Prayer is never confined to one pattern, one place, or one practice. Through exploring apparent paradoxes in prayer our participation in the life of God is revealed to be full of surprise – and full of joy.
This series challenges us to be open to praying in ways that may not be part of our usual pattern of prayer. Text and images by Ian Adams, mission spirituality adviser for Church Mission Society.
In this series we are exploring some apparent paradoxes in prayer. In this exercise our focus is on the connection between words and silence.
 Words and silence
Prayer is often, of course, our activity. We find a space to pray, we look for words to give shape to our prayer, and we even seem to decide when the praying is over. But there’s also a strong Christian tradition that sees prayer as primarily God’s activity within us. God the Father drawing us into the divine life, Jesus the Son praying in and through us, and the Holy Spirit making prayer within us when we do not know how to pray.
When you go into prayer today write your words on a piece of paper. When you are ready put down your pen, and put the paper to one side. Reveal another blank sheet of paper. Let this open space symbolize the way in which God may be praying in you, unseen.
A simple prayer you can use to accompany this exercise:
God take me from my words, into your prayer