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The power of prayer?

Three years ago, in January 2018, BRF published the series of Holy Habits resource booklets. These were followed by the Group Studies series and the Bible Reflections series. Each series has one booklet for each habit.

Three years since the publication of the resource booklets, it’s interesting to see, and ponder upon, the relative sales stats for each of the habits. Perhaps unsurprisingly the bestselling habit is Prayer. Books and resources on prayer always sell well. Ever since the first disciples said to Jesus ‘teach us to pray’ it seems that we have valued more help with this.

Then expressed as a percentage of the sales of the prayer materials we find the following range of sales:

  • Fellowship 86%

  • Biblical Teaching 85%

  • Worship 83%

  • Gladness and Generosity 81%

  • Making More Disciples 79%

  • Sharing Resources 79%

  • Serving 76%

  • Breaking Bread 75%

  • Eating Together 75%

Not a huge range, but an interesting one none the less. I wonder what you make of it? Do please share your comments and thoughts.

A few observations and thoughts from me. With Holy Habits, we always encourage the living of the all of the habits in the whole of life and missionally. Even then, there are some that are more naturally gathered church-centred and others that are more obviously dispersed church or missional/whole-life. It’s interesting that here those that we may more readily connect with gathered church are towards the top of the list – with the intriguing exception of breaking bread. Meanwhile, the more overtly missional habits are found in the bottom half of the list.

I’ve just been watching a superb Bible Society webinar entitled An invitation to hope: mission through prayer and lament, reflecting on the impact of the pandemic and how we might as followers of Jesus be being called to respond to it. The webinar included some interesting research on what people wanted the church to offer. The two top responses were service of the poorest in society and services such as bereavement support and counselling – or in other words, missional pastoral care.

The relative sales of the Holy Habits titles do vary over time. It was noticeable that during 2020, sales of the Fellowship resources increased significantly, as hunger for community grew when we were kept apart. Maybe the increase this year will be with the habit of Serving, as we hear and respond to the cries for service that helps to meet everyday needs, and for pastoral care that is not confined to the membership and adherent lists of our churches.


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