As usual we are offering a variety of ways you might draw closer to God in Lent. There are readings and hymns online, stations of the cross and a Lent Study group. But if you are looking for something a little different to refresh your prayer life, you might consider Pray as You Go. It comes as an App or you can visit the website https://pray-as-you-go.org/
A new prayer session is produced every day, with Saturday’s Examen helping us to look at where we encountered God in the previous week. Lasting around ten to fifteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection. The aim is to help us become more aware of God’s presence in our lives, listen to and reflect on God’s word and grow in our relationship with God.
The style of prayer is based on Ignatian Spirituality, which is a way of using our imaginations to pray with scripture. The content is written by a variety of people and is different every day, but it keeps to the same basic format.
To whet your appetite, here is the text from February 17th, which is interspersed with music and silence.
Today is Thursday the 17th of February, in the sixth week of Ordinary time.
Paul Zach, with the Porter’s Gate sings ‘The Greatest Commandment’.
Today’s reading is from the letter of James 2:1-9
My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
Take some time to imagine the two people described in this passage: First, the rich person, ‘with gold rings and in fine clothes’…
How do you imagine these clothes and rings? What colour are they? What shape? What is the material like? The texture? How do you feel having their presence in the room you find yourself in? Perhaps this could be your church?
Next, imagine the poor person described, in ‘dirty clothes’…
What do they look like? How do they walk? Talk? What stirs in you as they enter?
As you listen to the reading again, notice what is said about both the rich and the poor…
“You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'” How might you move closer towards “doing well” today? Ask God for help with this now, speaking as one friend speaks to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The app can be used whenever you have a few minutes, at any time of day and was designed for busy people to use as they travel to and from work.