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Patterns of Prayer, Rhythms of Life

Patterns of Prayer, Rhythms of Life

by Rev. Hilary Marchbanks on February 13, 2024

Patterns of Prayer, Rhythms of Life

Patterns of Prayer, Rhythms of Life
by Hilary Marchbanks

Lent marks the 40 days before Easter, a season when churches slow down and focus on Jesus as they prepare to celebrate his resurrection on Easter Sunday. The 40 days are representative of Jesus’ time in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. This year, as we take the time to remember Jesus’ life, arrest, death, and resurrection, we will remember well-known creeds and prayers that echo our Christian life.

Creeds help us declare our Christian beliefs. They affirm the tenets of our faith dating back to those who wrote their inspired words, the generations who have recited them before us, and those who will claim these beliefs after we have gone. The United Methodist Hymnal has nine creeds and affirmations.

Prayers help us connect to God. In worship we will focus on well-known corporate prayers that we recite together. I asked my younger son how he feels when we say the Lord’s Prayer. “Good,” he said. “It brings back the same memories again over and over again. We all say it together. I feel safe and it reminds me that there are people in my community that will help me.”

With corporate prayers and spoken creeds, the words are important and so are the voices that say them. Through these traditional practices, we are both stating our beliefs and demonstrating our community together.

I don’t remember the first time I said the Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles’ Creed. I don’t know how many times I have said the Serenity Prayer or recited the Wesley Prayer shoulder to shoulder with other Methodists. I do know that these prayers’ cadences, challenges, and comforts are so familiar that I am looking forward to slowing down with them, too. I don’t want them to be routine or rote – I want them to be reminders of the faith that sustains and strengthens me.

Each Lent we journey with Jesus. This Lent we will also journey with the creeds and prayers that remind us of who Jesus is.


Rev. Hilary Marchbanks

Saint John’s Senior Pastor

Tags: creeds, prayers, the lord's prayer, apostles' creed, serenity prayer

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