We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Prayer during Lent

Lent is the perfect time to renew one’s commitment to prayer. Whether you choose the formal structure of Morning Prayer or more open-ended approaches like contemplative prayer, we encourage everyone to find some practice to commit to during Lent.

Bishop Rob Wright of the Diocese of Atlanta wrote about prayer Feb. 25, 2022:

“So what is prayer? In our tradition, “prayer is responding to God, by thought and deed, with or without words.” We teach that there are seven principal kinds of prayer: adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession and petition. I wonder what your default prayer setting is? For lots of us it’s thanksgiving or intercession.”

Here is a definition of the above from All Saints Omaha:

Adoration is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God, asking nothing but to enjoy God’s presence. Praise is acclaiming God’s glory, forgiveness, lovingkindness, and mercy—not to obtain anything, but because God’s Being draws praise from us.

Thanksgiving is offered to God for all the blessings of this life, for our redemption, and for whatever draws us closer to God.

In penitence, we confess our sins and make restitution where possible, with the intention to amend our lives. Oblation is an offering of ourselves, our lives and labors, in union with Christ, for the purposes of God. Intercession brings before God the needs of others.

In Petition, we present our own needs, that God’s will may be done.

Bishop Wright’s invitation this Lent:

“As we approach the season of Lent how about changing things up a bit? This Lent, I invite you to choose the most unfamiliar genre from the list above and pray that genre until Easter. Just imagine, how accessing God’s mind and power in new ways will mean for your friendship with God and with the human family. Prayer changed Jesus that day on the mountain, he heard God’s voice in a new way. It was knowing God in prayer that gave him the power to heal the world one sick soul at a time. ”

In Mark 1:35-45, we encounter Jesus avoiding the crowds by beginning his day before others are awake and going to a deserted place to pray. It is a prayer practice from which we can all take note and learn. Before he began an intense day of teaching, preaching, and healing, he went to God to ground himself in prayer. He went off by himself to be at one with his Father, preparing for the day that would come. There are two other accounts in the Gospel of Mark of Jesus withdrawing to pray alone (6:46 and 14:32). He models in his own life the daily rhythm of work, rest, and prayer.

If you need a place to start, open a Prayer Book to page 136 and see “Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families.” Here is a Link

Beyond the above, consider starting here

1. Praying for your neighbors – Are any going through challenges, such as health issues, family struggles or economic issues ?

2. Pray for groups in your community.

3. Pray for the church as a corporate entity and then St. Peter’s.

4. Pray for those on the St. Peter’s prayer list.

5. Pray for the Diocese of Virginia and its bishops and the future Bishop election this year.

There are sites with groups of prayer.

1. This is link to a page called Lent Prayers

2. Prayers for strength in Lent

3. Scriptural refences of the prayers found in the Book of Common Prayer

4. Building Faith does prayer

5. Consider working with Praayer Beads