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Ask most Methodists if they would prefer to pray or make a cup of tea the latter usually wins by a mile. Yet I want to encourage us to be people of prayer. Prayer is to the christian as important as breathing, and yet for most difficult. I include myself in that statement.

Recently many of our members have had issues with their health and their age, and sometimes I hear people express the idea they feel useless. Methodists have always been great activists, so when activity is denied us we can feel life has become frustrating and directionless. Might I suggest that when we are brought to a halt by our health, or when we are forced to slow right down this might be an important opportunity for prayer. Prayer for the world, for our church, and for our neighbour is something we can always do. Bringing those we love and those we are concerned about before the love of God our Father is the most profound activity we can ever engage in. That is all prayer really is, loving God and loving our neighbour. Doing these two things is what Jesus says fulfils God's greatest commandments. So if you find you can do little else maybe God is giving you the gift of time to express that love by praying.

From May 30th (Ascension Day) to June 9th (Pentecost) the Methodist Church together with the Church of England and other denominations are committing ourselves to pray especially that more people may come to know God's love through faith in Jesus Christ. In Malvern we will be taking part in this time of prayer, which is called "Thy Kingdom Come." Prayer tents will be set up in the Priory churchyard where each day people can come and ask for prayer, leave prayer requests, and spend time before prayer stations. There will be help to pray imaginatively and in different ways. On Tuesday June 4th Malvern Methodists will be responsible, beginning with the 9am short Holy Communion in the main tent which normally would take place at Lansdowne Crescent. At midday and towards the end of the afternoon there will be prayer activities led by me, and maybe the odd bit of hymn singing. Methodists have always used hymns as prayers. Please come and join us and give your support on this day. Please also take this opportunity to pray each day during this period that faith may grow in more and more people as they come to know Jesus.

In the meantime please think about how you might spend a little more time each day in prayer. I have found the time we set aside for God is time he always gives back to us. Prayer is something we can all do, even at times when life is slowing us down or stopping us in our tracks. Perhaps this is when in prayer we can do the most important thing, prayerfully loving God and loving our neighbour.

With every blessing