Prayer is something that is not always naturally associated with creativity. Whilst it is true that sometimes prayer is about dedication, faithfulness and commitment, It should and can also be a great way to express creativity, exploration and reflection. There are lots of great resources and ideas out there. 24-7 Prayer and Engage worship are 2 of the many great pioneers exploring and inspiring creative approaches.
I had the privilege of hearing the Brilliant Lyndall Bywater speak on prayer last year. In her sessions she spoke of the value and importance of prayer and personality styles.She explored how to build a prayer rhythm that suits the way God made you. On first glance that may sound all very individualistic and an almost consumer mentality to prayer. However as she spoke and unpacked this it made a lot of sense and highlighted the importance of recognising the many diverse ways we can connect with God in prayer.
Having just begun my 2012 journey I was greatly encouraged when I received an email with a link that stated. “Throughout the Bible 40 day journeys lead to significant change e.g. Jesus in the wilderness or Elijah travelling to Horeb.” This quote was from a new creative prayer initiative from LICC. The idea is to venture on a Journey of prayer for 40 days. The First Journey is focusing on praying blessing in the place you work and begins on 1st February. There is a helpful guide and explanation of the concept of praying blessing which is really well written.
Another very challenging aspect of prayer is the concept of silent retreat. My Friends Tim and Hannah Nash recently went on a 5 day silent retreat at Loyola Hall and Tim recorded his reflections as well as interviewing Ruth Holgate who directs the Retreat centre as part of the latest NOMAD podcast.
Prayer and action are both vital expressions of faith and spirituality, so often we find one much easier than the other. I have been really inspired and humbled by my 2 children who have inspired me with their prayers of honesty, simplicity and integrity.
My challenge in reflection here and as I embark upon a themed journey of Contemplation later in the year is to explore more creative ways to pray and see the value of a both/and approach to prayer and action rather than an either/or.