3.2 Purposeful Gathering of Prayer

Welcome Friends to The Hudson Valley School of Prayer!

We welcome all those who are seeking to grow in their prayer relationship to God. We believe the best prayer arises from love, not duty – that we can learn to pray as an expression of both loving God with all we are and have and loving others as we have been loved by Christ.

We believe prayers of faith that are true to the Bible are used of God to transform our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit into the likeness of Jesus Christ, to pour mercy and grace into the relationships we have with others, and ultimately to reclaim our world for the Kingdom of Heaven.


This is the Third Session or Winter Edition of the HVSP entitled “Finding Life In Regular Practices of Prayer,” produced from the home of Dave & Julia Ewert in February and March of 2021. Today, we are sharing a video and some thoughts to encourage a “A PURPOSEFUL GATHERING IN PRAYER.”

In the prayer lessons of this winter session, we will be prayerfully reading from a book given to us by our grandson Jashton entitled EVERY MOMENT HOLY, and then informally responding to that book in conversation with one another.

This book, EVERY MOMENT HOLY, written by Doug McKelvey brings new liturgies for the ordinary events of daily life, such as “A Liturgy for Feasting with Friends” or “A Liturgy for Laundering.” These prayers are ways of reminding us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose even when, especially when, we are too busy or too caught up in our busyness to notice.

Did I say “LITURGY”?

“The etymological roots of the word liturgy suggest that it is a “work of and for the people”… As in any purposeful gathering every one of us brings our hopes and fears, our griefs and gifts to the table. It’s a beautiful and fragile thing to gather—in being loved, we risk being known…” [1]

Thought Questions

In the selection we read today from EVERY MOMENT HOLY, A Purposeful Gathering,” we were captivated by the thought that Christ is the special guest at our party, and everyone is invited to join in the conversation with Him.

How does that picture help you in approaching a time of prayer with your Christian brothers and sisters? Do you have difficulty voicing prayers when you’re with others? What about this session might help you to venture out and verbally share your heart with God in the presence of others?

The point was made that for the joyful to enter into the sorrows of others and for the sorrowful to enter into the joys of others requires both humility (waiting on God “to show up”) and empathy.

Bill Gaultiere has made these helpful comments concerning empathy: “A primary tool to cultivate healthy groups and relationships is empathy. Empathy is 1) being curious and tender-hearted toward other people; 2) listening for feelings, needs, and values; 3) helping people form words to express their inner being; and 4) feeling with and for people to help them feel cared for by you and God.”

How does making empathy a goal for your participation in a purposeful gathering for prayer help to ease the stress of fully entering into the prayers being voiced?

“Holy Spirit, how can I truly pray WITH another if I am the one always doing the talking? Please help m e to reassure my friend that he too can speak, even if he doesn’t think I will think he’s doing a good job. Help me to show him that you don’t care how we say it, as long as our heart is humble and honest in what we say. Amen.”

Sample Prayer Toward Empathy

We are so glad you joined us today for this reflection on love-based praying. To review the first two sessions of the school produced in 2020, covering the basics of a prayer life, please visit our blog at the following address: https://breathingbygrace.blog/category/hudson-valley-school-of-prayer/

Resources mentioned

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