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Woven into Prayer – A. Ashwin

June 11, 2017

“Prayer and faith are anything but dead”, are the opening words of this book.

As she says in her introduction: I have made the daily prayer pattern as flexible as possible, to offset the perpetual sense of guilt that can easily beset busy people. Even if you want to pray with a Daily Office (or ‘set form of prayer’), your circum­stances and lifestyle may make this so difficult that you end up discouraged and tempted to give up altogether. I have therefore included only one order of prayer for each day (rather than a ‘morning and evening’ structure), and have designed the material so that it will expand or con­tract according to how busy you are that day. My hope is that this will deepen your relationship with God rather than becoming just one more burden….. When we pray it is good to remember that we are opening ourselves up to the living God whose love is like a refining fire. This God knows us utterly and is waiting to mend, heal and transform us into the persons we were created to be. If we are ruthlessly honest with ourselves, we will know if we are allowing our commitment to slip. That is quite different from those times when life is so demanding that we simply cannot cope with any form of prayer that is too long or complicated. The good news is that God knows this too, and will not wave a big stick at us when the pressure is high or our energy-level low. Since the quality of our prayer is not measured by the number of words we use (cf. Matthew 6:7) but by the depth of our openness and surrender to God, we can take heart and allow whatever words and concepts we have encountered to penetrate us and do their work. Prayer is as much what God is doing as what we are doing…. We have no idea what effect our praying is having, either inside us or in the world around us, and God may well be working in ways we could not possibly imagine. The main thing is that we remain faithful. There are times when it is best to allow ourselves simply to be carried by the liturgy, leaning on the symbols and affirmations in which we want to believe, and trusting that our efforts to pray will be received with infinite tenderness by the Divine Lover whose initiative and desire for us lie behind the whole story of salvation.

Each day’s pattern includes: A Thread for the Day – for the hard pressed, a brief prayer outline to sustain them through the day,a Short Order of Daily Prayer – a simple liturgy for the day, a Quiet Space – creative prayer ideas for for those who wish to go deeper, Night Time Blessing – prayer to end the day.

It’s a pity that she says that the Psalms take us back beyond Jesus to ‘the people of the Old Testament’. What about Jews living today?

I am pleased that she includes the so-called apocrypha among her choice of Bible readings.

The author is a Lay Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and an Honorary Reader in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. Born in Birmingham, she graduated in Theology from Oxford University, and lectured in Old Testament Studies before spending seven years with her husband in Swaziland, Southern Africa, working with the church there. After their return to the UK, Angela combined writing and speaking with bringing up three children and being a vicar’s wife in the North East of England.  Some of her most popular books were published during this period, including the best-selling Book of a Thousand Prayers. She then worked for St Antony’s Priory Ecumenical Spirituality Centre in Durham until 2004.

A nice turn of phrase about lectin divina: Allow the word or phrase to find way to your inner being, ‘as gently as a feather falling a piece of cotton wool’.  ‘laying a feather on a piece of absorbent cotton’

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From → Spirituality

One Comment
  1. AMAZING!! 🙏✨

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