Sunshine and Showers: Go Deeper

Prayer is foundational to our faith. It's how we communicate with God, and it is the fuel that powers our evangelism, mission and discipleship. It's the sunshine that brings a smile to our face and brings light to hidden places. And yet, for many people, it is one of the hardest things about being a follower of Jesus. Deepen your exploration of prayer with the resources below.

These resources have been collated to follow the themes of the Sunshine and Showers prayer course. They present a diverse range of perspectives. We welcome your suggestions of books, podcasts, videos, apps and other resources that have aided you. Books are presented in italics and can be purchased from many bookshops, including digital second-hand stores.

Session 1: Prayer as friendship

Generational introductions to, and resources, for, prayer

Digital resources

Books

  • Prayer – does it make a difference? by Philip Yancey.
  • Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster.
  • How to Hear God: A Simple Guide for Normal People by Pete Grieg.
  • Letters to Malcom: chiefly on prayer by CS Lewis.
  • The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life by Joan Chittister.
  • Praying like a woman by Nicola Slee.
Session 2: Prayer as rhythm

Resources to help you explore daily and seasonal rhythms of prayer

Digital resources

  • Prayer rhythms to nourish your soul – a three-part video series of prayer rhythms and practices from Danielle Strickland and World Vision.
  • Taketime meditations, inspired by Ignatian practices, use your imagination to provide a calm, comfortable space in which to meet God.
  • Lectio 365 is a free daily devotional app that helps you pray the Bible every day, inspired by the Lectio Divina (Android and iPhone; available in English and Spanish). A different, PDF version of the Lectio is available from the Bible Society.
  • Download a digital prayer labyrinth to your phone (Android and iPhone).
  • The Taizé Community is made up of about hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, coming from around thirty nations. Millions of people join them every year, online and onsite, for daily prayer and worship.
  • The Northumbria Community believes that a regular cycle of daily prayers constitutes the essential rhythm of life around which other activities can take their proper place. Read their morning prayer each day.
  • Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc. Listen to their daily audio meditations online or via the app (Android and iPhone).
  • Sacred Space is a daily online prayer space available in multiple languages. It can be read or listened to online, or printed. The online version includes a guide for how to pray in different ways.
  • The examen is an Ignatian tradition which provides a prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us.

Books

  • Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times by Brian Heasley.
  • Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird.
  • A Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
Session 3: Forms of prayer

Resources exploring creative, silent, embodied, and other forms of prayer

Digital resources

  • Praying the Psalms is an article outlining steps to pray through a psalm in community. God intends for the Psalms to teach His people the practice of praise and lament, confession and exaltation, protest and thanksgiving.
  • Explore creative prayer resources from the Methodist Church, including Creative Prayer for All: 52 prompts for creative prayer (printed pack, PDF or PowerPoint).
  • Thy Kingdom Come is a movement of evangelistic prayer, with creative ideas for how to pray for friends, neighbours, family and colleagues.
  • Explore ideas for taking prayer walks through your community.
  • Resources for creative prayer activities to do with children.
  • Enfleshed provides inclusive and contemporary prayers, reflections and liturgy.

Books

  • Running Over Rocks by Ian Adams.
  • Spoken Worship by Gerard Kelly.
  • Sensing God by Stella Bristow.
  • God In All Things by Gerard Hughes.
  • Finding Your Hidden Treasure: The Way of Silent Prayer by Ben O'Rourke.
  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton.
Session 4: Whan prayer is hard

Resources exploring how to pray in the dark times

Digital resources

  • Renew wellbeing helps churches open spaces of welcome and inclusion in partnership with mental health teams to improve mental and emotional wellbeing; spaces where it’s okay to not be okay.
  • The Friday Fix explores spirituality in music. This article describes an experience of prayer and worship when listening to music during a time of depression.

Books

  • God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer by Pete Grieg and David C. Cook.
  • Eternal Echoes: exploring our hunger to belong by John O’Donohue.
  • When I Pray What Does God Do? by David Wilkinson.
  • Psalms Redux: Poems and Prayers by Carla Grosh Miller.
  • Lost in Wonder: Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness by Esther De Waal.
Session 5: Praying for healing

Digital resources

Books

  • Lifelines – poems from death to resurrection by Carla Grosh Miller.
  • Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy by J Neville Ward.
Session 6: Answering prayers ourselves

Resources exploring the intersection of prayer and justice action

Digital resources

  • Black Liturgy is an Instagram account providing a space that integrates spiritual practice with Black emotion, Black literature, and the Black body.
  • Explore prayer resources from the Joint Public Issues Team, a partnership between the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church to help the Churches work together for peace and justice through listening, learning, praying, speaking and acting on public policy issues.
  • Discover prayer resources from All We Can, an international development and relief organisation, working to see every person’s potential fulfilled (formerly The Methodist Relief and Development Fund).

Books

  • NIV God's Justice: Holy Bible is an edition of the Bible with embedded commentary from international justice practitioners. The commentary is designed to fire readers' passion for social justice and take positive steps to bring justice issues to light in their own circle of influence.
  • The Beautiful Gate by Bob Ekblad.
  • Wasted prayer by Greg Darley.

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