Prayer for July & August 2021
Genie and Ernie Knowles, our Grandma and Grandad, my late in-laws were wonderful people of faith and very devoted members of their local URC in Heavitree, Exeter.
I suppose they wouldn’t have dreamt of worshipping anywhere else than in the URC church. Grandad looked after the church accounts and Grandma sat in her library corner after the morning service where people could come and borrow books. Any money raised was given to church funds.
In their outlook Genie and Ernie were very traditional and kept a strict weekly and annual routine. I learned to respect this. Certain things were done on certain days at a certain time without fail. Their annual holiday, always taken in June, was spent in Guernsey, and they always stayed in the same hotel.
Twice a year they came to stay with us in Croydon for a week. Times shared together have left many happy memories. During grandparents' visits our children especially loved teatimes because they were allowed to eat cakes rather than Mum's homemade bread and stew and cinnamon buns. Grandad in particular had a fondness for cakes.Grandparents always arrived on a Thursday and went back to Devon the following Tuesday. The reason for this was that Grandma had her weekly hair appointment on Wednesday and she would never miss her women's meeting at church on a Wednesday night. It had started as a 'Young Wives' meeting and was still going strong many years later although the wives were not so young any more!
Whether we are still working full-time or are retired with other commitments, most of us have our routines which structure our days and weeks. During the past year we have been forced to do things differently and change our routines and habits, maybe even our thinking and attitudes.
During the Lent this year under Mike's helpful guidance we studied the booklet 'Holy Habits: Following Jesus'. It was a good habit to keep Sunday nights free and learn from each other and reflect on scriptures in preparation for Easter.
Few of us are called to live our lives according to the monastic discipline and God does not accept or judge us according to how much or little time we spend in prayer. However, there is a danger that without spiritual food we begin to starve without even realising it.
Now, when we are beginning to have more freedom with fewer restrictions, let us try to develop or keep the habit of prayer. In the midst of our everyday routines, even if only a few minutes a day we could try to listen to God and hear which way He is leading us.
We pray using the words of an Ancient Collect:
'O Heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being,
we humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit,
that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may never forget thee, but remember that we are ever walking in thy sight; for thine own name's sake'. Amen.
(Prayers through the Centuries by Nancy Martin)