News Feature: Prayer Torch Relay Brings Congregations Together
WHILE the Olympic Torch Relay is making its way around the United Kingdom some Salvation Army divisions have been inspired to organise a relay of their own, passing a 'prayer torch' between corps (churches) and other centres. Prayer relays are taking place in Central South, London Central, London North-East and London South-East Divisions.
The prayer relays provide a focus for corps and centres to pray for God to be present in the many events that are happening throughout 2012. They also give an opportunity for corps and centres to support their neighbours in prayer. Every time the torch is passed on, the recipients are encouraged to pray for the work of the centre they received it from and also for wherever it is going next. Some of the relays include prayer scrolls which accompany the torches, with space allowed for each location to send prayers and prayer requests to the next place.
Nathan Bright, Assistant to the More than Gold Coordinator at territorial headquarters, says: 'It has been great to see various corps and centres get behind this initiative and pray for one another, further strengthening the ethos of One Army, One Mission, One Message.'
Prayer torches have been used in all manner of settings while at a corps or centre. In some places the torch has been set up in a quiet space, where reflective personal prayer has been offered up. Other centres have used the torch as a focal point for prayer at music section practices or at children's clubs.
The manner in which the prayer torches are handed onto the next location is down to the corps or centre in possession of the torch. In a few cases the handover has built on the sporting origins of the initiative, with the torch being taken to its next destination by bicycle.
Corps and centres have been encouraged to upload pictures and reflections of their prayer torch experience to the Sport for Good Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SASportforGood) in a bid to share the initiative with a wider audience.
Report from Sport for Good
United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland