This is an unprecedented moment in time as we are experiencing the rapidly unfolding consequences of the spread of the corona virus worldwide. Undoubtedly, by now we all have a story related to this crisis to tell and there are likely more to be added. Personally, Carolyn and I were visiting friends in Raleigh, North Carolina but within days of our planned return home, everyday life began changing dramatically, including that upon our return, we were to self-quarantine for 14 days due to our travel. Despite these unsettling times, all of us continue to do our best to trust God and rest in the knowledge that “our times are in God’s hands.” (Psalm 31:15). I pray you are finding your strength in the Lord Jesus who gently tells us not to worry, reassures us that we are his friends, and promises us that He is with us always (Matthew 6:25-34, John 15:15, Matthew 28:20). Although we will not be meeting as we are accustomed to, we do continue our journey through the season of Lent, grateful for the sacrificial love and extraordinary power of Jesus.
Previously, in this space I have been making suggestions of a habit, practice or discipline to incorporate into the coming week (based on “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us” by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun). The practice suggested on this fourth Sunday of Lent is simple and comes from the book’s chapter entitled PRAY. Certainly, our current circumstances have already impacted our praying greatly. The suggestion for this week is to invite someone into your circle of prayer by choosing a prayer partner. Maybe you already have one or even several; that is great! But if you don’t, consider inviting someone to be your prayer partner. You can meet by phone. You could ask your prayer partner for any items that you can add to your prayer list. You might even share ideas with each other regarding ways to reach out to neighbours who are lonely and in need of prayer in some other way. If it suits you, you could pray over the phone with each other. This week, invite someone to be a prayer partner; it would be a wonderful way to keep in touch with others, something we and our world could really use right now. -EGN