Friday, 30 September 2011
I grew up being taught that prayer was a conversation with God.
It was a tradition that emphasised the spontaneous free speaking to God. Language with all its beautiful possibilities and obvious limitations was the way to pray. But, if I’m honest I should concede that quite often this conversation became a monologue of fancy words to praise God or, at its worst, a “shopping list” of requests. I knew this wasn’t right, but I didn’t know better.
To be honest, at some point, I stopped praying and eventually gave up prayer altogether. After a while, after a series of experiences, I re-discovered prayer again. I was learning not just from my own Anglican spirituality, but also from other enriching Christian traditions. I have found this to be an inspiring and challenging experience that has opened my eyes to new possibilities.
The way I pray and my understanding of prayer has changed as my faith journey has lead me to different places and experiences: from verbal Rococo to minimalistic silence; from contemplating an Icon or lighting a candle to absorbing the beauty of creation or engaging in the creative endeavour; from doing prayers to being a prayer. At the point in my journey where I am now I am more convinced as never before of the importance of prayer in our lives. Prayer is a way to connect with God, to connect with ourselves, and to connect with others. That is what prayer is at its core.