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Thy Kingdom Come 2023 - Circuit Prayer Experiences
Thank you for joining us for this virtual prayer experience. Today we are inviting you to pray with your imagination by becoming one of the friends of Jesus on the road to Emmaus. There are a number of areas of reflections below where you can pause and wonder for a while. Each of these has a number and you will find suggestions for things to reflect on and pray about as you stop and rest at these areas. You could also write down your own thoughts and prayers. There is no right amount of time to take over this experience. Some of you will pause briefly and then move on. Others will prefer to take their time and stop for a while. Whatever feels right for you is perfectly fine. God will be with you and will bless you on your journey.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS Notice how the familiar surroundings are fading away. You find yourself instead on a road which leads away from Jerusalem. You are one of the friends of Jesus. A few days ago, he was arrested, tortured and put to death. Your whole world feels like it has come to an end.
Jesus died “to gather into one the dispersed children of God” and yet since his arrest his followers have been scattered. You are part of that scattering as you travel away from the main body of his friends in Jerusalem. Notice the footprints that are left as each of his friends go in different directions.
Reflect on your experiences of the broken church. Jesus prayed that those who believed in him in the future would be one.
Pray with Jesus for the unity of the Church
As you continue your journey, a man comes close and walks with you. Your eyes are closed to the truth that this companion is Jesus. He says “what are you talking about as you walk along?” You have been talking about what happened to Jesus, so you stand still looking sad.
As you look at the sad figure, reflect on what has made you stand still and feel sad, the experiences that have stopped you in your tracks, the sadnesses which have caused your life to freeze and get stuck.
Pray for freedom to let go of the past and for a joyful heart as you embrace the new life that God is giving you.
You tell your travelling companion that the death of Jesus has made you lose heart and that you find the women’s announcement that he is alive to be nonsense. Jesus listens to your whole story, then he says, “how foolish you are, how slow of heart to believe”. As you listen to the tick of the clock, notice the sound of your beating heart.
Reflect on what makes you lose confidence in God.
Pray for the gift of a heart filled with faith and trust in God.
Jesus breaks open the scriptures for you as he explains his suffering and his entering into glory. Later, when you look back you say, “were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us”. One of the knitted hearts is there for you to take home. As you receive your new heart reflect on what makes your heart burn with passion, what stories or words from the Bible make your heart feel strangely warmed.
Pray for a warm enthusiastic heart that is open to God and the new things that God is doing.
You arrive at your destination. Jesus acts as though he will continue his journey. You urge him strongly saying “abide with us”. A few days ago, Jesus said to you, “abide in me as I abide in you”. He wants to have a relationship of mutual indwelling with you. By saying “abide with us” you are saying that you want this too.
Reflect on the times when you have longed for the presence of Jesus, when your restless heart has longed to rest in God.
Pray by imagining a set of Russian dolls. Place a doll inside another doll and say, “may I evermore dwell in you”. Place a doll inside another doll and say “may you evermore dwell in me”. Repeat the prayer as many times as you like.
You have heard the voice of Jesus and opened the door to him. He has come in to your life and now abides with you. He sits at your table, takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it to you. Your eyes, which had been closed, are opened and you see that it is Jesus.
Reflect on the times when you have experienced the presence of Jesus.
Imagine eating a cracker and a grape pray that Jesus may enter and fill you again. Pray that your eyes may be open to the presence of Jesus and your heart may be open to his love.
REFLECTION EXPERIENCE 7
The moment you recognise him, Jesus vanishes from your sight. You immediately go back to his friends in Jerusalem. His scattered friends are united once again. You share your stories about how you met with the risen Jesus.
Reflect on the ways in which you can share the message that Jesus is risen.
Imagine touching five pebbles and think of five people and pray that they will come to know the love of God. 1.________________________________________ 2.________________________________________ 3.________________________________________ 4.________________________________________ 5.________________________________________
Pray for opportunities to share the good news of God’s love with them.
Reflect on your prayer experience. What is God saying to you today? What has come to you most strongly? Name one thing, put it into one sentence or just a few sentences.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
Notice that Jerusalem fades away and you are once again in a familiar space. The first friends of Jesus were all together in one place and they constantly devoted themselves to prayer. Then, the Holy Spirit was poured out and filled each one of them. Their journey continued as they went out into the world and shared the good news.
Thank you for giving time to share this journey.
May God continue to bless you
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