The Prayer Life of Quakers

What does Quaker prayer look like? Australian Friend David Johnson says it’s something every human being does naturally, and it leads to inordinate spiritual refreshment.

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Jon Watts

Jon Watts launched and directed the QuakerSpeak project for its first 6 seasons. Keep up to date with Jon’s work at his website.

11 thoughts on “The Prayer Life of Quakers

  1. There is absolutely no way anyone can honestly state that “every human being” prays “naturally”. This statement is wrong on so many levels, and automatically labels any person who does not pray as “unnatural” or “other.”

    Mr. Johnston actually didn’t make this statement quite this way. The blurb writer should go back for a more careful reading.

    Not all Quakers pray, let alone all people. I believe anyone should freely state their beliefs, but not presume to speak for “all Quakers” or all people .

  2. What a lovely gentle message. I am never sure just what prayer is but I see it as carrying a message or concern in your heart. I live near an airport where an Air Ambulance helicopter is based. I often see it passing overhead. I can see it returning to base – at slower cruising speed. If it is going that way it is to our local main hospital. If it is going that way at speed it is even more serious to a major head injury hospital. Each time I have a little prayer for those involved. The casualty that is in great need, or even the staff who are attending or perhaps not needed this time. All need my support. And tomorrow it might be me!

  3. Thank you for your thoughts and description. It rings true to me and at the same time suggests a deeper experience is always possible. His words illuminate the light waiting to be found in each and everyone
    with practice, time and patience.

  4. Thank you Friend, David, this little video has captured much of the essence of the Quaker experience of prayer. We tend to forget that silence and dialogue are important when coming into the presence of God. I wonder if the words silent and listen are just coincidental to having the same letters in them?

  5. Silence is soothing and it is so important to illuminate the light within us and feel the love and joy. A very thoughtful video.

  6. I have missed silent worship since moving to Montana. It does not always come naturally; it takes practice and mentoring, especially for those of us under pressure to achieve. Very easy to slide into allow ing the material world to take over. There is much value in centering down: in putting oneself in a position to focus on what the Spirit might be saying. It is not easy to empty one’s mind, but is possible and a wonderful experience.

  7. “I wonder if the words silent and listen are just coincidental to having the same letters in them?”
    Thank you both.

  8. As a child growing up attending regular Meeting for Worship, I became familiar with the concept of “listening to God” in the silence and the richness of learning to dialogue with him. However, in retrospect I don’t recall being formally taught prayer, or how or when to pray. Maybe this is because Quakers regard the relationship with God to be a personal and an individual one – unique and different for each of us – and don’t want to be prescriptive. But I think on reflection, I might have benefitted from being taught ‘how to pray’ …..

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