Welcome to Daily Prayer through the Book of Nehemiah
This Lent we are focusing upon this Old Testament book. We as a church are facing up to the challenges of refurbishment owing to the discovery of asbestos in the building, so it made sense to study this ancient story of rebuilding and refurbishing and see what ideas and guidance we can discover. We believe that God can speak to us through His word and we hope to receive inspiration and revelation from Him as we get into this story from 25 centuries ago.
Why study the Book of Nehemiah?
As well as it being relevant to our own situation, this book brings real challenges to us about how we turn our dreams into schemes. Nehemiah was a man of action and a leader and organiser of people. He motivated ordinary people from all sorts of backgrounds, most of whom had never done any building before, to stop what they were doing and get involved in a dangerous building project requiring 24 hour surveillance and armed guards! He was a revivalist who challenged people to remember their founding principles and start living by them. He was organised, resourceful, passionate and emotional. He loved God and wanted to honour him.
Each Sunday sermon will cover a passage from Nehemiah starting on 10th February until 25th March. There is also an accompanying booklet with discussion questions for small groups. It is our hope that this set of daily readings and the framework of liturgy around it will help you grow in your faith this Lent.
How to use this online resource
These prayers and readings are primarily for your own personal use – to attempt to seek God on your own every day for 47 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. It can also be used in small groups. There will be scheduled “Daily Prayer” times at church each day during Lent for those who wish to pray these prayers together. For those praying on your own, set aside a short time each day to say it – you may wish to light a candle to emphasise the “specialness” of the time. There are 47 days of readings. Liturgy works best when said very slowly and thoughtfully.
- There are four sections to the liturgy which are said every day. (Opening sentences, declaration of faith, canticle and blessing.)
- The “canticle” can be said or sung.
- Each day has its own three Bible readings, one of which is a short section from The Book of Nehemiah. The other two readings are there to pick up on the themes of the day’s Nehemiah reading. The readings will automatically refresh every day.
- Each day has its own “thought for the day”, a 30 second sermon which brings together some thoughts from the Nehemiah passage and challenges us in our lives today. These have been written by nine different people from St Boniface Church. The thoughts will automatically refresh every day.
- There are 7 daily meditations – to be read on the day of the week you are praying. These are passages through which God has challenged us as a church in the past. The meditations will automatically refresh every day.
- Each prayer time begins and ends with the “sign of the cross” prayer. If you wish you can also sign yourself with the cross whilst saying this (touching your forehead, your chest and each shoulder with your right hand).
- There is a time of prayers for self and others. During this time you can bring your own personal prayers to God and also pray for our church, our community and the world.
- Alongside this prayer booklet is a list of local shops and organisations which we can pray for, either systematically or by choosing at random each day.