Life Source
Robert Warren, Kate Bruce, Church House Publishing, 2006

£3.99 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

A 5-session course on prayer for Lent.

At times prayer can seem like hard work or a bit of a mystery. At other times it’s an encounter with the Living God. Wherever you are on the journey of faith, Life Source will encourage a discovery of new-found joy and delight in prayer – for novices and old hands alike.

The course combines Bible study and discussion with a creative, hands-on exploration of five prayer patterns drawn from our rich Christian heritage.

What do you get?

In five interactive sessions this course aims to help groups explore:

  • Source of life – prayer as a relationship
  • Source of Joy – prayer as enjoying God
  • Source of Light – prayer as listening
  • Source of Wholeness – prayer as honesty
  • Source of Love – prayer as care

90 minutes.

  1. Living Well/Beforehand/The Session.
  2. Living Openly/Beforehand/The Session.
  3. Living Purposefully/Beforehand/The Session.
  4. Living Lovingly/Beforehand/The Session.
  5. Living Differently/Beforehand/The Session.

90 minutes of material. Leaders’ introduction, and preparation for each session.

Other titles available in the series, each written as a resource for Lent:

Life balance: (see review on this site) Time to Pause / Time to Celebrate / Time to Rest/ Time to Play / Time to Liberate

Life calling: Called by God / Called from within / Called out / Called up / Called on

Life attitudes: (see review on this site) Living Well / Living Openly/ Living Purposefully/ Living Lovingly / Living Differently

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation? How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Introduction says that the course ‘aims to encourage group members to discover a new-found joy and delight in prayer, to find that it really is our ‘Life source'.' Each session has clear aims at the start.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Substantial introduction explaining how each session works, and the rationale behind them. Encourages choice and imagination, and gives tips on enabling the group dynamics. Each session begins with a ‘Beforehand', containing the aim, list of materials, background to the theme. Session has Welcome; ‘Drawing near' (learning and practising a pattern for prayer, different each time); Time to share (Questions and discussion); Encounter (Bible reading and questions); Do something (choice of prayer-based activities); Go deep (more prayer patterns); suggestions for the week ahead and close. Extra material at the back of book, available for download on chp website. Peppered with inspiring quotes about prayer from a variety of authors who have written about prayer. Layout is a bit dense, and looks a bit dated, and there is quite a bit to read and choose between, as well as digesting the ‘Beforehand'. Not a pick-up-and-run resource.

    Who could lead it?

    Plenty of help here, so anyone who is prepared to put in some time for good preparation.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    No specific participants' resources, apart from eight A4 pages of extra material on Church House Publishing website. These include some inspiration from Stephen Cottrell, Rowan Williams and some practical pointers.

    How good is any digital material?

    Some film clips are recommended – of which, most will probably be relevant for a good while yet, but leaders may want to have their own ideas from more contemporary-to-them movies.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Needs a bit of focused preparation, both in choosing the way through the material, and gathering any props.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Just the downloadable A4 sheets, which are fine.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Given that this is a resource about prayer, there is a creative amount of interaction here, with encouragement to try out prayer ‘patterns' together and be honest about how they work.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Again, some good variety, with some liturgical-style responses, individual prayer, and experiencing new ideas together. Particularly good variety of suggestions for the ‘Do something' section.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The resource aims to encourage experience of both ‘given' prayers, and spontaneous expression – in a gentle way. Might suit best those who like the former as well as the latter, as it is a fairly thoughtful resource. Those who prefer to be active while praying may not relate so well – though who knows? This may open up some new ideas.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Emphasis put on practising the prayer patterns in between the sessions, and feeding back to the group.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Encounter section focuses on a relevant Bible passage, with questions to follow.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Some good choices here, and open questions. Reflects a carefully thought-though spirituality.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Focus is on responding to life with and in prayer, acknowledging the challenge of that.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Anglican, and drawing from wide traditions of prayer.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Prayer is seen firstly as spending time with God, and enjoying our relationship with him. Everything else follows from this.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Lots of ideas for different ways of praying, and trying them out. This is coupled with opportunities to discuss the biblical material, so there are good holistic connections between mind, heart and soul.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Some of the ways of praying will doubtless be new to some folk. Most are focused on being still, taking time and developing routines that work personally. Thought-provoking.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Acknowledges well the challenge of prayer. Stuffed with suggestions to make progress with this, on the basis that God loves us whatever. No judgement here.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Not a focus, though one would hope that engagement with the world will be an outcome from growing in prayer.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus

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