by Fiona Fidgin
…to our resource sheet for our Lent Course – Pray Lent. This week we are thinking about digital prayer.
This week we talk to Victoria Elliott from the Scottish Episcopal Church, who invites us to reflect on the digital as a medium through which we encounter God and by which we make God known in the world.
In March 2020 our onsite churches across the world closed their doors and the digital church came into being. During the past 2 years we discovered that more people explored coming to church online - Durham University research suggested that in the UK 16million people were exploring faith related activities online compared to the 4million who usually attend an onsite church.
Your worship services may have been livestreamed or on zoom, or on FacebookLive. You may have been part of a WhatsApp group sharing prayers or listened in to services via a telephone link. Perhaps you watched YouTube services from around the world, discovered different types of prayer and worship – but one of the fundamental questions through all of this – did you find God online? If so, how? What surprised you about online worship? Have you a deeper sense of community? Did you connect with God in new and exciting ways?
Perhaps the journey into the digital is something of a journey of exploration. I am reminded of Abram and Sarai on their journey and how they discovered God in new and unexcepted places. As you read through this story – what is God saying to you about your own journey of digital prayer?
Genesis 12: 1-9
Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, ‘To your offspring[c] I will give this land.’ So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on by stages towards the Negeb.
Each week we offer you an opportunity to try out new ways of praying and to see how this deepens your prayer life.
You might like to try some of these prayer apps. Download them onto your smartphone or tablet or you can listen to them on your computer
Pray as you Go https://pray-as-you-go.org
Email, phone or message someone and tell them you are praying for them
Listen to a daily prayer from any one the UK (or even global!) denominations.
Watch a YouTube service from another country.
Spend some time reflecting on how God has been revealed to you online. What have you discovered about God and about yourself and about praying digitally?