Harnessing power of Prayer for Change
Prayer changes things — that’s what Shanay Scott believes and wants to share with Bermuda.
Her faith in prayer is so strong that she decided to start a ministry, Prayer for Change.
The aim is to help improve her personal prayer life and the lives of others through monthly gatherings.
The inspiration for the ministry came in August as she was preparing her son for the start of a new school year. She wanted to cover him and his school with the protection of the Holy Spirit.
“My family and I would gather mornings to walk around his school grounds before the school year started, praying for various things and situations that could come up in the year. From this, the desire grew to include students, schools, administrators and all those attached from other schools.”
From this practice the idea to host a back-to-school prayer service was born. Held on September 8 at The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, several people came out to spend time in intentional prayer before school reopened that week.
Ms Scott knew that she wanted to follow up with something else but was not sure what it should be.
“After a meeting with a friend and discussing changes that we would like to see in the church, it was determined that the only way these changes can happen is through prayer. From there I started scribbling some ideas down. I knew I didn’t want this to be a one-off thing.”
As important as prayer is to Christian life, Ms Scott admits that her own journey in prayer hasn’t been easy.
“Honestly, prayer for me has been an area that I struggle with and feel that I can and should do more of. I know prayer is important and the prayers of my parents, family and other believers have kept me and helped me to get to the place that I am today.
“Coming to the end of 2019 I remember saying, ‘God, I want to have more of an active prayer life.’ But I didn’t know how or where to start or what it should look like.”
With that desire, and also the movement of the Holy Spirit, Ms Scott was led to host quarterly prayer meetings which have now evolved into the Prayer for Change ministry.
“At the meetings there will be prayer, of course, but there will also be a short thought for the day given by various spiritual leaders through our community.
“If people are not able to make it to the Cathedral on these dates, or if something comes up in between our meeting times, prayer requests can be e-mailed. All requests will be kept confidential.”
The main focus of the meetings is to create change through prayer; the topics will vary.
“Each topic will be presented as the thought of the day and will cover areas including self, relationships, planting fruits and harvest.”
The Right Reverend Nicholas Dill, Bishop of Bermuda, led the first session on Thursday.
A short reflection on recharging spiritual life was followed by a time of prayer.
“My hope is that from these prayer sessions there will be a change in the lives of Bermudians, whatever that change is or looks like I think is a personal thing. But my desire at the end of all of this is that on December 31 people will be able to look back over their lives in 2020 and see a change — no matter how big or small.
“And as we look back at the changes that have been made, we take time to celebrate and thank God for it all.”
Ms Scott worships at Vernon Temple AME Church and is a member of the group Activate Bermuda, which seeks to promote the spiritual wellbeing of millennials in Bermuda. Her personal journey into faith began several years ago.
“I don’t remember all the exact dates and times, but I remember at a young age accepting Jesus as my personal Saviour.
“I got baptised on a cold day in 2007 at Horseshoe Bay cove. However, I don’t think I fully tapped into and trusted God in a deeper more meaningful way until I became pregnant with my son in 2008. Becoming a mother, under the circumstances I was in back then, took my relationship with God to a whole new level.
“I didn’t understand God’s timing back then but truthfully, the spiritual growth that has come out of all my life experiences is something I cherish most.
“This growth has had its share of sunshine and rainbow days, but there have also been dark days that are not easy or pretty.”
Ms Scott believes wholeheartedly that God’s covering has been over her as she navigated through the dark times. She wants to use her experience to encourage others in whatever way she can.
“I may not always get it right, but my relationship with God is the best thing I have going for myself right now. It’s not perfect, but I am thankful that I have Him in my life and I would encourage anybody else who doesn’t have a relationship with God, to try it out for yourself.
“Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone and waiting until you ‘get things sorted out’ will take for ever.
“God is a loving, forgiving, patient and giving God, who wants to meet us right now where we are, in all our mess and our ‘stuff’. He wants to love us right there.”
• Prayer for Change is open to everyone. The group meets on the fifth Thursday of each month. The next meeting takes place on April 30 at 12.30pm at The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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