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Friday, 15 July 2016

Lord, teach us to pray

‘Lord Teach us to Pray’ was a School of Prayer held as a marvellous Parish Away Day for St Martin-in-the-Fields at St Mellitus College last Saturday. In exploring the theme of prayer together, we asked - Why do we pray? How can we pray? What should we pray for?

Led by our clergy team and a very wide range of members of the St Martin’s congregation the day offered a wonderful chance to explore a broad range of traditions and practices of prayer including through music, meditation, intercession, a labyrinth, movement and drama, pottery and art. There was the chance to choose the forms of prayer that interested us the most and to learn about or try those that were unfamiliar to us. There was also time to pray together and enjoy time together as a community, including a shared silent Eucharist. I particularly enjoyed a session on centring prayer and the opportunity to walk a labyrinth once again.

I gave a presentation on Icons and Images which encouraged participants to both pay attention to images when using icons or other images as part of prayer and also to look beyond the image as a window into the divine. I briefly unpacked something of the history and theology of icons but also looked at the influence of icon painting on modern art and therefore ways in which all images can be used within prayer, particularly when prayer is understood as, the words of Simone Weil, absolute unmixed attention.


Taize - Let All Who Are Thirsty Come.

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