An invitation to nurture prayerful presence
Across the globe people connected with CMS are engaged in brilliant endeavours, seeking to participate in God’s redemptive work in all areas of human society and creation.
by Ian Adams
We all know that these callings are challenging, requiring us to be rooted deep in Jesus Christ, resilient in his strength, shaped by his love. Our prayer needs intention and devotion! We need to be practising prayerful presence.
You are invited to join in a conversation around nurturing practices of prayerful presence. This conversation is beginning in a WhatsApp group – Presence. We hope in time that the conversation will evolve into a community of practice across the CMS movement.
We are opening up this conversation with three questions, linked to CMS’s vision: with Jesus, with each other, to the edges.
- What is your key personal prayer practice?
- What is your community’s key practice of thanksgiving and praise?
- What are you discovering about God’s presence at the edges?
You might be interested to know one key early learning emerging from the conversation – engagement in some form with the natural world as a way into prayerful presence seems to be vital to many…
Q. Who is Presence for?
Presence is open to people across the CMS movement. Partners, staff, supporters, intercessors – you are all welcome. If you are new to CMS but interested in the possibility of prayerful presence to Christ we also invite you to get in touch.
Q. What’s given rise to it? Was there a gap noticed somewhere?
As we seek as a movement to go with Jesus, with each other, to the edges, it seems clear that we are particularly adept at action – the projects, ventures and partnerships in which we are involved. Our focus is strong there and will continue to be so as we seek to act in response to a Jesus who never gives up. We are good at doing!
It’s also clear that we are adept at intercessory prayer – praying specifically for our work. Prayerlines is just one obvious example of this long-term and continuous commitment. We are good at praying for what we do!
But we are perhaps not so adept at being prayerfully present to God who is, the tradition teaches us, always present to us – “Be still, and know…“, “I am with you always…” We are not so good at being with!
Q. Why might this be important? And how is this related to mission?
The work we do across the movement is demanding. Our own energy, skills and sense of calling are powerful, but to be sustained long term in this redemptive work we need to be rooted above all in the presence of Christ. We are seeking to live and share his presence.
Our own transformation – of course gradual, and always in the grace of God – is a vital element at the heart of the redemptive work. Such transformation only comes about through long-term commitment to presence to God.
There’s also a link between being present to God and being present to the people with whom we work. Loving God and loving neighbour are closely linked.
And a thought on the nature of mission at this time. There is so much that needs to be done to reshape society and world for good. It’s also apparent that people are increasingly sensing that they need (what we might call) practices of presence, engaging with the natural world, engaging with each other, and engaging with the possibility of God.
The Presence venture may be one way to help us to address these needs.