Each year in the spring members of the congregation are invited to participate in a Week of Guided Prayer.
During this retreat – in the midst of everyday life – retreatants spend time each day praying Scripture as well as meeting with a companion who has been trained to journey with each person along their spiritual journey. The materials for this retreat are prepared through an ecumenical initiative with the Hamilton conference of the United Church of Canada and can be found on the Week of Guided Prayer Network.
Week of Guided Prayer 2020
Sunday, May 24th – Saturday, May 30th. This year’s retreat theme is Living in the Presence. If you have questions, please speak to Rev. Patrick or to a member of the congregation who has participated in a previous Week of Guided Prayer. To register for the retreat please contact Rev. Patrick.
Living in the Presence
Living in the midst of the changes that are occurring in our world, we are invited to attend to how God is present to us on a daily basis. We are asked to practise stillness as a means of opening ourselves to the awareness of Presence. Remembering to whom we belong, as well as God’s loving intention for us revealed in Christ can be an empowering gift. By actively praying to be attentive, we open ourselves to greater awareness of the power behind all creation and to what belonging can mean for our growth. The greater our attentiveness the more we want to choose to be present to God as God is present to us. It is then that we see more clearly areas for gratitude and rejoicing. Living deeply rooted in the Presence, we are given the courage to do what we are called to do.
Week of Guided Prayer Testimonials
In April, 2018, I participated in the Week of Guided Prayer entitled, “Living in God’s Time”. I honestly did not know what to expect being my first time, but by the end of it I could not be happier for the experience! Throughout the week, in reading the reflections and scripture, journaling, prayers and meetings with my companion, it was quickly unfolding to me that I had been guided to participate, based on the timeliness of the theme and content, and the major changes about to take place in my life later on that year. I had not expected the experience to be such a personal and soul searching one, especially during my one on one sessions with my companion – Diane. At the end of session we were all given a mounted post card that read “Everything in God’s Time”, which I keep near my bed as a reminder at the start of each day, of the importance of having patience and waiting on God’s timing, especially when I feel anxious about the future.
The effects of participating in the Week of Guided Prayer, have definitely lived on, and I look forward to the next one. I would encourage everyone to experience it for themselves, it’s a great step in spiritual growth, along with some laughs, tears and getting to know the other participants and companions better!
For three consecutive years I have come to look forward to The Week of Guided Prayer as an important part of my faith journey. With my Prayer Companion, throughout the week I am reminded of the power and comfort that comes from praying with scripture. As I have experienced previously, I will certainly leave WofGP reassured that God is waiting, is forgiving and is listening to my prayers.
Links to WoGP Materials
Please note, the links below only become active from the day(s) that they are intended for.
Practising Stillness – Sunday / Monday
Particularly at times of stress, it can be hard to find stillness. Yet it is in these very times I need to hear the invitation to “Be still”. Then I am able to be present to the gift of strength these challenging moments offer. Stillness allows me to hear God’s support which I might otherwise easily miss.
Remembering to Whom I Belong – Tuesday
God was present in my creation. God’s longing for a relationship with me has been borne into every fibre of my being. Remembering that innate touch as well as God’s loving intention for me revealed in Christ can be an empowering gift in the midst of the everyday pressures of daily living.
Seeking Attentiveness – Wednesday
How often God is reaching out to me and I am unaware. How readily I can be distracted by circumstances. Sometimes through dreams, sometimes through friends, even through crises God seeks to get my attention and open me to awareness. Most meaningfully and joyfully, the
more I seek to be attentive, the greater my awareness of Presence in the moment.
Choosing to be Present – Thursday
The greater my awareness the more I want to choose to be present to God as God is present to me. In spite of that however, I tend to resist. I do not fully understand my resistance, but I affirm my desire to choose. As difficult as it may be for me, I know the choice is mine and mine alone in any given moment. I can focus upon past hurts, failures and difficulties, or I can choose to be present to God’s Spirit in this time and space.
Celebrating God’s Grace – Friday
When I attend to Presence in the moment, I find many reasons for gratitude: a renewed relationship; an almost unbelievable healing; forgiveness; courage to take a small step forward; the awareness of being loved by God and others. Even the breath I take, the steps I make, the words I speak, the service I offer, lift me to gratitude and rejoicing.
Living Deeply Rooted – Saturday
On this closing day, I am invited to daily live the practice of prayer I have experienced during this Week of Guided Prayer. As I allow myself to be rooted in the Presence, I am given the courage to do what I am called to do, to serve others and to know that it matters.
Week of Guided Prayer 2019
May 5-11 2019
Giver of Life – Sunday / Monday
Giver of Light – Tuesday
Giver of Dark – Wednesday
Recognizing God – Thursday
Engaging God – Friday
Living in God – Saturday