The Path of Celtic Prayer
Prayer is not one of my strengths spiritually. It is something I really want to be disciplined at and to find joy in, but honestly, it never has been. When I was an associate pastor in California, the senior pastor asked me to offer the pastoral prayer each week. I seriously dreaded it. And in my own relationship with God, it has been sporadic and blah to say the least.
When the book, The Path of Celtic Prayer: An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy came across my desk, I was intrigued. Calvin Miller offers a look at six traits of Celtic prayer and how it can infuse our own prayer with joy, richness and better communication with God (which is what it is all about anyway).
Dr. Miller writes this book to,
"address the way the Celtic people related to God to keep their devotion centered on the Savior. But I also want to demonstrate how these ancient lovers of God were able to strip away institutional business and empty religiousity that can separate Christians from Christ."
The six forms of prayer which Dr. Miller expounds on are Trinity praying, praying the Scriptures, Creature praise, Long, wandering prayer, The Lorica (protection), and The Confession.
I found the chapter on Trinity praying a "duh" kind of moment. Too often we think of praying only to the Father or Jesus (very rarely the Holy Spirit as evangelicals), but the Celts offered prayers to all three persons of the Trinity. I say this is a "duh" moment because it should be obvious, but I did not ever think about it before.
My favorite chapter was the one on praying the Scripture. The Celts believed that the mere recitation of Scripture held a kind of power. Dr. Miller suggests making Scripture our own by praying it back to God. This morning I went out by a lake and prayed Psalm 62 to God. I read it aloud, interjected "you" instead of "God" and changed the pronouns to apply to myself specifically. It was a great time of prayer. I highly recommend trying it.