I have found it difficult to know how to pray in and for these trying times.
I’m currently working from home and my sunny windowsill is filled with a variety of herb and chilli plants of varying shapes and sizes. I have found that tending and nurturing my various plants has helped my personal well-being and acted as a helpful prayer guide during what has been unprecedented times.
The alpine strawberry. This prompts me to pray for God’s help to read the Bible and to spend time in His presence in prayer; hopeful that these will bear fruit in due course (John 15).
The Lemon mint. This represents my church, and I pray for our scattered church community to be deepening roots within their neighbourhoods, to be lights in these dark times and for ways to be abundantly loving and serving those around us (Matthew 5).
My Rosemary gift. As I water the rosemary that was kindly given to me by a neighbour, I move on to my own local street and community. Praying for local residents who are working in the medical or teaching or other essential service sectors. I also take advantage of my daily walks/cycles to pray a blessing over the areas I visit as part of my daily exercise (Numbers 6:24-26).
The Tansy herb. This is a great plant for pollinators, so it’s been helping me to pray for wisdom and financial stability for A Rocha UK’s Partners in Action and other environmental charities that seek to give nature a home and secure a healthy environment for wildlife. (Psalm 24:1)
My chilli peppers. As I check on my chilli pepper collection from different countries, I remember to pray for governments around the world to not forget about the ongoing climate crisis and I pray for leaders to take strong actions for a just and sustainable reboot to our world (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
The Marshmallow. This final herb is growing taller each day and is my praise plant! I praise God for His goodness, His faithfulness, and His love. I thank God for the role of the church in sharing hope amidst adversity, for the charities and volunteers that are supporting the vulnerable in our communities, for the countless acts of kindness and generosity that happen daily. I thank God for the gift of His beautiful creation that soothes my troubled and anxious spirit; I praise Him for the moments of joy when I hear birdsong, for the scent of a flowering jasmine, for a beautiful sunset.
My church has been running the Prayer Course by 24-7 Prayer remotely and this journey through the Lords’ Prayer has also helped me deepen my prayer life through understanding that God sees my heart when I fumble and mumble my way through the day. Just as I am a beginner gardener, I’m thankful that I will always be a student of prayer with much to learn.
I faithfully tend to my plants in the hope that one day they will produce fruit and flowers, and so I know that my prayers are heard by a loving, merciful and faithful God (Isaiah 55).
This Meet the Community article was written by Sara Kandiah for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and worship.’ Sara is Eco Church Support Officer at A Rocha UK.
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