The prayer team

One key part of Sycamore and of any evangelisation project is having a dedicated prayer ministry: a team of people who feel a special calling or charism to pray for evangelisation and for those involved in this project.

Evangelisation is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit inspires us to share our faith with others, and to invite them to faith. Any fruitful work of evangelisation is founded on the faith of those involved, and the prayer of the wider community.

One key part of Sycamore and of any evangelisation project is having a dedicated prayer ministry: a team of people who feel a special calling or charism to pray for evangelisation and for those involved in this project.

This can be very simple: To ask the wider community if anyone would like to be involved in praying for Sycamore and all those involved; and then to get these volunteers to plan however they wish to carry forward this ministry. They may wish to pray alone, at home, in their own time, in their own way.

If possible, however, it is good if they can meet to pray as a group: To meet before Sycamore begins, for God’s blessing on this work, and especially that people will be inspired to come as guests, and that members of the community will be inspired to ask people to come.

And if possible it is good if the group can pray together at the same time that each Sycamore session is happening: not necessarily for the five hours of cooking, preparing, meeting and reviewing; but at least for some of the time as people begin the session. E.g. to meet for the first half hour of the meeting, while people are gathering and eating, to entrust them to the Lord, and to call down his Holy Spirit upon the group that is presently meeting.

This time of prayer can take any form – as long as the group is praying for evangelisation in general, and for those involved in Sycamore in particular.

ONE EXAMPLE OF A TIME OF PRAYER WITH A SYCAMORE PRAYER TEAM

For those who would like to see one model of prayer, this was written for the Sycamore Group at Newman House Catholic Centre:

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-4

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Reflection

The gospel includes high and low. Both the Emperor in his power and the slave in his helplessness were included in the sweep of the gospel. Both the philosopher in his wisdom and the simple man in his ignorance need the grace and truth that the gospel can bring. Within the gospel there are no class distinctions. King and commoner, rich and poor, aristocrat and peasant, master and man are all included in its limitless embrace.

The gospel includes good and bad. A strange malady has sometimes afflicted the Church in modern times, causing it to insist that a man be respectable before he is allowed in, and to look suspiciously at sinners who seek entry to its doors. But the New Testament is clear that the Church exists, not only to edify the good, but to welcome and save the sinner.

The gospel embraces Christian and non-Christian. Prayer is to be made for all men. The Emperors and rulers for whom this letter bids us pray were not Christians; they were in fact hostile to the Church; and yet they were to be borne to the throne of grace by the prayers of the Church. For the true Christian there is no such thing as an enemy in all this world. None is outside his prayers, for none is outside the love of Christ, and none is outside the purpose of God, who wishes all men to be saved.

William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, Barclay’s Daily Study Bible Series CD (Edinburgh, Scotland: The Saint Andrew Press, 1960).

Prayer

Leader: Lord God, Almighty Father, we lift up the Sycamore programme to You. We acknowledge and thank you for the graces you have given which have helped the team from the beginning of Sycamore till this day.

We lift up each individual coming to Sycamore this evening. Grant O Lord, that their hearts be open to hearing your voice, allowing you to touch their lives that they may come to know and have faith in you.

We pray for everyone in the Sycamore team, that their efforts be a blessing to those who come – be it through their words, their actions, the food they cook, or their mere company. May the room be filled with your Holy Spirit, bringing everyone the peace and warmth that comes only from You.

We also lift up the future of Sycamore that you continue to guide us in improving this programme so as to touch more lives with it. This we pray through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen

Rosary: The Luminous Mysteries

  1. BAPTISM OF JESUS (FRUIT OF THE MYSTERY: OPENNESS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT)

In this decade, we offer up all those that have come to Sycamore this evening that their hearts be open to the changing power of our Lord

  1. WEDDING AT CANA (FRUIT OF THE MYSTERY: TO JESUS THROUGH MARY)

In this decade, we offer up those helping with Sycamore that the Holy Spirit guides their actions and blesses their efforts.

  1. PROCLAIMING THE KINGDOM (FRUIT OF THE MYSTERY: REPENTANCE AND TRUST IN GOD)

In this decade, we offer up those whom God is calling to Sycamore, that they may have the openness and courage to take that first step to discovering Him.

  1. TRANSFIGURATION (FRUIT OF THE MYSTERY: DESIRE FOR HOLINESS)

In this decade, we offer up all those whom God is are calling to invite people to Sycamore, that they may have the courage and ability to do so.

  1. INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST (FRUIT OF THE MYSTERY: ADORATION)

In this decade, we offer up the future of Sycamore and all other evangelisation efforts of our community here in Newman House, that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may continue bringing others to know about Jesus.

Prayer For Evangelization

Eternal Father, we ask you, through your Son Jesus Christ, and the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Star of the New Evangelisation, to pour forth your Holy Spirit upon us. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, renew and transform us, and make fruitful the work of evangelisation. Root us deeply in the heart of your Son so that we may radiate him more fully, sharing with others the Good News of salvation in Christ, who alone is the fulfillment of all human desiring. Transform our parishes.  Make of them shining lights, beacons of hope that reach those who are far from you, drawing them back to your fold. Consecrate us in your truth and accomplish your plans in us according to your holy will. Amen.

 

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