As a particular focus of Lent is a return to Prayer, I thought it might be helpful to remind ourselves of some different patterns of private prayer, drawn from the Church’s rich treasury.

Many find it helps to set aside a particular time for prayer each day, say 15 minutes initially.  Find somewhere quiet, where you can be focussed and still.  You may wish to light a candle, and to have a crucifix or an icon close by; if you are able, you may care to burn some incense.  Spend the first few moments breathing carefully, laying aside the busy-ness and cares of the day, letting yourself come consciously into the presence of God.

This week I offer a way into silent prayer, again stilling the mind and body, and resting in the presence of God.

Choose a short phrase, often drawn from the bible, which is easy to remember, and then repeat it slowly many times; if you are able, link it to your breathing, the first part as you breathe in, the second as you breathe out.

The Jesus Prayer, of which I have written before, is a paramount example of this way of praying.  I recommend again the book The Way of Pilgrim, which tells of a Russian monk who travels extensively across Russia, praying this prayer as he goes:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

have mercy on me, a sinner.”

As he journeys, he finds himself drawn into a closer relationship with God, and with those whom he encounters on the way.

Other phrases which may be helpful are:


“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.”


“Be still, and know that I am God.”


“The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.”


“The Lord is my light and my salvation;

whom then shall I fear?”


“Jesu, my Lord, I thee adore;

O make me love thee more and more.”


These are just examples: you may recall other phrases which are appropriate for you.

As you are drawn into the rhythm of this repetition and breathing, you may well find that thoughts spring to mind:  particular people or situations to pray about; inner promptings to action, perhaps to call someone later; a sense of God nudging you in a particular direction.  Above all there is this resting in God.


“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.”


Next week we’ll consider another method.

Every blessing as we continue our journey through Lent together,

Fr. Kevin


Download the Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Lent 2 Feb 28 2021