thoughts on prayer

8 03 2007

Some thoughts on prayer provoked by Maria Toth’s recent post Stubborn 4 Christ!

Prayer is not just about persevering when you want something; it’s about being present when your world seems to be falling apart. During three years I spent at Cliff College I came to appreciate the practice of morning prayers and opposed people who wished to make morning prayers an optional part of life in the community.  

Structured prayer can contribute to a dualistic way of seeing the world- and the “prayer is what we do in chapel at six o’clock in the morning” attitude isn’t helpful. But setting aside a specific time for prayer can be a powerful practice, it holds you in times of doubt and it strengthens you in times of challenge.  

The monastic practice of morning (matins) and evening (compline) prayer is not a dualistic practice, but rather serves to remind Christians that God is with them throughout the day and watches over them at night. When it comes to the discipline of prayer I have found two things helpful:  

  1. Praying with others makes us accountable to them and serves as a good reminder that prayer is not about “us and God”, it is about “us, the world, and God”
  2. Praying the Daily Office is also helpful as it gives our prayer life structure and when we struggling to pray it gives us words.
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