It’s been a bad week for the British women’s 4×100 relay team, not qualifying for the Olympics. And I think the men’s team have failed too.
It is a funny team – made up of individual 100m runners, with the additional complication of passing the baton. So, it is a group of coordinated individuals.
Yesterday morning a picture developed in my mind that prayer is rather like relay racing. It is something we all can do as individuals. We may be sprinters, walkers, marathon runners, or simply single striders, but we can move along with the Spirit in prayer.
But when we are gathered as church specifically to pray, something else can happen. It doesn’t always. We can easily, but effectively, pray our own prompted prayers, and affirm each other, or simply pray within ourselves. The something else is the baton being passed around.
Someone prays, and it thoughts that were running through our mind. Or someone finishes, and the next prayer follows on, and so does the next, and there is a sense of momentum. Then maybe a lull, and off we go in a different direction.
You can’t force it, and you can’t make it happen, but when it starts, and is not inhibited, you get drawn in.
Sprinters, crawlers, vaulters, doesn’t matter how you engage, in God’s relay you are part of the same race, able to keep pace and overlap with one another.
Come along and be part of the action. Seriously. It is God’s call to all of us.