School of Prayer

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Jesus's disciples asked him, "Lord, teach us to pray."

It is often said, "Prayer is just talking to God." This is a good answer to give a frightened beginner who thinks prayer must be difficult and needs permission to approach Our Father.

Further along, though, some of us begin to long for a deeper relationship with God. We perceive there can be more to prayer than giving God our shopping list or begging desperately for help.

We want to learn to pray according to God's will, to know Jesus better, and discern the still, small voice of the Spirit. Like Mary of Bethany, we long to sit at Jesus's feet.

We may be distracted by some who claim to have all the answers. We may take a few side paths that teach us, hopefully, what NOT to do. Eventually, if our hearts are clean and our intentions are right, we, like the first disciples, will eventually ask, "Lord, teach me to pray!"

For that we gather here and say, "Amen!"

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CCEL'S online books on prayer can be found here.
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Golden Rules of this School

In order to keep our group a safe & pleasant experience for everyone, we request an introduction from all who ask to join us.

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Henry Nouwen on meditation

When Jesus says: "Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Luke 21:33), he shows us a direct way to eternal life. The words of Jesus have the power to transform our hearts and minds and lead us into the Kingdom of God. "The words I have spoken to you," Jesus says, "are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).

Through meditation we can let the words of Jesus descend from our minds into our hearts and create there a dwelling place for the Spirit. Whatever we do and wherever we go, let us stay close to the words of Jesus. They are words of eternal life.

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What does a fruitful, mature prayer life look like?

I think most of us have an idea in mind of what a mature, effective prayer life consists of. There may be people we look up to that we consider to be more able to gain God's ear, or who we consider to be Prayer Warriors, far advanced beyond what we perceive our own prayer potential to be.

What are some of your ideas concerning this?

Is there someone you look up to in the area of prayer? Share your feelings or thoughts about this person or people. Why do you consider them more effective in prayer?

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Prayer is like breathing

Do you find it difficult to pray, or do you find prayer as natural as breathing?

For some, it seems to us that prayer is as they air they breathe, rising from the heart, a continual fragrant offering to God.

For others, it feels like a task, difficult to get past handing God a "to do" list.

We want move from a "Honey-Do" type of prayer life to a continual stream of communication with God.

Share some things you have found helpful in growing in prayer. We may explore these ideas more fully in future discissions.