Category Archives: Resources

Guided prayers and other resources

What is spirituality? Part 1

Dear Friends,

Yesterday (Sunday 31 January, 2021) we began a three-week exploration of the question: What is spirituality? A quote by Maggie Ross spoke about the vocation of silence – silence not as a personal indulgence, but a subversive act within our noisy, consumeristic culture whose demands are soul destroying for ourselves and our fragile ecology.

 I wondered today if it might be helpful to consider ways we can weave silence into our days. Beyond the obvious and overt observation of silence through meditation and prayer, perhaps you might like to try some of the suggestions below:

1Meditation Carve out a few minutes when we intentionally let go of thoughts and encounter the Original Silence within (World Community for Christian Meditation is a great resource).
Do one thing at a time with full presence.
3Set an electronics curfewTry putting to bed computers, phones, TVs etc. at least 30-minutes before bedtime.
4Refrain from mindless mediaAttend to the moment and connect with our surroundings rather than checking news feeds, scrolling through social media, looking at emails.
5Tame the tongueThink before we speak; ask: Does what I am about to say honour the silence it breaks and add to the love in the world?
6Make a sanctuary for silenceFind a spot in the garden, a nook in the house or a beloved bench in a park for quiet space.
7Bookend our day with silenceMake a conscious choice to start and end each day with a moment of reverence and gratitude.

Let me know how you get on and if you have other practices that you find helpful.



Four Guidelines to Centring Prayer

Centring Prayer, sometimes called Christian meditation, is the practice of letting go.

In the late 1960’s, young people from around the world flocked to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer Massachusetts. Always prepared to offer hospitality, the monks received the young people warmly. When asked what they were seeking, the young people often replied, “We’re looking for a path, man.” After receiving the monk’s hospitality, the young people would soon move on.

In time, the monks discovered the young people were actually looking for the nearby Buddhist monastery where meditation was practiced and taught by the monks.

The exploration of the young people at this time set three brothers on their own journey of discovery. William Meninger, Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating worked to uncover the long tradition of meditation within the Christian faith. Their discovery and sharing of this once-neglected tradition of prayer has been a gift to us all.

Please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure with a guided path to quieten down find stillness everywhere, be grounded in what is and nurture inner peace.

Prayers for Liberation

God is the Source of liberation and abundant life. We can turn to and lean on God as we make our journey towards wholeness.

At the same time, our vision and determination motivate us to act. We alone can choose to take the next step towards freedom and peace.

May these prayers support and accompany you along the way.

We are never alone.

God provides all we need to move in goodly directions.

For prayers for liberation from the past, from addictions, from all that binds, please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure to print. A sample of the prayers in the brochure is below.

Prayers in times of Sadness and Grief

When our feelings are strong, we might be afraid to share with anyone, including God, how we really feel. Sometimes we pray as though we need to protect God from our questions, our anger, our deep, deep sadness. But this is not the case.

God is our most capable and trusted companion and friend. In fact, we can’t tell God anything God doesn’t already know! These prayers are not meant to take the place of your own heartfelt words and silences, but perhaps they can get you started.

A sample of the prayers in the brochure is below. Please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure to print.

Lord, help me. My boat is so small. Your ocean is so immense.   – French Medieval Prayer

Prayers of Gratitude

“[Gratefulness] can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful of everybody, and that changes this power pyramid under which we live.” – Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB

A sample of the prayers in the brochure is below. Please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure to print.

Praying through the Day

Many Christians observe the “Divine Office” or the Hours of Prayer. That is, a few times throughout the day they pause from their activity and offer a prayer, read a psalm, sit quietly or meditate.

Pausing to pray reminds us that God is as near as your heart. We notice that God is not distant or confined to special places and times, but God is present at all times and in all places.

Pausing to pray reminds us that we are not the centre of everything. A Spirit flows through our work, our relationships, our efforts and intentions. In prayer, we connect with the Source of Life and enjoin ourselves to what God is on about in our world.

You might want to explore weaving prayer into your day. What do you notice? What gifts do you receive? 

A sample of the prayers is below. Please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure to print.


Dear God, thank you for the gift of this new day, and for bringing me safely to its beginning. Grant me the grace I need to walk in your love and your truth.

Above all, give me the gift of a joyful heart that in all things I may see your hand at work and give myself over to what you want of me this day. Amen.

––Justin DuVall, OSB

Winter Solstice 2020

Attached is a document with some poems and prayers for the winter solstice this Sunday on 21 June. In speaking with our congregation member Jennifer P, we questioned whether we should name it as the longest night or the shortest day.

How do you perceive it this year?

Regardless, I hope the attached provide fitting companions today and in the shortening days to come as we make this turning.

Mid-week encouragement for you

Dear Friends,

I know from experience that maintaining a worshipful/prayerful life over the long hall can be difficult, especially in isolation – like any discipline. Some of us may feel like we’re flailing in our Sabbath observance and personal prayer. Or maybe we are wading through feelings of dryness, boredom or pointlessness. 

Take heart! Such experiences are natural and part of the journey towards deepening faith. In fact, spiritual teachers through the ages suggest that the closer we get to God and the real in our lives, the greater the resistance and challenge. As I’ve discovered, such seasons can provide a wealth of wisdom and insight if we are prepared to delve into them, especially with a spiritual companion. 

Whether your current journey of prayer has been difficult or joyful and freeing, I thought you might appreciate a mid-week word of encouragement. So, this from John O’Donohue (Irish priest, poet and author):

Prayer has to do with breathing. The way we were taught to pray was almost exclusively cerebral. We confined our prayers to inside the shell of the cranium. It is conceivable that one can have thousands of holy thoughts and holy words about God within one’s mind and yet be totally away from God.

…To pray is to come into presence. It is about leaving the heavy emotional, cognitive and ideological baggage outside the door. When you sit down and come into the presence it is then that you are most your self. This presence is the nearest thing to us. Simply by being still and silent, by coming into the stillness of your own heart, you will find the God that is waiting there within you for your arrival home.

And to help us get out of our heads as we open ourselves to Presence, this beautiful choral piece by a young, talented pianist composer Ola Gjeilo accompanied with photographs. Best heard with headphones on and in stillness: 

In peace,


Praying with and for Creation

Whenever the church gathers around the communion table, our prayers remind us that creation is always singing praise to God. We enjoin ourselves to this continuous song of thanksgiving in our communion meal.

God named creation good from the first and gave us the joyful responsibility to care for creation.

May these prayers help us get in touch with our Creator and creation when we forget or are distracted by “our problems” (Denise Levertov) or when we simply want to spend time enjoying the earth and her creatures.

May they help us reconnect with the Source of Life and inspire us to find ways to care for our little plot of ground, however we can.

Above all, may we find space to listen to the voice of the Sacred One deep down and all around, and discover again we are part of all that is.

A sample of the prayers is below. Please click on the button below to download a pdf brochure to print.