Good evening everyone,

I find praying very difficult and, consequently, have been using the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours as a sort of guide. I find the structure of it very practical to integrate prayer into everday life, and I have found it helps me to establish some sort of praying routine.

But of course, as it's a firmly Catholic tradition, I'm very interested in learning which prayer routines and habits Friends have established.

Have a pleasant day, everyone, and thank you for any insight and ideas!

Susann

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The Committee on the Discipline that I'm on published this draft article on prayer.  What gets put in Faith & Practice will surely be quite different from this, but it's a start at a description of and an invitation to prayer in the styles of Friends in our yearly meeting. 

Always begin with gratitude.

Jay, thank you so much for the link!

I haven't thought of the Examen for a long time; my meeting is organizing a chance to try out Experiment With Light in fall, and I'm really looking forward to that - everybody who tried it was quite enthusiastic.

Marc, thank you for the reminder to put gratitude first!

Cheers,

Susann (now off to read the Night Prayer :-) )

I find that prayer is very personal and varies a different times of my life. Leaning too much on one technique can result in staleness, so the willingness to be flexible and change is important. 

Currently, I lean on centering prayer, lectio divina and examen. Centering prayer is deceptively simple and accessible. I use the Bible and early Quaker writing for lectio. Queries from Faith and Practice can be used for examen. 

I find that the most important thing is make prayer a priority and set aside time each day. Having a community to pray with is also vital for me. 

Recently, I read David Johnson's book A Quaker Prayer Life. Like Rex Ambler, he examined early Quakerism but arrived at slightly different view. I found it met my experience and needs more that Experiment with the Light.

I hope this draft makes it into our F&P without too much alteration.


Jay Thatcher said:

The Committee on the Discipline that I'm on published this draft article on prayer.  What gets put in Faith & Practice will surely be quite different from this, but it's a start at a description of and an invitation to prayer in the styles of Friends in our yearly meeting. 

I find most drawn toward a practice that is at the same time now a structured prayer.  It organically includes what I discovered later was centering prayer, gentle silencing of the self and all thoughts and using the  simple word "Christ" to keep drawing my focus back to the Light.  

However, I spoke at some length (and too rambly, I'm sure!) about my prayer inclinations in a post you can find at this link.

The idea being not that of prayer as "doing the right practice" but prayer as a visceral exercise in truth and patience before whatever is, whatever rises.... Valuing letting that happen.  It can involve a lot of simply being in a painful and difficult space together with the Divine Light of God.     The fact that it is hard to do and you feel awkward and fearful of whether you're doing it right (IF that applies) does not mean that you are doing it wrong.  Please see what fits in your case, but you are invited to check out this unruly sort of prayer I refer to above and know that that form doesn't have to fit neatly in any box and you may find it more valuable, just uncomfortable for the ego-level and its concerns.   It's okay for it to be all unruly....trying to connect personally with God is actually a pretty revolutionary act when you think about it. 

blessings....

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