Resources for prayer and contemplation

Online resources

During the time of lockdown and restricted contact with friends and family, many of us have found that we’re alone more. This has provided time to think, and rethink. As nature has recovered a little from the careless drive of human activity, so many are hoping that humans might also have an opportunity for a recovery. To discover or rediscover a broader imagination of what it means to be alive to our being, to the world and to God – an imagination normally drowned out by our culture of activity and distraction. But the window of opportunity might not last long, and what might have changed could be lost again.

So we’re providing links to a few resources that might help ease you into a less anxious and more contemplative way of living. This is not about doing ’self-help’ improvement practices, but they will be a help in finding out why we are so addicted to busyness, ambition, satisfaction and distraction. They will lead us to be more aware of our ambitions and anxieties and how they ultimately imprison the the true self that God wants us to be. The true, God-given self, can only be set free as we let go of the person we construct for ourselves and spend so much of our time defending. Amazingly, God showed us what this looks like by becoming human, as Jesus.

Colchester Vineyard has no connection or financial relationship with the sites mentioned on this page, and is not responsible for any of their content.

  1. Pray as You Go

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, accessible online as well as with a phone app, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer, based on Ignatian Spirituality.

Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.

The aim is to help you to:

  • become more aware of God’s presence in your life
  • listen to and reflect on God’s word
  • grow in your relationship with God

2. Taketime meditations

Taketime meditations use your imagination to provide a calm, comfortable space in which to meet God. Anyone can use these meditations, regardless of background or religion, and you can meditate anywhere you like. The meditations are available through your browser or a smartphone app.

At the heart of Taketime is the Ignatian idea of an imagined encounter with the Jesus of the Bible in which we are invited to step into an episode from the New Testament and imagine a conversation with Jesus.


Books

  1. Celtic Daily Prayer

This is available as an ebook (as at May 2020) for £0.99p at the Amazon Kindle store! And it includes sound files for the music.

Here are (from the description at the Kindle store) “Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer and Complines with meditations for the day and four years of daily readings.

This ebook has been designed to make navigation through each day’s prayer cycle as easy as possible without having to refer to a table of contents and also contains Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible and music from the Celtic Daily Prayer CD. Please note that the music files may not play on older devices and we recommend you download a sample before purchase. The ebook works best on touch screen devices.

Celtic Daily Prayer offers an alternative to the cult of the new, drawing on the live of the Celtic Saints, as well as many other writers and thinkers down the ages, to help the modern pilgrim find solid ground in their daily walk with God. It is a unique resource for personal and group devotions, both for daily use and on special occasions.

Based around the order for morning and evening prayer, it provides a two year cycle of daily Bible readings, each accompanied by an insightful commentary or quotation. There are liturgies for seasonal events like Easter and Christmas.”


The Spiritual Journey – three books by David G Benner

Spiritual Journey books by D G Benner

We very much recommend three books by David Benner on the essence of what it means to become truly alive in the way that God, in his infinite love, wants us to be.

Surrender to Love, on discovering God’s love at the heart of Christian Spirituality, The Gift of Being Yourself, on the sacred call to self-discovery, and Desiring God’s Heart, aligning our hearts with the heart of God.

The ebooks are all available here at the Amazon Kindle store at reasonable prices (as referenced in May 2020)