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Daily Prayer

Jan. 8, 2022

A daily prayer from the New England Conference

Members of the New England Conference Extended Cabinet are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.

You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.

Today's Prayer

We have had a tradition at our youth rallies that I know dates back to the 1970s, but I have a feeling it may be even older. On Saturday night we have a worship service at midnight. The service is very loosely organized; the leaders may play a song or read scripture.

But then we begin our “popcorn prayer.” With only the Christ Candle lit, anyone, anywhere in our circle can speak. For some it is in the form of a prayer. For some it is telling the group what they have been dealing with. Many time this time can last for as long as an hour. As many of these circles I have sat in, I am always amazed at the depth of sharing.

But I did not realize the true power of this circle until I talked with a young adult who told me about a time when she was in college. She told me she had become so depressed that she was really scared she might never feel well again. She was struggling with every aspect of her life. “I kept trying to pray,” she said. “But I just could not start. I would open my mouth … and nothing. I would try to silently say something in my mind … nothing.”

“Then on December 4th at midnight I realized that at that moment there was a circle of people sitting by the light of a single candle – the Christ Candle, on the floor of a dining room of my camp half a country away. It was popcorn prayer time. I closed my eyes and began to speak knowing that, just like that circle that I used to sit in, there would be no judgement, no making light of, only acceptance and love. I closed my eyes and asked for help.”

“The next day I found the courage to walk into my college’s health services and did indeed get help. I am not saying it has been an easy thing to do, but today I am in such a better place.” She told me, “All I had to do is remember popcorn prayer time.”

The power of the Holy Spirit is an unstoppable force. Perhaps the most important thing we can do is provide circles of acceptance and love and of course “popcorn time.” By Norman Thombs, Director of Camp Mechuwana

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