Seasons of Prayer, written by the Anglican curate of the Diocese of Llandaff, the Rev’d Andrew Highway, explores the natural seasons and shows how these can relate to the seasons of prayer we experience in our spiritual lives. Each season begins with a short introduction to the natural season and is followed by a reflection on the spiritual season. Within the section are a series of simple prayers that correspond to either the spiritual season or the natural one. There is also a section on the Seven Gateways to Prayer, to help us enter into prayer at those times when we find it difficult. This book has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Wales. Seasons of Prayer is available in paperback and ebook editions.
“Too easily prayers, especially those of intercession, are mere words, arranged in a form, sometimes a liturgical form, which tick all the necessary boxes and cover all the necessary bases. At worst they can be thought of as an abdication of personal responsibility, and handing it over to God – the presentation to him of either a shopping-list of things we would rather like to happen, or of a series of reminders of any number of things which, perhaps, he may have forgotten!
“To understand prayer at its best, I believe that we can do no better than to return to the prayer given to the disciples by Jesus himself, the Lord’s Prayer, which focusses every Christian’s attention on bringing about the Father’s Kingdom through the doing of the Father’s will, sustained by daily bread, Jesus himself. The ‘doing’ is for us to undertake, because, as the prophet Micah reminded his people, ‘the Lord has shown you what he requires…..’, he has revealed his will, and we are called upon to do it, not demand that he do it remotely, from afar.
“This is not to suggest that other prayers cease to have meaning or place, but it does, perhaps, suggest to us that the words of our carefully crafted prayers should be, not an abdication of responsibility, but a reminder to us of what the Lord requires of us. What is the point of offering fervent prayers for peace in the world when you cannot get on with people among whom you live and work day-by-day? The prayer, ‘Peace be with you’, is sometimes ‘Peace, on my terms, be with you’!
“In this anthology of prayer, Andrew Highway takes us through the natural year’s four seasons in which are experienced change, waiting, hope and flourishing. The Christian journey can be reflective of such seasonal experiences: there are times when change has to come, times when the journey is barren, cold and hard, times when there is re-awakening and, most blessedly, times when the journey is filled with the flourishing of service of the Kingdom. I hope that your use of these prayers will find you reflecting on what God is saying to you through their words, what he is asking of you and what he is promising you, rather than you leaving it all to him. May his Kingdom come through what he has to say to you through them” – The Most Rev’d John D E Davies, Archbishop of Wales & Bishop of Swansea and Brecon
“Simply and elegantly constructed, sparse and easy on the eye, each of these prayers ‘of the everyday’ are ones you might grasp between tube stops or during a quiet moment” – The Rev’d Canon Dr Mark Dimond (Residentiary Canon), Newport Cathedral, Wales.