P. R. A Y
On Monday I mentioned that there are many resources we can use to help us pray. Today I am going to share with you a couple of websites/resources thar I have found to be incredibly valuable as I work towards growing closer to God through prayer.
Now, I am not saying that to pray you need to use things like this, in fact sometimes the sheer volume of resources we have available can overwhelm us and make what should simply be communication with God complicated, however sometimes we just need prompts, something to get us started or to help us keep focus.
If you use social media, the Church of England publish daily prayers you can use. The Church of England website also has a dedicated area for prayer (link below) here you can find a how to pray guide, links to daily offices (prayers that are said at certain times of the day) and lots of other information.
I have already mentioned 24/7 prayer International this week, their website is a treasure trove of information and resources about prayer, whilst not making it overcomplicated. (link below)
This week was the first anniversary of the Lectio 365 App. It was inspired by an ancient form of praying the Bible called Lectio Devina (Latin for divine reading) It is a way of approaching scripture expectant that we will encounter God and hear something relevant for our lives today.
Lectio Divina began in the third century, led by early church leader Origen. He believed that by reading the Bible thoughtfully and prayerfully you could discover what he called ‘higher wisdom’ within Gods word. Lectio Divina is about savouring scripture through repetition, taking time to think and pray through what emerges.
The Lectio 365 App is inspired by this, so each day you can either listen to or read that days devotional. You can use this as a stand-alone, it takes around 10 minutes, or you can use it to start you off in a longer time of prayer. The devotionals are shaped by the six Biblical practises of the Order of the Mustard seed: Prayer, creativity, justice, hospitality, mission, and learning. Something that I particularly like about using Apps to pray, is that I can set reminders as a prompt to take the time and make prayer a priority.
The Lectio 365 devotionals use a helpful acronym, to plan and shape the time of prayer. It is something that can also be useful to shape personal prayer too.
P. Pause to be still. Stopping everything you are doing, clear your mind and your hands as you devote time to God.
R. Rejoicing with a psalm. Using the words of the Psalms each day, to praise God and remember who He is and what He has done.
A. Asking God to help us. Now if you are anything like me, this is often where my prayers can start and end. I reel of a huge list of people and situations, without really stopping to be with God. My prayers can often be like the child that has just come out of school, in the excitement of seeing their parents they gabble on, not really coming up for air and when the parent asks a question, they struggle to respond appropriately. I am sure many of us have asked a child a question and received a one word answer, nothing, good, bad etc….
Y. Yielding to Gods will in our lives. When we yield we are giving way and joining in Jesus prayer ‘yet not our will, but God’s will be done’ In this moment we may surrender our opinions, our sense of entitlement or control, our possessions, our time, our mistakes and more in prayer. This is the part when we step out in faith and say YES GOD, we listen and respond. I wonder what God has planned for you today?
Learning to pray | The Church of England