“True prayer demands time, space, solitude,” said Bishop Mark Lawrence in his sermon at the annual Clergy Renewal of Vows service held May 2 at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant. More than 80 clergy from around the Diocese participated in the service.
“The Bible is a wonderful book of prayer,” said Lawrence. “It teaches us how to pray.”
The Bishop urged the clergy to take their deepest fears to God.
“We as clergy are not exempt… Fear of what the doctor might say, fear that some past unfaithfulness, some addiction may come to light; perhaps some recent forgetfulness is more than just aging; fear of conflict within the parish, with some parishioners; fear of rejection, of confrontation…We have to trust him with who we are,” said Lawrence.
“Part of our priestly vocation is the lonely work of prayer…. Perhaps you‘ve been there,” said the Bishop.
As in his address at the recent Diocesan Convention, the Bishop highlighted the importance of prayer intercessors. “There are times when we need someone to intercede for us – to pray for us.”
The Bishop highlighted the story of Jacob who, after wrestling with God, had his hip left out of joint and was “maimed and named.”
“We’re not all wise, knowing all the answers… Our role is a humbler one. How can we live in this role? Because he lifts us up. There is one mediator…. That is our hope, joy, promise.”