Pray for those longing for a home – such as the UK’s 320,000 homeless people and 69 million displaced souls worldwide. That’s the message of a new resource which raises awareness of housing needs.
Published by the Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society, Octave offers prayers not only for MMHS residents, staff and Board members – but also for carers, homeless people, refugees and housing policy makers.
Available as a free download from the Society’s website, Octave takes the user through eight days of reflection. A limited print edition of this 12-page book was launched at the recent Methodist Conference 2019 in Birmingham.
‘We pray for all those who long to be settled in a place they can call home,’ says Octave. Written by MMHS Board member and resident Revd Glynn Lister, the book is designed by Lindisfarne Scriptorium.
Octave is based on an ancient Christian practice of an eight-day prayer journey. Each day focuses on a different topic, following the same format – a reading, a prayer and an extract from a hymn. ‘Start somewhere and finish somewhere,’ said Glynn. If you get lost in the middle, that’s fine, too.’
He chose the ‘octave’ style as a Christian tradition since earliest times. ‘From the Latin octava (eighth), “octave” is the eighth day after a feast,’ Glynn explained. ‘The word is also applied to the eight-day period of the feast.
‘In those pioneering centuries, octaves were created for Easter, Pentecost, Epiphany, Christmas, saints’ days – and in modern times, the Octave Of Prayer For Christian Unity. Even The Beatles sang Eight Days A Week!’
Glynn approached the project with a simple philosophy – prayer is all about ‘letting your mind wander in the presence of God’. MMHS seeks to meet the housing and housing related needs of retired Methodist ministers of limited means, and their spouses, and their widows and widowers, and to offer support for their wellbeing.
Download Octave for free. Print out your own booklet for church or home use. You can get any or all of the following layouts:
(Photo: Clive Price)