: Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
I was taught to use it by saying the first half whilst breathing in and the second part on a breath out. You use it on a repetitive basis, over and over again. It can be used throughout the day, any odd moment, whether in a formal prayer time or just in an odd moment here and there.
It’s especially effective in times of stress or when we are suffering in any way. It doesn’t require thought, we don’t feel that we have to prepare ourselves. It gives us a focus so that with the rest of our mind we can be with God, in that deep stillness that is within each of us.
As with all things, practice helps. Why not take a few moments each day to try it out? Sit down with your feet on the floor and still yourself. Make sure that you’re comfortable. Close your eyes. Silently, internally, begin to say the prayer. Listen to it as you say it. Keep saying it and don’t allow distractions to take your focus away. (I find that, if distractions keep coming, then I have to deal with them – write them on a piece of paper, and then return to the prayer.) The prayer should be continued for as long as you feel comfortable. Without practice you may not do it for very long, that is fine. Keeping going each day and it will improve. You may find that you don’t say the whole phrase – indeed some people just use one word, ‘Jesus’. That is also fine.
When you come to the end of saying the prayer don’t jump up and continue on with your day but stop saying the words and sit, quietly, for a short time.
When you’ve been using this prayer for some time you may catch yourself saying it at random times of the day (or night) without any idea of when you started. This feels to me like St Paul’s ‘praying without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It really is quite remarkable and can have a transformational effect on your life.
Join with me from 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. in prayer and Bible reading in our own homes.
You might like to have some quiet music in the background throughout the hour, or you may prefer silence.
I suggest that we use the following bible passages interspersed with prayer time or silence:
John 13: 1-17, 31 -35
John 18:1 – 40
Matthew 27: 27-66
Luke 2: 33-35 and John 19: 25-27
Loving Father, we come to you at this time of crisis unsure of what is going on in our world.
Help us, as anxious as we are, with all the fears and worries that we have, to lay those troubles at the foot of the cross.
Let us live in the present, dependent on you, knowing that you will not fail us.
We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Lord, in this time of Lent, when our world has been turned upside down, help us to reflect on your journey towards Jerusalem.
Help us to really hear your message to feed the hungry, comfort the bereaved, visit the prisoners and let the oppressed go free.
Help us to focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot and help us to be inventive in ways we can help.
Hear this prayer in the name of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen
Because we can’t be together at present, why not make a cross and put it in your window? Send a photo of it and we’ll try to publish them on the web site.
If you’ve already put a rainbow up then this would sit nicely beside it. As it says in Genesis 9:13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Information release on the 18th March regarding the suspension of public worship in Cumbrian Churches
Information, released on the 24th March, regarding the temporary closure of Church buildings due to the COVID-19 virus.
Welcome to the Warnell Parishes web site. The site is still in its infancy and has grown out of our desire to keep in touch with people during the Coronavirus pandemic. We hope that you find within it the information that you are looking for, if not please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll do our best to assist you.
Our main purpose in our six churches is to make God known to all as Saviour and Lord.
Even though our church buildings are closed currently we continue to pray regularly and would invite you to follow the link to find out how you can be part of prayer that is going on nationally.