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How not to pray

The trouble is, you think up a snappy title for your blog post, then you have to deliver...

This evening, we'll be having another of our monthly 'Friends of God" meetings, where a few of us gather to share thoughts and questions about prayer, and then have a short time of quiet prayer together. We're never quite sure where it's going to go, but that's probably a good thing. Prayer, like God, is mysterious, and has its own agenda, which you can't really pre-empt.

And as with God, it's a bit easier to say what prayer isn't than what it is. 

So - I think we go wrong if we think of prayer primarily as an activity, as another aspect of our doing stuff for God. 

And - I have a feeling that God may go to sleep while "listening" to another of our long lists of things we want him to do.

And - whatever we mean by an answer to prayer, it probably won't be what we want or expect. And it might happen while we're looking the other way.

Of course, even a load of "what prayer isn'ts" implies that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to prayer. And I don't, not really, not in the sense of having some kind of technique for praying. Because I think real prayer is something like a moment when you forget all your preoccupations, all your effortful straining after God, and just realise that God is with you without your having to do anything at all. And there is joy in that moment.

Or, to put it another way, stop trying so hard. God is already here, waiting to be noticed and enjoyed. That would be more like prayer...

 

George Herbert
Coming up...
 

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

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