Welcome to the ‘Approaches to Prayer' website.
Before setting off, just a few things about prayer and the way the site is organised.
When we speak about prayer it covers a large spectrum of meanings from spoken requests to silence and everything in between. One theme that runs through this site is that prayer is a much wider activity than we have often thought and we all pray a great deal more than we may realise. This can be a great help in removing the heavy weight of guilt that many people feel when they think that they 'do not pray enough', or that they are not praying 'the right way'.
We believe that all the Christian traditions give us different and equally valid ways to pray and that the ones we find helpful are often related to our personality, culture and just what we are used to.
The ideas suggested vary enormously and are based on suggestions made by a wide variety of people. Some ideas will be simple and easy for you; others you might find difficult or even threatening. You may want to use them just as they are or just take bits of an idea and make something new for yourself. We do not offer finished products or prescriptions but points of departure.
Two Words that are used a great deal in speaking about prayer are meditation and contemplative prayer. Click here for the meanings we are giving to those words.
Remember when you come to pray it is not you who are praying, but the Spirit of God who prays in and through you. Don't worry too much about mistakes, or shortcomings or being too simple or whether it counts! Just taking the dog for a walk came be as valid for you as a thirty-day prayer retreat. It is the relationship not the degree of difficulty that is important. When a parent is with their child s/he is not interested in 'a performance' but just that that they are sharing something together. Jesus taught us a simple model when asked 'teach us to pray'. It started by acknowledgement of a relationship – 'Our Father…'
We have grouped the suggestions under various APPROACHES which introduce IDEAS TO TRY. Our hope is that these will lead you into new ways of praying. If you want a paper copy just click on PRINT THIS on the relevant page.
Some of the suggestions are for groups and others for individuals. Most of them can modify for either and will hope you will do so. Some guidelines for PRAYING IN A GROUP can be found on the site. If you want to review the whole list of exercises in a 'quick index' click here.
We want this site to grow and hope that some of you will make a contribution.
Click on MORE IDEAS to find how you can do this.
Roy Gregory and Henry Morgan
NEW BOOK NEWS
Henry Morgan and Roy Gregory, both part of Annunciation Trust, have edited a new book which is a follow-on from Henry's Approaches to Prayer. It was inspired by their experiences of working together as Spiritual Directors at The Greenbelt Festival. It is due to be published by SPCK in June 2009. View the PDF of the book covers.
More details nearer the time.