Prayer Board by nimble photography (via flickr) As followers of Jesus, making our journey within that limb of the Body of Christ called the Episcopal Church, we are people of prayer. We pray together in worship, in prayer groups, on retreats and in every kind of setting. Prayer is woven into everything we do. Our young people at camp at the Domain, and the adults who accompany them, pray throughout their daily activities. Congregational life is soaked in prayer; many congregations have a regular time of daily intercession or show a provision on their websites. (“How can we pray for you? Please send us your prayer requests.”)

We also pray privately, entering into that intimate bond which the Holy Spirit ever seeks to build between us and our God (see Romans 8:26-28). I hope each of us has a prayer rhythm, a prayer place, and prayer aids (a prayer aid may be a candle, prayer beads, an icon, special music, a prayer cushion, a cross or statue, a favorite prayer card or picture… or anything else which supports us in our private prayer). I have a “prayer corner” in my room at St Agnes House and at our home in Maine. As strange as it may sound, one of my favorite prayer places is my car. Especially when I know where I’m going! Intercession, by which names and faces come into my heart, flows easily when I’m driving, as does the kind of prayerful reflection which we all need to do to keep perspective and gain insight. (Brief aside: Maine is the geographically largest diocese east of the Mississippi River, and I drove 50K miles per year while serving as bishop… one learns to use that travel time in all kinds of ways!)

Our General Convention is saturated with prayer. We count on you holding us in prayer as we serve to deepen the connection with our brothers and sisters across the Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion. Opportunities for spiritual growth (workshops, gatherings, worship, Bible study) are offered constantly at General Convention. Alongside General Convention, the “Triennial,” a concurrent meeting of the Episcopal Church Women and all of its sister organizations, offers a rich variety of spiritual programs. (I often slip into one or another of their sessions to hear a particular speaker….)

The author Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers, declared there really are only two kinds of prayer, when you get right down to basics:

“Help me, help me, help me.” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

There is also prayer beyond words. In every way, the Holy Spirit’s gift of prayer is infinitely precious. May we all open ourselves to receiving this gift ever more as the journey continues.

God bless us, every one.

Prayerfully and gratefully,