The purpose of prayer is praise (p35)

This is not, Stephen Cottrell reminds us, because God needs our thanks, but because without God there is nothing.

When we encounter God, and all that he freely gives to us, what can we do, but respond in praise and thanks?

But, Cottrell goes on:

The voice of thanksgiving must soon turn to silence (p35)

Not because we run out of things to say, but because in prayer we also receive from God.

Our minds and hearts can be fed and replenished; we can begin to know God’s mind; there can be alignment between our wills and the will of God.

Lent, in the desert, can be our opportunity to take that time.  To spend time hearing God, seeing what he has to say to us, and in doing so being more “at one” with him.  How quick we are to come to God with a shopping list of wants and needs – often very worthy – how slow we are to listen to what his wants and needs might be in our life.  We would be a poor friend if we met with our friend and did nothing but talk about ourselves, never asking them about themselves or giving them space to say what they wanted to – yet so often we think nothing of doing that with God.

By Steve Evans from Citizen of the World (Bhutan) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

In the picture, Rising from Sleep in the Morning, Jesus is reaching, waiting, ready to receive

Am I?

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

2 thoughts on “Prayer

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