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Tag: prayer

Abba – the Lord's Prayer

At today’s Remembrance Sunday service I was struck once again by the centrality of the Lord’s Prayer to every form of service. Remembrance Sunday is a difficult service anywhere, with memories of so many dead in so many wars. It was doubly hard this year, the 90th anniversary of the end of the first Great War, among serving soldiers and others seeking to create the kind of development that may defuse the seeds of future war.

In the middle of the memories of past wars and the hopes of preventing coming wars, a service that has many elements contains the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve been greatly enjoying, and finding unexpectedly challenging, a book by Evelyn Underhill, “Abba” – a series of meditations on the Lord’s Prayer. Today I found particularly sharp a passage on “Thy Kingdom Come”:

“It is true that the most drastic social reform, the most complete dethronement of privilege, cannot of themselves bring the Kingdom in; for peace and joy in the Holy Spirit can only come to us by the free gift of the Transcendent. But at least these can clear the ground, prepare the highway of God; and here every act of love, each sacrifice, each conquest of prejudice, each generous impulse carried through into action counts.”
A challenge to me to ensure that my work – all there is time for at present, I fear, along with daily prayer and a bit of time in the gym – is indeed a generous impulse carried into action, and a conquest of prejudice. That way I can indeed feel that I am part of the action of God’s Will that makes such war less likely.
This may seem an unlikely reflection for today. But the unlikely is – happily – the way of God’s Will. Evelyn Underhill again: “It was by an unlikely route that Christ, the country carpenter, itinerant preacher, and victim of local politics, carried humanity up to God. It was in defiance alike of the probable and the suitable that St. Paul was chosen, seized, transmuted, and turned to the purposes of the Will.” So by God’s grace there’s always hope.

POSTED 09.11.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments (4)

Prayer Development Day | 25th October | St Saviours Priory

Pleased to say we have finally got our act together regarding a prayer development day. So on Sat 25th October Ian Adams will lead an experiential prayer development day at the beautiful surroundings of St Saviour’s Priory to explore contemplative approaches to prayer to enrich our own spiritual life. For more information or to book places, click here.

It is a common problem for us all to struggle with a personal spiritual life. Many of us struggle to find approaches to personal prayer that feel authentic and resourcing. The resulting danger is then created, where we carry a faith in our head with an inner desert in our heart. In our Rhythm of Life, we acknowledge the need for a sustaining spiritual rhythm that seeks God to resource us, over and above an approach to faith which is dependent on theories, theology and the stuff in our head. This is the great impoverishment of a an overly rational or postmodern approach to spirituality.

It is a great pleasure to have Ian Adams facilitate this day, who is an incredible resource in this who area. See event pages for more information.

POSTED 13.05.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Prayer Development Day | 25th October | St Saviours Priory

Prayer Development Day | 25th October | St Saviours Priory

Pleased to say we have finally got our act together regarding a prayer development day. So on Sat 25th October Ian Adams will lead an experiential prayer development day at the beautiful surroundings of St Saviour’s Priory to explore contemplative approaches to prayer to enrich our own spiritual life. For more information or to book places, click here.

It is a common problem for us all to struggle with a personal spiritual life. Many of us struggle to find approaches to personal prayer that feel authentic and resourcing. The resulting danger is then created, where we carry a faith in our head with an inner desert in our heart. In our Rhythm of Life, we acknowledge the need for a sustaining spiritual rhythm that seeks God to resource us, over and above an approach to faith which is dependent on theories, theology and the stuff in our head. This is the great impoverishment of a an overly rational or postmodern approach to spirituality.

It is a great pleasure to have Ian Adams facilitate this day, who is an incredible resource in this who area. See event pages for more information.

POSTED 13.05.08 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Prayer Development Day | 25th October | St Saviours Priory

Advent Week 1 – Video Reflection

Got the heads up from Emergent Kiwi about this great reflective video – for 5 mins reflection . So if your life is as busy as mine and you want a reflection – click here

POSTED 04.12.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Advent Week 1 – Video Reflection

Moot Rhythm of Life Prayer Beads

Moot has now officially had a Rhythm of Life as its central spiritual focus for four months, where before the Bishop of London, we committed to it as an expression of how we should live as disciples of Christ. At that event, every member of the community were given a book for spiritual reflection, and prayer beads to assist with personal prayer – to assist in the embodiment of the rhythm into our lives.
Well, drawing on a number monastic models of prayer, the Moot Community has developed a ‘prayer journey’ using the Moot Prayer beads to allow people to immerse themselves spiritually into the ROL. The danger of creating a ROL – is that it can just remain words on a page, like a doctrine of belief. Ticked off, but not lived. This is not the purpose of a rhythm of life, which is more about being a constant challenge, something that needs to be faced, explored constantly – something that requires a commitment. A great image for this, is the idea of entering a river, and immersing yourself in the water and moving out into the current, so that the current takes you places outside of your control. We are called to immerse ourselves in the rhythm in a similar way. A way of being led by the Spirit for spiritual exploration and the belief that this enables us to become more human.

To help with this, we have created a prayer journey with the prayer beads divided up into the 6 sections of the beads. For a copy of this to down load, click here.

Last night in a workshop – we explored how to do this type of prayer meditation using prayer beads reflecting the rhythm of life. We explored the idea of focusing on one of the small prayer bead prayers in one day. So for example with the opening Prayer of Presence – prayer number (1), to explore this in the morning, explore it during the day, and exploring it in the evening – and writing down reflections as an act of prayerful response. To then move on to Presence small prayer bead (2) in day two and so on. This way you can be taken on a journey with each area of the Rhythm of Life in a whole week. Alternatively for those with very busy lives, you may want to stay with a small prayer bead for a couple of days or for a week, depending on your life style and personality type. There is no right way to do this, other than the need to engage and immerse yourself.

For those who missed the workshop, we are going to do a revised smaller version of using the prayer beads with the ROL probably on the Friday evening of the weekend away. We will be doing the workshop again for those who did not attend, after Christmas.

If you have queries, thoughts or reflections on this – those who attended – and are now trying out using the beads in your spiritual life, please do add your comments.


POSTED 01.11.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments (1)

Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray

I was rather chuffed to pick up a copy of a little booklet at Greenbelt for a mere two quid: Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray by the late Simon Bailey. As the title suggest it is a series of meditations based around familiar places, some obvious, other not so:

• In a church: Porch, door, font, space, nave, window, arch, organ, pulpit and lectern, altar, dark corner, behind the curtain, box for gifts, prayer board, anywhere, churchyard, spire/tower/cross and outside.
• In your home
: Door, living room, kitchen, dining room, stairs, bathroom and bedroom.
• In your town/city/village:
road, shop, pub, town hall, park, school, church, hospital, gutter, telephone box, factory and station.
• In your body
: Your ears, your eyes, your mouth, your insides, your feet, your hands and your mind.

Each meditation follows a simple structure:

1. description of the place

2. words to pray

3. words to think about

4. someone to pray for

Beautiful. The booklet is available from Cairns Publications who also appear to do a whole range of other stuff that may be worth looking at including other prayer resources. Interestingly they also have a Small Pilgrim Places project encouraging a network of places as ‘breathing spaces’ for prayer and meditation.

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POSTED 01.11.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Stations – Places for pilgrims to pray

Moot Prayer Beads – tools for prayer workshop

This Wednesday 31st Oct – we are running a prayer development workshop – on how to use the prayer beads given out in the context of our rhythm of life – as a spiritual journey of prayer. We are using an ancient method adapted for our Moot use to reflect the depth and spirituality of our rhythm.

Please do come, attendance is free – and help us by booking a free place here

Any queries – ask Ian – to happen in St Matthews from 7.30pm….

POSTED 28.10.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Moot Prayer Beads – tools for prayer workshop

Underground Prayer Beads

[UPDATE] This post has been altered – just to clarify, we’re looking at the use of prayer beads generally, rather than just the Rosary specifically. Prayer beads have a rich tradition seen in many faiths (not just Christianity) and it is their use as a means to aid concentration in prayer that we shall be focusing on. We look forward to seeing you then!

One of the curious things about the tube is that, despite generally being crushed up with a whole pile of other people, it’s very easy to be on your own and find some inner space. Or at least its easy to look half asleep and no-one will bother you.

Moot are having an evening looking at the use of prayer beads at the end of the month. Being a good methodist by upbringing all I know about are Charles Wesley hymns. As such I’m fairly unfamiliar with bead type practices though it has stuck me that aspects of everyday life might be appropriated in a prayer-bead-like manner. Just as beads are different sizes and shapes and have different significance so different stations come and go, sometimes the journey is quick, sometimes delayed, sometimes aborted and we have to find another line. People get on, people get off and we are sat in the midst of it. Mike seemed to be thinking about similar things in one of his poems.

I’ve only tried it once or twice with varying success. Geoff Ryman’s 253 always seems to enter my thoughts. Ryman’s novel was 253 pages long, each page containing a description of a passenger on a Bakerloo line train. It details their outward appearance, inward information and what they are doing or thinking. As such it provides a cross section of the brief community that ‘share’ part of their day together. The reader is left to discover connections.

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POSTED 22.10.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Underground Prayer Beads

Richard Sudworth's Book – Distinctly Welcoming

I am really pleased that my good friend Richard Sudworth’s book Distinctly Welcoming has been published this month. This book is a gem, bringing a lot of Richard Sudworth’s humorous and self-depreciating humour with a weath of wisdom on the whole issue of pluralism and multifaith context. I have to say this is the best book I have read this year, and there are many connections between’s Richard’s world view and the book I wrote on the trinity as our starting place.

I love the way Richard’ outs the problems of an overly exclusive Christian world view, and the inadequacy of inclusivist and pluralist models of understanding the Christian faith – and I love his idea of the distinctive faith – reflecting an approach modelled in the identity and nature of God the Trinity. Go on buy it, you know you want to.

For those who saw Moot’s Service at Greenbelt 2007 and the Birmingham crew’s service – you would have seen how similar the thinking was between the two groups. Encouraging that there is so much synergy.


POSTED 18.10.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Richard Sudworth's Book – Distinctly Welcoming

Richard Sudworth’s Book – Distinctly Welcoming

I am really pleased that my good friend Richard Sudworth’s book Distinctly Welcoming has been published this month. This book is a gem, bringing a lot of Richard Sudworth’s humorous and self-depreciating humour with a weath of wisdom on the whole issue of pluralism and multifaith context. I have to say this is the best book I have read this year, and there are many connections between’s Richard’s world view and the book I wrote on the trinity as our starting place.

I love the way Richard’ outs the problems of an overly exclusive Christian world view, and the inadequacy of inclusivist and pluralist models of understanding the Christian faith – and I love his idea of the distinctive faith – reflecting an approach modelled in the identity and nature of God the Trinity. Go on buy it, you know you want to.

For those who saw Moot’s Service at Greenbelt 2007 and the Birmingham crew’s service – you would have seen how similar the thinking was between the two groups. Encouraging that there is so much synergy.


POSTED 18.10.07 BY: paulabbott | Comments Off on Richard Sudworth’s Book – Distinctly Welcoming