I don't think I've talked about prayer before.

I pray a lot - all day, in fact. I have many prayer triggers, and I keep a list of people for whom I am praying. Even as a child I was a great pray-er.

My interest in prayer - a more intellectual interest - was sparked a couple of years ago by reading Philip Yancey's truly wonderful book on Prayer. It is such a beautifully written and persuasive book that it really forced me to approach prayer with a renewed energy and focus, and I find that lately I have been praying even more.

I love sacred spaces, of all religions, because they always seem to encourage prayer, and carry in them the combined energies of thousands of prayers.

And as the years progress I am more and more of the opinion that prayer and meditation are the same thing. Yes, I know lots of learned people will disagree with me, and there's the old adage about prayer being talking to God and meditation being about listening to God. But anyone who has sat for a long period in prayer will know that words soon fade away, and you are left sitting in silence - exactly in an attitude of meditation. Certainly the great monastics have always known this, and the traditions of Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer and Christian Meditation all prove that somewhere at the centre of things all prayerful and meditative intentions meet.

As I mentioned in my last entry, we visited the Bahai Temple last weekend, and I was really impressed by the prayerful energy of that place. And reading their literature afterward has helped me to realise that prayer is indeed the focus of Bahai life.


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