Sensible Prayer

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

If we restrict our understanding and the practice of prayer as being an activity of the head it can be likened to a bird trying to fly with one wing. We are missing the richness of the use of the senses that God has given us. We learn about the physical world around us by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing, and hearing. So, too, we can use our senses to learn about and experience God. To “sense” something is to understand and experience life, gaining knowledge and achieving our potential. Continue reading “Sensible Prayer”

Involving the Body in Prayer

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

We are one in body mind and spirit, and prayer is not confined to our minds and hearts. It is expressed by our bodies as well. When our bodies are engaged in prayer, we are praying with our whole person. Using our entire being in prayer helps us to pray with greater attentiveness. The condition, position, and actions of our body play an important part in our spiritual life.

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A Way of Life

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Way of Life

People sometimes ask: “How can I lead a Christian life when faced with the busy demands, temptations and choices involved in living in today’s world?” Christian writers throughout the years have suggested that we establish and follow a Rule of Life. I admit that this phrase puts me off a bit, because the word, Rule, suggests that everybody must adhere to a particular regimen. Referring to a Way of Life is more useful to me. The first Christians were known as followers of “The Way” (Acts 9:2). What might a Christian Way of Life look like? Continue reading “A Way of Life”

Does Lent Matter?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Does Lent Matter?

Yes. I think it does. Lent, is a valuable time for Christians. The word “Lent” comes from a variety of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic words meaning “spring”, a time budding with new life and hope. For Christians, Lent is not a celebration of nature; rather, it is a process of prayer and spiritual renewal looking to a time budding with new spiritual life and hope. The Lenten season is an opportunity to cultivate the interior life through spiritual exercises and practices. Rather than being seen as a forty day endurance test, or a bleak and restricted time, Lent is a quality season. It is a time of rediscovery, a valuable chance to open ourselves more deeply to the beauty and power of the dying and rising to new life in Jesus. It is a time to ponder the reality of the death and resurrection and to allow it to soak into our deepest parts. Lent is the time for new life and hope. In the Lenten season, self-examination is crucial. An individual’s response to the call for purposeful reflection on one’s need for God is an important factor in choosing how one will observe Lent. Through the centuries, Lent became characterized by practices which typify the meaning of this season.
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Does it matter that we have questions about prayer?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

I think having questions about prayer is not only natural, but asking and pondering questions is important in developing our relationship with God and strengthening out prayer life. This article poses some, but certainly not all, questions that, I think, many people have.
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Developing a Pattern of Prayer

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Although we may want to set aside some time to be with God and to pray, at times we may not know how to get started or what to pray for. This is particularly the case if we have had a busy day, or are facing a stressful time. It is important to broaden our prayers beyond our immediate worries, and to avoid having our prayers become narrow or repetitive. A useful way of overcoming these obstacles to prayer is to adopt a “Pattern of Prayer” and use it on a regular basis – a pattern that is easy to remember and to use, and includes several kinds of prayer, Often using an Acronym helps us find our way into prayer and to identify what we are led to include in our prayers.. This article contains some suggested ways of developing a prayer rhythm or Pattern of Prayer.
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How can children learn to pray?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Children can know and experience God in prayer. We are all on a faith journey together and prayer is an essential part of any faith journey. Children need to pray, just like all of us, but they need to be taught. Children learn in all sorts of ways—by example, by experience, and by education (i.e. being taught). They are primarily influenced by what their parents, caregivers, and teachers and they imitate them. If those who have the greatest influence over the children pray regularly, children will follow.
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Does it matter if I only pray at Sunday worship services?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

Yes, I think it does matter!

We need to be connected to God as we go about our daily lives. More and more of us are keeping connected to our friends and business colleagues by electronic means (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ), but we find it challenging to keep connected to God in prayer on our own. While we may pray for God’s help on an ad hoc basis when we, or others close to us, face difficulties, we often can’t find the time, energy, or discipline to pray regularly by ourselves. We are so busy “doing” that we have difficulty finding a way to fit prayer into our lives outside of Sunday.
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What is a Pilgrimage?

Prayer Matters

Paul Dumbrille

A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey and it is the spiritual content that differentiates it from any other kind of tour, expedition or trip. A pilgrim is not a tourist. It is a way of getting yourself out of the way. While I was walking on the Camino de Santiago in Spain several years ago, I crafted my own definition of a pilgrim: A Pilgrim is a person who is on an inward spiritual journey of learning and growth that involves some element of loss or pain, and which most often coincides with a physical journey from place to place. Most often the physical destination is a sacred place that has spiritual and religious meaning. Continue reading “What is a Pilgrimage?”