Lent Bookclub Part 1: The best and worst of prayer

Good morning on this Ash Wednesday morning, and welcome to the Prayer in the Making Lent Bookclub. Whatever you’re giving up or taking up this Lent, I’m praying it’ll be a rich and helpful season for you … and if you’re giving up coffee, chocolate or any other stimulants, I’m praying the headaches won’t be too bad!

Our focus this week is to read the Foreword and the Introduction chapter of Prayer in the Making, and we’re going to be talking about the “best and worst” of prayer.

One of the reasons I wrote the book is because people so often tell me how bad they are at prayer. I imagine we’ve all had moments of thinking we don’t pray well enough or often enough or eloquently enough. Yet God isn’t the grumpy authoritarian who marks us out of 10 when we pray. God is the loving parent who is overjoyed whenever we choose to communicate. So how do we get past the guilt?

The first thing is to recognise that we’re all different, and to learn a bit about what kind of “pray-er” you are. What makes you come alive in prayer? What bores you out of your mind? Now, prayer isn’t always going to be easy and enjoyable. It’s a discipline which we choose to keep, regardless of how we feel about it, but it helps enormously if we understand how God made us, and what sort of prayer comes most naturally to us.

There’s more about that in the Introduction chapter, and in the podcast below, so find a spare 10 mins to listen to it if you can.

Here are a few questions for you to ponder over the next few days:

1. What’s your favourite kind of prayer? Do you have a favourite place or a favourite way of praying? What’s been your most powerful prayer experience?

2. What’s your least favourite kind of prayer? Have you had moments when Prayer has been excruciatingly dull or really unhelpful for some reason?

Leave a comment and tell us what it’s been like for you. Let’s share ideas, and sympathise with each other over the awkward/crazy/boring bits.

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/Episode-1-The-best-and-worst-of-Prayer-Foreword-and-Introduction-e3c77n/Main-ab7utp

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2 Comments

  1. Russell Snowden

     /  09/03/2019

    Hi Lyndall
    Russell Snowden here loving the podcast so far! Some of the worst prayer times were when I was a child in some of the same services as you and there were certain people who would stand up to pray and they went on for hours and hours and because you were a child had no idea what they were talking about but I became very restless and fidgety

    Reply
  2. Lyndall Bywater

     /  09/03/2019

    Ah yes, russell, I know exactly what you mean! Long prayers full of long words 🙂

    Reply

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