Conversations on Prayer

With Katy Trigg and Rachel Awuye

Why is prayer so important to you?

Katy: We all love to and need to spend time with the people who are most precious to us. Prayer is just spending time with God, listening to Him as well as talking to Him.

Rachel: “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torchI have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:1, 6-7).

Prayer is seen throughout scripture. So many times in the Bible we see people calling on the name of the Lord. When we pray, we are communicating with God; we are worshipping God. We are to pray all the time and not only when we need something from God. He is our Father, and our joy is to come before Him in awe, telling Him of our love for Him. In our busy daily lives, it is easy to forget to communicate with our Father. I think of it this way – like my earthly parents who live abroad, there are times when I have gone through stretches of time without a conversation with them, making me feel slightly detached as if I couldn’t talk to them about many things. But in realising this and consciously implementing a routine involving communication with them, what seems a conscious effort becomes natural. It’s the same with God. We need to make a conscious effort in implementing a routine of conversations with God. 

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”– Martin Luther.

How and when do you pray? 

Katy: I couldn’t imagine starting my day without sitting with the Lord for a while. I find the Lectio 365 app really helpful for this morning prayer time, based on short extracts from the Bible. Praying from Scripture is so much more powerful than relying on our own thoughts! 

I share my random prayers with God, anywhere, at any time. I often find myself praying “Please Lord, DO something about this situation”, but although He hears those cries, I know it’s much better to pray specific prayers. One of my favourite Bible passages is Philippians 4 verses 4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  

Sitting in God’s presence – understanding that He IS near – this gives me such peace, and I suppose this peace expresses itself in gentleness.  As I meditate on these words, thanking the Lord for the way He has answered my prayers in the past, I listen for His quiet voice, so that the overwhelming tangle of thoughts turn into clear specific requests.

Rachel: For me, worship and music draws me naturally to be myself with God. It’s about realising what prayer does for you. There are also various forms of prayers – adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication prayer. Find what works for you. 

Can you give us some examples of answered prayer in your life? 

Katy: One recent example was when I was praying for a friend who was struggling with multiple challenges. Bewildered by the huge scale of her problems I felt I should just pray that she would receive some encouragement – a small but clear breakthrough in any of the areas she was battling with. She contacted me soon afterwards to confirm that this had happened. 

Another time, I was desperate for a change in my life situation and as I went for a walk I said to the Lord that I wanted to see some movement within a certain number of weeks.  Then I heard that familiar voice in my head say “Get real Katy – what do you really want? – not weeks, days”!  So I changed the weeks number to days, and I had a totally unexpected answer within that specific time-frame!

Another example was when I was praying about work for September. I am a supply teacher, but I find it quite stressful having an unpredictable schedule. I had taken some regular work as a Teaching Assistant, but felt frustrated at being unable to use all my teaching experience and skills.  So I told the Lord that I would like to use my skills in some regular work as a Teacher. I also said I would like it to be local, as I want to minimise my car use in the light of the climate emergency. A short time after I had prayed this prayer, I was offered a day a week, on a temporary basis, at a local school, with the opportunity to teach my favourite subject as well!

Rachel: I remember being told in hospital that I had a brain tumour and being heavily pregnant as well as having a one and a half year old Kendra at the time. There were times when I wondered why this was happening to me – it is natural to ask these questions. Without my faith, I wouldn’t have survived. The best thing a parent does for their child is to teach them to pray. This way, they are set for life. It was that communication with my heavenly Father which made everything bearable. I prayed for a miracle … that a scan may not show the presence of a tumour. My all-knowing heavenly Father knew that it was better for me to go through a process. My miracle became a successful surgery, and I went on to have another child and to achieve things I had not planned on. 

What would you say to people who have been praying for something for a long time and it has not been answered yet? 

Katy: Keep going. Ask other people to pray with you and keep them updated. If it’s a big issue, ask the Lord to show you small steps that you can pray for, to encourage you along the way. Consider fasting. Once when I was praying for something for many months, I did a partial fast, giving up all refined sugar – cakes, biscuits, desserts etc. If you’re in something for the long-term you have to find what works for you. Be prepared for the Lord to mould your attitude to the issue as the weeks and months progress. The answer may not be the answer you were originally seeking, but He WILL answer, and we WILL “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27 verse 13).

Rachel: It may be that you have prayed for something for so long – please do keep praying. God works with us in our prayers. When we feel disinclined to pray, it is time to pray more than ever. 

Being children of God does not exempt us from trials and challenges, but we know that we have the ammunition for facing every challenge. I mentioned that I had surgery successfully, but it was not without complications, and there was need for another surgery. Through prayers, and prayers from others, God answered. We feel the presence of the Holy Spirit through prayer, and this comforts us. Through prayer, we can invite God to help us deal with trials.
So, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Katy has been a member of The Point since 2015 and has served on various teams. She is now responding to the call to join St Edward’s, but is looking forward to some close cooperation between our two churches in the area of Climate Justice and Creation Care.

Rachel Awuye is married to Michael and they have 3 children. They have been at The Point since 2020.