Spirituality Magazine

EARLY REVIEW: Seasons of Prayer by the Rev. Andrew Highway

By Mba @mbartoloabela
EARLY REVIEW: Seasons of Prayer by the Rev. Andrew Highway Review by the Most Reverend John D. E. Davis, Archbishop of Wales

Too easily prayers, especially those of intercession, are mere words arranged in a form, sometimes a liturgical form, which tick all the necessary boxes and cover all the necessary bases. At worst they can be thought of as an abdication of personal responsibility and handing it over to God - the presentation to Him of either a shopping list of things we would rather like to happen or of a series of reminders of any number of things, which perhaps He may have forgotten.

To understand prayer at its best, I believe that we can do no better than to return to the prayer given to the disciples by Jesus himself, the Lord's Prayer, which focuses every Christian's attention on bringing about the Father's Kingdom through the doing of His Will, sustained by daily bread, Jesus Himself. The 'doing' is for us to undertake, because as the Prophet Micah reminded his people, the Lord has shown you what He requires, He has revealed His Will and we are called upon to do it, not demand that He do it remotely, from afar.

This is not to suggest that other prayers cease to have meaning or place, but it does perhaps suggest to us that the words of our carefully crafted prayers should be not an abdication of responsibility, but a reminder to us of what the Lord requires of us. What is the point of offering fervent prayers for peace in the world, when you cannot get on with people among whom you live and work day-by-day? The prayer Peace be with you is sometimes "Peace, on my terms, be with you!"

In this anthology of prayer, the Reverend Andrew Highway takes us through the natural year's four seasons in which are experienced change, waiting, hope, and flourishing. The Christian journey can be reflective of such seasonal experiences: there are times when change has to come, times when the journey is barren, cold and hard; times when there is reawakening, and most blessedly, times when the journey is filled with the flourishing of service of the Kingdom. I hope that your use of these prayers will find you reflecting on what God is saying to you through their words, what He is asking of you and what He is promising you, rather than you leaving it all to Him. May His Kingdom come through what He has to say to you through them."

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