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Stop Grumbling And Start Praying

Author: Mags Eames

Picture: Daniel Gomez, Pexels

Stop Grumbling And Start Praying

How do we react when things are hard in our parishes? Mags Eames explains how she was blown away when she gave up complaining and tried a new approach.

My parish has been very much my extended family since I moved into it, 10 years ago. I love my parish and love the people in it.

As with most families, however, there are occasional problems, disagreements and annoyances.

A few months ago, a friend and I realised that, when we got together, we spent a lot of time complaining about the parish. Whilst we felt better after releasing our frustrations and having a good moan, it was not, in the long run, helpful for anyone.

The idea came to us that, maybe, we should pray for the parish instead.

It would have to be simple and sustainable.

So we decided, after dropping our children off at the same school in the morning, to jump into the car and spend just 10 minutes praying. Another friend found herself accidentally joining us.

Becoming Vulnerable

The first time we met was scary.

These people had been my close friends for nine years. We were Godparents to each other's children. We had sat beside each other in Mass for years, run church childrens’ activities together, sang together in the church choir, looked after each other’s children and spent many a night in the pub.

This, however, was different. It felt, to me, that we were about to make ourselves vulnerable to each other in a new way.

I was used to extempore prayer, simply praying aloud from my heart. Although they were not used to this, it seemed the way to go, so we put on our brave faces and started to intercede for our parish.

Praying In A Car Park

It is amazing what God can do with 10 minutes of prayer in a car, in a town centre car park.

Jesus says: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20) This was certainly true that day. The presence of God was tangible in that car.

We continued to pray, 10 minutes a week, for the next few weeks. We relaxed with each other.

Our intentions were very specific and, within a fortnight, things started to change. Our prayers were being answered and the Holy Spirit was moving in the parish. It was incredible to see.

Although we should not have been surprised, we were. Over the last few months, I have been reminded of God's faithfulness.

All I have to do, as His child, is to ask Him for what I need and He will answer.

God Is Amazing!

As the school term drew to a close, God blew us away once more.

There was an urgent visa situation which had one day left to be sorted.

For some reason, it had not occurred to us to pray together about it- after all, it was not a 'parish' problem.

However, that day we prayed. Three hours later the phone call came to say the situation was resolved. God is amazing!

It has been a simple lesson for me: stop grumbling, and turn your face to God- “For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)

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