The Intercessory Prayer Group
The Intercessory Prayer group meet every week on Tuesday in the lower new hall at 7.30 pm until 9.00pm. This prayer group was started on the 13th of March 1999 at the request of Fr. William. It is open to everybody and the hall has a disabled access. There is a short break during the major holidays – Christmas and Easter – and a longer break for the whole month of August. The start and close of each period is advertised in the parish bulletin.
For those who attend the 6.15 pm Mass and do not want to go home only to return again – they are welcome to go into the lower new hall after Mass and have a cup of tea and some biscuits. At about 7.30pm – 7.40pm the Rosary is recited for all the intentions we will bring forward. Since everybody is not able to be there for 7.30pm the main part of the prayer group progresses from 8 pm until 9 pm.
We have a rotation of formal prayers, deliverance and protection prayers, and prayers from the heart relying very much on the Holy Spirit to lead us. Prayers are said for the Holy Father and his intentions, for our priests, for all the groups in the parish especially those in the R.C.I.A., Confirmation and First Communion groups and for all the catechists. We pray for all those who do not know the love of God as our Lady has requested. We pray for our nation, situations around the world and for any concerns in the news, also for any special intentions or persons brought to our attention, the sick and the housebound of our parish.
It is vital to give testimony to answered prayers if we are made aware of it and we spend a few minutes giving thanks and praise for all answered prayers. This also helps and encourages us in our prayer life, to persevere and pray with faith. A short passage from the Bible is read and discussed. We end with some spiritual sharing – good news or short stories on how the saints come to our aid to build on our faith. We end with a prayer for our protection.
Some time after the year 2000, we had a new member who joined us for a short while as he came all the way from Wimbledon. He was a ‘God sent’ as he lifted the prayer group at a time of discouragement. He had a particular gift of the Holy Spirit and often received a clear picture while we were praying or during a time of silence.
For our prayer group, he had an image of us all in the hand of God, praying in a circle. In the middle was a sword. We received the explanation that the sword was the word of God. Soon afterwards, God confirmed this vision when Laura, our prayer group leader at that time, acquired a book ‘The Sword of the Spirit’ – a book for intercessory prayer using the words of Scripture. We now use this book for our wider intentions. Steve bought a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes from Lourdes for the prayer group. Whenever there is a need the statue is taken home. Anyone who is ill, distressed or for any other need, may borrow the statue for a week.
Finally, in the Year of Faith, for about 10 minutes we decided to read through Acts and revise our Catechism in order to better defend or explain our Faith to others.
Laura is now in Devon, and during our time of prayer she intercedes for us. We originally had a core group of 3 to 4 people to pray for this group during the day time. As some members have moved away or unable to attend for various reasons, we are looking to reform the core group at some time.