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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Prayers for our time – in a world that needs them more than ever

This little book – The BRF Book of 100 Prayers – makes me so proud to be part of BRF, writes Debbie Thrower. In this, our centenary year, the introduction reminds us that the context in which BRF was founded was in some ways similar to our own – post-pandemic – as Spanish flu had just killed 50 million people, with waves of grief affecting many millions more. These are unimaginable numbers of people. Martyn Payne explains:

‘That post-World War I and post-pandemic year of 1922 was a moment of opportunity that God used a century ago to give birth to an organisation that is still with us today. And one 100 years later, BRF is once again being used by God, in the wake of our own global pandemic, to resource and encourage churches and individuals to “get a move on” spiritually – to borrow the words of BRF’s founding father, Revd Leslie Mannering. The call to study the Bible as God’s word and to deepen our life of prayer has never been more urgent now, as it was then.’

As the queue snakes forward for miles today to pay respects to our late sovereign Queen Elizabeth, what is each person's motivation, how many countless prayers are being uttered throughout the long wait?

Watching the faces of each mourner as they file past… some salute, bow or cross themselves before the coffin; we get a glimpse of our fellow men and women as God sees them – in need of love and comfort and the balm of shared silence.

This compact book makes me feel like a complete prayer novice. There is so much more to learn about prayer and the invitation is always there to go deeper. So, why is prayer sometimes so hard? Maybe a clue lies in Martyn Payne's sage advice:

'Pray as you can, not as you can't. Pray as you are, not as someone else. Pray as you feel, not pretending otherwise. Pray whenever, wherever, however often you want, because God is always waiting to talk with you.'

The BRF Book of 100 Prayers is a beautifully-produced hardback that fits in the palm of one's hand. I can think of so many people I want to give a copy to. My Christmas order looks as though it will be substantial!

It is a companion volume to The BRF Book of 365 Bible Reflections. Each is a timeless classic we can delve into right now and which will bring solace, as well as an invigorating goad to get moving again, long into the future.




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