Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mission and ministries are expressions of prayer

I came across this posting the other day on the BLOG of my friend Andy Doyle. I met Andy at a CREDO retreat a few years ago. The retreat was for clergy in mid-career, and was meant to help us focus on our calling and discern what God has for us next. Since that conference, Andy was elected bishop of the Diocese of Texas, where he now serves. He wrote this about mission and ministry last week and I highly commend it to you:

All our mission work and our ministries are expressions of the life of prayer that we lead. The work that originates in prayer is work that makes Christ real in the world around us. Mission and service bring the community of the Trinity into the real world. The same God that propels Jesus Christ into the world in order to draw people to the Father, through prayer, sends and commissions us on the same errand. We are to bring people into a closer union with God. We do that work by responding to people who wish to learn how to pray with companionship that helps them find their way along the journey of conversion. We must teach others to pray.

Our prayer leads us to help people find and discover their own vocations. We use our work of prayer to do the work of discernment with others. We are guides along the way listening with people as they seek to discern their own unique calling into ministry. Our prayers for the poor, widowed, sick, homeless in Christ bridges the chasm between us and sends us out, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to work for healing and reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration.

Our prayers lead us to be the voices of those who have no voices. Our prayers bring the work of companionship with the oppressed and the deprived into a stark reality. And the Holy Spirit sends us out to be the very real human resources who offer dignity and love to those people who believe they are lost and without God's love. Furthermore, prayer will lead us to stand up and act on behalf of those who are abused.

If we are to follow Jesus we are to work at prayer. If we are to follow Jesus prayer will originate our work. In one we come to know our place within the community of God, by the other God's community roots itself on earth.

No comments: