by Fiona Fidgin
Welcome……to our resource sheet for the start of our Lent Course – #PrayLent.
This year we are thinking prayer:
How do you pray?
What helps you to pray?
What is your prayer life like?
Here are some quotes about prayer – do any of these speak to you?
Which do you like and which do you not like?
‘Prayer does not change God but it changes the person who prays.’
‘The heart is restless until it rests in you.’
‘The more generous you are toward God, the more generous you will find he is toward you.’
St Ignatius of Loyola
‘If you are seeking God but do not know how to begin, learn to pray and make the effort to pray everyday.’
One should remember God more frequently than one breathes.’
St Gregory Nazianzen
‘I look at him and he looks at me.’
‘Praying means listening more than speaking, meditation means being looked at more than looking.’
‘There are many paths of prayer… Christ is there speaking inside us. Prayer is a passage way to life which does not come from ourselves but from somewhere else.’
Brother Roger Schutz
‘Keep your soul in peace. Let God work in you. Welcome thoughts that raise your heart to God. Open wide the window of your soul.’
St Ignatius of Loyola
‘Everything that happens, every encounter can become the occasion for prayer. For the more deeply we live in union with God, the deeper we understand the world around us.’
‘The desire to pray is already a prayer.’
‘For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look towards heaven. It is a cry of recognition and of love embracing both trial and joy.’
St Teresse of Lisieux
What is prayer?
Often, we do not label as prayer those experiences which put us in touch with the Mystery, although they are prayerful experiences.
We need to understand prayer in much wider terms than only ‘talking to God.’
Prayer is about relationship - relationship with God but also our relationships with others and the world. Any good relationship is built on listening as well as talking.
So we need to develop our listening skills in prayer - to be receptive to the nudging of God. We need to learn to listen with our heart rather than with our head.
Heart looking, heart seeing happens when we develop an awareness of the world around us. Through being present to the things that are happening in our lives, God is revealing Godself to us. Through reflection and ‘practising an awareness of the present moment’ we will more easily be able to live in a prayerful relationship, noticing the ‘graced moment’ of our daily lives.
We will become more aware of God's footprints in the High Street.
Each week you’ll be given a prayer challenge!
This may not be your way of praying, you may love it or hate it, you might encounter new ways of praying… the invitation is just to give it a go!
How do these words above from Margaret Silf speak to you?
Spend some time this week noticing those ‘graced moments.’
Whether you are inside or outside, become aware of God’s presence
What do you notice? What do you see? Touch? Feel?
What might God be saying to you this week?
How will you take notice?
Share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook using the #PrayLent hashtag
Look out for a short video in the coming weeks in our weekly esend and on social media with the hashtag #PrayLent.