Prayer in Community
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
June 28, 2009
Prayer in Community
Open your Bible
Light a candle
While I'm Waiting
King James Version
1Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
3If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
4But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
7Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
8And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Listen to the psalm:
Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 529
And I beheld, and I heard one angel flying in the midst of heaven.- That this signifies the Lord enlightening all in the heavens concerning the state of the church at its end, is evident from the signification of seeing and hearing, as denoting to open the understanding to perceive, concerning which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of angel, as denoting the Lord; that angels in the Word mean the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, thus the Lord Himself, as to Divine Truth, may be seen above (n. 130, 200, 302); here the Lord, as to revealing what the quality of the church would be in the last times as to the reception of the Divine Truth; and from the signification of flying, as denoting to enlighten and impart understanding, concerning which also we shall speak presently; and from the signification of "in the midst of heaven," as denoting in the whole heaven, or all who are in the heavens. That in the midst signifies in the whole, and thus all, may be seen above (n. 213). It is evident therefore, that, "I beheld, and I heard an angel flying in the midst of heaven," signifies the enlightenment of all in the heavens concerning the state of the church at its end. Illustration concerning the state of the church is signified, because this is the subject treated of in what follows. The reason why seeing and hearing signify the opening of the understanding to perceive, is, that to see signifies to understand, and to hear signifies to perceive. That to see signifies to understand, may be seen above (n. 260); and that to hear signifies to perceive, may also be seen above (n. 14, 108).
Prayer in Community
Greetings from Seattle:
I write this sermon in Seattle at our annual Swedenborgian convention. I have had a rich and meaningful week: worshipping, learning, playing, and praying with a couple hundred fellow Swedenborgians.
Yet, during this past week, my prayer experiences have been in community rather than in private. Teresa writes about our personal relationship with God. I also connect with the Divine through my faith community.
Community prayer is also very much on my mind because our steering committee for www.swedenborgiancommunity.org is preparing an exciting new program for ways we can experience prayer within our on-line community.
Teresa wrote statements that were quite bold for her time. She noted that most prayer was "vocal" -- often spoken out loud in church. In private, people often recited or read prayers; either out loud or in their heads. The Psalms and scripture were used frequently for prayer. Our scripture reading for today is Psalm 130; a deep and heartfelt prayer that has been read or recited for generations for prayer. It is used both in corporate worship as well as in private, personal prayer.
Teresa introduced us to the idea of a prayer beyond words. Prayer can grow out of simply being open to and living with God. In my daily life, I love to experience prayer this way.
In everyday life, if I am praying while walking, and encounter another person, I speak with them; even if it disrupts my prayers.
Yet, here I need say nothing! We are all in prayer; alone and together. I can lower my eyes to the floor, and make no eye contact. Or I can smile. I can hug or hold hands. We communicate through our eyes and the movement of our bodies.
In the cafeteria, the only sound is that of cutlery on plates. I can eat with my eyes on my plate. Or I can share with others through my eyes and face.
It is glorious! I am deeply with God. And I am in community with others who are deeply with God. Each person there is helping to support my prayer time, and I am supporting theirs.
This is, for me, a way I can experience private prayer with community.
We post prayers and prayer requests.
We had an experience of "prayer partners" during Advent, where we each had a "secret" partner to pray for and who prayed for us. Many of us had deeply moving experiences during this time.
We will soon be exploring the use of prayer beads and prayer shawls. We will make known that we are a place to bring prayer requests and to pray.
Do you have ideas or requests for our unfolding prayer program? Email Susan at Prayer@swedenborgiancommunity.org.
Let us pray. "Dear God, please guide our path as we open our hearts to prayer with you."
Let's Go Down to the River to Pray