Mid Week Prayer

This is part 1 of Rev Derek Akker’s fabulous and enlightening reflections on Prayers from his teens. Now, once you’ve got a nice warm drink (or cold drink in this glorious weather), we can begin…

Prayers from my teens.
Our church in Clitheroe had invested in converting the old Methodist School into a youth club. It was a brilliant place for the youth to meet. On Sunday evenings activities were more subdued and there was a time of reflection and discussion. At one such occasions we were introduced to the book Prayers of Life by Michel Quoist. He was a French Catholic Priest and writer who worked with young people. The book was first published in 1959 in French and then published in English in 1963. It was the first book on prayer I bought. The book was adventurous, radical and certainly not the prayers I was used to hearing and using. It certainly ruffled a few feathers amongst some of the elders within the church. A book by a Catholic priest being used in a Methodist Youth Club!
I still have my copy of Prayers of Life and thought as I prepared for a prolonged period of isolation it’s was worthy of reading again and sharing it through these pages in the form of a short reflection.
Before we start how about making yourself a coffee (other drinks are equally suitable). Sit and relax, taking a few deep breaths, enjoying your refreshing drink and prepare for an adventure in prayer, be prepared for the unexpected for sometimes it is in the unexpected that we find our Lord.

‘If we knew how to listen to God, we should hear him speaking to us.
For God does speak. He speaks in his gospel; he speaks also through life –
that new Gospel to which ourselves add a page each day’.
 A reading from the Gospel of Mark

Jesus likes youngsters
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. (Mark10:13-15)
‘God says: I like youngsters. I want people to be like them.
I don’t like old people unless they are still children.
I want only children in my kingdom; this has been decreed from the beginning of
Youngsters – twisted, humped, wrinkled, white-bearded – all kind of youngster,
but youngsters’.
Pause for a moment to reflect on these words. Does it shock as you to read

 “I don’t like old people unless they are still children”?
I was a youngster when I first heard these words, time and age has taken me through all the changing scenes of life, I’m now wrinkled, white-bearded with aches and pains but and it’s a big but am I still a youngster at heart and in the eyes of our Lord
In thoughtful prayer bring before the Lord the youngsters you know, picture them, smile and hold them in your heart.
Now pray that you can reclaim your youth, not so much physically but spiritually and emotionally.
  ‘Alleluia! Alleluia! Open, all you little old people! It is I, your God, the Eternal,
risen from the dead, coming to bring back to life the child in you.
Hurry! Now is the time. I am ready to give you again the beautiful face of a child,
The eyes of a child . . . For I love youngsters, I want everyone to be like them’.
(Michel Quoist – Prayers of Life – Gill and Macmillan 1963 pp 2-4)
You may choose to close this time with the Lords Prayer and
May the God of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Son of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Spirit of peace
bring peace to this house,
this night and all nights