Spirituality & Prayer
Ways to deepen the sense of God in your life
Prayer - a priority for us all
One of the key priorities for our diocese is to be ' deeply rooted in prayer and in study of the scriptures'
We hope you will grow in your spirituality and prayer life, to ways in which we may begin to deepen the sense of God in our lives and our experience of prayer.
Age-old advice underlines the importance of "praying as we can, not as we can't". One of the ways in which we may do this is to develop the awareness of our prayer being tied up with our daily life. "Life is to be a prayerful work and a working prayer" (Elias Chacour).
But prayer also includes the deliberate 'turning aside', corporately and personally, to give time to God. We practice giving attention to God so that life can be kept 'God centred'.
Spirituality - what does it mean?
Spirituality has to do with "journeying, questioning, seeking. But it is also to do with the influence of God's Spirit (' spirituality') through whom we can see life and its experiences in fresh ways."
Spirituality is also connected with learning to experience the 'extraordinary' in the ordinariness of our daily lives. (A free translation of some words at the beginning of John's Gospel might read, "The Word became flesh, and came to live right where we are". John 1:14).
The Comms team in the diocesan office produces a Prayer Diary to encourage prayer for individuals, parishes and organisations within the diocese.
The Retreat Assocation
The Retreat Association is an ecumenical organisation that seeks to help people find ways of exploring and deepening their journey with God through spirituality and prayer. It has links to retreat houses throughout the UK, and has a wide range of free leaflets.
Bible Society 'Lyfe' project
The site contains a wealth of material for individuals and groups about practical Christian living and prayer. The 'Lyfe' project "is about hearing God, through the Bible, in the company of others... Connecting God, us and everyday life."
The site, using an Ignatian framework for daily prayer, invites the user to "make a 'Sacred Space' in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance." The material is also available in print in the form of the booklets Sacred Space for Lent and Sacred Space for Advent.
Pray-as-you-go is a similar site that provides material for daily reflection and prayer that can be downloaded for mp3 players and other devices.
In a site focusing on the person of Jesus, Rejesus has a wealth of resources for individuals and groups on living the Christian way and on prayer.
Bible Reading Fellowship
BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship) has the aim of helping people of all ages - children, adults and families - to explore Christianity and to grow in faith. Their site contains links to a wide range of books and other material for "resourcing your spiritual journey".
Retreats in daily life: Manresa Link
This is an ecumenical network of prayer companions, based around Birmingham and the west Midlands, who provide 'retreats in daily life' for churches and individuals. A number of churches in the diocese have made use of these retreats. The retreats are normally conducted ecumenically, with groups of churches in a locality joining together. For further details contact the secretary.