Disability and Healing

I recently contributed to a BBC radio documentary on healing and disability. Here’s a written summary article, and you’ll also find a link in there to listen to the programme. There’ll be a slightly longer version on Radio 4 in a few weeks time.

Oh, and there’s a picture of me driving a sports car through the pearly gates, which has to be worth a look!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48054113#share-tools

Advertisements

Lent Bookclub Part 26: The nub of it all

Chapter 12: Resilience; Part 2: Growing a Relationship

This is the final episode in the podcast series! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing these … almost as much as I enjoyed writing the book … and I hope they’ve been helpful to you.

This last one is me getting to the nub of things. If I could leave you with one lasting thought, it’s the contents of this podcast.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey. May your prayer life grow from strength to strength, and may you always know God loves you, just as you are. If that knowledge sinks deep within you, the whole business of prayer gets a million times easier and more exciting. (That’s not what the podcast says, by the way … that’s just another equally important thing to grasp!)

And to all of you, a very happy Easter!

Lent Bookclub Part 25: Praying the way you’re made

Chapter 12: Resilience; Part 1: Building a Rhythm

If you’ve made it this far through the book then you’ve hopefully tried a fair few different types of prayer by now, and the chances are you’ve found some easier than others, some more enjoyable than others. We can get very focused on how and where we think our prayer lives need to improve, and that’s important, but it’s also important to do the things we love … to do them often and plentifully. The more “enjoyable” prayer things we do, the greater will be our hunger and enthusiasm to set aside time for prayer.

This is the briefest of summaries of my prayer and personality teaching, given primarily to get you reflecting on what your favourite kind of prayer is … the kind that draws you in and gives you life. And of course there’s also the challenge to make time to do some of that kind of prayer this weekend. Maybe you’ll go out for a prayer jog … or maybe it’ll be prayer tucked up in bed with your bible and a hot cross bun … or maybe you’ll use some of your time to pray for every single person on your Facebook friends list … or maybe you’ll get that book off the shelf you’ve been meaning to read for months, go to a coffee shop with a notebook and pen (paper or digital) and read and think, think and scribble.

You get the idea, right?

So … stop by the comments thread and tell us all what kind of prayer you’ll be doing.

For more on prayer and personality, go to the salvation army’s One Thing Prayer School and play Season 1 Session 1, which is me doing a longer version of this teaching.

Www.Salvationarmy.Org.Uk/one-thing

Lent Bookclub Part 24: Essential ingredients for a breakthrough

Chapter 11: Warfare; Part 2: Victory Strategies

The Bible is a book full of battles, which comes in handy when you’re reflecting on battling in prayer. One of the things which most inspires me about the way victories happen in the Bible stories is that God so often does unexpected things with unexpected people in unexpected ways. That heartens me because it means I don’t need to become an impressive warrior or a conventional superhero. I just need to be myself and do my thing.

These are a few thoughts on Gideon, who isn’t in the book (though he is in my last book!). I find his story helpful because he had to make a stand in a rather unconventional way, and his strange battle strategy helps me keep my battle strategies rounded and grounded.

I hope you enjoy thinking about him, and I hope it helps you get your own battles into perspective.

Lent Bookclub Part 23: Alienation and homecoming

Chapter 11: Warfare; Part 1: Opposition Strategies

Why on earth is prayer so hard? I don’t mean when you sit down to do it (though that bit can be tricky), I mean the business of building it into your life … of finding a rhythm and connection that fits and brings joy. One of the reasons is that it is opposed. The Bible seems to suggest that since time immemorial the enemy has been seeking to sow alienation between God and humankind. Don’t get me wrong … we’re quite capable of messing up our own lives … but he does seem to have a vested interest in stopping us from truly finding the joy of prayer. Perhaps that’s because humans who find the ultimate freedom and wonder of prayer are a force to be reckoned with.

So I’m sharing a couple of thoughts on the Garden of Eden story, and musing on how we can fight back against the effort to alienate us from God and steal the joy of prayer.

Please share your thoughts and insights in the comments if you’d like to.

Lent Bookclub Part 22: Praying the Bible for your local community

Chapter 10: Scripture; Part 2: Justice and Kingdom

How do you take the words of the Bible, a collection of writings from centuries ago, and apply them to the place where you live today? What is culture, what is context and what is timeless? How do you shape Prayers which sow eternal God-truth into your local community such that the place is transformed?

Well, this podcast gets nowhere near to answering any of those questions, but it does throw a few thoughts into the mix which you might find it helpful to ponder.

And if you can get any nearer to answering those questions in the comments, please do!

Lent Bookclub Part 21: Reading the Bible with all 5 senses

Chapter 10: Scripture; Part 1: Power and Promise

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had with prayer over the years is how to keep praying in and through and with the Bible. Don’t get me wrong: I read the Bible regularly and love it a lot, but I’ve found it so easy just to glide over it, or to be too familiar with it, or to hear what I’ve always heard. It’s been a quest of mine to find ways to keep myself fresh and open to the Scriptures, and although the vast majority of credit here goes to the Holy Spirit of course, I’ve found this little pattern of the 5 senses really helpful.

Have a listen and let me know your thoughts. Also, tell me what works for you. How do you engage with the Bible when you pray?

Lent Bookclub Part 20: The tricky subject of praying out loud

Chapter 9: Voice and Body; Part 2: Praying out loud

This may just be my most controversial podcast so far! Yes, I’ve gone there … I’ve talked about how prayer meetings can be intolerably boring because of the way we do our out-loud praying. It’s not that I want to evoke “prayer shame” … it’s just that I think there are little things we can all do to help praying together to become a less dull, more connected experience. It saddens me so much that, when I ask people about their worst prayer experiences, they so often cite the boring sitting-round-in-a-circle, please-just-bean-me-up-now prayer times. These moments of corporate conversation with God should be some of the most exciting moments of our lives, shouldn’t they?

Anyhow, I’ll stop ranting now and let you listen. And please please please share your own ideas and thoughts on how we can “do better” at praying out loud.

(But do not for one moment let any of this put you off speaking out your prayers. It’s not that God needs you to pray differently. He loves your voice and every prayer you make with it. This is more about how we can alter our group prayer dynamics to make things a bit more engaging and enjoyable.)

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/The-tricky-subject-of-praying-out-loud-Chapter-9-Part-2-e3mna7

Lent Bookclub Part 19: A menu of fasting options

Chapter 9: Voice and Body; Part 1: Praying with your Body

This chapter touches on various ways in which we use our bodies to pray, but it dips into the subject of fasting, and since its lent, I thought it might be useful to investigate that a little more. So this is my intro to three different types of fasting and how you might integrate them into your prayer rhythm.

And I don’t find any of them easy, so if you have any tips to share with me about them, I’d be ever so glad to hear them! Just post in the comments and share your experiences.

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/A-menu-of-fasting-options-Chapter-9-Part-1-e3m011

Lent Bookclub Part 18: Thoughts on forgiveness

Chapter 8: Restoration; Part 2: Forgiveness

Hmmmmm … this is a huge topic to tackle, either in a 2000 word chapter or a podcast, but I hope these are helpful thoughts. I wanted to talk a bit about why and how prayer can make it easier to forgive, so I’ve shared with you the three things I try to do in prayer when I’m finding forgiveness hard.

Note there’s a disclaimer in the podcast because these three techniques aren’t meant to make forgiveness easy, and they’re certainly not meant to minimise those situations where you’ve been very deeply wounded. If that’s the case, your path to forgiveness will be far more complex than this podcast would imply.

But if you’re wanting to get better at the daily work of forgiving and moving on, these things just might be helpful.

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/Thoughts-on-forgiveness-Chapter-8-Part-2-e3lnp5