Prayer has always been important to me, particularly prayer for others. I had always felt my prayer life was very personal but it now dawned on me that it was the opposite, and it was a possible charism which I had been given.
For some time now our prayer group at St Edmund’s, Abingdon, has felt the call to put our faith into action and reach out to the many homeless on the streets of Oxford. We call it the Chocolate Ministry as we take bars of chocolate to give to any of our less fortunate brothers and sisters that we come across as we walk around the city. Our ministry involves many different charisms besides Intercessory Prayer, including Encouragement, Evangelism, Prophecy, Healing, Faith and Mercy..
I have wondered for some time now about whether each family has a 'pray-er' - someone holding the Flame of Faith alive to point the way. It makes sense to me for God to invite us to share in His Salvation Plan....
I have always felt called to intercede urgently on behalf of others, especially for those at a distance who are suffering as a result of displacement, war or national disasters. I cannot help them physically, but I can help them spiritually.
When I filled in the course inventory I was surprised to find that the charisms I thought would score highly were not so prominent. I came to realise that leadership and administration were skills that I had learnt in my job but were not necessarily Charisms.
I have been involved in intercessory prayer for a long time, but the teaching sessions helped to understand this more clearly as being a charism given by the Holy Spirit. The one to one conversation gave me the opportunity to speak with someone about this charism and gave me the encouragement to pursue it spiritually.