image of hands folded together in prayer

A Call to Prayer

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:7 

I’m writing to you today, on behalf of our ED Bradley Harris and our DSP Ray Moulton, to invite each of you to participate in a week of prayer. As most of you know, The Salvation Army, as an international part of the Christian Church, places a high value in the power of prayer. In the summer of 2014, The Salvation Army issued a worldwide call to 24/7 prayer that would last an entire calendar year. They named it Boundless – The Whole World Praying; organized in such a way that every region and territory was scheduled to take responsibility for one week of prayer within that yearlong prayer initiative. Canada’s week begins on Monday, February 9th running seven days until February 15th.

Now I’m not suggesting, even for a moment, that we try and organize ourselves to be praying every single minute of these seven days of prayer, but I am asking that we consider joining in with the rest of the country and the world in intentional prayer throughout the next seven days. The Army’s international vision is:

One Army
One Mission
One Message

Let’s be a part of that unified vision by taking a few moments of every day next week to pray for our work.

I’m committing to one hour of prayer per day next week; which admittedly will be a stretch for me. To be completely honest, I don’t quite understand prayer. I’m not always sure how to pray and I’m also not often sure of how it works or even why it’s important. I have many unanswered questions about prayer, but I choose to pray anyway. It prompts me to untether from my computer and cell phone. It suggests I can have a conversation with God without needing Wi-Fi, a strong cell signal or a good internet package to make it work. It grounds me. It frees me to shut out the noise all around me. It helps me to feel close to the Creator of the universe. And yes sometimes, occasionally, I think I can even hear the voice of God and know he hears and answers my prayers.

Even still, I often need help to get my mind focused on prayer. Over the past few years I have grown fond of Celtic prayer; there’s something profoundly spiritual about them that allows me at times to really leave behind my surroundings and connect to God in a real way. Here’s a link to a website that I often find very helpful.

For every day next week I thought it would be a good idea to focus on one area of The Salvation Army’s work in Toronto. The schedule will be as follows:

  • Monday February 9th – Housing and Homelessness Services
  • Tuesday February 10th – Newcomer and Senior Services
  • Wednesday February 11th – Addiction and Mental Health Services
  • Thursday February 12th – Developmental Disability Services
  • Friday February 13th – Correctional and Justice Services
  • Saturday February 14th – Corps and Family Services
  • Sunday February 15th – Dignity for All: a National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada

I’ll be sending a reminder every day next week, along with a prayer and some prayer tools related to each day’s topic. Please consider this over the weekend as we lead up to next week. Maybe you can have brief prayer times as a staff for 10-15 minutes each morning. Maybe our chaplains can invite the residents to pray each day for these topics. Maybe these prayers can be a focus in your staff meetings. Let’s try and be creative as we cry out to the God of the universe to hear our pleas.

Let’s keep on trying to be The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.

Peace,

Dion Oxford, Mission Strategist

 

Prayer
Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

http://www.northumbriacommunity.org/offices/morning-prayer/

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