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Posts Tagged "Intercessions for Year A":

“Clouds And Glory: Prayers for the Church Year” – David Adam

St Mary's Holy Island East Window

St Mary’s Holy Island East Window

From the Introduction


In the parish church on Holy Island the east window depicts the Ascension. Almost at the apex of this window is a cloud and above that the sun. Because the disciples are below the cloud I often wonder if they are aware of the glory beyond. I ask you, ‘Are you aware of the glory that pervades all things?’…


I seek to believe in the presence and love of God even though a cloud hides him from my sight. Time and time again I turn to the prayer from the Hebrides that says, ‘Though the dawn breaks cheerless on this isle today, my spirit walks in a path of light.’ I seek to know that both are real, the cloud and the glory: cloud, mist, misfortune, illness and darkness are all ever so real and there is no escaping them in this world; but there in the darkness is the Divine Presence. Even in our doubt, he never leaves or forsakes me.


When I lived on the North Yorkshire moors, I discovered what to do when the low cloud descended and made everything dull and grey – move from where you are! No, I do not recommend running away, only a change of perspective. I used to take the car up onto a moorland ridge road, no distance from home, for the tops of the moors were sticking out of the cloud and into the sunshine. If the days had been long and dreary, this often really felt like breaking through into glory…


Some people try to do the same with what they call ‘positive thinking’. I am sure many benefit from this, and positive thinking is a help, but sometimes it is just positively stupid because it does not face the facts of what is really happening. Positive thinking is often a pretend world and not truly dealing with what is around us. If life is to be balanced, we need to face the whole of reality; and that involves cloud as well as glory.


Intercession is not positive thinking, it is facing the real situation in the presence and power of God. It is the attempt to hold the deepest of realities together, to pierce the obvious clouds to see the hidden presence; to get a glimpse of the glory, that we might have strength to walk in the darkness…


I approach God carrying people in my heart and my prayers; I seek to discover that they are already in the heart of God and on their way to glory. I seek to hold on to the two realities; amidst the troubles and darkness of this world, we are all encircled and enclosed in the light, love and presence of our God. Learn to walk in the light, to lead others and uplift others into that light, that you may know the power and the glory of our God.


I believe that one  of the best preparations for Sunday worship is to use the readings for the coming Sunday throughout the week as an inspiration for prayer and intercession. As a young man, I used to use the same Collect, Epistle and Gospel every day from the Sunday through to the Saturday. By the Saturday I often knew the readings reasonably well and began to grasp their content – but there was a new set on the Sunday. I feel now that I had somehow got this the wrong way round: if we used the same readings from Monday to Sunday, when we came together on the Sunday how greatly our worship would be enriched. A wonderful preparation for Sunday is to pray every day of the week before the Sunday. No wonder worship in church is impoverished if we are not praying daily. If possible, use the readings set for the Sunday ahead to inspire and direct your prayers, then when we come together in worship it will be full of depth and meaning.


I would imagine you all know the intercessory prayers for the three church years written by David Adam? Many of you will have your own well-thumbed copies. We have just begun again on Advent Sunday with Year A and Clouds of Glory. S0me of you (all right, confession time, this group includes me) rarely get around to reading the introductions to books – we just leap in. I must have had my own copy of this book (published first in 1998) for over ten years but have only just been nudged to read the introduction, which I think very good. I hope you do too.

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