The Light of Christ
This exercise can be used to express the corporate nature of prayer and the way the Spirit of Christ grows in us when we pray.
The leader will need to provide a small candle for each member of the group (baptismal or votive candles are ideal), and a large candle to be placed in the centre of the room. A CD/cassette player and a suitable CD/tape will also be needed. Pachebel's Kanon is ideal but a Taize chant would do equally as well.
All sit or stand in a circle round the central candle.
LEADER: Jesus said: 'I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life.' (John 8:12)
Light central candle.
LEADER: The light of Christ has come into the world.
LEADER: At the centre of each one of us is a spark given to us by God at our baptism. This spark is the spirit of prayer, God's gift to each member of the Body of Christ. The candle you have just been given represents this gift. The spark will be fanned into a flame if it is brought to Christ and allowed the space and opportunity to grow. Think of the spark within you.
LEADER: When you are ready light your candle as a sign of the Holy Spirit within you and return to the circle.
Pause while candles are lit.
LEADER: Remember that you never pray in isolation; the Holy Spirit always prays within you, and Jesus is always interceding for you and for all who follow him.
Remember that when you pray you join thousands of people throughout the world and throughout time, many thousands of sparks fanned into many thousands of flames. Your spark can never be extinguished. The light of Christ never decreases.
If people are sitting, they should stand at this point.
LEADER: Move into groups of three. Notice how the light increases as you gather together. Pray silently for the people in your group that their spirit of prayer may burn brightly.
LEADER: Each small group join another group. Pray silently for those who are forced to pray in hiding, in secret, or in prison.
LEADER: Return to the circle round the central candle.
Be conscious of your prayer as part of the prayer of Christians throughout earth and heaven. Remember you are not just one of a crowd and that your spirit of prayer is as individual and unique as the flame of your candle.
Let us thank God for the flame of prayer within us.
for all who pray throughout the world.
for all who have prayed through the ages.
for Jesus, the light of the world.
End by saying the grace together.