Tag Archives: school of prayer

Starting to Meditate on the Word

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, June 1, 2017

sit in pew, praying

Starting to Meditate on the Word

It’s June. It’s the start of the summer season. I will begin my summer sermon series the week after Pentecost (this coming Sunday). Plus, I just finished the anthology compiled by Richard Foster and Emilie Griffin, Spiritual Classics. I wondered about another book I could go through in a similar way to the anthology, and I found one that seems to speak to me. This new book is also an anthology of sorts: a collection of short writings by theologian, professor and pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer.

Meditating on the Word was translated by David McI. Gracie. As we will see over the next weeks, reading the Bible was a source of devotion to Bonhöffer. He not only studied and interpreted the Bible, and heard the words of the Bible in worship services, but he found great comfort and meaning in praying, using the words of the Bible. He considered such reading and meditating on the words of the Bible another means of grace. (God-sent, and God-given.)

As Gracie mentions in his introduction, meditative reading of the Bible led Bonhöffer to prayer on a regular basis. “The Bible was the school of prayer for Bonhöffer, a school in which we learn the language of God, and ‘repeating God’s own words after him, we begin to pray to God.’” [1]

I read this book in depth some years ago, and tried to practice prayerful meditation on a regular schedule. Studying this book was so good for me. Once more, I look forward to practicing prayer and meditation using the Word of God.

“In examining these unfinished pieces, …we may feel freer to pick up hints and insights that fit with the broken pieces of our own life and worship.” [2] I hope and pray that this book serves as a regular help to others as they meditate and pray, too. Dear Lord, help all of us as we pray.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 8.

[2] Ibid, 9.

Worship = School of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 13, 2015

my heart saying a prayer

Worship = School of Prayer

As we have talked and thought about prayer the past few days, praying can be described in many different ways. Today we’ll talk about a additional way of describing prayer.

Have you ever thought about how worship informs us about prayer? Teaches us, mentors us? Worship is another big boost to prayer.

Yes, worship is often a big production, in many assemblies and religious settings in the United States. Many parts to worship, and not necessarily all quiet, peaceful, serene. Some parts of worship can be downright loud, or noisy, or even strident. We—the congregation, choir, and minister—perform our true and meaningful worship of God. No matter how loud or soft, no matter how many or how few people take part in the worship service, God is glorified. And, we are changed.

As Rev. Howell says, “In worship we offer ourselves and what we have to God. In worship we are even transformed into people we would never be had we not come.” [1] Week in and week out, our worship and our praying so often become inextricably intertwined. In and of myself, I know I am prideful, selfish, and mean-spirited, at heart. I have other faults and places I fall short, too. These attitudes and ways of being are barriers to true communication with God.

What on earth can I do about this dreadful situation I find myself in? Yes, I can pray alone. That sometimes—even often gets me into God’s presence. But what about a booster shot, or some kind of focus for the prayer? Instead of individual prayer, why can’t we transform it into corporate prayer? Instead of individual worship, we do the same, and transform it into corporate worship.

So, instead of merely observing my weekly worship service, sitting on the sidelines, I can get involved. I can worship God with others. We all can humbly offer our weekly worship to God. And as we gather together week after week, we may be surprised to find that God shows up, too. So often, worship is a concentrated lens for us to become more focused in prayer.

Weekly prayer. Regular prayer. Corporate prayer informs our individual prayer times, enabling us to pray alone with more facility, openness and faithfulness. Not to mention caring, encouragement, support and love. A great addition to the school of prayer, indeed. Thanks, God.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 47.