Why not try contemplative prayer this Lent?

Prayer is a joy… Prayer is boring… Prayer is a source of blessing…Prayer is a struggle…

Whatever our experience of prayer so far, I expect many of us can relate to some or perhaps all of those statements.

As we read the gospels, we find that Jesus often withdrew from the demands of daily life to a solitary place to pray, and he instructed his disciples to do the same. For Jesus prayer was something at the centre of his life which energised and directed his ministry and enabled him to remain close to his heavenly Father.

This lent, during the forty days leading up to Easter, there will be a number of opportunities to join with others in developing our experience of prayer. There will be a special focus on the kind of prayer that goes beyond words and images and enables us to draw closer to God by simply being present to Him in stillness and silence. Sometimes called contemplative prayer, this can be a great source of solace and strength amid the frantic busyness and noise of life.

On Saturday Feb 17th we will be led by the sisters of Gumley House Convent, who are offering a Lenten themed morning of prayer and reflection. Then there will be a series of four sessions on Wednesday evenings at St Mary’s (Feb 21 – March 14) to continue to learn about and practice contemplative prayer. In this we will be guided by the parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-8) and the symbols which Jesus uses in this story to illustrate the themes of receptiveness and spiritual growth.

If you would like to feel more comfortable praying in this way, do consider coming along if you can. There will be plenty of guidance and encouragement, and I’m sure we will have some fun as well!

I do hope you can join us.

Rachel Michael