Enriching your prayer life

Reflecting on this year's Festival of Prayer 

It is said that in times of great uncertainty people pray more, so we can assume the lines are jammed right now. And with a recent report, from the Theos Think Tank suggesting that praying together is good for us whether we believe prayer ‘works’ or not, maybe we should all be looking for somewhere to pray and someone to pray with.
Writer and Broadcaster Rhidian Brook, BBC Radio 4 'Thought for the Day'

The Festival of Prayer provides attendees with the opportunity to explore different methods of prayer and draws on rich traditions in the glorious setting of Ripon College, Cuddesdon. 

This year’s theme particularly focused on stillness, silence and contemplation, with sessions that aimed to open up a fresh insight or wisdom from existing traditions. The wisdom of St Ignatius, St Benedict, Charles de Foucauld and the Cloud of Unknowing were all considered as examples of how ancient traditions are able to speak into our lives today. 

Ripon Hall

This was the fifth Festival hosted by the Oxford Diocese in conjunction with The Bible Reading Fellowship. The day continues to give people different perspectives on how to approach God in daily life. The various sessions, such as ‘Praying with Silence’, ‘Using the Jesus Prayer’ and ‘Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality’ all aimed to improve and enhance individual Christian growth and allowed the attendees the chance to explore how different methods of prayer may work for them at all stages of life. 

Alongside the workshops, delegates were offered the opportunity to spend time with a spiritual director and to pray using a labyrinth, which provided many with opportunities of reflection and thought in the College grounds. 

 

Canon Angela Tilby of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, was the guest keynote speaker for the Festival and encouraged many through her address.

We urgently need to recover a spiritual path which takes sin seriously while not being obsessed or depressed by it. The spiritual health of our churches and communities may depend on our willingness and readiness to do this. The workshops we are going on to are all ways of helping us in the spiritual task.

How can you get involved?

Pray 

Please pray for all those who attended the Festival. Pray that they may use what they have learnt to develop their own quiet times and reflections. 

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Read 

Angela Tilby's full keynote address 'Praying with Imperfection'.