Starting next Tuesday, Restoration will begin gathering weekly for morning prayer, joining the church around the world and throughout history in praying the daily office. We won’t be together in any building, though. We will meet together online.
For some time, we’ve been exploring ways for us to lean more fully into our identity as a neighborhood parish church. We want to be a faithful, formational presence, consistently calling the family of God to join him in the restoration of all things—life, church, and city.
But we face some persistent challenges in our context. First, while our rented worship space suits our needs on Sunday mornings, we aren’t able to host other meetings consistently. Second, even if space weren’t an issue, gathering together regularly for morning prayer isn’t practical given our very different, very busy schedules. Inviting people to come together and pray shouldn’t feel like ‘one more thing.’ It shouldn’t add stress or guilt to peoples’ lives.
For these reasons, I will stream morning prayer live on Tuesday mornings at 7:15am on our Facebook page. Early birds can watch and pray along with me live, but I invite everyone to find twenty minutes some time on Tuesdays to pray along with the recording.
Our hope is to cultivate a faithful, prayerful presence each week to be formed by God’s word and pray for the needs of our church. We also hope that these weekly gatherings might form a pattern for you to follow in your daily habit of prayer.
Now, since this is a very new, very different sort of thing for us, let me address some questions or concerns, FAQ-style:
How do I do this?
Head over to the Restoration Facebook page (@restorationchurchonline) on Tuesday mornings to join us live at 7:15am or to view the recording anytime after. Everything you need to know will be included in the post description. Like and follow the page to make sure it pops up in your feed, and share it with friends and neighbors!
You can also find everything on our Morning Prayer event on our website, under the ‘Events’ tab. We’ve posted the text, provided a link to submit prayer requests, and embedded the most recent video.
Do I have to be on Facebook to participate?
No. You can view the stream live on our Facebook page without an account, or (if you want to avoid Facebook altogether) you can view the recording when it is posted on our website around 8am. You can find Morning Prayer under the ‘Events’ tab.
What is ‘morning prayer’?
If you are like me, maybe you are familiar with having a ‘quiet time’ or ‘daily devotionals.’ Since the beginning of the church, Christians have recognized the need to pray and read scripture daily. For centuries, our tradition has used collected prayers and a calendar of scripture reading to encourage people to pray throughout the day. Together, we call these prayer services the ‘daily office’, and morning prayer is one of those. The words there aren’t magical, and of course, everyone can and should also pray to God in their own words. But these forms draw on the collected wisdom of the scriptures and church history to guide us in our worship.
Wait, so will I be praying out loud with others?
Well, yes and no. We love the idea that we are gathering even over distance to pray together as a church family. But don’t worry—I’m the only person who can be seen or heard on the stream. So feel free to join us in your PJ’s!
Praying like this sounds awkward…
Ok, that’s not really a question, but I get it. You probably haven’t prayed along with a computer screen or phone before. You may not have prayed along with written prayers before. It might be awkward at first. You will probably have technical difficulties, lose your place in the text, forget which parts you’re supposed to say.
Here’s the thing, though: every activity that feels perfectly natural to you now was probably awkward for you once. There was probably a time when you didn’t know what you were doing. But slowly but surely you got more comfortable, and it came more easily.
Many of us think that if you are praying ‘right’, it should feel natural and easy. Don’t believe it. Prayer takes practice—prayer is practice. We learn by doing, so be patient with yourself and commit to the process.
Can I pray like this every day?
You bet! The text we use for morning prayer includes a schedule of the daily scripture readings and additional prayers you can rotate in if you want to pray daily by yourself or with others. If you want to learn more and find further resources for daily prayer, just reach out!
Join us next Tuesday for morning prayer!