Welcome to the course!
Hi and welcome to the Simply Pray online course. I'm your instructor Brandon Booth. I’m a spiritual director and the President of Signpost Inn. And I’m really glad you are here!
If you, like me, have found the topic of Christian prayer to be complicated, and often not talked about, then you are in the right place. If you have that vague sense that you should probably pray more, or pray better, but don’t know how, then you’re in the right place. If your experience with prayer has been that it’s dry and boring, or that it’s just another task on your to-do list towards being holy. Then you’re in the right place.
We’re going to answer questions like:
What is prayer?
Why and how “should” I pray?
Why does it sometimes feel like I’m praying to an empty room?
How can I “pray without ceasing?”
Then we’re going to jump into really practical advice on how to learn to pray, discuss a few different ways to pray, and then give you an easy-to-do 10-day prayer guide that you can use to kick-start your habit of praying.
In brief, this course is designed to help you, simply pray.
As we get started it only seems right that we start with prayer? So the first thing I’m going to do is guide you through a Recollecting prayer. It’s a prayer that helps us re-collect the disparate parts of ourselves and surrender them to God.
I’ll show this prayer on the screen so that if you wish you can read along with me.
There are four parts to this prayer, and after each part I’ll pause for a brief time of silence. I encourage you to pay attention to your reactions. Your thoughts, feelings, desires, and physical sensations. During each silence talk with God about your reactions, whether they be positive, negative, or nonexistent. All of them are valid and can help you gain a deeper knowledge of yourself and closer connection with God. …
Let’s begin. First, I invite you to settle into your seat and if you feel comfortable doing so, close your eyes. Take a moment simply to notice your physical sensations. Notice the chair beneath you, the feeling of it supporting you. Notice the temperature of the room around you.
Now take a few deep breaths and calm your soul.
1. Prayer of confession and presence: “God, I am here; I present myself to you. Open my heart to the truth about myself and about you. I confess that I am sinful and you are forgiving.”
2. Prayer of Attachment: “I embrace my true identity as one beloved by God: forgiven, adopted, chosen, indwelled by God, and being sanctified. Lord, you not only love me, but you like me too.”
3: Prayer of detachment: “I am a finite person. I am not God. Apart from Christ, I can do nothing. God’s grace manifests in my weakness. I let go of my desire for security, affirmation, control, and pleasure.”
4: Prayer of Abiding: “I trust you God. Nothing can separate me from your love. There is no condemnation in Christ.”
In the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit.