This incisive question by a 15 year old student cuts to the heart of the current dilemma about prayer. How do we pray to a God we cannot sense in a world that places so much emphasis on the tangible, the practical. Another difficulty turns on that word ‘relationship’. Much advice can be given to us about our relationships but essentially each one is unique and we have to work out our own way of being together in relationship. Does this mean that each of us has to muddle through to find our own unique way of praying – of being in relationship with God? Not entirely: muddle, there will be, but we can learn from what has worked for others, we can listen to their hints and see what works for us.
This weekly programme offers a variety of ways of using the Word of God to pray. It takes as its basis the Gospel reading of the following Sunday. I believe that the echo of the Word in our heart can be a fruitful way to foster our relationship with God. There are many suggestions offered here – too many, far too many for one person to use. There are many in the hope that you may find one or two ways that suits you. Follow the wise advice of Abbot Chapman: Pray as you can, not as you can’t.
The lectionary offers us a rich variety of readings from the Gospel and the other books of the Bible but these often seem remote from our lives. We may only hear the readings on Sunday, we might follow in our missal, perhaps we may read a commentary but, for most of us, the Word passes like a ship in the night making little impact. Yet God’s Word lives within us. By taking some time each day to allow that Word to echo, we may begin to recognise the loving voice of God speaking in our lives.