A message from The Rev’d Lyn McRostie, Rector of Northwood.

Posted by Admin on 21 May 2010, 4:56 pm

What is it like to pray and be aware of God? I’m sure there must be as many answers to that question as there are people in the world … and then some.

The writer Henry Morgan said “There are times when prayer comes spontaneously: in a dire emergency, an arrow prayer for help; when something lovely or pleasurable has happened, a warm ‘thank you’ to God; on realizing meanness or selfishness, a prayer for forgiveness; in the face of beauty or wonder, a prayer of awe and adoration.”

Then there’s the practice of extended time in prayer. I was intrigued to read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s thoughts on this in a speech he gave in 2007. He said “I’ve always rather liked that image of prayer as bird-watching. You sit very still because something is liable to burst into view, and sometimes of course it means a long day sitting in the rain with nothing very much happening, and I suspect that most of us know that a lot of our experience of prayer is precisely that. But the odd occasions when you do see what T. S. Eliot called ‘the kingfisher’s wing flashing light to light’ make it all worthwhile. We hope that we do catch those flashes – but how often does the kingfisher flash past us and we turn around and say ‘Oh, I missed that!’”

Maybe we miss some God moments because we’re putting our own expectations onto God rather than letting God fly to us? Perhaps we’re asking God to do what we want rather than allowing God to say to us, hold on, wait, there’s something else that’s possible, a different way of looking.

As the Archbishop understands, the experienced bird-watcher, who sits still, poised, alert, not tense or fussy, knows that eventually something extraordinary will suddenly burst into view. It’s the same with prayer.

“Would we be disappointed if we were expecting a kingfisher and saw instead an osprey? No, we’d be thrilled and would start asking all sorts of questions. So why reject God if we pray and don’t get the answer we want? Are we looking for chickens when we’re being given eagles?”



Do you know of someone who would appreciate a visit by the church? Or would you, yourself, like to meet and talk with someone from the church? Please let Lyn know or contact one of the Churchwardens whose details are given in Northwood News and in the Parish Church Officers section of this website:

Parish Church Officers

We’re happy to meet with you, to bring communion to you if you cannot come to church – or to explore with you if you just want to know more about the Christian faith. We are always here for you – because that’s what we’re about!

  • - Church News
  • - Church Diary
  • - Church Diary (past)
  • - Parish Church Officers
  • - Burial Database
  • - Church History
  • - Church Photo Gallery
  • - Parish History
  • - Northwood Clergy
  • - Parish Map
  • - Church Web Links
  • - Northwood News
  • - Friends of Northwood Church

  • - Village Forum
  • - Northwood Village Map
  • - Village News
  • - Village Diary
  • - Village Diary (past)
  • - Village History
  • - Local I.W. Councillor
  • - Village Photo Gallery
  • - Village People
  • - Natural History
  • - Local Links
  • - Community Partnership
  • - Local Groups and Clubs

    Parish Council
  • - Parish Council Diary
  • - Parish Council Diary (past)
  • - Parish Council News
  • - Parish Plan