Church encourages community to 'try praying'
A number of churches in and around Cambridge are inviting those who 'don't do church' to give prayer a try. Little did they realise the launch of the long-planned initiative would coincide with Covid-19 and a time of increased anxiety and fear
The desire to reach out to God is basic to many, many people, and ‘Trypraying’ is a new resource for people like that: no church connection or interest, but open to find out about God.
The resource consists of a free booklet - a 7-day prayer guide - and a free app. It's being used by many to pass on to friends and family with a few words of encouragement, ‘Why don’t you ‘trypraying’ for a week and see what happens in your life?’
The initiative has been months in the planning and involves 15 local churches in and around Cambridge. They have promoted it with adverts on buses and on the large digital screen outside Cambridge United, which went live on Monday (23 March) for four weeks, as well as banners outside their churches. Each church has booklets to share, and the app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android.
Barnwell Baptist Church is one of the participating churches. Its minister
the Revd Stuart Wood said, 'We have been planning this initiative for a number of months, and across the UK in a number of cities in England and Scotland, the invitation to ‘trypraying’ is being issued.
'None of us knew what would be happening in our world when we planned this, but we don’t believe it to be a coincidence, that at a time of significant anxiety, fear and uncertainty, we are inviting our cities to ‘trypraying’.
'This resource is ideal to be used by people with no church background or experience, and therefore perhaps no idea where to begin.
‘Trypraying’ is for those who are not religious and don’t do church. It’s the work of a traffic planner, a shop manager, a writer, a designer, an entrepreneur, a civil engineer and others.
'We do believe it will make a difference to people’s lives if they give it a go.'
The Revd Karin Voth Harman, Vicar of St. Andrew’s Church, Cherry Hinton, said, 'The ‘trypraying’ banner on our church fence is daily reminding me to keep on praying through this crisis. In all the panic and confusion we see today, there is also an invitation to go deeper, into whatever experience of God we have so far.
'Regular, practised prayer is, I am convinced, the most powerful way to connect to each other, to God and to the resources God’s put within each one of us. Try it…and see.'
Churches that are involved are: Arbury Community Church, Arbury Road Baptist Church, Barnwell Baptist Church, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church, Christ the Redeemer C of E, Barnwell, Gt Shelford Free Church, Hardwick Evangelical Church, Mill Road Baptist Church, Queen Edith Chapel, Renew Church, St. Andrew’s Cherry Hinton C of E, St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, St Martin’s C of E, St Phillip’s C of E, and Zion Baptist Church.
The Trypraying app can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android.
The books are available through the Trypraying office: thereishope.co.uk/resources/