Spiritual Tools

Prayer unites the soul to God. Although the soul is like God in nature, it is often different from Him in condition because of a person’s sin. Prayer then acts as a witness that the soul wills as God wills. It eases the conscience and prepares us for grace. That’s why God teaches us to pray — to trust without doubting that we will have grace, for the Lord looks on us in love. God wants nothing more than to make us partners in His good will and work.

Julian of Norwich, Revelations

The spiritual tools discussed or indexed on this page are for the development of personal spiritual practices. Group activities are discussed among our other ministries.

Basic Tools

How to Pray

Praying with Scripture

  • Praying the Psalter, the prayerbook of the bible; the only book that is a response of the people to God. It is the prayerbook of the first Christians and Jews as well. The inclusion of the full psalter in the Book of Common Prayer is in recognition of their centrality in all Christian prayer.
  • Lectio Divina
  • Ignatian Prayer 
  • Prayer Journaling is simply keeping a journal of thoughts that come to you during contemplative types of prayer like lectio divina or centering prayer (a part of the lectio divinia method).
  • African Bible Study Method: A method introduced to the Anglican Communion by African bishops at the last Canterbury Synod. It is an adaption of the lectio divina for either individuals or small groups.

Daily Prayer

  • Daily Office from Mission St. Clare (also available as a free ap)
  • Video of Morning prayer and Nightly prayer (compline) from the London Internet Church, a ministry of St Stephan Walbrook Church in the diocese of London. These update daily and last for 5-9 minutes.
  • Saint Bede’s Breviary (also available in an ap)
  • Forward Day by Day (Meditations) at Forward Movement (print editions available in the parish hall).
  • Hour by Hour from Forward Movement, a week of daily prayer including morning, noon and evening prayer plus Compline. (available in print or kindle or nook form)
  • There are a variety of books that contain the full daily office for a season such as Lent or Easter if you would like to try it for a season.
  • Compile a notebook of your favorite prayers to create your own prayerbook.

Building a Home Devotional Space

photo (12)Traditionally most devotional spaces were outside of churches. They were found in homes, along road sides, in public places, and in private chapels or gardens.

Home devotional spaces can be for a family or individual. Personal spaces tend to be an eclectic mixture of components that have meaning for the person who creates it. A devotional space can be as simple as a favorite chair for prayer or reading, as an icon and a candle, or a planned section of a garden.

A home devotional space is a focus for spiritual life. Be intentional in its design. It doesn’t have to come together all at once, let it grow organically.

Prayer shawl ministry

A prayer shawl wraps one in the love of God and the body of Christ. St. George’s prayer shawl ministry makes shawls and lap blankets for patients at local hospitals and nursing homes, and for all who request one (including for new babies). Prayer shawls are crocheted or knitted with the prayers of the makers for those who will receive it and their own concerns. Making prayer shawls is a great ministry for strengthening the maker’s prayer life while helping those in need. See Carol Ludwig for more information.

Prayer Beads

A Late Medieval English Bead Maker
A Late Medieval English Bead Maker

Praying with beads is an ancient practice used by many different faiths and has been present in Christianity since early times. Legends claim that the third century hermit Saint Anthony used pebbles to count his prayers. This practice lead to stringing the pebbles or beads on a string. The word “bead” comes from the Old English word “to bid” or “to pray or request”. There have been many different forms, and configurations of Christian prayer beads over the centuries. One of the oldest forms was called a Paternoster . Prayer beads have a continuous tradition among Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox. Initially suppressed after the Reformation, prayer beads are making a come-back among Episcopalians and Lutherans.

There are four basic types of prayer beads:

Recommended Reading

* In St George’s library

Carmen Acevedo Butcher (ed.). A Little Daily Wisdom: Christian Women MysticsParaclete Press, 2008.

Eugene Peterson. Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer. HarperOne, 1991.

*Christopher Webber. The User’s Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: Morning and Evening Prayer. Morehouse Publishing, 2005.

Christopher Webber. Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers. Morehouse Publishing, 2004.

Study Resources

Publishers and Bookstores that sell Episcopal Church publications

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