Rowan Williams on Prayer

Mark Tully:

How do you feel about intercessory prayer? Yours is very much internal prayer, isn’t it?

The Archbishop:

There’s no huge difference really. A great Church of England writer of the twentieth century writing to a friend said, ‘I’m going to spend ten minutes just thinking about you and Jesus’, and I think that’s a brilliant definition of intercessory prayer. You don’t send in your list of requests or bombard God with your demands. You just hold the image and sense of a person or situation in the presence of God as if you want to let the one seep into the other. The bringing together of those two realities in your mind and heart is very much how I find intercession works.

Mark Tully:

So isn’t there any element really of saying to God, ‘Please help this person’ or whatever?

The Archbishop:

Well, of course there is because your emotions are involved here, and in particularly intense circumstances of need of course I say sometimes, ‘God please make a difference to this’. Your emotions push you towards saying these kinds of things, and there’s no need to be ashamed of that. But the reality is just to let God into the situation to hold it there. That’s the bottom line.

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