Personal practice varied - from routine and discipline to less regular practice (full disclosure - I admit that I tend to the latter!), and from full body prayers to quiet stillness.
What is your prayer routine? Do you think of prayer as a discipline to be learned and practiced until it comes naturally, or more like a part of a friendship that can be a little more relaxed? Do you use it to nurture your relationship with God, or do you come to God out of guilt or need?
I return often to a book I was invited to read very early in my journey to ministry called Soul Feast, by Marjorie Thompson. In an excellent chapter on prayer and prayer styles, she writes:
"Prayer involves freely entering a relationship of communication and communion with God, for the sake of knowledge, growth and mutual enjoyment."
I take this to mean that the discipline of prayer is one of both speaking (aloud or within) and listening. That it can be fun, and should be a regular part of life.
I would like to invite you to take stock of your prayer life. Ask yourself, How do I pray? When do I pray? When else, and how else could I pray? Reach out to a friend and discuss it with them, if you wish. What can you learn from another person's discipline?
Prayer is a discipline as well as a relationship. It needs space and time to enable each of our relationships with God to nurture. It's also a lovely way to give back to your church community. When I write and send these newsletters, I try to remember to take a moment to pray for you all before I press send. When we gather for worship, the leadership team pray for you and for one another. We would all as a community benefit from being held in prayer by all of you.