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Friday, 18 October 2019 07:00

Diving deep and riding waves: Why prayer and mission belong together

 2019.62.EMM PARAYER AND MISSION.main blog image

For me, imagining living our life of mission without a life of prayer is like trying to imagine waves crashing into the shore without the expanse of ocean behind it.

As MGLs, our life of ministry is like the waves in this image I've just used.  It's often the most obvious, visible and exciting-looking part of our life.  We spend our days relating with all kinds of people, speaking at youth events, planning mission opportunities for young people and visiting prisons, hospitals and people in need.  Often our ministry takes us interstate, sometimes overseas, sometimes speaking before large groups of people or on stages with big lights or cameras, or excitedly standing by as the action unfolds. Sometimes we see the glimpse of the amazing work God is doing in the person before us as we accompany them or meet with them for spiritual direction.

Many days it's as exhilarating as a day in the surf, riding the waves of God's grace and doing our best to cooperate with the current of the Holy Spirit. Some days the adrenaline rush is simply from keeping our head above water in the crazy rough sea.

But just as the waves don't crash to the shore without the great sea behind it, our ministry wouldn't have force, energy, vitality or strength without the seemingly calmer, quieter and often more hidden life of prayer that we lead.

And so each morning, evening and night the call is on our life to gather for prayer in our chapel.  Each day we come face to face with the God of love who holds us, heals us and sends us back out into whatever the mission field has for us next. 

At times our life of prayer could be regarded as like diving deep into the life of God - discovering more about ourselves and the mystery that God is.  At other times prayer can feel like sitting atop the board, waiting for any sign of movement in the ocean. Whether we find ourselves waiting peacefully basking in the glow of the sun, or with frustratedness and boredom, the call is to head out into the deep each day before, during and after we launch into the activity of the waves.

Our experiences and those of many who've gone before us says that time in the deep with God makes us more aware of God's presence in the midst our work. And ultimately, knowing ourselves as loved and set free by God each day better enables us to bring this love and freedom to everyone we encounter.

Berna Toohey