Teach us to pray: introduction
The disciples of Jesus asked him "Lord, teach us to pray..."
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father,hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.’
Just as it is hard to imagine a relationship with friends or family without ever seeing or speaking to them, so prayer is fundamental to our relationship with God. In prayer we come into the presence of God. As Jesus' disciples knew, though, prayer is something we often need help with. Where do we start? What can we do when prayer seems dry? What is prayer anyway?
Many people's idea of prayer is still "hands together, eyes closed", a pattern we may have learned at school and never really revisited since.
These daily blog postings (every day except Sundays) will try to open up different possibilities for prayer to help that relationship with God come alive. They are a companion resource to our Lent Study sessions on the Lord's Prayer, which are part of the Church of England's "Pilgrim" course. The blog posts stand alone, however, so even if you aren't coming to a study group, you can still follow these posts online. The blog posts are my own work rather than those of the group that produced Pilgrim - any deficiencies in them are my fault, not the fault of the Pilgrim team!
The posts will fall into six sections.
We will start with a few days thinking about how we can get ready to pray and then move through various different ways, both old and new - a different one each week - for enriching prayer, from classic techniques of Lectio Divina and Ignatian meditation, to creative ideas for prayer, silence, and liturgical prayer.