Prayer: Tom ClarkeNews
Pray the Lord of the Harvest was launched as our 2018 Convention theme. To reflect on the importance of prayer to the Bangor Worldwide, we are asking some of the committee members and those associated with the Convention to share their thoughts and experiences on what prayer means to them. First up is our Chairman, Tom Clarke
Tom, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on prayer with us. An easy question to start with, roughly how long have you been a Christian?
Over 50 years.
What does prayer mean to you?
It is a vital part of my everyday living, of similar importance to eating and sleeping.
Can you share a time when you received answered prayer?
I receive answers to my prayers every day in life – mostly about small but important things – and occasionally an answer about something which I had been praying for quite some time. An example of the latter was the unveiling of the Amy Carmichael sculpture at our Convention venue on the 150th anniversary of the her birth, despite it seeming at one stage that this was an impossible deadline to meet. It was the object of much prayer.
The beauty of prayer is that we can pray at any time and our Heavenly Father hears us. Do you have a favourite or preferred time of day to pray and if so, why?
I like to begin and end the day in prayer. This allows time to pray for the day ahead and then to reflect on the day which has just passed. However, I take the opportunity to pray ‘arrow prayers’ throughout the day when the need arises and am amazed at the answers which I get.
You are Clerk of Session at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, where many of the Convention events are held. Thinking specifically from a congregational perspective, why should churches pray corporately?
It’s so important – praying together is an acknowledgement by the church family of our corporate dependence on God, confirms our understanding that it is His work to which we only contribute in a very flawed way, and helps to build fellowship and unity among believers.
And finally, why is prayer so important to Bangor Worldwide?
The importance of prayer to the convention was recognised at the very outset in 1937 and it has always been an integral part of each year’s programme. The establishment of a weekly prayer meeting which runs throughout the year and is now reaching its 80th birthday, to support the work is another clear indication of the importance which has always be attached to the role of prayer in the convention.
Tom, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us on the importance of prayer!