Join in online Morning Prayer and virtual Julian meetings


Do you fancy meeting up for morning prayer, hot coffee by your side, in the comfort of your own home, possibly even while still wearing your pyjamas? Well, morning prayer has gone digital in one area of the Diocese of Leicester and is helping Christians in their everyday prayer.

Bob and a few of his friends in and around Loughborough have been holding morning prayer on their mobile phones and laptops since April of this year. While you probably won’t catch them in their onesies or pyjamas, the small gathering enjoy coming together using Zoom video conferencing and the Daily Prayer app, for 25 minutes of prayer and quiet contemplation at the beginning of a busy day.

“There’s a misconception that morning prayer is for those who don’t have jobs,” explains Bob. “If you need to be in an office for 8.30am, getting to church before work is a problem. But 7am, in the comfort of your own home – that’s perfect for me and for others.”

Let’s face it, there are many reasons why we might not be able to make it to church in the morning, but still want to connect with other people in prayer. Being able to come together like this – so quickly and so easily – breaks down many barriers.

And there’s nothing to stop you from joining in, wherever you are in the world. In the last few months, people in the diocese have been coming together in prayer online everywhere from the banks of Loch Lomond, to their car parked in Hereford.

“It never feels quite right being away from home and my church, but this allows me to communicate with a small c and pray with a big P,” says Bob. “It’s important for me to say the daily office, but sharing that with others is just brilliant. It’s as intimate as being in the same room. You’re quite literally in each other’s face, but in a good way.”

Getting to know one another through Christ, with the Holy Spirit, is a really special experience for Bob and friends. “I like how it’s going – it’s got potential,” he says. “While people go online to text stuff I don’t think, in terms of a prayer chat room, there is anything quite like this at the moment.”

The group are continually learning the best ways to work together in this format and looking into different technologies to aid their meetings.

Being able to see each other is a great benefit. And while speaking in unison doesn’t work over an internet connection, taking turns to read a verse each is proving a powerful way to connect with the Gospel.

It’s a really relaxed setting. No-one gets pounced on. You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to be involved – if that’s what you want. You can just listen. There’s also a text option on the side of the screen, where you can put in a prayer request.

“We would be delighted for other people to join in with us,” says Bob. “We’re not looking for five days-a-week commitment, necessarily. Sometimes I do it on my own – which is quite interesting, staring at myself!”

Bob has dreams of small cell groups starting up, during the evening perhaps, too. He has been venturing a little further with group prayer in his online community and is hosting ‘Julian Meetings’ every couple of weeks.

The Julian Meetings is a network of contemplative prayer and meditation groups in the Christian tradition, where people come together with God in silence. “I think that it works because I feel a sense of connection that I wouldn’t have experienced in solitary contemplation,” explains Bob. “There is so much potential for prayer and I’m enjoying exploring ways to bring people together through God.”

Join Bob, and friends, for Morning Prayer – Monday to Friday, at 6.55am. Paste this in your browser https://zoom.us/j/7550984427
You need the Daily Prayer app on your phone to join in but you could get by with your phone and a copy of Common Worship.

Message Bob@Muttbunkey if you need help joining or to pray at any time. Or if you’d like advice in starting up your own online prayer group. You can also contact him on bob.aswht@yahoo.com

The next Julian Meeting is on Wednesday, September 4 at 7.30pm. You can join here https://zoom.us/j/491521996