From time to time we in the church speak of being surrounded in prayer. It is usually a lovely comforting thought. But like many comforting thoughts it seems to be amorphous and not grounded in our day to day experience.  For me this was brought home in a new way over the past couple of days as I went through hip replacement surgery.

Having let the people of St Paul’s know ahead of time that I was taking a short medical leave I was assured by most everyone of their prayers for me and for the surgical team. After the surgery Nancy brought in my smart phone which has access to emails and Facebook. There was message after message of people from Jeffersonville, Rochester, Buffalo and the Western US, andAsia assuring me of their prayers and good wishes.

Coming home we had other various forms of contact (e.g. social media, phone calls) expressing their gifts of prayer. Lending of medical equipment was another act of living prayer and support. Prayer and caring has taken the form of food which has been brought by for us to enjoy. And the postal service brought cards not only from people at St Paul but from the Prayer Chain at First Presbyterian, added to email from St Luke’s UCC, and greetings from our Downtown churches colleagues.

In very real ways we are seeing how the people of God being the heart, hands and voice of God in the world make life into a prayer which surrounds and upholds one another. This experience strengthens our resolve to live in that same way so as to be a channel God can use to surround others with God’s Grace.

Thanks be to God for each of you!

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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