The Prayer Torch Journey

The Circuit Family Prayer Torch has finished its journey around Clitheroe right on schedule. It began with a prayer walk through Clitheroe in July, which inspired some guests from the park to come into church for a cup of tea, then visited all the holiday clubs in the Circuit before being passed from home to home among our church family.    I’ve been inspired by the beautiful and heartfelt stories written in the accompanying prayer journal- I hope you will be too!

Trinity Prayer Walk

‘At our home it reminded us to take time in our busy week to share with each other and be thankful for the good things, as well as ask for help with the challenging things.  ‘

‘The prayer torch brought with it a lot of excitement in our house. The thought of ‘holding a prayer’ galvanised the children into full-bodied engagement with prayer and with God… We enjoyed writing our ‘sorry prayers’ in washing up liquid, and then washing them away.’

‘Even though I do not have a family of children at my house it was lovely to be able to invite some of those in a similar position to me to call and have a prayer time and a cuppa.  Several friends came to share some meaningful prayer times.’

Prayer and a Picnic

‘We used the Inspiring Prayer book to help us find the right words.  We each took a turn to choose a prayer… As we often sit together at meal times we decided this was the time to focus on prayer.’

‘The prayer torch focussed our minds to do something different as praying is not something we have done as a family before.  It reminded us to take time to reflect on what is important, something we often forget in our busy lives.’

‘I took the prayer torch to a neighbour and prayed with her for herself and her friends.’

2012 Chatburn HC006

Of course, we don’t need the prayer torch pray at home.  But if you find it a challenge to know what to say or do, here are some family-friendly resources which might help (available to borrow, if you would like- just get in touch!):

  • Prayer Godventure 52, is a pack of children’s playing cards with 52 creative prayer ideas to thank God, say sorry to God, ask God to act (please) or simply chat with God.  Available at
  • Inspiring Prayer, this booklet includes Bible verses about prayer, written prayers, and prayer exercises, all beautifully illustrated in watercolours to do just what the cover suggests. Available at
  • Or check out the suggestions and articles on the Mother’s Union website at

Thanks to everyone who participated- we met our goal of ‘passing the torch’ until Christmas!  I hope we haveall been blessed in the experience.


Circle Prayers at the Cox’s

Another family shares their adventures with the prayer torch…

We used the ‘Inspiring Prayer’ book to help us find the right words.  We each took a turn to choose a prayer- one read a prayer for family; mum read a prayer for peace against violence, another child read the circle prayer and dad read ‘more faith.’

As we often sit down together at mealtimes, we decided this was the best time to focus on the prayer torch.  We each took a turn on consecutive nights to hold the torch and read our prayer.

Praying together is not something we do as a family- if we had the prayer torch again we would use the Godventure cards for more ideas.


Thanks Cox’s!

Washing Up Prayers with the Taylors

Last week the prayer torch visited the Taylor family.  Here’s a snapshot of their ‘GodVenture’-  

The prayer torch brought with it a lot of excitement in our house. The thought of ‘holding a prayer’ galvanised the children into full-bodied engagement with prayer. With God. It’s redefined prayer for us in a lot of ways. It’s an activity, a demonstrative act of sharing, joy, growth, safe confession, and forgiveness. We enjoyed writing our ‘sorry prayers’ in washing up liquid, and then washing them away.

We were moved by the depth of some of the suggestions in the GodVenture pack. Illustrative prayer that really brought us togther at set times. However, we didn’t do enough. You see, Mike and I really believe in the creative power of prayer, and the Prayer Torch has been a genius provision for this (thank you Rachel!). To really make it’s mark, we need to set aside time – mini-Sabbaths during each day when we worship together with joy, excitement, and quiet reflection. Opening our eyes in prayer has helped us to see the extraordinary gifts available to us when God is at our centre. Alleluliah

Thanks for sharing with us, Taylors!

Picnics and Prayers at the Dodds’

Last week the Prayer Torch came to our home, and I’m glad it came when it did.  With usual wrapping up of groups at the end of the year, and the busyness of organising holiday clubs while Carl is getting ready for a conference abroad, sadly prayer has hit the bottom of our to-do list lately.

What time(s) did you pray?

We tried doing our family prayers at dinner time or bedtime.  This week we had a rare sunny evening (as seen in the photo above) when we could actually sit outside and enjoy a picnic dinner.  Our prayers definitely focussed on thanksgiving that evening!

Which activity did you try?

The evening in the photo, we chose a GodVenture card which suggested we chat about our favourite things and most challenging things of the week so far, and then pray over them.  These aren’t questions we usually ask each other, so it turned out to be a good family catch-up time.  Of course our daughter can’t really hold a conversation yet, but we took it as an opportunity to discuss some of the comments we’ve received at her nursery- something we also don’t usually get time to do.  Praying together over it all was really meaningful.

What did you like about your family prayer time, and how did it help your family?

Taking time just to be together, talk, and try something new created some really peaceful moments in our week.  It was nice.  I think it’s reminded us that praying and just being together is something we should make time for more often.

Encouragement from Ephesians

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  -Ephesians 3:17-19

Thanks to last week’s prayer torch host for this word of encouragement!

Spotted in Clitheroe…

Members of the Trinity prayer group brought the torch with them on a Prayer Walk through town.  The group walked around the market and Castle Park, chatting with people in the community and praying for needs in the area.

The prayer torch is available to come to your home and help and encourage you in prayer.  Find out more about it here.

I’m going to make a controversial statement, and I hope in time you’ll forgive me.  Ready?  Here it is:

 Prayer is hard.

It really is.  Many of us struggle with all kinds of fears when it comes to prayer- for some it’s not knowing what to say, and others it’s fear that God might think our prayers foolish. Or perhaps it’s feeling like God’s not listening.  For me, what makes it difficult is distraction.  And- for many of us- praying out loud?  Terrifying.

The really sad thing about this is that prayer shouldn’t be hard.

God tells us many times in the Bible that He wants to hear from us, and He wants us to be in relationship with Him.  He even asks us to call Him ‘Father.’  That’s pretty amazing, when you stop and think about it.  The almighty creator of the universe wants to know what’s on our minds, and He wants us to ask Him when we need help.  Prayer should be something that we look forward to, something we cherish.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to let someone else do the praying for me.  But when I take the time to form the words, the thoughts, the requests myself, that’s when my relationship with God grows and blossoms.  And maybe there’s more to it than just a good feeling when I say ‘amen’- studies are showing that the more a family prays and talks about faith together, the more likely a young person is to develop a personal faith which continues to grow when they leave the home.    Therapists have found that families who pray regularly are more effective at resolving conflicts.  Maybe God gave us prayer as a gift for building relationships- not just with Him, but with each other too.

I think it’s ok for us to be creative in prayer.

There are many examples of people in the Bible kneeling in the quiet before God- but then, there are just as many where people are singing.  Dancing.  Walking.  Washing hands- and feet.   And if we can pray in those ways, why can’t we draw? Write thoughts on post-it notes?  Or use Google maps?  God gave us creative minds and any way that we can use them to strengthen our communion with Him, I think, has got to be a good thing.

This year is our District’s ‘Year of Prayer’, and what better time for us all to try and strengthen our prayer life?  This summer, when the Olympic torch reaches London, we’ll be sending out our own ‘prayer torch’ around the Circuit to those who want to take up the challenge: pray together as a family (or as a couple, housemates, colleagues, with grandchildren- just pray with someone) at least four times within a fortnight, reflect a little on what you learned, and then pass on the torch.  Those who sign up to take the challenge will, on their particular fortnight, be given a resource pack of creative ideas to try and a journal for reflection to encourage others when it’s their turn.

The goal is to keep the torch running (or should we say praying?) until Christmas. It’s my hope that this challenge will give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself as well as some tools to help when prayer gets difficult.  And maybe it will give us all the confidence to teach the next generation how to pray in a meaningful, healthy, relationship-building way.  If you would like to take up the challenge and host the prayer torch, get in touch with me to book a time slot.  In the meantime, we can all pray any time, in any way.  I challenge you to give it a go!

Grace and peace,


Read more about the Prayer Torch and watch for stories from families taking the challenge here on the blog.