Embodied Prayer

These recent days have been intense and many of us have found ourselves battling stress, anxiety, information overload, boredom and restlessness yet have little capacity. Emma Timms doesn’t just talk about, but walks us through, a helpful prayer practice for times like this.

So I get a maximum of 500 words to talk to you, a few moments of your time as your scroll through your screen. I’m going to use those words to lead you in a practice.

Let’s linger in the sweet presence of Jesus together. I invite you to inhabit this practice fully and give 5 whole minutes of your time and attention to embody this moment.

Close all other tabs.

Lay aside and silence all your other devices.

Place both your feet on the ground and and wiggle your toes.

Take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Welcome and recognise the presence of God in this very moment.


Take 3 more deep, slow breaths, see how long you can linger over them. Repeat the Breath PrayerGod is here” with every breath.

Let go and release everything that’s come before this moment and everything else you have to do after.

Be here now.

Linger in this truth; GOD IS HERE.

Take three more slow, deep breaths, lifting your shoulders towards your ears as you inhale and dropping them back down as you exhale.

Movement and breath awareness during prayer bring focus. Whilst our thoughts and feelings can easily be rushing into the past and the future, our bodies are rooted completely in the present.
Undivided attention is rare and it’s not easy to come by. Take a conversation for example: sometimes you get the gift of being truly listened to – you can tell by the body language and a person’s gaze when they are really giving you their attention – and it feels good. Compare that to when you’re trying to share something with someone and they are constantly looking at their phone and distracted. Well, prayer is in its simplest form is a conversation with God, and it’s a skill we can learn to give Him more and more of our undivided attention – but it doesn’t always come easy! Movement and breathing help us to focus. In the Lectio 365 app with which I’m sure many of you are familiar, we are invited to ‘re-centre our scattered senses upon the presence of God.’ The short practice I just led you in above is a practical way to re-centre.

As well as our focus, the movements of our body can reflect and deepen the movements of our heart. Palms turned upwards can mirror a feeling of surrender. Palms pressed down can help us feel grounded. Kneeling can evoke humility, and arms lifted, worship. I teach Pilates and Contemplative Prayer and we explore all different kinds of movement and prayer practices. The focus and discipline we learn on our mats makes its way into our everyday lives and the fruit begins to show up all over the place.

Here’s a link to a 10 minute seated practice with movement to the simple breath prayer we used above: God is here.
I hope it blesses you and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch!

Emma and her husband Jon lead Discovery Church in Dunbar where they live with their 4 children and Barney the dog. Emma teaches Pilates and has recently been leading others in Pilates combined with Contemplative prayer practices, such as Breath prayer and the Examen. You will often find Emma pursuing her other great passion – wild swimming.

For Such a Time As This

There are many reasons the annual 24-7 Prayer Gatherings are special and one of the main highlights of the year for many us. Those reasons largely have to do with relationship – the opportunity to reunite with friends from around the globe who feel like family even though we typically only see each another once a year at the most. And it is opportunity to make new life-long friends.

This aspect will be quite different at this year’s Gathering as we will be gathering online rather than shoulder to shoulder in a Spanish monastery, old theatre or breathtaking cathedral. And though we all lament this, there is something else about these yearly Gatherings that makes us not dare miss our online time together here in a few weeks. These Gatherings are always prophetic and more relevant to the times than we can fully grasp in that moment. And often without realising it, we come away equipped with tools and a word from God that take us into the coming year and all that it holds with a readiness that only the Spirit of God could orchestrate.

I have shared here below our blog post following last year’s Gathering in Belfast to demonstrate what I mean. I think you will agree that this message from Alain Emerson of 24-7 Prayer Ireland was a readying for what was to come in the new year and is still poignantly relevant.

And I would encourage you that if you haven’t already, register here for ‘For Such A Time As This’ – the Online Gathering the end of this month!

Sleep, Eat, Repeat – Last year’s blog post
24-7 Prayer Gatherings – they are always fun, always inspirational, encouraging, challenging and renewing. Always a special time of prayer, worship, learning and being together as a tribe. But every few years one comes along that feels significant to the life and direction of the movement.

This was most definitely the case for Belfast ’19 a couple weeks ago. There was and is now a sense that we are beginning a new chapter in this story God is writing. Yes, some of that will be related to the transition of leadership that happened – and what a deeply beautiful, joyful, celebratory transition it was!

But this sense of entering a new chapter is deeper and more far-reaching than just this transition of leadership. It is more akin to further out and deeper in.

Alain Emerson spoke the first night from 1 Kings 19 where Elijah, after a major victory, flees into the wilderness, exhausted, frightened and discouraged. This passage has been reverberating within me ever since and the sentence “Arise, eat, for the journey is too great for you” feels particularly significant for this moment in time.

God is speaking something to His people across the globe and it has to do with preparation and where He is to be found.
There are small but encouraging signs that the prayers we have been praying for many years for revival in the Church and in our own hearts, for spiritual awakening in our nations, have been heard. The signs may be small, like the “size of a man’s hand” to quote Elijah’s servant, but they are there.

But are we ready?

How many of us would admit to being exhausted right now, maybe discouraged, maybe even frightened? Are we truly in the best health, the best state of mind, the right posture of heart to receive and take part in a move of God in our world?

God told Elijah in the cave that He was about to pass by. But when He did come, it was in the quiet whisper.
Are we in such a place that we will be able to hear Him when He does come in that quiet whisper rather than the noise and hype we often associate with “revival” or “awakening”?

From this place of being renewed by God and meeting with Him in that quiet whisper, Elijah impacted the roles and positions of influencers and those in authority, he gathered those who were still devoted to God, he rewired an entire culture and history.

So what do we need to do to get ready?

Sleep, eat, repeat. Sleep, eat, repeat. “Arise and eat for the journey is too great for you.

We need to learn rest. We need to feed on God’s goodness and presence. We need to posture our hearts, minds and bodies towards Him in such a way that our ears are trained to hear and recognise the quiet whisper and every part of our being is ready to run long and hard in a sustainable way without burning out.

This sleeping and eating may in reality look like middle of the night prayer slots and fasting for some of us. It may look like a letting go and stepping back into a place of quiet and hiddenness for a while for some of us. It may look like a pruning of activity and more time given to waiting on God for others of us. And for some of us it may look quite literally like rest and feeding ourselves on the things that will renew and refresh us physically.

But for all of us, it is about preparation and posturing ourselves for when that quiet whisper comes and changes everything.

24-7 Prayer Scotland Puts Down Roots

We have been fairly quiet the past two months. Partly to give ourselves a much needed break and also because we have been quietly working away on some things behind the scenes.

We are now delighted to share with you that 24-7 Prayer Scotland is now its own Scottish charity!
We have finally been granted charitable status by OSCR!

This is largely due to the hard work of some fantastic people that we will introduce to you here in a minute, as well as the wonderful support of 24-7 Prayer GB director Carla Harding, 24-7 International Prayer Director Brian Heasley and the 24-7 Prayer International trustees.

This event deeply excites us for many reasons. However, the greatest point of excitement for us is that this means we are more firmly rooted in Scotland, for Scotland! It will help us to establish and develop 24-7 Prayer Scotland in a way that makes us more sustainable as well as more contextualised for Scotland.

It also means that for those of you who would like to give financially towards the work of 24-7 Prayer, specifically within Scotland, you can now do so more easily and with the confidence that you are truly investing in your own nation. We love this and hope you do too!

We will be sharing more with you in the very near future around our vision, hopes and plans for 24-7 Prayer in Scotland; but for now we just wanted to share the celebratory news and introduce you to our fabulous board!

Watch this space for more to come!

Now, meet the 24-7 Prayer Scotland Board:

Thomas Dean – Co-Chair
Thomas leads Stenhouse Baptist Church in Edinburgh alongside his wife Claudia and some other friends.
They love sharing their lives and faith with their neighbours in Stenhouse, and they love 24-7 Prayer Scotland too!

Debbie Meehan – Co-Chair
Debbie lives in Ayr, where she serves on the leadership team at Southside Church.
She began the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team in 2010, carrying the leadership of it and Prayer Spaces in Schools in Scotland for six years.

She has recently retired from teaching maths but keeps busy alongside her husband Stevan babysitting (playing with) their grandchildren. She has recently developed an interest in gardening – though her first love will always be a good book!

Kenny Roy – Treasurer

Kenny is a qualified Accountant, previously worked in business and latterly full time for a large church in Edinburgh where he lives with his wife Tricia. He now runs his own practice mainly supporting charities in Scotland.
He was an active member of his children’s secondary school board and charitable trust and part of a group from his church that intentionally sought to pray for and serve the staff, pupils and parents of their local school in practical ways.

Andrew Rooney – Secretary

Andrew is Minister of Kirkmuirhill Parish Church in Lanarkshire where he lives with his wife Steph and dog Bluebell.
Andrew first got involved with 24-7 Prayer after reading Red Moon Rising and Gatecrashing, which he read via streetlight on a bus in Germany. He and Steph then met the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team while in Geneva for the 24-7 Prayer EuroGathering.
He has since continued to attend the gatherings, was on the 24-7 Scotland team for a while and is now excited to help the work of 24-7 Prayer Scotland continue to grow and flourish!

Phil Togwell

Phil leads the Prayer Spaces in Schools teams, as well as the Anglican Diocese of Durham’sPrayer Project.
He’s worked in a wide range of Youth and Community settings and also served at 24-7’s UK Director for 7 years.
Phil lives by the North Coast of England with his wife, daughters and dogs Jack & Ollie.

Pam Lyall

Pam is one of Scotland’s most experienced commercial mediators. Previously part of another mediation service, she has since December 2014 been operating as an independent, full time mediator, coach & facilitator and was named Mediator of the Year (Scotland) 2014 by Lawyer Monthly. She also leads training courses in mediation & negotiation and is a regular contributor at conferences.
She and her husband live in Edinburgh where they are part of the Central Church family.