Jesus Prayer Spiriuality

An experiment with God - discovering the truth

An example: say I’d never seen the film ‘Top Gun’ or ‘Minority Report’ or ‘Mission Impossible’, I’d never seen a photo of Tom Cruise, never heard his voice and I’d never read about him.  But you are determined to tell me that Tom Cruise does exist, he is alive and he is famous.

If I choose I can sit in my house and say ‘in 22 years Tom Cruise has never knocked on my front door, he’s never called me, and I’ve never bumped into him on the street, therefore he must not exist.’  However if I simply take the time to google Tom Cruise, or to pop into my local Blockbuster film rental or even pick up a newspaper, it would not take long to realise that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Tom Cruise is real, even if I never see him in person.

Unless I make that little effort, I will never discover the truth.  Similarly, unless you open your heart and mind to the possibility that God might be real and may want to speak to you personally you will never discover Him.  Give Him a chance, give Him some time - a first date or a first meeting can be very awkward and slow, sometimes even embarrassing, God is complicated and difficult to understand, but given the time to get to know Him, He can make your life better than you ever imagined, in a very real, one-to-one dynamic.

God can speak to us in a number of different ways.  If you have a question, or a problem that you need God’s help with He wants to offer you guidance.  If you’re open and believe that He can help you, He won’t hide away.  Sometimes it might be just in advice from a friend or something you read, or an opportunity that presents itself that you weren’t expecting.  And sometimes, God chooses to make more of a one-to-one contact with us.  It’s not magic, it’s not like being psychic, and it’s not a trick.  When you have asked God into your life He is always with you, so it makes sense that He would want to talk to you.  Some people feel a deep peace, or an ‘inkling’ in the right direction, sometimes some people hear words in their imagination, but more commonly for me, God sends a picture. (From Paul)
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Beginning with God - an experiment in prayer

Try closing your eyes and imagine your bedroom. If you look around you can see all of the things that are there. You’re not really there, but you can still see it. And this is where God can speak to us.

So if you ask Him a question, and sit in silence, close your eyes and just let Him speak to you, it may take a while and it may not be what you wanted to hear, but if you let Him, and don’t try to force Him, He will speak. It may be an image, words, a desire, a sense of something, an impression, a feeling, becoming peaceful, or just being refreshed and energized.

In our lives we fill our heads and our minds with noise, music, TV, conversations, text messages, so sometimes it can take us a while to learn the difference between listening to God’s voice and our own voice. But talking with God is just like any friendship. It takes time to get to know each other and to understand the person you’re talking to. In time you will feel more confident and it will become easier to know when you are listening to God and when you are listening to the world.

My friend Jossy adds: Sometimes God also uses other people to talk to us.... to remind us or give us a hint that He is trying to communicate with us....Its just like the soundwaves in the air.. they are ever present but only when our antenna recieves them, we wd be able to hear clearly.....I'm so glad that I experience the peace in Him... Its worth the experiment...
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A Jesus Prayer for healing

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Let your healing flow down
upon me;

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Let your healing spring up
within me;



Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Let your healing love
enfold me;

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of God
Let your healing power
flow through me.

This alternative to the Jesus Prayer can be used to prepare for a time of Healing Ministry before you begin praying for a sick person, or if you're in need, pray it for yourself... (thank you to Angela for the prayer)
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Silence and God not 'being there'...

A story about silence...A woman who had been using the Jesus Prayer for fourteen years complained that she had never had any sense that God was there. But when she had it pointed out to her that she was talking all the time, she agreed to take her stand silently for a few days. As she was doing it she became aware that God was there, that the silence that surrounded her was not emptiness, absence of noise and agitation, but that there was a solidity to this silence, that it was not something negative, but positive, a presence, the presence of God who had made himself known to her by creating the same silence in her. And then she discovered that the prayer came up quite naturally again, but it was no longer the sort of discursive noise that had prevented God from making himself known. (Living Prayer by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom DLT 1966) I like it that God created the same silence in the woman as surrounded her... Andrew
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Taizé Podcast

Taizé music is great for meditation and contemplation - just found out there's a regular podcast now. You can find it just by searching on the Apple iTunes Store or here on the Taizé website. Enjoy! Andrew
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Rejecting traditional Spirituality? I think not...

Last night went to hear Ian Mobsby of emerging church MOOT speaking at Blah Birmingham. Ian quoted research suggesting that people are turning away from the traditional spiritualities of the churches to alternative spiritualities informed by New Age - I have to disagree - why? because I don't see many churches actually teaching people how to practice traditional christian spirituality. How many churches are teaching people how to pray, to meditate, ways of contemplative prayer, lectio and deep engagement with Scripture, really? What people are turning away from then, is the shallower stuff that's going on. I wonder what would happen if the discipleship practices of the christian Tradition (with a capital 'T' rather than 'traditions') were being taught, practised and promoted? As Ian said, it's the perceived traditional spirituality people are leaving behind...
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boazbands

I came across these 'boazbands' - wristbands crafted by refugees living in BOAZ houses in Manchester. They tell a story...Grand-père Boaz sat warming his old bones in the hot African sun.“Tell me a story,” said a little voice at his side, “tell me the story of the Kinsman-Redeemer.”“Oh yes, it is a great story,” said Grand-père Boaz, “and it is a most important story.”Running his fingers over his bracelet he began –“When I see this blue bead I am reminded of ...
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Desert Monks Story

At Celtic Morning Prayer yesterday we had this story - love it!
'Once Abbot Antony was conversing with some brethren, and a hunter who was after game in the wilderness came upon them. He saw Abbot Antony and the brothers enjoying themselves, and disapproved. Abbot Antony said: 'Put a an arrow in your bow and shoot it.'
This he did.
'Now shoot another,' said the Elder. 'And another, and another.'
Then the hunter said: 'If I bend my bow all the time it will break.'
Abbot Antony replied: 'So it is also in the work of God. If we push ourselves beyond measure, the brethren will soon collapse. It is right therefore, from time to time, to relax.' Celtic Daily Prayer
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Story Beads


Hazel, introduced me to her new 'His Story' bracelet. Each bead represents something in the story of Jesus. It was moving to hear her tell me the story, pointing at each bead in turn - the story was somehow more real - there is something special about the physicality of beads :

'One night there was a bright star which guided three men, who were the three wise men, to the birth of Jesus who later in life became a carpenter and a fisher of men and souls. He had twelve apostles who spread the Word Of Christ but on one dark day of hatred, envy & death He was crucified. He shed His blood for us to purify & save us. He rose and is now in Heaven seated with the Father & the Holy Spirit. and He did all this because of His great love for us.
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Let nothing disturb thee..

Let nothing disturb thee,
nothing affright thee;
all things are passing,
God never changeth!
Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
who God possesseth
in nothing is wanting;
alone God sufficeth. (from Celtic Daily Prayer Midday Prayer)
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