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!

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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 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 16: Another brick in the wall

Prayer in the Making Lent Bookclub

Chapter 7: Strategy; Part 2: Prayerful Persevering

If you’ve ever tried to “see something through” in prayer, you’ll know it’s anything but easy. Maybe you’ve tried to keep prayer central to a project or ministry you’ve been involved in, or maybe you’ve just been trying to support someone in prayer through a long, tough situation. We start out with the best intentions, but the energy almost always drains away, the further on we go.

There are no easy answers in this podcast, or in this chapter of the book, but there are some thoughts which might help. The podcast in particular is about changing our perspective on prayer so that we don’t get so discouraged when it takes an age!

If you fancy it, leave me a comment on what your long term prayer is at the moment … that way we can all add our prayers to yours, even just for a few days.

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/Another-brick-in-the-wall-Chapter-7-Part-2-e3kl0o

Lent Vookclub Part 7: God and sat navs

Chapter 3: Listening; Part 1: Recognising God’s Voice

In my life as a writer and speaker on prayer, I hear an awful lot of people saying they’re no good at prayer (whatever that means), but there’s another thing I hear almost as often, and that’s people saying they never hear God speaking to them. I hope you won’t be offended if I say that’s an absurd notion! Scripture and church tradition leave us in no doubt that God is in constant communication with us, his beloved, in so many different ways. Our problem is we’re often only listening out for one kind of communication from him, and that’s the one kind he doesn’t often give.

Listen to the podcast for more on that, and an enlightening story about sat navs. And read Chapter 3 Part 1 for some more on how you can get familiar with God’s Voice.

Today’s question: What’s the strangest way God has ever spoken to you? Answers in the comments below … let’s celebrate the endless quirkiness of God 😉

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/God-and-sat-navs-Chapter-3-Part-1-e3fvq3

Lent Bookclub Part 3: God is real

Chapter 1: Encounter; Part 1: Face to Face

Today we’re revisiting some of the basics of Christian prayer. There’s a lot of prayer out there, but Christian Prayer has some distinctives that are encouraging to get hold of. Have a read of today’s section of the book to see what some of those distinctives are, and listen to this podcast to hear me debunking some of the unhelpful ideas we sometimes develop around prayer.

But most of all, take a moment today to celebrate the astonishing truth that God is not far off. God is real, present, and close to you every moment of your day, if you want him to be.

And if you’ve got a moment to leave a comment, tell us about a time when you knew God was right there with you. What was happening and how did you know he was there?

Happy Monday!

https://anchor.fm/lyndall-bywater/episodes/God-is-real-Chapter-1-Part-1-e3e1d8/Main-abhi6n