Posted by: robbiexgibson | 23 April, 2008

Prayer I – Source of Life

Last night we started a short (5-week) series on prayer, based on the book Life Source. The aim of the series is to help us develop our toolbox for prayer, and to understand more about prayer and our relationship with God. (Ooh, I said it! “Relationship”!)

We started off talking a little bit about what it means to have a relationship with God. This is unlike any earthly relationship, in that we can’t see, touch, hear or otherwise physically interact with the person we’re talking to. Still, we were able to find several things that we found precious in our relationships with God:

  • Purpose
  • Salvation
  • Communication
  • Acceptance
  • Faithfulness
  • Otherness
  • Fatherhood

Next we looked at a model for conversation that we applied to prayer: seeing, knowing, going. We talked mainly about different ways in which we approached the “seeing” aspect of prayer (that is, coming into the presence of God):

  • Doing housework
  • Breathing consciously
  • Bible reading & meditation
  • Repetition of prayer
  • Being quiet
  • Imagining Revelation-like scenes
  • Praying out loud
  • Writing down our thoughts
  • Lighting a candle
  • Looking at something beautiful
  • Singing

We also considered the “knowing” aspect, that is, learning about God and letting Him know us. We came to the conclusion that even if God knows everything about us, there is value in opening ourselves up to Him: perhaps it will allow us to know ourselves as God knows us; perhaps offering situations to God means that He will get the glory for intervening

Finally we talked about the “going” part. Our experiences of being changed through interacting with God ranged from the frustrating (almost reached that 100-Drachma note!) to the uplifting (experiencing healing in unexpected fashion) through the practical (coming away with God’s agenda)

So much for the background part! We looked at three concrete things that we can do this week if we’re feeling it difficult to pray, or looking for a different way to interact with God.

  1. Come to God in a different way than we would usually do, using other people’s ideas from the list above
  2. Try the palms down (letting go), palms up (receiving from God) preparation
  3. Try praying using the 4 parts of the Lord’s prayer as a structure.

For a reminder, the 4 parts of the Lord’s prayer were the following

  1. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name: worshipping God, delighting in His presence
  2. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven: thanks for creation, for His purposes, acknowledgement of His sovereignty
  3. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: petition for our needs, confession of our sin and release of our grievances
  4. The kingdom, the power and the glory are yours for ever and ever. Amen: thanks for His presence, rejoice in His majesty and character.

Phew, that’s a long post! Sorry if I’ve forgotten anything, please feel free to comment below. You should have plenty of stored-up comments, since the last time anybody wrote anything on this blog was a month ago! Or just let everybody know if you are finding any of their suggestions helpful.

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Responses

  1. Oooh, and I forgot to say “thank you” to Gill and Mary-Lisa for coming to join us. It was great to have you, hope you’ll come back!

  2. Hello everybody. I have managed to register and log in – not bad for a 50+ eh ? Just to say that it was great to share with you all on Monday and I will be back, despite a very late night (for me). Thanks to Robbie for spending time to write up the blog. I don’t promise to contribute very often, but I will read it.
    P.S. Nice photo – where is it?

  3. Thanks Robbie. Yes it was great to have Gillian and Mary-Lisa on Monday – hope you enjoyed it!

    I personally found it really helpful to hear other people’s “handy hints”.

    P.S. Robbie, I really think you should try to come into the presence of God a lot more by doing housework 🙂

  4. Mine, for example!!!

  5. Thank you to all of you for such a warm welcome. I hope to come on Monday… And one last word about housework: Yes, God is always with us.


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