I have been meaning for some time to blog on the subject of prayer, partly because it is an activity that most of us find difficult. Prayer requires a discipline and sometime we feel we have nothing to say or that we get nothing out of prayer. Often we are just too busy or our prayer feels as if we are just "going through the motions" or revisiting the same areas we covered the day before. At times like this prayer can seem pointless, even destructive to faith, rather than something which enhances it.
The subject of prayer has come into focus for me recently because a friend, who emails me regularly, confided in me that he was trying to be more disciplined about prayer and shared with me some of the prayers and strategies he uses. What he has shared has been so important to me, not just for the materials themselves ( although they are great) but because just sharing that part of my life with someone else is such a great encouragement and motivates me in itself. This led me on to thinking about the importance, the benefit, of being or having a spiritual mentor. I suspect that very few lay people have someone they can consider a spiritual mentor (please tell me if I am wrong) and it does occur to me how valuable it would be if we had a culture in churches where people were more open about their "private" spiritual life and offered more support to each other.
So over the next few weeks I am aiming to post some prayers and some reflections about prayer, some of those that James sent me, and some that I have found helpful myself.