Rev Steve Francis, Moderator of the Uniting Church WA, led Sunday morning worship at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Synod of WA.

His message focussed on ‘prayer and…’, encouraging members of the Synod to contemplate their own prayer life and to put prayer at the centre of it.

Prayer, Steve said, needs to be accompanied by some sort of action.

“It might be prayer and compassion, prayer and discipleship, prayer and the environment. It could be prayer and laughing, prayer and crying,” he said.

“Not prayer alone, not service, witness and compassion alone – but both prayer and work.

“Jesus perfectly modelled this rhythm of prayer and… Without this dynamic of prayer and work, our faith will lack vitality and fruitfulness,” he said.

Steve told stories of revival in the church, both globally and locally within his own congregations, which began with a renewal of prayer.

“Prayer is at the centre of renewal of the church,” he said. “The calling of each of us is to say our prayers and to become our prayers. We gather as a house of prayer and we scatter as a people of prayer.

“When you look around the world and Australia today and you see movements where there is renewal taking place, you almost always see there’s a renewal of prayer.”

This renewal, he said, begins with a renewal of ourselves.

“This is not a technique to manipulate God into what we want,” he said. “When we pray it’s often that God will change us. When we pray, we sometimes get an answer that we don’t want.

“Without prayer, we will never see renewal in our church.”

During the service, members of the Synod took part in Holy Communion, and prayed for others.

“We are mindful of the congregations that we have come from to be here today,” Steve prayed. “We pray as they gather; may they be encouraged, fed, may their spirits be lifted into your presence.

“We pray for every preacher today, that you keep them humble and aligned with your world. We pray for children today in our churches, that they would feel encouraged.

“We pray for people who bear heavy loads. We pray for those who are battling loneliness.

“We pray for those who are grieving, whose lives are experiencing dark moments. Be with them.

“In a miraculous way, you hold the whole world in your hands. May in our prayers, we hold others. Amen”

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