PRAYER

Why do we pray?

From the beginning of time, God has been inviting each and every person to relationship; and the primary avenue for our relationship with God is prayer.  Prayer is simply talking to God or practicing the presence of God.

Our Prayer Ministry emphasizes and prioritizes prayer as a special means of growing in and sharing God’s grace in our church family, and provides a special foundation of prayer and support for our pastors and staff, and for the ministries and mission of our church in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  One of the basic spiritual practices in our Discipleship process of helping us grow in God’s grace is prayer.  Our Prayer Ministry emphasizes and prioritizes prayer in our church family, and provides a very special foundation of prayer and support for our pastors and staff, for the ministries of our church, and for our community and the world beyond.  We offer special opportunities for strengthening your prayer life, including special prayer classes on centering and contemplative prayer, intercessory prayer, and other prayer practices. 

 

Prayer Requests

Prayer requests can be made online by clicking on the green Prayer icon you see on the upper right edge of each page.  Prayer requests can also be made by calling the church office, on prayer request cards found at the worship entrance or by noting them on the registration pad during worship.  Our discipleship staff lifts these requests in prayer during weekly devotional time. The requests are shared in the weekly worship guides only with permission of the person in need. 

 

Prayer Partner Team

Our Prayer Partners ministry consists of teams of three to five people who pray with our pastors before worship on Sunday morning, and commit to pray for our pastors and staff on a regular basis.  We are committed to growing and expanding our prayer ministry to bless our entire church family and provide critical prayer support for our church’s mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 

 

Intercessory Prayer

 Our Intercessory Prayer Team meets weekly for 30-45 minutes to pray for everyone in our congregation.  We also name specific prayer requests and pray for those referred to us by others.  We open with prayer, pray for people by name and then close with prayer.  The group meets Mondays (except holidays) in the Library at 1:30pm.  

 

Centering Prayer

Our Centering Prayer Group provides an opportunity once a week for group study and reflection followed by a 20 minute period of silence. We meet on Monday afternoons at 4:00 in the FUMC Library. The purpose of the group is to help people develop a closer relationship with God. We use the method taught by Contemplative Outreach and maintain an affiliation with Heart of Texas Contemplative Outreach. If there is interest we will add another group. We are currently reading from Eternal Diamond by Richard Rohr. We find that praying in the centering manner together is very helpful for inviting God to be present within us and making us what God intends for us to be. Occasionally we have had a Saturday workshop to help people learn and practice this quiet form of prayer. The primary workshop text is Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating. There are also several opportunities a year to join in a half-day retreat in Austin. 

 

Prayer Garden

Our prayer garden is located behind the McKinney Christian Ministry Center.   Jesus frequently  slipped away from his disciples to pray. Often, He prayed before He performed miracles and of course, we will never forget the circumstances in which He turned to God in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Take a moment for yourself with God in our prayer garden.

It is a long tradition to reflect on God’s love and grace in an outdoor setting.  You are invited to take time in the garden and grounds of our church campus to meditate, reflect and pray.  Walk the bridge and consider bridges you have crossed in your life.  Relax on one of the benches to read scripture or meditate and consider the ways God gives you rest.  Listen to the sounds of nature or the city to consider the many ways God’s grace is present to you.  Walk around the cross and reflect on God’s free gift of saving grace reflected in the crucifixion of Christ.  Consider walking the prayer labyrinth by leaving one of your problems with God at each turn, standing in the center to listen for the ways God works in your life, then offering thanks and praise at each turn as you exit the path.  All things are created by God and it is God’s good pleasure to have you spend time with God.

 

Prayer Labyrinth

If you are looking for spiritual direction and opportunities for transformation in your life, the Prayer Labyrinth is one way to help forge a new identity, one that provides spiritual guidance as it nurtures a new creative relationship to God in the Spirit.

Some are seeking more than an intellectual understanding of God.  There is a deep need for an experience with God through the living Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Prayer Labyrinth offers a space where we can profoundly and joyfully experience the mystery of God’s presence in a tangible way.

Labyrinths have a rich history.  They have been known for over 4,000 years and have appeared in almost every religious tradition.  This design is found at different periods of history in such far flung places as India, Norway, Ireland, England, and even in America.

The prayer labyrinth is a winding path that leads unerringly to the center where you are invited to stay and pray.  When you are ready, turn around and walk the same winding path out again.  As you complete your prayer walk and walk back out to the edge you may feel a new sense of empowerment to love God and love your neighbor.

The prayer labyrinth can help calm the mind, relax the body, reduce stress, and provide space that helps guide your mind and heart in prayer.  Function follows form; this form, the prayer labyrinth, leads your mind to new places in prayer. The path is a metaphor for a journey with God in which you can trust God every step of the way.

"God, You show me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:11

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